Best Online Schools for Cybercrime

by TBS Staff
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With hacking and cyberattacks becoming increasingly common, it is no surprise that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs to grow in many cybersecurity fields. By earning an online cybercrime degree, you will learn to combat data theft through the creation and maintenance of secure digital architecture. This dynamic and challenging field is also financially rewarding, with average median annual salaries starting around $87,000 and exceeding $100,000 in certain positions.

Featured Online Schools

Online Bachelor’s in Cybercrime Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

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We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

The Best Online Bachelor’s in Cybercrime Degree Programs

  1. Pennsylvania State University
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Providing online learning options for more than 10 years, Penn State World Campus serves roughly 18,000 students across the globe. For students interested in computer forensics and security, the school offers an online bachelor’s degree in security and risk analysis with a concentration in information and cyber security. The program combines hard skills such as programming with case studies in terrorism and technological problem solving. Students complete 94 major credits, 21 of which are specific to the concentration.

    Apart from in–classroom instruction, students accumulate valuable field experience through an off–campus, supervised internship. Most courses are asynchronous. Academic advisors assist students in creating personalized educational timelines that suit their circumstances and educational needs. Penn State encourages students to work concurrently toward an associate in science in IST or an undergraduate certificate in IST.

    Students interested in the school’s fully online cybercrime degree must first apply as a pre–major to the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). Potential students must submit official transcripts from high school, GED courses, and prior colleges. Prerequisites include algebra, geometry, and trigonometry or another upper–level math course. Academic advisors determine whether transfer credits meet prerequisite and degree standards. Upon admission as a pre–major, students receive guidance from academic advisors on how to gain entrance into the security and risk analysis major.

  2. Old Dominion University
    Location

    Norfolk, VA

    With over 30 years in distance learning, Old Dominion University—ODU Online in Norfolk, Virginia provides extensive support for online students. The school’s cybercrime program divides credit requirements into five core areas: general education (35–41 credits), interdisciplinary studies (9 credits), cybercrime core (12 credits), criminology (15 credits), and technical base (15–17 credits). Students may complete an optional internship. Notable courses include cybersecurity, computer architecture, and digital forensics.

    Students can receive help from trained peer tutors, academic coaches, and study sessions through virtual appointments and live tutorials. The school also provides access to counseling, college writing assistance, and the interlibrary loan system. ODU promotes the success of learners who are low income, first generation, or with disability. ODU also extends a warm welcome to veterans and their families through its Military Connection Center.

    Classes are taught asynchronously or synchronously. Instructors determine whether exams are administered online or in–person. Local proctors monitor in–person exam at various locations throughout the country, while ProctorU monitors online exams through a webcam. Transfer students may meet with enrollment coordinators to evaluate the transferability of credits taken at other institutions. At minimum, students must complete 30 out of the 120 credits needed for a bachelor’s degree at ODU.

  3. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University has been ranked one of the best national universities by U.S. News and World Report. Drexel’s online BS in computing and security technology offers two concentrations in computing technology or computing security. The cybersecurity option teaches students how to protect against cybercrimes and effectively respond to incidents.

    This part–time online degree can be completed in approximately two years. Students must complete 188 credits in order to graduate. Classes are structured in four 10–week quarters, enabling students to complete more courses in a shorter amount of time. The school offers innovative educational options, including an accelerated program that enables eligible students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years.

    Applicants must submit allficial transcripts and ACT/SAT scores. To qualify as a first–year student, applicants must have been out of high school for at least two years and have accumulated no more than 23 previous college credits. Transfer students need a minimum of 24 previous college credits with a grade of C or higher. These credits must have been acquired from a regionally accredited institution within the past 15 years.

  4. City University of Seattle
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    City University of Seattle’s bachelor of science in criminal justice with an emphasis in cyber forensic investigation is the ideal cybercrime degree for students in the military, especially those with prior training in cyber forensics. The program requires a total of 90 lower division credits, 90 upper division credits, and 45 cyber forensic investigation credits. Notable courses include cyber and surveillance law, tools and techniques, and investigation of cybercrime. Students complete a capstone course in bureaupathology.

    Through the prior learning assessment program, students may earn credit for learning they have acquired in the workforce. Military–affiliated students receive a significantly discounted tuition rate. Qualifying students include U.S. active duty military, active guard and reserves, retired military, spouses and dependents, Department of Defense employees, and Canada military members. Military members receive additional financial assistance through the Department of Defense tuition assistance program, veteran benefits, and the Yellow Ribbon program.

  5. Excelsior College
    Location

    Albany, NY

    Excelsior College offers many options for students interested in pursuing a degree in cybercrime and cybersecurity. Students may pursue a standalone BS in cybersecurity with optional concentrations in cyber operations or healthcare. Alternately, they may choose to complete a concentration in cybersecurity as part of a degree in national security, homeland security and emergency management, or information technology. Distance learners who plan on pursuing a graduate education may pursue a dual BS/MS. The school’s National Cybersecurity Institute has been recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

    Excelsior provides student support through the online writing lab, which offers resources such as an ESL writing workshop, information about citation and documentation, research assistance, and an overview of the writing process. Additionally, all distance learners have access to the school’s online library. Excelsior supports military service members and veterans through discounted tuition rates and temporary tuition assistance.

  6. George Mason University
    Location

    Fairfax, VA

    Virginia’s largest public research university, George Mason University serves 34,000 on–campus students from over 130 countries. Approximately, 80% of GMU’s alumni find employment within six months of graduation. GMU’s bachelor of applied science with a concentration in cybersecurity is designed for students older than 25 years of age. The hands–on curriculum provides the opportunity to put skills into practice. In the capstone course, students participate in fieldwork and complete a research project about how to improve their workplace.

    This program only accepts applications from students with an AAS in cybersecurity or an AAS in information systems technology with a cybersecurity certificate. The school prefers candidates who earned their associate degree from the Virginia community college system or Lord Fairfax Community College. Applicants younger than 25 must fill out an age waiver form.

  7. Kennesaw State University
    Location

    Kennesaw, GA

    In partnership with University System of Georgia’s eCampus initiative, Kennesaw State University’s recently developed a 100% online bachelor of science in cybersecurity. All students in the cybersecurity major automatically earn a minor in information technology. Distance learners may choose an additional minor in criminal justice or crisis preparedness. Classes consist of a technical core, a security core, and a specialization in systems security, network security, or cybercrime.

    KSU does not require any on–campus visits for its online students. The school recommends that students designate six to nine hours weekly for each 3–credit course. In order to meet degree requirements, students must complete 41–42 general education credits, 18 lower division credits, 45 upper division credits, and 15–16 elective credits. To receive credit for upper division courses, students must earn a grade C or better. Distance learners have access to student disability services, ESL support, and the writing center. The school welcomes transfer students. Online students pay a discounted tuition rate for all courses with the CYBR prefix.

  8. Colorado State University-Global Campus
    Location

    Greenwood Village, CO

    Based in Greenwood, Colorado State University Global was the first accredited, fully online university in the country. The school offers a specialization in cyber security as part of the BS in information technology or as a standalone non–degree certificate. The certificate of completion allows professionals to enhance their resume with career–centered skills in a relatively short time frame. The BS in IT gives students a comprehensive knowledge of hardware systems, software, and security protocol.

    CSU Global partners with CompTIA, a technology trade association that issues IT certifications. Students receive a discount when registering for any CompTIA exam. The 100% online cyber degree is delivered asynchronously in accelerated 8–week courses. CSU Global welcomes active duty service members, veterans, and military spouses and dependents. The school promises no–increase tuition, guaranteeing that students pay the same tuition rate from enrollment until graduation.

  9. Saint Leo University
    Location

    Saint Leo, FL

    Providing an education for more than 125 years, Saint Leo University maintains its roots in the Benedictine Catholic tradition. The school’s bachelor of science in cybersecurity features coursework in penetration testing, disaster recovery, homeland defense, and computer forensics. Cybercrime students seeking education in criminal law and investigation may also complete an online minor in criminal justice.

    Saint Leo receives applications for admissions on a rolling basis. There are six course start dates throughout the year. The school accepts professional training for academic credit. Applicants must submit transcripts and standardized test scores. Military personnel receive discounted tuition, but must submit proof of service or a copy of an enlistment/reenlistment contract. Admission counselors evaluate transfer credits on a case–by–case basis. Transfer students may apply up to 64 credits.

    Saint Leo attempts to match the on–campus student experience as closely as possible with the online student experience. Professional tutoring is available online each day of the year. Student advising is easily accessible. The library staff provides e–learning resources and research assistance to distance learners.

  10. Central Washington University
    Location

    Ellensburg, WA

    Located in Ellensburg, Central Washington University was founded in 1891 as a school for elementary and junior high school teachers. The Economist ranked CWU as the top value four–year university in the state of Washington, beating out juggernauts such as the University of Washington and Clark College. CWU’s bachelor of science in information technology and administrative management features an optional specialization in cybersecurity. The core curriculum provides a comprehensive experience, allowing students to learn in the classroom and in the field.

    In the IT management career planning course, students design a career plan that encompasses their goals and objectives, qualifications, and special interests. This class prepares students for a summer–long internship. Students concentrate on core curriculum classes during the fall, winter, and spring quarters, and complete specialization courses during the summer quarter. The school suggests that students boost their professional credentials by completing a minor.

    Online applicants must hold either an associate degree from an accredited two–year school or a bachelor’s degree in any field. Students residing in any of the following states are currently ineligible for admission: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, and Missouri. Veterans, active duty service members, and dependents and spouses may be eligible for tuition waivers.

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Choosing a Program

Many cybercrime degrees cover digital forensics, which teaches you how to mine data networks to detect evidence of cyberattacks. Because this investigative work requires skills in computer programming, courses are often available in coding languages like Visual Basic, Cobol, and Advanced C++. On top of coding projects and hands–on work with computer and network platforms, students earning their cybercrimes degree may need to take classes in criminal law, criminal investigations, and cyber law.

Aside from law enforcement careers, graduates with a cybercrime degree can pursue jobs in a variety of public and private sector organizations. To help tailor your studies to your chosen career path, concentrations are commonly available in business technology leadership, fraud investigations, cyber operations, and digital forensics. Outside of cybersecurity, the heavy coding emphasis of some cybercrime degrees may allow graduates to work in roles building and maintaining data systems.

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Featured Online Schools

Online Bachelor’s in Cybercrime Careers

A degree in cybercrime can prepare you for several challenging, well–paying occupations, many of which are projected to grow at a much faster rate than the national average. Some of these careers deal almost exclusively with cybersecurity, while others incorporate cybersecurity concerns into a broader framework of responsibilities.

Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are responsible for planning and implementing an organization's cybersecurity apparatus. More specifically, they conduct testing to ensure that security systems remain intact, provide reports in the event of a breach, and stay apprised of cybersecurity innovations in order to implement them in their organization.
  • Median Annual Salary: $92,600
  • Projected Growth Rate: 28%
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects evaluate organizations' business plans in order to design and build compatible, secure data communications networks. They must balance the demand for speed, updated drivers, and software with the need for networks that are secure from cyberattacks. Critical to this process is deciding whether to use newer or more established technologies.
  • Median Annual Salary: $101,210
  • Projected Growth Rate: 6%
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts serve as the link between their organization's physical and virtual worlds. After analyzing their organization's current computer systems, they design new systems and procedures that enable the organization's technology network to function more cohesively and efficiently. They also maintain and improve irreplaceable systems.
  • Median Annual Salary: $87,220
  • Projected Growth Rate: 9%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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