The Best Online Cybersecurity Degrees

TBS Staff Writers
by
Updated January 3, 2024
Cybersecurity pertains to the protection of information and technology in electronic systems, computers, networks, and servers from unwanted invasions.

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Cybersecurity pertains to the protection of information and technology in electronic systems, computers, networks, and servers from unwanted invasions.

These attacks can affect organizations of all sizes in any industry. Therefore, many employers value the expertise of professionals with cybersecurity degrees.

Graduates with a bachelor’s in cybersecurity enjoy a steadily growing career path. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 5% increase in jobs for network and computer systems administrators between 2018 and 2028.

This guide ranks the 20 best online cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees. We also cover important information for prospective students, such as common careers and potential salaries for graduates.

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The Best Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs

1
Drexel University
LocationPhiladelphia, PA
Location36727

Drexel is one of the top 15 largest private universities in the United States. While students can earn their degrees on campus, Drexel also accommodates nontraditional learners through online coursework. In fact, Drexel Online is one of the oldest online postsecondary providers in the country.

The online cybersecurity bachelor's degree at Drexel examines computer system administration and electronic safety. The degree requires 188 quarter credits and includes courses like introduction to computing and security technology, team process and product, computing and informatics design, and introduction to business statistics. The program also offers concentrations in computing technology and computing security.

Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Online courses use an asynchronous format. Students engage with peers and professors through discussion boards, group chats, and email. Assignments include online readings, projects, essays, and exams.

Students can transfer up to 113 quarter credits from accredited institutions toward the degree. Drexel offers transfer credit for prior academic work and IT certifications, such as A+, Oracle 9i DBA, and CCNA. Applicants must submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a resume.

Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

2
Champlain College
LocationBurlington, VT
Location38577

Established in 1878, Champlain hosts students from 44 states and 18 countries. The school offers over 150 areas of a study and a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Champlain's online bachelor's degree in cybersecurity prepares graduates for careers in computer and information systems.

The 120-credit degree includes courses like usability in website and software design, project management standards and behaviors, Linux systems administration, and server-side scripting PHP. Champlain also offers computer and information systems certificates.

Students should plan to commit 10-17 hours each week to assignments, though online courses follow an asynchronous format. Students communicate with professors and peers through discussion forums, group chats, and email. Assignments include group projects, online readings, recorded lectures, and exams.

Champlain provides online tutoring through Smarthinking. Champlain also provides a support team for distance learners, including academic counselors, career advisors, librarian research support, and technical assistance. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA, official transcripts, a resume, and multiple short essays. Champlain accepts up to 90 transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

3
Central Washington University
LocationEllensburg, WA
Location14647

Founded in 1891, CWU emphasizes practical learning and accessible coursework, offering over 135 degrees, including multiple regionally and nationally ranked programs. Nontraditional learners can access hundreds of online courses and a variety of fully online degrees at CWU.

The College of Education and Professional Studies at CWU offers an online cybersecurity bachelor's degree that examines information technology and administrative management. Courses include sustainable decision-making, integrated computer applications, leadership and supervision, cyberattack and defense, and cybercrime.

The program uses a cohort model, which allows students to build relationships with peers as they move through the program. Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format. Assignments include lecture videos, discussion board posts, essays, and exams.

CWU provides an academic success center, which offers online peer-to-peer collaboration, tutoring, and development assistance. Distance learners can also access online databases, a math center, a writing center, and technical support. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA, ACT or SAT scores, a personal essay, and official transcripts.

Central Washington University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

4
Davenport University
LocationGrand Rapids, MI
Location17169

DU hosts 6,500 students each year, including over 5,100 undergraduate students. Over 78% of DU students complete at least one online class. The school values affordability, offering the lowest tuition rates of all postsecondary institutions in Michigan.

Distance learners can earn a bachelor's in cybersecurity that provides graduates with technological and management skills. The 120-credit program includes 27-28 foundations of excellence credits, 21 foundations of computer information systems credits, 15 specialty area credits, nine foundations of business credits, 17-18 elective credits, and 45 major credits.

Notable courses include systems analysis and design, data structures and algorithms, achieving career and education success, and discrete structures. Specialization options include web and mobile development, programming, database and analytics, and secure software development. DU Global Campus also offers a minor in mathematics.

Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system, following an asynchronous format. Assignments include group projects, online readings, recorded lectures, and exams.

Admission requires official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a statement of purpose. Students with professional experience should also submit a resume.

Davenport University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5
Dakota State University
LocationMadison, SD
Location16863

DSU values continuous improvement, community, and innovation and strives to accommodate diverse learning needs. Students can access a variety of fully online degrees and programs at DSU, and over half of DSU students earn their degrees completely online.

DSU's College of Business and Information Systems offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity that prepares graduates to use technology to lead the operations of an organization. This program requires 120 credits, including 30 general education credits, 66 major credits, 18 specialization credits, and six elective credits. DSU offers multiple specializations, including application development, business analytics, and project management.

Courses include decision support systems, business intelligence and big data, software development with agile methodologies, and object-oriented design. DSU requires a three-credit internship, allowing students to gain applied experience and network with potential employers. DSU uses the Desire2Learn learning management system to administer distance coursework.

DSU offers e-tutoring in multiple subjects. Students can also connect with peer tutors through web conferencing software. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6
California Baptist University
LocationRiverside, CA
Location24170

CBU is a religious university that offers theologically rooted coursework taught by Christian faculty. The school hosts around 11,000 students annually and offers over 100 degrees, including 80 bachelor's programs. The fully online bachelor's in cybersecurity prepares graduates for careers in computer information technology.

This degree requires a minimum of 88 units, including 40-43 general education units, six lower-division units, 36 upper-division units, and six required units. Courses include foundations in Christian thought, legal and ethical practices in information technology, computer programming in C++, and enterprise architecture.

Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Coursework includes discussion forum posts, online readings, essays, and exams. CBU provides online tutoring through Smarthinking. Online students also have access to an academic counselor, 24/7 technical assistance, online databases, and librarian research support.

Admission requires an essay, official transcripts, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and SAT or ACT scores. CBU offers merit-based scholarships for students with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

7
Lewis University
LocationRomeoville, IL
Location18899

Lewis offers rigorous, immersive education through a Christian lens. Students can access over 117 programs, including 80 undergraduate majors. Learners interested in cybersecurity jobs can earn an online bachelor of science in information security management at Lewis.

The fully online degree requires 128 credits, including 64 major credits, 37 core credits, and three elective credits. Courses include computer forensics for business applications, survey of operating systems, mobile device forensics, and cybercrime prevention tools.

This degree prepares graduates to sit for professional certification exams like certified information systems security professional, certified ethical hacker, and access data certified forensics examiner. Lewis also offers an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's track that only requires an additional 26 credits.

Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system, and online courses follow an asynchronous format. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion forums and email. Weekly modules include readings, essays, group projects, and exams. Certain courses may require proctored exams at approved locations.

Lewis offers 24/7 technical support, a personal student services coordinator, digital library databases, and online tutoring.

Lewis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

8
The University of Texas at San Antonio
LocationSan Antonio, TX
Location13064

Founded in 1969, UTSA now offers over 155 degrees across five campuses. UTSA promotes diversity and inclusion, with 64% of the student body belonging to marginalized groups. The school's College of Business offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity that ranks among the top programs in the nation. The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency recognize this program as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education.

The 120-credit program includes courses like digital business communication, introduction to telecommunications for business, management science and operations technology, and Excel for business information systems. Online courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Online learners receive access to enrollment counselors, academic counselors, and technical support.

Admission requires applicants to have graduated in the top quartile of their high school classes. They also need a minimum of 1100 on the old SAT, 1170 on the new SAT, or 24 on the ACT.

The University of Texas at San Antonio is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

9
Mercy College
LocationDobbs Ferry, NY
Location13972

Mercy is a private college that offers over 90 programs, including 40 fully online degrees. The school hosts over 6,200 learners annually from 40 states and 49 countries. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Information Science offers an online bachelor's in cybersecurity that prepares graduates for a competitive job market.

This degree requires 120 credits, including 60 general education credits, 45 computer information systems credits, and 15 open elective credits. Students typically earn their degrees in four years of full-time attendance.

Courses may include healthcare analytics and apps, disaster recovery and business continuation, and artificial intelligence. Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Students engage with professors and peers through email and discussion posts. Online students gain access to mental health counseling, career development services, and technical support.

Admission requires high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Applicants can optionally submit SAT or ACT scores to bolster their applications. Mercy accepts up to 75 transfer credits from accredited two-year institutions and up to 90 credits from accredited four-year institutions.

Mercy College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

10
Wilmington University
LocationNew Castle, DE
Location13814

WilmU offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including 130 fully online programs. The school values community responsiveness, innovation, and integrity. The online bachelor of science in information systems management prepares graduates for cybersecurity jobs.

The 120-credit program includes 36 general education credits, 18 business and management core credits, 45 information systems management credits, and 21 free elective credits. Courses may include introduction to e-commerce, applied concepts in accounting and finance, principles and practice of information security, and data management. WilmU also offers an accelerated option with a technology project management graduate certificate, which requires an additional 15 credits.

Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Students follow weekly modules to complete essays, exams, and group work. Discussion forums allow students to engage with peers and professors.

Online learners gain access to academic counselors, technical support, and online databases. Admission requires official transcripts and a placement test. WilmU offers a test-optional policy for the ACT and SAT. Students can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree.

Wilmington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Best Online Bachelors

Cybersecurity

2021


The Best Schools

Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Rankings Methodology

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity degrees prepare graduates to protect organizations from illegal hackers and viruses that target sensitive information. The term “cybersecurity” applies to a broad field, including network security, information security, operational security, and application security.

Concentrations vary by program, but cybersecurity students can potentially specialize in areas like web and mobile development, business analytics, database and analytics, and computing technology. Today’s digital society allows cybersecurity professionals to find employment in nearly any field, but the most common fields include computer systems design and educational services.

Constant advances in technology pose ongoing challenges and changes; cybersecurity professionals must stay abreast of any changes to maintain relevance and a competitive edge in the job market. Cybersecurity professionals also need integrity and strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

What Is the Difference Between Information Assurance and Cybersecurity?

Information assurance and cybersecurity both refer to the protection of information. However, information assurance refers to the protection of both non-digital and digital information, while cybersecurity emphasizes digital information.

Information security professionals analyze how organizations use and communicate information, identifying possible areas of exposure in order to advise companies. Cybersecurity professionals develop methods of protecting digital hardware, software, and information systems from data breaches or other damage.

What Is a Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Degree?

During a bachelor’s in cybersecurity program, students explore computer system administration and electronic safety concepts, learning how to protect digital data, computer systems, and networks from infiltration. Courses may include usability in data structures and algorithms, project management standards and behaviors, Linux systems administration, and server-side scripting PHP.

Some programs offer cybersecurity specializations. Concentrations that focus on the business aspect of the field include project management and business analytics, while field-specific concentrations may include secure software development and mobile development programming.

Students typically earn this degree in four years of full-time attendance. However, online programs may offer accelerated options or modified academic calendars that require shorter time commitments. Admission requirements vary, but applicants usually must submit a resume, letters of recommendation, and SAT or ACT scores. Universities may also require an interview and a minimum GPA.

During a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree, students gain soft skills in research, writing, adaptability, and networking. They also gain hard skills, like how to design and assess network architecture, compose custom scripts, and understand anti-malware.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Degree?

While most employers seek cybersecurity professionals with a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree can satisfy requirements for some entry-level roles, including network security analyst, cybersecurity penetration tester, or cyberthreat analyst. Earning an associate degree also provides students with a strong foundation to pursue a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree. In fact, some schools require applicants to hold an associate degree or professional experience before enrolling in a bachelor’s program.

Professionals with a bachelor’s degree have more opportunities. Potential roles for graduates include information security manager, IT security consultant, information assurance engineer, and ethical hacker.

A master’s in cybersecurity provides further advancement opportunities, typically allowing students to specialize in an area like IT auditing or risk management and compliance. Cybersecurity professionals can also earn a doctorate, which prepares them for leadership roles like computer security researcher and developer, computer security system architect, director of information security, or senior security consultant.

Cybersecurity Jobs

The need for highly qualified cybersecurity professionals continues to grow. There are roles that only require an associate degree, allowing graduates to enter the field within two years and begin building professional experience. However, employers more often look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Several common careers for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity are listed below.

Cybersecurity Membership Associations

Technology evolves rapidly, so cybersecurity professionals need to stay updated on changes within the field. Membership organizations help professionals collaborate and share their knowledge. Professional organizations also offer discounted coursework and certification programs, digital databases, and online resources.

Information Systems Security Association International

ISSA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the collaboration and advancement of information security practitioners. Members can access professional development resources and local chapters. ISSA also offers a journal, an annual conference, and webinars.

SANS

Established in 1989, SANS supports cooperative research and education in computer security. The organization’s 165,000 members have access to intensive information security training, a work-study program, certification programs, and research opportunities. SANS also provides over 3,000 research papers, weekly bulletins, and newsletters.

Women in CyberSecurity

WiCyS is dedicated to female cybersecurity professionals, including those working in academia and research. Organizational goals include mentoring and building a strong cybersecurity workforce that offers gender equality. Members can access discounts on conferences, scholarships, volunteer opportunities, and an active network of like-minded professionals.

(ISC)²

(ISC)² has a global network of over 150,000 members and offers networking opportunities, conferences, and educational tools. Members can also access multiple certification programs, discounted textbooks, free professional development courses, and webinars.

ISACA

ISACA offers multiple membership levels, including a professional membership, a recent graduate membership, and a student membership. Benefits include access to professional development opportunities, discounted conferences, and a professional network that includes over 140,000 members in 180 countries.

Cybersecurity Certifications

Cybersecurity certifications allow professionals to demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills, creating opportunities in a competitive job market. The list below includes highly recognized certifications that cybersecurity professionals should consider pursuing.

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA is a globally renowned cybersecurity association that focuses on education, certification, advocacy, and philanthropy. Professionals can earn vendor-neutral IT certifications that provide specialized knowledge in cybersecurity and networking. CompTIA CertMaster provides access to multiple self-paced training products, including CertMaster Learn and CertMaster Labs.

GIAC Security Essentials

GSEC tests the pragmatics of operations, audit, management, security, and software security tasks. GSEC also offers continuing education credits. Professionals may renew their certifications by taking the most recent version of the exam.

Certified Ethical Hacker

CEH is the most comprehensive certification for network security professionals interested in ethical hacking. Coursework teaches professionals how to inspect network infrastructures and uncover vulnerabilities. Professionals who earn CEH certification often go on to complete the ECSA and APT courses.

Certified Information Security Manager

Offered by ISACA, CISM specializes in information governance, management, program development, and risk management. Applicants need five years of experience to take the exam. CISM offers credit for up to two years of experience if applicants hold an advanced degree and CISSP or CISA certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

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