Morgan Douglas ’23 embarks on the next step of her journey to CMU

Morgan Douglas '23 embarks on the next step of her journey to CMU this fall
Morgan Douglas ’23 embarks on the next step of her journey to CMU

This fall, CBE Fellow Morgan Douglas ‘23 entered Allegheny College’s signature 3 + 2 program at the Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University to pursue a M.S. in Information Security Policy & Management.  During her summer experience at the IT Lab: Summer Security Intensive, Morgan credits her major/minor combination of Economics, Math and Computer Science as the key to thriving during this challenging experience.  To learn more, we asked…

Why did you choose the CMU 3 + 2 program?

Morgan: I chose the 3+2 program with Carnegie Mellon University – specifically the Master of Science in Information Security Policy & Management – because it allowed me to combine my love for economics, computer science, and mathematics. At CMU, I will gain technical and managerial knowledge to combine with my knowledge of economics to solve cyber challenges. Attending a school that is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,  learning from leading practitioners from the internationally renowned CERT Division of CMU’s Software Engineering Institute, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am grateful to be able to learn at not one, but two prestigious institutions.

I will receive funding for my Master’s degree through the Department of Defense’s Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship. In return, I will receive mentoring throughout my academic experience, complete a summer internship, and then work full-time upon completion of my degree at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in a highly technical computer science role.

How did you find  this opportunity? Did the fact that you were headed to the CMU graduate program impact your acceptance into your summer experience?

Morgan: I completed a summer fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College’s rigorous IT Lab: Summer Security Intensive. As a fellow, I completed three courses (Cloud Security, Information Security Management, and Database Management & Security), had the opportunity to have lunch and learn sessions with leaders in Information Security in both the private industry and the U.S. government, and collaborated on deterrence research with the Department of Defense’s United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) through the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). The research question that my group and I studied and answered was – Given an economically constrained environment, what role does cyber play in deterrence theory? I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with an amazing team, present our findings, and will soon publish our research through Carnegie Mellon University. I chose this summer fellowship over competing offers because I believed that it would best prepare me for graduate school, allow me to make many connections in the field of information security, and learn about different career paths within the field.

Would you recommend this type of summer experiences to other students? How should they prepare?

Morgan: The IT Lab: SSI fellowship is dedicated to rising seniors who have an interest in information security or cybersecurity. The program is rigorous, but very rewarding. Fellows get a glimpse of what it is like to be a graduate student at CMU Heinz College, what career opportunities are available, the connections needed to get to the desired position, and a collaborative research experience. The fellowship covers the costs of housing, meals, tuition, books, travel expenses, and a stipend. An interested student should check out their webpage and apply at In addition, they should start preparing a clean resume, an intriguing personal essay that depicts why they have an interest in cybersecurity and cyber policy, and 2 recommendation letters. Students who successfully complete this program will be eligible for at least 50% off tuition for master’s programs at CMU’s Heinz College.

CBE Fellow Morgan Douglas is an Economics major with minors in both Math and Computer Science, scheduled to graduate in May 2023. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has earned recognition as a Distinguished Alden Scholar (High Dean’s List) and Lambda Sigma Honor Society, and is a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the International Economics Honor Society. Douglas has served as a Residential Advisor, Wealth Management Club Vice President and the Women in Business and Economics Club Treasurer.

Allegheny College’s signature Carnegie Mellon 3-2 Program

Allegheny College has a formal agreement with the Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University to offer a 3-2 cooperative program. Students who enroll in this accelerated master’s degree program will complete three years of study at Allegheny College and two years at Carnegie Mellon University. Upon completion of this program, the student will receive both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in less time than is usually required to earn both of these degrees.

The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy is home to two internationally recognized graduate-level institutions at Carnegie Mellon University: the School of Information Systems and Management and the School of Public Policy and Management.

Heinz College offers an accelerated master’s program to qualified Allegheny College students. The program, structured as three years at Allegheny College followed by three to four semesters at the Heinz College (depending upon program), allows students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in less time than is normally required.