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Be Prepared

The role of the CISO is gaining in prominence. Are you ready?

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Certificate

The challenges and demands facing information security leaders grow increasingly complex.

CISO program sealThe reality is no longer “if” your company has been hacked, or even “when.” The reality today is, “You’ve been hacked, you just don’t know it yet.” The need is growing for individuals with a cross-section of business acumen, technical ability, and expertise in cybersecurity. 

In the CISO Certificate Program, you will learn the skills you need to be an effective CISO through targeted interdisciplinary coursework and hands-on practical application, led by world-renowned faculty from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College and Software Engineering Institute (SEI). Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the NSA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Heinz College is a crucial asset to cybersecurity education and practice in the United States

This six-month program, co-administered by Heinz College and the CERT Division of SEI, blends on-campus and synchronous distance learning and is designed to enhance the careers of cyber leaders.

All students admitted to the CISO Certificate Program will have at least seven years of relevant experience managing projects and/or people, giving you the chance to collaborate with similarly experienced peers and build exciting new relationships and networks with your cohort.

My Story: Joe

Earning a Chief Information Security Officer certificate from Heinz College helped Joe Lewis become the CISO of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This was the right direction to go."

CISOs Patrick Forbes of S&P Global and Corey T. Jackson of the Travelers Companies talk about what they gained from the program, and what executive training from CMU has meant to their careers.

The CISO program helped me to step into my role as a Chief Information Security Officer. The program prepared me to address the many challenges facing a CISO—operational resilience, threat management, cyber risk management, insider threat. The practicum allowed me to work with cyber experts from great organizations and guided us in framing the communications necessary to lead an organization through cybersecurity problems, and communicate with our Boards. Greg Crabb | Chief Information Security Officer, Vice President | United States Postal Service


Program Costs

  • $19,500 for the entire program

  • $15,600 discounted rate for Carnegie Mellon alumni—including CIO, CRO, CDataO, and CDigitalO programs—U.S. government employees, veterans, and employees of non-profit organizations

  • Fee includes program materials and daily continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments during on-campus sessions.

  • Optional credit card installment payment plan is available

Please note: Due to the non-credit bearing nature of the CISO Certificate Program, students are unable to apply for tuition assistance, scholarship, or VA benefits.


Apply Now


  • Formal deadline for Cohort 23 is August 28, 2024. Please submit your application as soon as possible for consideration.

  • If space remains, we will continue to accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis.


A non-refundable, non-transferable deposit of 1/6 of the total program cost is required to reserve a seat in the program.

Should a student withdraw from the program after the deposit has been paid but prior to the program start date, students may have 5/6 of the program costs either refunded to them or transferred to the following cohort of the program.

After the program start date, no refunds will be issued. However, under extenuating circumstances and with program director approval, students may petition to postpone their attendance to a future cohort and have 5/6 of the program costs applied accordingly.


Applications are currently being accepted for Cohort 23, which begins September 2024.

  • Cohort 23 (Fall 2024) Program Dates & Schedule

    Virtual Orientation: 12:00 - 5:00 p.m. EDT
    September 4-6, 2024

    Virtual Modules: 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. EDT
    (Note: all virtual class dates are Thursdays)
    September 26 (2024)
    October 3, 10, 17, 24 (2024)

    Program Mid-Session: 9:00am - 5:00 p.m. EST (Pittsburgh, PA; virtual option available)
    November 5-7, 2024

    Virtual Modules: 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. EST
    (Note: all virtual class dates are Thursdays)
    November 14, 21 (2024)
    December 5, 12, 19 (2024)
    January 9, 16, 23 (2025)

    Practicum: 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. EST (Pittsburgh, PA; virtual option available)
    Cohort A: February 17-18, 2025
    Cohort B: February 19-20, 2025

CISO Curriculum

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Graduates of the CISO Certificate Program will have access to new CISO Program modules created in the future, providing you with continuing education after the program ends. Approval is required.

Please note: This benefit does not extend to future CIO, CRO, CDataO, CDigitalO, or PITC program modules, unless the student is also a graduate of those programs.


Students who complete the CISO Certificate Program and who subsequently apply for and are admitted into the Heinz College MSIT Degree Program are eligible for a tuition discount scholarship. Program costs that have been paid for completing any or all of the Heinz College Executive Education certificate programs (up to $40,000) by the individual student or their sponsor/employer will be matched with a tuition discount from the MSIT program—reducing the cost to complete the MSIT degree by up to $40,000.

In order to be considered, applicants to the MSIT program should indicate their enrollment status with the CIO, CISO, CRO, CDataO, CDigitalO and/or PITC program(s) on the Application for Admission.

Please note: The tuition discount is only available once a student has completed all of the certificate program’s requirements. Completion of a certificate program does not guarantee admission to the MSIT program.