CyberLeaders Program

What it is:

Sponsored by a grant from the Hewlett Foundation, the CyberLeaders program is an alternative to the traditional study abroad experience for students who want to enhance their understanding of both the policy and engineering challenges of cybersecurity. Offered by the Hume Center for National Security and Technology in partnership with the School of Public and International Affairs and the Pamplin College of Business, this program is designed to create opportunities for students to grow their skills at the intersection of cybersecurity engineering and cybersecurity regulation and policy. The program offers students four tailored courses that provide a foundation for both disciplines, as well as a scholarship to spend a summer in Washington, D.C., doing coursework and research in Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region (NCR). During their time in the nation’s capital, students get the opportunity to work on a research project to solve real-world problems, while taking classes designed to give them the skills to be the policy and engineering leaders of the future.

Why it matters:

Employers are requiring more of job seekers these days. Depth of knowledge in one field is not enough; employers in cyber fields want candidates who have a broader understanding of both the policy and regulation as well as the engineering challenges of cybersecurity. The CyberLeaders program offers Virginia Tech students the opportunity to gain insight and experience in both fields by working on cutting-edge research while simultaneously taking classes that will set them apart from their peers as they prepare to graduate and join the working world.

The CyberLeaders Program – What it entails:

Fall semester in Blacksburg, VA:
Course 1 – FIN 4014: Internet Law (prerequisite for the Washington semester)
Course 2 – ENGR 2174: Principles of Computer Systems (for non-engineering majors)

Spring Semester in Blacksburg, VA:
Course 3 – BIT/CS/PSCI 2164: Foundations of Contemporary Security Environments

Summer Semester in Arlington, VA:
Course 4 – SPIA 4374: Federal Cyber Security Policy and Regulation
Course 5 – BIT 5114: Crime and Conflict in Cyberspace
6 Credit Capstone Research Project
Summer Internship (optional)

Benefits of this program:

In addition to learning and working at Virginia Tech’s NCR campus during the summer, CyberLeaders students will receive the following:

  • A $5000 scholarship for the summer semester in Washington, D.C.
  • Networking opportunities with industry professionals and government officials
  • Internship placement assistance utilizing staff connections in the region
  • Priority access to workshops, colloquia, and other events sponsored by the CyberLeaders Program

Who is eligible:

Any student who has an interest in cybersecurity (either in engineering or from a policy and regulation standpoint) is eligible to apply.

How to apply:

Applications are due by May 13, 2019: 

Who to contact:

If you have any questions about this program, email Russ Walker at