ITI Certificates in Cybersecurity

The marketplace demand for employees with cybersecurity knowledge and skills is enormous, and there aren’t nearly enough well-qualified job applicants to meet that demand. It’s a tremendous opportunity for motivated individuals!

If you want to explore cybersecurity as an aspect of your future career—whether as your primary career focus or secondary to another area of expertise—an Information Trust Institute (ITI) cybersecurity certificate can help you enhance your undergraduate studies with a concentration in cybersecurity-related courses!

ITI currently offers one certificate option and plans to announce a second option soon. The Certificate in Cybersecurity, available now, acknowledges your completion of three cybersecurity-related courses chosen to match your personal interests and goals, plus your completion of one extracurricular cybersecurity-related activity. The courses align with typical CS, ECE, or iSchool curricula, and should be easy to integrate into your other planned coursework.

Your completion of this certificate program will be beneficial to you as you pursue roles in academia, government, or the private sector. Skills and knowledge gained through these courses are in great demand and may help you build towards a successful career in the working world! In addition, having this certificate on your resume will help your job application stand out in the eyes of potential employers.

The second certificate option, which will be announced soon, will be complementary to the Certificate in Cybersecurity. Students will be able to pursue both certificates if desired, so if you’re already interested in the current one, don’t hesitate to sign up! (In addition, there is no penalty if you choose to drop out of this certificate program after signing up.)

Requirements for the Certificate in Cybersecurity

Requirement 1: Take 3 classes chosen from the 2 lists below (including at least 1 from each list), and earn an average grade of at least a B across the 3 courses.

Requirement 2: Participate substantially in one of the below extracurricular activities.

  • Compete in an approved cybersecurity competition (e.g., HackIllinois or another hackathon or National Cyber League competition).
  • Participate for one semester as an undergraduate researcher in the group of a professor who agrees to the arrangement.
  • Receive a scholarship from the Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program (ICSSP) and participate in the program, in good standing, for at least one year.
  • Other activities may be used to meet this requirement. (Some examples include doing a cyber-security-related internship, participating substantially in a cybersecurity-related student group such as SIGPwny, or presenting a cybersecurity-related poster or paper at a conference.) Students are encouraged to propose activities that they’d like to use; write to iti-cyber-certs@illinois.edu in advance of the activity to request approval. 

Requirement 3: While working towards certificate completion, each student must attend at least one ITI Certificate Program Meeting per year, unless granted an exemption. The meeting will provide program updates and discuss other UIUC cybersecurity opportunities.

  • Every Spring and Fall semester, ITI will host one 1-hour  ITI Certificate Program Meeting; participating students must attend at least one each academic year.
  • Each ITI Certificate Program Meeting will provide a current overview of ITI’s certificate program, including reminders on requirements and announcements of updates, and will inform you about other cybersecurity-related student resources on the UIUC campus (e.g., scholarships, undergraduate research opportunities, conferences, internship opportunities, and student organizations). Time will be budgeted for a question & answer session and discussion.
  • It is currently anticipated that students will be able to attend either in-person or via an online conferencing system (e.g., Zoom).
  • If you need to request an exemption to this requirement, write to iti-cyber-certs@illinois.edu to submit the request and explain the reasons.

To Ask Questions or Apply

If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer them! Please write to iti-cyber-certs@illinois.edu.

If you’re ready to apply, visit our application form; applications are accepted year-round. Students who have already completed some or all of the requirements prior to applying are encouraged to apply; the previously completed work will count towards the Certificate.