Students in the fields of liberal arts and electrical engineering now can prepare for a cybersecurity career via a newly expanded degree program at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Because cybersecurity no longer is confined to the discipline of computer science, three specialization tracks—policy, energy systems, as well as information security—will be offered to broaden Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in Information Security (MS INFS). The degree, historically housed under the College of Computing, has been renamed the Master of Science in Cybersecurity and is delivered through three colleges at Georgia Tech, effective May 1.
Participating are the College of Engineering School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts School of Public Policy, and the College of Computing School of Computer Science. Students may enter the degree from any of the three colleges, take a uniform set of core courses, and complete a specialization track for a total of 32 credit hours.
“Georgia Tech recognizes that the field of cybersecurity has become much broader than just technologies that secure digital information,” says Mustaque Ahamad, a professor of computer science who initiated the expansion and established Georgia Tech’s pioneering information security program 15 years ago. “Cybersecurity touches multiple disciplines, careers, and nearly all aspects of society—especially energy and public policy.”
Cybersecurity already is a part of courses taught by internationally recognized Georgia Tech faculty with expertise in public policy and electrical engineering, including professors Raheem Beyah, Hans Klein, Milton Mueller, and Peter Swire. The expanded degree formalizes a track for those students and others and also updates the existing curriculum to align with industry standards.
The expanded degree confirms for students in other programs, such as liberal arts, that cybersecurity will be part of their careers and it allows them to focus on a critical area of cybersecurity in addition to core computing fundamentals.
“As technology evolves and changes how societies interact, public policy must lead and continually represent the values and wishes of society,” says Kaye Husbands Fealing, chair of the School of Public Policy. “Cybersecurity policy affects privacy, speech, and governance of the tools that are now essential to commerce and communication. We’re pleased to offer this focus.”
"Cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, such as power and water systems, demands more attention from industry, policymakers, and academia," says Steven W. McLaughlin, professor and the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering. “Georgia Tech’s research in this area has sounded the alarm for our society to take heed of these issues, and now we’re pleased to support that with a formalized degree dedicated to energy systems cybersecurity.”