A sign reads "Leep 2" in front of the K.U. School of Engineering

The School of Engineering has created a new cybersecurity certificate for undergraduate students in response to a high demand from the computer science industry.

The University of Kansas School of Engineering has created a new cybersecurity certificate available to undergraduate students in response to high demand from the computer science industry.

Students interested in this certificate must take four courses to apply, many of which they have taken or plan to. The engineering department used already-existing courses as the qualifications for the certificate, meaning students may already be on their way to receiving it.

“KU Engineering prides itself on being a national leader in cybersecurity research training and education,” said Arvin Agah, dean of the School of Engineering. “This new certificate serves to strengthen our program and better prepare our students for the challenges of the future.”

The four required courses were put into three categories by the engineering department: theory, practice and electives. 

“We now just want to reorganize existing resources,” said Bo Luo, professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

The industry has needed more cybersecurity experts, Luo said. Companies are looking for students who can show they have systematic training in cybersecurity, such as this certificate.

“So from the recruiter perspective they want something more than that. They want something more than a [Bachelor of Science in Computer Science] with general security courses,” Luo said. “They want something that shows the students have taken systematic training of cybersecurity. So that’s why we designed this certificate.”

Until now, the department of engineering only offered cybersecurity certificates to graduate students.

Luo said this certificate is an addition to the large group of other security education activities the department has to offer, including summer camps for high school teachers, security courses and the Jayhackers student club, which competes in national cyber defense competitions.

“The security certificate is just another step that we are making toward a super strong security program here,” Luo said.