MSIT-Privacy Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

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MSIT in Privacy Engineering

The Master of Science in Information Technology—Privacy Engineering (MSIT-PE) degree is a one-year program designed for computer scientists and engineers who wish to pursue careers as privacy engineers or technical privacy managers. Designed in close collaboration with industry and government, this program is intended for students who aspire to play a critical role in building privacy into future products, services, and processes.

This first-of-its kind program responds to the rapidly growing need for technical privacy expertise. As organizations develop new products, services, infrastructures and business processes that facilitate the collection and management of an ever-wider range of customer data, they are discovering that privacy issues need to be addressed from the very beginning of the design process. Over the past several years, both industry and government organizations have created positions for people responsible for ensuring that privacy is an integral part of the design process. These people are brought in as in-house consultants who work as part of multi-disciplinary teams. They have to understand technology and be able to integrate perspectives that span product design, software development, cyber security, human computer interaction, as well as business and legal considerations. Today organizations are already reporting a significant shortage of people who are adequately trained to play this increasingly crucial role, while demand is continuing to increase.

The 12-month MSIT in Privacy Engineering program combines the best and most successful elements gleaned from Carnegie Mellon University’s long and distinguished history of professional masters programs. Offered jointly by the School of Computer Science and College of Engineering, the program includes two semesters of courses taught by leading academic privacy and security experts.  The program concludes with a summer-long learning-by-doing, capstone project, where students will be brought in as privacy consultants to work on client projects. Students who complete this program will be well prepared for jobs as privacy engineers and technical privacy managers.  Students also have the option of doing a summer internship and returning in the Fall for the capstone project.

Thanks to a partnership with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the MSIT-PE program offers IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification exams to students in its program. The exams are offered at a substantial discount to those students who become IAPP student members.

Scholarship opportunities are available for outstanding MSIT Privacy Engineering students!

[Download a printable program brochure (PDF)]


Privacy Engineering grads are in demand!  Our graduates have all found jobs at top companies:






Privacy Engineering Skills

  • Design cutting-edge products and services that leverage big data while preserving privacy
  • Propose and evaluate solutions to mitigate privacy risks
  • Understand how privacy-enhancing technologies can be used to reduce privacy risks
  • Use techniques to aggregate and de-identify data, and understand the limits of de-identification
  • Understand current privacy regulatory and self-regulatory frameworks
  • Understand current technology-related privacy issues
  • Conduct privacy-related risk assessments and compliance reviews, respond to incidents, and integrate privacy into the software engineering lifecycle phases
  • Conduct basic usability evaluations to assess the usability and user acceptance of privacy-related features and processes
  • Serve as an effective privacy subject-matter expert, working with interdisciplinary teams