Center for Cyber Operations Research and Education (CORE)

Shaping the Future of Cybersecurity Professionals

Mercer University’s Center for Cyber Operations Research and Education (CORE) is a dynamic hub at the intersection of education, research, and community service. Aligned in our institution’s values, CORE is dedicated to shaping the future of cybersecurity professionals and providing strategic guidance to local businesses, government entities, and stakeholders.

Focused on key domains such as information assurance, computer network security, digital forensics, cryptography, risk assessment, disaster recovery, security regulations, and compliance, CORE serves as a premier educational and research center. Our commitment extends to fostering individual growth and community enrichment through exceptional education and research.

Located within the Department of Computer Science at the Willet Science Center on Mercer University’s Macon campus, CORE is poised to lead in advancing cybersecurity knowledge, awareness, and practices.

A student works at a computer in a computer science class

CyBears Cybersecurity Competition Team

The CyBears are Mercer’s cybersecurity competition team. The CyBears’ aim is to compete against skilled cybersecurity teams across the world in defensive, offensive, and policy-based cybersecurity competitions.

Past competitions include:

Five students stand in a row for a picture outside, in front of a brick building.
CyBears members are pictured at the 2023 Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition.

Student Resources




NSA Centers of Academic Excellence

The National Security Agency (NSA) Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) program is a prestigious initiative recognizing institutions that excel in cybersecurity education. Mercer University’s Center for Cyber Operations Research and Education (CORE) is proud to be part of this program. It signifies our commitment to delivering exceptional cybersecurity education, producing skilled professionals, and contributing to national cybersecurity efforts.

The following program is in progress toward earning the CAE designation: Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity.

Learn more about what is a CAE in cybersecurity.