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As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the privacy, intellectual property, and fraud risks continue to grow. These cyber threats are highly relevant to all sectors of the economy, which is driving a major talent shortage for the information security industry. Our Summer Security Intensive will begin to prepare its participants for a career in this high-growth field.

IT Lab: Summer Security Intensive (SSI) is a paid seven-week summer fellowship where participants:

  • Study with the world’s leading security, analytics, and policy researchers, including the CERT division of the Software Engineering Institute
  • Take coursework in security analytics and policy
  • Apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities gained through experiential learning to improve the cybersecurity posture for local organizations

SSI is a fellowship program for rising college seniors. This program is designed for U.S. citizens and permanent residents interested in pursuing graduate degrees and careers in the information security sector.

Students who complete SSI and are later admitted to a master’s program at Heinz College will be eligible to receive a scholarship of at least 50% of tuition.

Whether you're interested in IT, data analytics, or cybersecurity, SSI delivers an excellent summer experience. Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy is home to the most well-regarded master’s programs in IT Management and Information Security in the world. A unique aspect of our cybersecurity curriculum is that it is relevant for not only technologists but also for students from all backgrounds with a sincere interest in IT security and policy.

The pairing of our two schools, the School of Information Systems and Management and the School of Public Policy and Management, offers a unique academic experience that allows us to examine how technology can be used to solve problems that arise in the public and private sectors of our economy. Heinz College prepares students with skills to conduct careful and objective analysis of relevant data, to understand and leverage the power of information technology, and to lead and implement change in managerial and policy contexts.

SSI provides an opportunity for participants to engage in this unique academic and experiential learning environment. Participants take classes and interact with some of the world's foremost experts in information security through*:

  • Three specialized courses  over the summer at CMU fo­cusing on security policy and technology implementation as well as engaging in an interactive colloquium that addresses issues facing security professionals.
  • Work with a real-world client (from the local government or non-profit sectors) on a cybersecurity-related project.

IT Lab Projects

During the 7-week SSI program, students will participate in a group project, fulfilling an actual business or operational need for our partners, giving students the opportunity to have a measurable impact.

Recent Projects 

Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Risk Management Center (NRMC)
  • Students developed a comprehensive inventory of lists, historical compilations, and trends of cybersecurity incidents.
  • Students developed a comprehensive inventory of metrics used to describe cybersecurity incidents and how they are reported.
  • Students developed a profile of model organizations that produce metrics/statistics today.
  • Students developed an anatomy of a complex cyber incident as an exemplar use case.
Carnegie Mellon University CISO Office
  • Students assisted in the development and documentation of the control/maturity framework and process indicators for the implementation of a business resiliency program aligned to the ISO 22301 Societal security -- Business continuity management systems international standard.
  • Students developed and deployed data analytics and visualization tools for security monitoring at Carnegie Mellon University. Deliverables included building dashboards using the ‘glass table’ functionality of Splunk for Enterprise Security.

Allegheny Health Choices, INC.
  • Students conducted a feasibility study of the implementation of blockchain technologies to protect health care data with Allegheny Health Choices.

Consortium for Public Education
  • Students performed a vulnerability assessment of the technology currently used by the Consortium for Public Education. The assessment documented a technology baseline along with recommendations for a strategic plan for long-term technology investments.

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Students developed a technical training curriculum for the Pittsburgh Public School District to prepare students for continuing education or entry into the Information Security workforce.

Pittsburgh Mercy
  • Students developed a security strategy for Pittsburgh Mercy to define organizational policy for the selection, support, and security of technology around mobile computing.

Allegheny Digital
  • Students examined select smart home automation technologies to further understand information security and data privacy risks, such as data leakage and ease of compromise. The IT Lab project team developed technical countermeasures to minimize the threat surface, ideally providing consumers with greater control over the data their smart home is storing, processing, and transmitting.

National Cyber Forensic Training Alliance (NCFTA)
  • Students developed a comprehensive written Information Security Plan that articulates and documents the organization’s administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for the protection of all information and data maintained, including information maintained on behalf of third parties, i.e. Partners. The plan recommended procedures for evaluating electronic and physical methods of accessing, collecting, storing, using, transmitting, and protecting all information and data.

Nimbus Robotics
  • Students performed a security assessment on the IT infrastructure of the organization and evaluated the security of data collected, stored, and transmitted from bionic shoes produced by the company to Nimbus Robotics data repositories


To be eligible to apply for admission to the IT Lab: SSI, an applicant must meet ALL of the following criteria:
  1. Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, 18 years or older
  2. Be entering their senior year, or have one semester remaining, of college in Fall 2023
  3. Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher
  4. Have a sincere interest in cybersecurity and cyber policy
  5. Follow all instructions for the IT Lab: SSI Application (below)
  6. Apply by the deadline: April 1, 2023 (11:59 pm EST)

Admission Criteria

Our selection committee reviews all aspects of the application, not just a student’s grades. Our goal is to attract talented students who are passionate about information security.

Required Application Materials (details on website)

  1. Online application form
  2. Required Essay
  3. Résumé
  4. Two (2) Recommendations
  5. Unofficial undergraduate transcript(s)
  6. Optional Video Essay

All of the required application materials must be received before they will be reviewed by the selection committee. Please carefully review all information below for application instructions.


  • Priority Application Deadline: February 1, 2023 (receive admission decision by mid-February)
  • Final Application Deadline: April 1, 2023 (receive admission decision by May 1)
  • Dates: June 8, 2023 to July 29, 2023
  • Financial Support: Heinz College will cover all costs of participation in the IT Lab program. This includes the costs of housing, meals, tuition, books, supplies, social functions, travel expenses to and from Pittsburgh (within the United States) AND a $1,500 stipend.