UWF cybersecurity program achieves prestigious ABET accreditation and CAE-CD re-designation
The University of West Florida Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program recently achieved accreditation from the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. The accreditation is retroactive from Oct. 1, 2019 through September 2025, aligning it with the University’s computer science accreditation.
“This accreditation is testament to our continued focus on being a leader in cybersecurity,” said Dr. George Ellenberg, provost and senior vice president. “Now more than ever, we are seeing UWF cyber graduates fill a critical cybersecurity workforce shortage and this ABET accreditation strengthens each student’s position in a competitive market.”
ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization with ISO 9001:2015 certification. It currently accredits 4,307 programs at 846 colleges and universities in 41 countries and areas.
"Accreditation by ABET signifies that the program meets rigorous industry standards and produces graduates who are prepared to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public," said Dr. Thomas Reichherzer, chair of the Department of Computer Science. "Students who graduate from an ABET-accredited program are also seen favorably by employers and graduate schools."
UWF has the first undergraduate cybersecurity program in the state of Florida that is both accredited by ABET and designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, or CAE-CD.
UWF was also re-designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency through 2028 in recognition of the University’s ability to meet the increasing demands of cybersecurity professionals. UWF received its initial CAE-CD designation from the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security in 2016. UWF achieved CAE re-designation by passing a rigorous review of curriculum and program requirements set forth by the NSA.
“Approval of UWF’s re-designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity is a testament to the quality of our cybersecurity programs,” said Dr. Eman El-Sheikh, associate vice president for UWF’s Center for Cybersecurity. “We have achieved so much since our initial CAE designation, including being selected as the Southeast CAE Regional Hub. UWF continues to lead the way to advance the field, serve our communities and prepare future cybersecurity leaders.”
For more information about ABET, its member societies, and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs, visit www.abet.org. For more information about UWF’s Center for Cybersecurity, visit uwf.edu/cyber. To learn more about UWF’s Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering, visit uwf.edu/hmcse.