The B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences opened at RIT in 2003. The largest of the university’s nine colleges, it is home to RIT’s computer science, computing security, information sciences and technologies, and software engineering departments, as well as the Ph.D. program in computing and information sciences, and the School of Interactive Games and Media.
In 2012, RIT became one of the first universities in the nation to launch an academic department devoted solely to computing security. As a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and for Cyber Defense Research, designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security, RIT is helping to fill a national need for qualified computing security professionals.
In 2014, RIT received a nearly $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to become a part of the federal CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program, which can provide full tuition and a stipend in exchange for future government service. The program was established in 2000 in response to ongoing threats to the nation’s information technology infrastructure. It serves as a deal for students and gives government agencies an exclusive talent pool from which to recruit.
Through the Center for Cybersecurity, founded in 2016, the university is bringing together expertise from across RIT to better understand and address real-world challenges in cybersecurity. Faculty and student researchers are developing human-centered projects that will help people and organizations get and stay ahead of their adversaries. At the same time, student penetration testers in the center are gaining experience, as they are hired to test a business’s networks, create a report and make recommendations about its cybersecurity needs.
RIT students are also consistently among the top contenders at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, an extracurricular event that helps to train the next generation of cybersecurity experts. RIT teams placed third in 2015, second in 2014 and won the national title in 2013. And the university annual hosts a national competition focused on penetration testing for cybersecurity.