Students who choose to minor in cybersecurity will now have access to more scholarships and job opportunities in both the public and private sectors, thanks to a new designation from the National Security Agency.

Scholarship Eligibility

Thaier Hayajneh, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cybersecurity, said that the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) designation for the minor means that undergraduates can apply for scholarships that are funded by certain grants, such as a $4.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) the center received in 2022.

That grant money was previously only available to students enrolled in one of the four master’s level cybersecurity degrees the department offers, including undergraduate students enrolled in an accelerated five-year program.

Undergraduates in the cybersecurity minor—open to students in all of Fordham’s undergraduate colleges—can now apply for DoD Cyber Scholarships to offset their tuition. Those who accept scholarships make a commitment to work for at least two to three years for a federal agency such as the National Security Agency.

More Job Opportunities

Upon graduation, students in the minor can expect that job opportunities will expand as well. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, there are currently about 3.4 million unfilled jobs in cybersecurity globally, including an estimated 640,000 in the United States. Many of those jobs are only open to graduates from CAE-designated programs.

“All of these federal agencies, like the NSA, the FBI, and the CIA, have special career fairs that are only for CAE-CD accredited programs, so that will give students more opportunities,” said Hayajneh.

“Employers in the private sector will also have more confidence in our graduates when they know that our students have been through a C-designated program. So it’s an exciting opportunity.”


Patrick Verel is a news producer for Fordham Now. He can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 636-7790.