Cyber Scholarship Program

The U.S. Department of Defense's Cyber Scholarship Program offers eligible cybersecurity students an opportunity to earn a full scholarship. The fall 2022 application is now open! Learn more about this program.

Read about the three winners of the 2020–2021 scholarship—Olubusayo Ladelokum, Jalynn Middleton, and Michael Tillini—whose work focuses on the intersection of digital technology and cybersecurity.

The Center for Security Studies is designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Education for the MS in cybersecurity technology Program of Study (PoS).

For 2021, UMGC is validating the MS in cybersecurity management and policy program by submitting elements to the NSA and DHS pertaining to the academic PoS, including curriculum, student related information, faculty profiles and qualifications, continuous improvement information, and NICE Framework crosswalk alignment.

For more information, please contact Dr. Loyce Best Pailen, UMGC's CAE point-of-contact, at

Cybersecurity Talent Initiative

Eligible cybersecurity students are encouraged to apply to the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative™. Gain valuable work experience in both the public and private sectors and kickstart your career as a cybersecurity leader. Applications are due November 5.

Learn About the GenCyber 2021 Teacher Camp

Maryland and National Capital area high school teachers can apply to our summer camp for cybersecurity curriculum development. The application window for this event has closed.

CISA and NSA Participate in National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) participated in K-12 education industry chats during National Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, November 9–14, 2020. During the week-long campaign led by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), professionals from all over the nation provided the public with a firsthand look at the diverse skill set needed for cybersecurity careers.

Anastacia Webster, education programs section chief for CISA, and Latasha McCord, cybersecurity education program lead for CISA, read to elementary students from cybersecurity books written by Dr. Loyce Pailen of UMGC. On November 9, Webster read Super Cybersecurity Grandma: Episode 4 Privacy and Identity Theft. On November 13, McCord read Super Cybersecurity Grandma: Episode 6 Clouds vs. the Cloud.

Debora Plunkett, former director of the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, and Diane Janosek, commandant and training director for the NSA's National Cryptologic School, presented to middle and high school students on November 9. Janosek discussed women in cybersecurity with her presentation, "Seize the Moment! Opportunities for Women in Cybersecurity," and Plunkett presented on the need for more cybersecurity professionals with her presentation, "The Mandate for More: Increasing Capacity in Cybersecurity."

Learn more about cyber week events hosted by NIST.

Webinar: Cybersecurity Careers for Everyone

UMGC's Center for Security Studies, in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education, recently hosted a webinar for Maryland school counselors regarding cybersecurity careers. The webinar, "Cybersecurity Careers for Everyone," was an informative look at the many employment opportunities that a cybersecurity degree can provide to students.

The guests included Mark Loepker, Education Program Manager at the Cyber Center for Education & Innovation, and Jeffrey Smith, Targeted Populations Grant Program Manager at the Maryland Department of Labor.

View a recording of the webinar or access a .pdf version of the presentation.

ISC(2) National Capital Region Scholarships

If you are an ISC(2) National Capital Region member, you may be eligible for two scholarship opportunities offered by the organization.


UMGC now offers NETLAB+, professional development tools for cybersecurity teachers, faculty and curriculum developers. Learn more about this remote-access learning platform for hands-on experience in virtual network environments.

Loyce Pailen, Faculty

Letter from Loyce Pailen
Senior Director, Center for Security Studies


I am thankful for this opportunity to introduce you to the University of Maryland Global Campus Center for Security Studies. CSS provides educational resources, research activities, networking opportunities, scholarships, and career training opportunities for working adults pursuing cybersecurity studies. We work with industry and government to meet our nation's academic and professional cybersecurity and homeland security needs.

At present, UMGC has produced more than 11,500 cybersecurity graduates, with more than 17,300 undergraduate and graduate cyber students currently enrolled. As UMGC is designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, CSS is committed to adhering to the mission for CAE designation, which includes

  • Establishing standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence

  • Emphasizing competency development among students and faculty

  • Valuing community outreach and leadership in professional development

  • Integrating cybersecurity practice within the institution and across academic disciplines

  • Actively engaging in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education

Looking back, it has been a pleasure to work with the Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program directors, staff, and faculty to write proposals and to be awarded funds for student scholarship, cybersecurity faculty, and laboratory capacity building.

The center has supported community outreach through DHS presentations, tours and visits, and the celebration of Cybersecurity Awareness Month with major in-person and virtual conference events from 2015 to 2020. On our website, you can find video excerpts of presentations by an impressive list of public- and private-sector representatives, including CISOs, White House officials, professors, and students. We have welcomed record turnouts of both students and professionals at these events and received excellent reviews. The teamwork to make these events successful has been phenomenal.

I appreciate your trust and support as I work to fulfill the duties of this office. I have a strong commitment to our CSS and cybersecurity programs' missions and a passion for providing opportunities and activities to deserving students and underrepresented persons seeking careers in the cybersecurity arena. UMGC's efforts reach the post-secondary community. We have expanded our support of being sure cybersecurity is essential to our K-12 community in support of the Maryland State Department of Education Computer Science Curriculum Committee and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Our organization is vibrant and healthy, not because of any one individual, but rather due to our group of cybersecurity faculty and staff who are willing and ready to serve.

Finally, we are already looking ahead to 2022. We will have much more information to share about CSS activities, labs, scholarships, fellowships, webinars, conferences, partnership opportunities for organizations, scholarship opportunities for students, training, applied research and consulting, conferences and events, and other academic collaborative opportunities.

Please join us in supporting the cybersecurity community. We welcome your ideas about how to improve our programs.


Loyce Pailen, DM, CISSP
Senior Director, Center for Security Studies
University of Maryland Global Campus


About the Center for Security Studies at UMGC

Read about the center's mission and faculty.

Stay current on security issues and trends through CSS events.

Partner with CSS for grants, training, and more.

Explore cyber and homeland security resources.