2020 Best Online Master's in Cybersecurity Programs

By OnlineU Staff | Updated February 26, 2020
2020 Best Online Master's in Cybersecurity Badge

Students seeking an online master's program in cyber security will find that these 13 colleges offer the best value based on affordability and alumni salaries. At #1, New Jersey Institute of Technology charges $19,605 per year for their Master of Science in Computer Science - Cybersecurity. In the #2 spot, University of Maryland Global Campus offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management and Policy for only $12,492 per year, making it an affordable choice for distance learners who are looking for a high quality and affordable education.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 $19,605 $147,700
# 2 #2 $12,492 $121,900
# 3 #3 $17,030 $121,100
# 4 #4 $15,600 $117,300
# 5 #5 $16,128 $115,600
# 6 #6 $10,692 $110,300
# 7 #7 $5,100 $100,100
# 8 #8 $10,530 $100,200
# 9 #9 $25,530 $105,400
# 10 #10 $11,616 $96,500
# 11 #11 $13,260 $73,100
# 12 #12 $13,860 $57,600
# 13 #13 $7,875 $52,700
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Cybersecurity Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $19,605
  • Median Salary: $147,700
  • Locations: Newark (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) offers an online Master of Science in Computer Science through the Ying Wu College of Computing Sciences. This program is designed for working professionals who want to pursue advanced studies in the field. One of the specializations offered is in cybersecurity. The degree requires 30 credits and is a combination of core classes, cybersecurity coursework, and electives. Interested applicants should have an undergraduate degree in a computer science-related field, though some individuals may complete bridge classes to compensate if they do not have a STEM-based background.

#2 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $12,492
  • Median Salary: $121,900
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) aims to provide affordable higher education, with interest-free monthly payment plans, free digital resources in lieu of textbooks, and tuition support for veterans. UMGC offers several online master's degrees in the field of cybersecurity. The Master of Science in Cybersecurity Technology trains students in the skills needed to minimize risk in digital strategy. The curriculum for the Master of Cybersecurity Management and Policy was created with help from experts in the field. Students in this program will learn how to apply risk analysis theories and work to create cyber security framework and incident response plans. In the Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation program, students learn how to identify cyber attacks and collect evidence for use in investigations.

#3 DePaul University

  • Annual Tuition: $17,030
  • Median Salary: $121,100
  • Locations: Chicago (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

DePaul University, in Chicago, Illinois, hosts a Master of Science in Cybersecurity through its College of Computing and Digital Media. With the fully online option, students utilize audio and visual technology to complete the same coursework as on-campus students. Students can choose from three concentrations: computer security, networking and infrastructure, or governance, risk management, and compliance. The curriculum includes a 10-week, hands-on capstone project. Graduates may find career opportunities in areas such as computer forensics, web development, risk assessment, and network security administration.

#4 Webster University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,600
  • Median Salary: $117,300
  • Locations: St. Louis (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

A private institution in Webster Groves, Missouri, Webster University hosts an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Applicants should have previous computer skills. Graduates will be qualified for positions in counterintelligence, information protection, digital forensics, and many more opportunities in public and private technology sectors. The degree requires 36 credit hours, 15 of which come from electives. All graduates must complete a practical research capstone project or research paper. Interested candidates may consider the dual degree option in national security studies. The dual degree option requires 57 total credit hours. Students interested in pursuing an online master's in business also have the option to study cybersecurity. Both the MBA and the Master of Arts in Management and Leadership offer an emphasis on cybersecurity.

#5 Florida Tech-Online

  • Annual Tuition: $16,128
  • Median Salary: $115,600
  • Locations: Melbourne (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students interested in developing high-level skills to minimize digital security risks may consider a Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity through Florida Tech. As most students are currently working in the industry, the program is designed to be relevant and flexible. Due to the institution's proximity to NASA and similar space technology companies, students have the opportunity to engage with respected names in the field. Graduates can apply for positions such as computer security specialists, computer programmers, and software developers. Florida Tech also offers an online Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in cybersecurity that combines instruction in business fundamentals and IT security. Their online MBA is also available with a specialization in cybersecurity.

#6 Nova Southeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,692
  • Median Salary: $110,300
  • Locations: Fort Lauderdale (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Nova Southeastern University provides prospective cybersecurity professionals with a variety of online graduate degrees. Two degrees are offered through the College of Computing and Engineering: a Master of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management and a Master of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. Both of these programs require 30 credit hours to graduate. The Information Assurance & Cybersecurity program is designed for those interested in network security engineering. The Cybersecurity Management program is most appropriate for individuals pursuing a career in security policy development. A Law Master of Laws (LL.M.) with a concentration in Intellectual Property, Cybersecurity, and Technology Law, a Master of Science in Disaster and Emergency Management with a concentration in Cyber Security, and a Master of Science in National Security Affairs with a concentration in Cyber Security are also offered online. Virtual learning is hosted through Canvas learning management software and employs faculty and student discussion boards, real-time online classrooms, and electronic submission for all assignments. NSU online students have access to career development services, academic advising, veteran student services, and resources from the NSU Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center.  Interested applicants must submit an online application (with fee), a resume, official transcripts, and demonstrate successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program with at least a 2.5 GPA. Students should have a background in Java programming, mathematics in computing, and data structure. 

#7 Missouri State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,100
  • Median Salary: $100,100
  • Locations: Springfield (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Missouri State Online, the virtual learning platform for Missouri State University, provides students with a fully online collection of undergraduate degrees taught by the same faculty as the on-campus versions. Those interested in the cybersecurity field may apply for Missouri State's Master of Science in Cybersecurity. The program curriculum teaches the foundations of cybersecurity, ethical hacking, and legal issues. Students have the opportunity to tailor their education by choosing to participate in an internship, or by pursuing independent study; both of these options require permission from the department head. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required to graduate from the MS in Cybersecurity program. Students can finish in two years if they take two classes per semester and one course in the summer. Graduate certificates are available in Computer Information Systems and Data Analytics. Distance education students have access to support resources, including career counseling and degree exploration, financial aid, tutoring, library resources, virtual research assistance, and help from the school's writing center. Admission is competitive; GRE or GMAT scores are required (unless applicants meet specific criteria), and applicants must submit an application, transcripts, and a resume. 

#8 Bellevue University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,530
  • Median Salary: $100,200
  • Locations: Bellevue (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Prospective cybersecurity professionals can apply to Bellevue University’s online Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Students will take classes in subjects, including network security, computer forensics, and current trends, and will learn how to detect and stop cyberattacks. The online cybersecurity master’s degree is designed for working professionals; however, an accelerated cohort model is available for IT professionals with at least three-to-five years of experience. The curriculum combines theory with hands-on practice. The full degree requires 36 credit hours to complete. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have reviewed the requirements for the cybersecurity curricula. Virtual learning is facilitated through Bellevue’s Cyber-Active online classrooms, which houses all materials, including discussion boards and assigned readings. Students complete work asynchronously at a time that works best for them. Bellevue’s online students have access to career services, military and veteran benefits, a graduate student coach, disability accommodations, and resources from the Freeman/Lozier Library. Applicants must meet master’s degree requirements, including a completed bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA, and must submit official transcripts. Bellevue offers open enrollment and personalized support from an admissions counselor. 

#9 University of Detroit Mercy

  • Annual Tuition: $25,530
  • Median Salary: $105,400
  • Locations: Detroit (MI)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Detroit Mercy (UD Mercy) hosts a one-year Master of Science in Information Assurance with a major in Cybersecurity. This program has been recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Online cybersecurity degree courses require no residential components and employ both synchronous and asynchronous methods. Blackboard learning management software is used to house class materials. The curriculum includes 30 credits of coursework focused on providing a comprehensive foundation for cybersecurity professionals. Class topics include ethical hacking, digital forensics, and regulatory compliance. There are eight required courses and two electives. Classes run for four consecutive terms (fall, winter, summer I, and summer II). An online Certified Ethical Hacker certification program is also available at a discounted rate. Online learners can access disability support services, tutoring and mentoring, academic advising, a career center, and library resources. Interested candidates must submit a complete UD Mercy application form and official transcripts. Letters of recommendation and other supporting documentation may also be included.

#10 Northeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,616
  • Median Salary: $96,500
  • Locations: Burlington (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The online Master of Science in Cybersecurity from Northeastern University is provided through the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. This program has been recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Of the 32 credits required to graduate, only two courses are mandatory, allowing students to customize their degrees based on their professional plans. Northeastern University values hands-on experience. MS in Cybersecurity participants have opportunities to co-op with an industry partner and complete a capstone project. All MS programs from Khoury College take approximately two years to complete. Online courses rely on an asynchronous format, requiring students to access materials and complete assignments on their own time. Instant messenger and discussion boards serve as the primary forms of communication between students and faculty. Northeastern employs Blackboard learning management software to house class materials. Applicants can enroll for spring or fall terms. This program is designed for working adults with completed college credit. Graduate admissions requirements include a completed online application form (with fee), official transcripts for previous college classes, a personal statement, a professional resume, one-to-three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.  

#11 National University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,260
  • Median Salary: $73,100
  • Locations: La Jolla (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

Online degrees from National University are designed for working adults and military students. Classes are delivered asynchronously, so students can log on when most convenient for them. Coursework includes participation in discussion boards, readings, lectures, and exams. Live chat features allow students and faculty to engage with one another in real-time. An orientation course is available online to introduce students to the technological requirements and delivery of National’s virtual classes. National University is recognized as a Yellow Ribbon school. Hosted by the College of Professional Studies, The Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance offers a curriculum that combines core classes with a required specialization. Students will engage in research and assessment of national security. Classes run in four-week terms. The total MS degree requires 58.5 graduate units, which includes nine core classes and four specialization classes. Two tracks are available: Ethical Hacking and Pen Testing or Information Assurance and Security Policy. This program has been recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. National University’s graduate programs use rolling admissions, so students can apply year-round. Interested candidates must submit a completed application and interview with a faculty member. Online students have access to tutoring, veterans' services, career services, and academic advisement. The library provides online resources and a 24/7 online reference assistant.  

#12 Saint Leo University Online

  • Annual Tuition: $13,860
  • Median Salary: $57,600
  • Locations: St. Leo (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Saint Leo University Online offers prospective cybersecurity professionals a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and a Master of Business Administration in Cybersecurity Management. Both degrees can be completed in one full calendar year and require a total of 36 credits. MS in Cybersecurity students take between two-to-four classes each term, with six terms throughout the year. Subjects covered in cybersecurity classes emphasize research and technical aspects of information security. The National Security Agency (NSA) has reviewed the learning outcomes for the MS. The cybersecurity management concentration within the MBA contains a curriculum that provides business and technical skills to prepare graduates for careers in managing IT professionals. This program includes an optional internship to practice real-world skills. Online students have access to career services, peer advisors, and e-resources through the Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library. Online faculty have real career experience. Individuals can apply for any semester. Requirements include an online application, a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, and a current resume. Some prerequisite undergraduate computer science courses are necessary for admission.  

#13 Tiffin University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,875
  • Median Salary: $52,700
  • Locations: Tiffin (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online Master of Science in Cybersecurity from Tiffin University is designed to be flexible. Students can continue working full-time while completing their graduate degrees. Class is facilitated through an asynchronous format using methods such as chat rooms, discussion boards, and email. Tiffin University Online employs the Moodle learning management system. Tiffin University students have access to the Pfeiffer library, career service, and 24/7 technical support. Special discounts are available for military students. The MS in Cybersecurity’s curriculum teaches both technical aspects and legal and policy issues. The program aims to deliver a comprehensive view of the cybersecurity industry. Students can complete work on a part-time or full-time basis. Full-time students can complete the required ten courses in less than a year. Applicants to online degrees are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Online programs operate on a rolling admissions basis, with start dates in January, March, May, July, August, and October. A completed application form, official transcripts, a personal essay, and a resume are required for admission.  

Overview of an Online Master's in Cyber Security

Graduates with bachelor's degrees who are looking to further their studies in cyber security may be interested in pursuing a master's degree. Due to the technical nature of these master's programs, applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in cyber security or a related field such as computer science, mathematics, engineering, or statistics. However, those who do not hold an undergraduate degree in the discipline can be considered if they have significant work experience in information technologies including networks, web services, and database development.

Students can expect to graduate with their master's in cyber security within two to three years. Coursework includes Introduction to Operating Services, Computer Networking, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Web and Internet Information Retrieval, Network Security, and Information Security Management. Master's programs delve deeper into cyber protection and threat analysis than bachelor's program and may give students the skills needed to work as information assurance managers, intelligence analysts, security engineers, enterprise architects, catastrophe risk analysts, IT analysts, and IT consulting managers.

References

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