Vehicle Cyber Engineering (VCE)

Artist's rendering of a woman doing cyber security research.

Meeting the growing demand for cybersecurity engineers

The creation of this program comes at a pivotal time in global history, due to the looming threat imposed by cybersecurity around the world. Part of the Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute, it will help increase the field’s professional workforce and reduce the cybersecurity risk to the Dept. of Defense and commercial ground vehicles by educating professionals who can counter-act cybersecurity threats from actors in multi-domain contested environments.


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    Graduate Certificate in Vehicle Cyber Engineering

    This is a 15 credit (five course) certificate program


    Term 1

    • VCE5200 or CSSE 5545 Computer Security
    • VCE5110 Intro to Cybersecurity
    • CSSE 5700 Network Security

    Term 2

    • VCE 5400 Secured Vehicle Embedded Systems
    • VCE5500 or ELEE5500 Secured Vehicle Electronics

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    Admission Requirements and Applying


    • 3.0 GPA Bachler Degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Information Systems or equivalent

    Easy On-Line Application Process:

    1. Apply as a Vehicle Cyber Engineering (VCE) Graduate Student
    2. Letter of Recommendation
    3. Resume
    4. Transcripts

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Professional opportunities for cybersecurity engineers to grow by 31% between 2019-29.

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Average salary for cybersecurity engineers in Michigan for 2019 = $91,750.

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Stackable: The Graduate Certificates can be completed in one year and stack towards the full Master of Science Degree.

Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute

decorative cybersecurity padlocksIn 2021, Detroit Mercy received a $1.12-million award from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to establish the Metro-Detroit Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute, a regional-based, cybersecurity consortium. This important new consortium consists of multiple academic institutions in southeast Michigan and includes University of Arizona as a research partner. In addition, the Institute will help expand and enhance the cybersecurity engineering workforce through an applied curriculum developed in consultation with industry partners. The formation of the Metro-Detroit Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute enhances Detroit Mercy’s engineering and cybersecurity programs and draws on the University’s rich legacy of educating engineers and technical professionals who work to improve the quality of life of people around the world.

Industry partnerships

To address the growing need for cybersecurity engineers, the Metro-Detroit Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute will build on existing relationships with automotive industry and government partners to provide students with valuable real-world experience. The Metro-Detroit Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute aims to become self-sustained after the fourth year of the program, with goals of developing qualified cybersecurity graduates and creating a multi-pathway educational structure that meets the needs of the vehicle industry and government partners.

The talent level, funding and equipment in metro Detroit is plentiful and cutting edge. Additionally, the transformational work being conducted on autonomous vehicles by the U.S. Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle System Center, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and numerous start-ups and supplier partners makes the metro Detroit area uniquely qualified to partner with Detroit Mercy and its consortium partners.

—Paul Spadafora, director of Professional Engineering Programs for Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science

The Metro-Detroit Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute will lead in the education of our current and future company employees, expand the competency of our workforce to design and protect secure physical cyber systems, including those in electric and autonomous vehicles.

—Kevin Tierney, vice president of Global Cybersecurity at General Motors and chairman of the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center

Program options to fill cybersecurity needs

Curriculum for the consortium will be developed with the workforce in mind. It includes associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, stackable graduate certificates, hands-on laboratory training and cybersecurity immersion camps for high school students.