UA CyberApolis

A virtual city called CyberApolis allows students to learn technologically advanced skills in a hands-on environment.

The University of Arizona is preparing students for an increasingly interconnected world with its new Bachelor of Applied Science in Intelligence and Information Operations Degree program. 

According to Linda Denno, head of the Department of Applied Sciences, the new degree program merges “cyber, intelligence, and information operations to counter new and evolving threats across the military, government and the private sector,” and is the first of its kind in the country.

The program includes research projects that deal with intelligence studies within electronics and cybersecurity The program is set to begin this fall and will allow students to implement computer engineering, informatics, electrical engineering and STEM-related courses towards their degree. 

The new program is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, along with the DIA designating the UA Bachelor of Applied Science in Intelligence Studies program as an “Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence”.

The principal investigator of the grant was Jason Denno, a military veteran and director of cyber operations at UA South. The husband-and-wife team of Jason and Linda developed the degree program.

Topics covered range from national security policy, cyber threat intelligence and politics of terrorism.

“The idea behind the Bachelor of Applied Science is that it prepares students for immediate employment upon graduation,” Linda said.

The co-principal investigator on the DIA grant is Tamal Bose, head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

“The grant will facilitate intelligence studies specialties within multiple different degree programs at the university,” Bose said in a press release. “Jobs in the intelligence community are very difficult to get because they’re so selective, so this gives our students an opportunity to get a leg up on pursuing them.”

Ambur Wilkerson is a University of Arizona graduate journalism student and Tucson Local Media intern.

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