Catalyzing Academia to Educate a New Profession:
Privacy and Data Protection in Higher Education

The need for well-qualified privacy and data protection professionals is rapidly growing as countries around the world introduce new privacy and data protection laws to address risks posed by a data-driven economy. Just one year after the GDPR took effect, IAPP research had shown that approximately 500,000 organizations registered data protection officers with EU authorities. Policymakers all around the world, who recognize the benefits such DPOs can bring to organizations, are introducing DPO requirements in new data protection bills. These requirements and organizations’ need to protect the valuable data they collect will increase the demand for well-educated privacy and data protection professionals. While training and certification help, new educational opportunities will be crucial for the growth and maturity of the profession of privacy and data protection.

To meet this need and advance its mission of defining, promoting and improving this growing profession, the IAPP aims to support the development of an on-ramp to the privacy and data protection profession, by catalyzing, promoting and building relationships with privacy and data protection-focused academic programs in law, computer science and business schools around the globe.


The IAPP has created a fund to support students who are identified by their professors as future leaders in the field of privacy or data protection. Participating professors will each select one student who will be awarded a Westin Scholar Award. Each recipient will receive the following:

  • A $1,000 cash award
  • A copy of the book “Privacy and Freedom” with a special nameplate inside acknowledging the award
  • 2 years of membership with the IAPP
  • 3 complimentary exams for IAPP certifications (CIPP, CIPM, CIPT)
  • Unlimited access to virtual training for IAPP certification programs (CIPP, CIPM, CIPT)
  • Where applicable and when possible, presentation of the award at one of the IAPP’s local KnowledgeNet meetings

To be considered for inclusion, a school must have 1) established course offerings related to privacy or data protection law, engineering and/or management; and 2) a faculty member who regularly teaches a course in the field of privacy or data protection and is responsible for identifying the top scholar in their course. Recipients of the award in each school will be selected by their professors without involvement of the IAPP.

Please email us at research@iapp.org to be considered for inclusion.


Today, demand for qualified privacy professionals is surging. Soon, societal, business and government needs for practitioners with expertise in the legal, technical and business underpinnings of data protection could far outstrip supply. To fill this gap, universities around the world are adding privacy curricula in their law, business and computer science schools. The IAPP’s Westin Research Center has catalogued these programs with the aim of promoting, catalyzing and supporting academia’s growing efforts to build an on-ramp to the privacy profession.

The information presented in the second issue of “Privacy and Data Protection in Academia, A Global Guide to Curricula” represents the results of our publicly available survey. The programs included voluntarily completed the survey. The IAPP then organized the information provided and the designated contact at each institution verified the accu­racy of the information presented.

If you are an academic institution interested in filling out our survey, learn more here.


Curated repository of privacy and data protection syllabi

The IAPP will curate a compilation of privacy and data protection course syllabi. Institutions and professors are invited to submit course syllabi, which the IAPP will offer as a resource for privacy and data protection professionals, students, and scholars.


Individual student and professor offerings

The IAPP also offers IAPP memberships to individual students and professors focused on privacy and data protection.