The Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity

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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.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs 2020

#1 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
#2 Champlain College Burlington, VT
#3 Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
#4 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
#5 Dakota State University Madison, SD
#6 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
#7 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
#8 The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
#9 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
#10 Wilmington University New Castle, DE

The Best Online Bachelor’s in Network Security Degree Programs

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Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA Apply Now

About this school

Located in Virginia, Liberty offers an online BS in information technology with a concentration in data networking and security. IT students complete 48 credit hours of core coursework, and the data networking and security concentration comprises 15 cognate hours. Students can choose to complete an optional, three–credit–hour internship. As a Christian university, Liberty requires students to complete coursework in Christian life and thought competency. Full–time students typically complete the program in four years.

The fully online program requires 120 credit hours, and Liberty accepts up to 90 hours of transfer credit. Liberty maintains transfer agreements with Virginia and North Carolina community colleges, enabling associate degree holders to transfer easily into Liberty’s bachelor’s degree in network security program. Liberty awards credit for military training, professional certificates, and experiential learning.

Online courses are delivered in eight–week subterms. Full–time students take 12 credit hours per semester, and part–time students complete 6–11 credits per semester. Liberty charges per–credit–hour tuition rates, which differ by enrollment status. Students pay course fees for software licensing.

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City University of Seattle 

Seattle, WA Apply Now

About this school

CityU, designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, offers an online BS in cybersecurity and information assurance.

CityU’s 180–credit bachelor’s in network security requires 45 credits of core coursework in governance, risk management, and compliance. Classes emphasize legal and ethical components of cybersecurity. Students also complete 40 credits of cybersecurity technology coursework, 10 elective credits, and a five–credit capstone requirement in bureaupathology, during which students use case studies to explore the pathologies within organizations.

Students can accelerate the program to graduate within two years. CityU delivers courses in five– and 10–week terms. Students earning the online bachelor’s degree in network security participate in virtual classroom sessions through Blackboard. Some courses require campus visits. CityU uses assessments to award credit for prior learning.

The university accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must submit transcripts, an online application, and an application fee. Military members and their spouses are eligible for discounted tuition rates. CityU charges per–credit tuition rates.

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Excelsior College 

Albany, NY Apply Now

About this school

Located in Albany, New York, Excelsior College offers an online BS in information technology with a concentration in information security. The program also offers concentrations in cybersecurity and network operations. The 120–credit bachelor’s program requires an integrated technology capstone, an arts and sciences component, information technology coursework, and free electives.

Students gain skills in network security, computer forensics, and cryptography. Graduates understand their professional, ethical, and social responsibilities as IT professionals and possess expertise in core information technologies. Online courses follow 15–week trimesters, separated into eight–week subterms. Each course is organized into learning modules. Excelsior provides online resources including library access and a writing lab.

Along with transfer credit, Excelsior awards credit for military training, professional certificates, and prior knowledge. Excelsior maintains partnerships with organizations, including the military, to provide reduced tuition rates. Prospective students apply directly to the network security degree online program.

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Champlain College 

Burlington, VT Apply Now

About this school

Champlain’s online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity received honors from the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security. The fully online cybersecurity degree requires 120 credits, including 72 credits of professional courses and 48 general education credits. The program awards both a bachelor’s degree and certification in cybersecurity. Students earning the network security bachelor’s degree complete five specialization courses, including digital forensic investigation techniques and ethical hacking.

Students complete courses asynchronously during 15–week semesters. Part–time students pay per–credit tuition rates, and full–time students pay a flat tuition rate. Champlain offers career services, including interview preparation and assistance securing internships.

Applicants must submit high school and/or college transcripts, a short essay, and a resume. Transfer applicants can bring up to 90 previous credits. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with six start dates per year.

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University of Illinois at Springfield 

Springfield, IL Apply Now

About this school

Designated by the National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, UIS offers an online BS in information systems security degree completion program.

The bachelor’s in network security program requires 120 credit hours, including 37–40 general education credit hours. Major coursework comprises up to 61 hours of the curriculum, and students complete a 10–hour engaged citizenship common experience. The systems security and information assurance capstone examines the eight security domains of the CISSP. UIS delivers online courses through Blackboard.

UIS accepts applications for the spring and fall semesters. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose and must have at least 30 college credit hours, a 2.0 undergraduate GPA, at least two semesters of experience with Java programming, and one completed upper–level math course, such as calculus or statistics. Accepted students must complete a computer science assessment test.

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Kennesaw State University 

Kennesaw, GA Apply Now

About this school

Based in Georgia, KSU offers a bachelor’s of business administration in information security and assurance. KSU’s bachelor’s degree in network security is recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

Full–time students typically complete the 126–hour program in four years. Students complete 42 general education hours and 18 hours of major coursework. Students with fewer than 15 hours must complete the first–year seminar. Transfer students with at least 30 previous credit hours and a cumulative 2.0 GPA can submit credit hours for transfer approval. KSU awards prior learning credit for military training and professional certificates.

Online courses follow 15–week semesters with seven–week subterms. KSU charges a per–credit tuition rate for online courses; however, eCore and eMajor courses, offered through the University System of Georgia, are billed at a different rate. KSU offers online resources including academic tutoring. Online courses are delivered through the Brightspace Desire2Learn platform. Although some distance education courses are offered fully online, most require one in–person meeting per semester. Online students can use an off–campus proctor for exams.

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Southern New Hampshire University 

Manchester, NH Apply Now

About this school

SNHU offers an online BS in information technologies with a concentration in cyber security. The 120–credit program includes 45 general education credits and a three–part capstone. The capstone comprises a lab–intensive course in advanced information systems design, an advanced information systems implementation course, and the creation of a program portfolio.

To complete program requirements, students must install Adobe, GameMaker, ArcGIS, and Cypherpath on their computer. SNHU offers discounted tuition rates for military students and provides a warrior transition technology training program that prepares military members for IT careers by covering certification fees and teaching interviewing skills.

The bachelor’s program is delivered in eight–week terms, with start dates throughout the year. SNHU awards credit for IT certifications. Applicants must submit high school and/or college transcripts and an attestation form confirming high school graduation.

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Davenport University 

Grand Rapids, MI Apply Now

About this school

Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Davenport offers a BS in cyber defense recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. The bachelor’s degree in network security teaches students to protect data. The program offers specialties in healthcare information and assurance, information assurance, or mathematical modeling.

Students complete 30 credits of general education coursework in areas such as advanced composition and statistics. The curriculum includes 10 credits of business coursework and 15 credits of cyber defense coursework, which covers topics such as database design and network security. Students also complete 45 major credits, including a capstone and an internship. The capstone involves a tech project and a certification exam, and the internship requires 200 hours of work experience. During an optional field experience course, students develop live projects for companies.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and placement exams to assess reading, writing, math, and computer skills. Davenport maintains articulation agreements with several in–state and out–of–state community colleges.

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Bellevue University 

Bellevue, NE Apply Now

About this school

Based in Nebraska, Bellevue offers an online BS in cybersecurity. The 127–credit–hour curriculum includes 55 hours of electives and 36 hours of major courses. The bachelor’s program is also available in an accelerated, cohort–based format. Students on the traditional, semester–based schedule complete the program in four years; accelerated students graduate in two to three years.

Applicants to the accelerated program must have at least 60 previous credit hours or an associate degree from an accredited institution and must pass an academic readiness assessment. Traditional and accelerated students pay the same per–credit tuition rate. All applicants must submit official transcripts.

Bellevue maintains transfer agreements with community colleges across the nation and awards credit for military training. Bellevue participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional funding for military members. Each student is paired with a student coach, who acts as an academic advisor.

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Western Governors University 

Salt Lake City, UT Apply Now

About this school

Incorporated in 1997 as a nonprofit online school based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Western Governors University provides expanded educational access without boundaries. Affordable and student–centered, WGU maintains a strong reputation in distance learning and flexible, competency–based education.

WGU’s bachelor of science in network operations and security permits students to set their own study pace, regardless of semester schedules, credits completed, or typical class start times. Students may take proctored assessment tests via webcam when ready, while those who prefer more structure may also elect to join a cohort.

Subject material for the bachelor’s in network security includes operating systems, programming, data management, web development, and cloud foundations. Students complete 35 courses and a written capstone project addressing a relevant industry problem. The program also covers background material for 14 respected industry certifications, often enabling students to attract employer interest before graduation.

Western Governors University offers individualized assistance for all students through an assigned program mentor and provides alumni support after graduation. With an emphasis on value delivered through return on educational investment, WGU aims to graduate students who carry little to no student debt. Women, active duty, and retired military students may qualify for specialized scholarship opportunities.

Distance learners typically complete a minimum of 12 competency units, or three to four classes, in the course of each six–month term. Most candidates graduate within six to 36 months.

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University of Maryland-University College 

Adelphi, MD Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1847 and based in Adelphi, Maryland, the University of Maryland – University College specializes in providing affordable and practical career education for busy professionals. UMUC’s student–centered mission and values emphasize educational access, diversity, and integrity. Students also have the option to choose a hybrid course at one of UMUC’s 20 campuses across the U.S.

UMUC offers a 120–credit bachelor’s degree in software development and security. Courses are taught in eight–week sessions and students must complete 46 elective credits. Courses in the network security degree cover how to detect software vulnerabilities, secure programming in the cloud, current trends in computer science, and database security. All courses are available online and are taught asynchronously. Students may also select a hybrid option in which classes meet both in person and online. Open educational resources, immediately accessible and provided at no additional cost through online classrooms, eliminate the need for textbook purchases. Professors assess students through projects and papers, which take the place of traditional exams in most UMUC classes.

Transfer students may take advantage of the school’s generous transfer credit policy, with up to 90 transfer credits accepted for eligible coursework. Eligible students may also receive credit for exams, military training, professional certifications, and other prior work and life experience. The school maintains a rolling admissions deadline, with many potential start dates offered each semester.

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Saint Leo University 

Saint Leo, FL Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1899 and located in Saint Leo, Florida, Saint Leo University is a Catholic school rooted in the Benedictine tradition. An early adopter of online education, the school’s online programs began in 1998. Today, Saint Leo boasts 35 teaching locations and focuses on affordability, responsible stewardship, and balancing growth in mind, body, and spirit.

Saint Leo’s bachelor’s in cybersecurity program consists of 121 credits, including four credits of electives, and all classes may be completed online. Designed to prepare students for entry level employment in cybersecurity, the program stresses the fundamentals of penetration testing, protection protocols, implementation and maintenance of security systems, and ethical hacking. Required coursework for the bachelor’s degree in network security includes computer forensics, disaster recovery, and homeland defense. Students work in an immersive virtual lab, and use software tools to handle realistic simulated security situations within the context of mock IT infrastructure. Professional development opportunities include internships and membership in the Upsilon Pi Upsilon international honor society.

Noted as one of the nation’s most military–friendly institutions, Saint Leo maintains a veteran student services office and partnerships with military projects supporting education. The school’s articulation agreements with over 40 U.S. community colleges allow students to easily transfer previously earned credits. Eligible students with associate degrees from regionally accredited schools may transfer up to 64 credits and might also receive credit by exam in recognition of previous work, service, or learning experience.

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Dakota State University 

Madison, SD Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1881 and based in Madison, South Dakota, Dakota State University specializes in computer information systems and management. With continued emphasis on computer technology and rigor in learning and teaching processes, the school boasts a high job placement rate for its graduates.

Coursework for Dakota State University’s bachelor’s in network and security administration includes advanced routing and switching, operating environments, business management, database management systems, and web application programming. Featuring small class sizes of 25 or fewer students, DSU offers virtual and physical labs for students to experiment with network setup, configuration, defensive hacking, and forensics using enterprise hardware, such as routers, switches, and firewalls. Outstanding students may qualify for the Fast Track program. The school also offers a two–year associate degree in network and security administration. All credits earned through the associate program apply toward the bachelor’s degree.

As an example of DSU’s community centered approach, online courses are often taught concurrently with on–campus courses, enabling online and on–campus students to learn and complete projects collaboratively. Instructors also maintain partnerships with industry leaders to provide field internships.

A self–support rate applies to payment of tuition and fees, so distance learners only pay for credit hours taken and services used. Full–time students also receive laptop computers.

Students interested in government security careers, who can study full time on campus, should note that DSU offers an attractive scholarship program that covers all tuition and fees. This scholarship includes a generous stipend for up to 10 students annually. The program also features an internship and guaranteed job offer after graduation.

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Lewis University 

Romeoville, IL Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1932, Lewis University upholds the Lasallian tradition to inspire others through education. This liberal arts school is based in Romeoville, Illinois.

The school’s accelerated bachelor of science in information security and risk management combines management studies, technological skill development, and a focus on ethical issues in information security. Preparing students for industry certifications, coursework includes risk management, ethical hacking, computer forensics, and disaster recovery planning. The school’s cloud–based lab environment is available online 24/7, allowing students to connect to virtual machines and complete hands–on hacking, forensics, database management, and programming coursework from any location. New fully online sessions begin every five to eight weeks. Distance learners in this program enjoy access to scholarships provided by defense agencies of the federal government exclusively for university students.

Lewis University’s transfer policy offers up to 30 credit hours for previous learning and work experience, and special grants and scholarships are available to eligible transfer students. Adult learners and employees at Diocese institutions are eligible for discounted tuition rates.

Students interested in extending their studies to earn a master’s degree in information security can enroll in the fast–track option, enabling them to complete the master’s degree in 18 months with 26 additional credits beyond the network security bachelor’s degree, rather than 35–41. A fast–track MBA option enabling 30 credits rather than 36–54 is also available to students who plan accordingly.

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Charter Oak State College 

New Britain, CT Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1973 and located in New Britain, Connecticut, Charter Oak State College is a public college offering courses exclusively online. Charter Oak strives to provide students with alternative and affordable means to earn degrees through many forms of achievement.

Charter Oak State College’s bachelor’s program in cyber security consists of 120 credits, beginning with a three–credit cornerstone seminar and concluding with a capstone. Designed for students with a background in computers and an aptitude for information technology, the well–rounded curriculum includes auditing IT infrastructure for compliance, cyberwarfare, digital forensics, cyber policy analysis, information systems risk management, and legal issues in information security. The school also offers college credit for certified information systems security professionals.

Since Charter Oak offers coursework exclusively online, its structure suits the needs of distance learners. Academic advising, free tutoring, library services, career services, and alumni networks are all readily available online. Admission is open to anyone 16 years of age or over who has earned nine approved college level credits.

Boasting a generous transfer policy, Charter Oak accepts up to 87 transfer credits, and maintains reciprocity agreements with institutions in other states to standardize distance education coursework. Eligible students may also receive college credit for portfolio assessments, lifelong learning, standardized tests, licenses and certifications, military and corporate training, and credit by exam.

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Wilmington University 

New Castle, DE Apply Now

About this school

Chartered in 1968 with its base in New Castle, Delaware, Wilmington University is a private, nonsectarian, open access institution. Focused on career preparation and advancement, the school offers affordable tuition rates and admissions policies tailored toward improving access for all.

Designated as a nationally recognized center of academic excellence in cybersecurity by the federal government, Wilmington’s bachelor’s program in computer and network security meets rigorous standards in an emerging field. Comprised of 120 credits, core courses combine information technology with legal studies and criminal justice. Coursework includes cryptography algorithms and applications, data integrity and disaster recovery, programming in Python, and firewall and perimeter security. The program also helps prepare students to obtain recognized industry certifications.

A military friendly school, Wilmington offers college credit for military training, and active duty military students receive a tuition discount. All students pay in–state tuition, regardless of location. Eligible transfer students may receive up to 90 credits in transfer. Students who have completed two core courses in residence and 60 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.5 may also elect to complete an individually designed cooperative assignment involving six credit hours of approved relevant work experience.

All courses are delivered entirely online through the Blackboard learning platform, no on–campus meetings are necessary. Distance learners may enroll in online classes by semester (15 weeks) or by block (seven weeks). Students may also select a hybrid option that combines classroom time with online coursework.

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Robert Morris University 

Moon Township, PA Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1921, Robert Morris University’s main campus is located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. With a global perspective and a focus on engaged learning and well–being, the school offers distance learners a high level of support and individualized attention.

RMU’s fully online bachelor’s in cyber forensics and information security combines law, business, organizational behavior, and technology. Distance learners complete 123 credits, including 15 restricted elective credits in an approved area of interest and 21 open elective credits. With an emphasis on global perspectives and a proactive, supportive environment of engaged learners, coursework for the school’s online bachelor’s degree in network security includes digital evidence analysis, cyberlaw, a selection of programming languages, such as Java, Visual Basic, and C++, and mobile forensics. An annual two–week seminar on national security and a study abroad option provide students with an opportunity to gain hands–on work experience at the forefront of the field.

Online students receive direct personalized assistance through a student services representative, a financial aid counselor, a wellness counselor, a dedicated career advisor, and around–the–clock technical support.

RMU maintains a rolling admissions deadline, affordable tuition, flexible payment plans, and generous benefits policies for military veterans. All students and alumni may take advantage of available services through the school’s career and professional development center. Other benefits include a parent and sibling tuition discount and a corporate tuition discount for employees of selected organizations and professional associations.

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Mercy College 

Dobbs Ferry, NY Apply Now

About this school

Based in Dobbs Ferry and the New York City area, Mercy College is a private, nonsectarian school with a mission to provide access to first–generation college students in financial need who are demographically underrepresented in higher education. Founded in 1950, Mercy College boasts a diverse student population, a multifaceted wellness initiative, and a commitment to affordability.

Mercy’s bachelor’s program in cybersecurity consists of 120 credits, including coursework in cryptography, penetration testing and ethical hacking, and forensic electronic discovery. Students complete 12 credits of electives, such as artificial intelligence, systems analysis and design, and cybersecurity field experience. Interested students may apply their studies to prepare for the certified information systems security professional exam. A dual degree program in cybersecurity is available to outstanding students interested in leadership, offering the opportunity to complete both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. Applications for the dual degree option must be completed during the student’s junior or senior year.

Up to 90 credits are accepted in transfer, with a maximum of 75 credits from two–year schools. Full–time students can complete the program in four years.

With a rich history of community service, Mercy College offers many service learning opportunities and international travel opportunities. It boasts affordable tuition rates and is recognized as a yellow ribbon school for veterans.

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Franklin University 

Columbus, OH Apply Now

About this school

With more than 25 locations in the midwest, Franklin University is a Columbus, Ohio–based nonprofit institution of higher learning. Serving ambitious working students since its founding under YMCA sponsorship in 1902, Franklin also maintains co–locations at regional partner community college campuses to facilitate completion of bachelor’s degrees.

Designed for busy working professionals, Franklin’s fully online bachelor’s degree in cyber security focuses on management, policy, programming, database systems, and networks. Students complete 124 credits of coursework, including security risk management, information systems architecture and technology, disaster recovery, and software development security. Students also develop risk assessments, penetration tests, vulnerability scans, security plans, and complete a required capstone to integrate learning outcomes.

For admissions purposes, students may demonstrate proficiency through placement tests. Franklin’s transfer–friendly policies allow distance learners to transfer up to 94 credits, and eligible students may accelerate their education through college credit for proficiency exams and for military, professional, or vocational training.

Recognized as a military–friendly school, Franklin provides a generous half–price tuition discount for active duty service members. Military scholarships, survivors and dependents assistance, and up to 15% off tuition for spouses and dependents is also available.

Distance learners may take advantage of workshops, scholarly information, testing services, research consultation, structured learning assistance, and tutoring through Franklin’s learning commons. Flexible scheduling allows students to choose from several start dates throughout the three–trimester academic year. Most students complete the degree in just under four years.

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Capitol Technology University 

Laurel, MD Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1927 and based in Laurel, Maryland, Capitol Technology University boasts a strong commitment to providing focused education and training for professional employment in business, computer and information sciences, and engineering. As a member of the Maryland Green Registry, the school demonstrates its commitment to fostering environmental sustainability with a variety of green initiatives.

Capitol offers a bachelor’s degree in cyber and information security comprised of 120 credits, including 18 elective credits. The program’s primary goal is linking students’ professional aspirations to employment opportunities. Core coursework includes applied wireless network security, incident handling and malicious code, and malware analysis and reverse engineering. Coursework prepares students for certification exams, enabling them to gain credentials before graduation. The school’s Cyber Lab provides a realistic demonstration environment for attack simulations, where students learn to detect, analyze, and defeat these attacks.

The school holds an impressive job placement record, with many students in the network security program receiving offers of employment before degree completion. Uniquely, Capitol offers a job guarantee, boasting that students who graduate with a qualified bachelor’s degree will find employment in the field within 90 days of graduation. If not, the school provides up to 36 additional credits at no charge while the student’s job search continues.

Eligible distance learners may transfer up to 70 semester credits from community colleges, military coursework, professional certifications, credit by exam, and advanced placement courses.

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University of Maine at Fort Kent 

Fort Kent, ME Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1878 and located in the St. John Valley at the international intersection of Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec, the University of Maine at Fort Kent is a public rural school with a focus on the unique challenges of serving rural areas in the U.S. Boasting affordable education with a global perspective, the school provides individual support, fostering a community–driven scholastic atmosphere and a creative work ethic.

UMFK offers an interdisciplinary online bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity and information security. Integrating knowledge from economics, psychology, and management, this respected program emphasizes protection of and preservation of technological infrastructures. Designed to serve as a conduit to professional employment in the field, coursework for the program includes information assurance policy, cryptography, Java programming, operating systems security, and computer ethics. Students may also elect to complete an internship. All students complete an integrative cybersecurity portfolio to assess overall learning outcomes and academic growth. Learners can also earn an associate degree, a minor, or a certificate in information security.

In keeping with its focus on bridging society, management, and technology, the University of Maine at Fort Kent also conducts outreach to community organizations and K–12 level schools. It also maintains a variety of collaborative research partnerships within the industry and government.

Current and former military students and their dependents may be eligible for in–state tuition.

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Peirce College 

Philadelphia, PA Apply Now

About this school

Since its founding in 1865 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Peirce has focused on practical skills and career education. The school’s mission centers on affordability, personal attention, and flexible classes for working people.

Peirce offers a BS in information technology with a concentration in networking, administration, and information security. Distance learners complete the online network security degree in a self–paced, competency–based education format that consists of a minimum of 121 credits, including 12 credits of electives. Eight–week core courses include ethical management of information technology, usability principles and design, server administration, and an integrative capstone. Since the coursework also aligns with professional certification requirements, students may opt to sit for certification exams before graduation.

Peirce Fit is the school’s unique, flexible educational approach that permits students to choose whether to attend class on campus or online each week.

The school maintains rolling admissions, with frequent start dates and a generous transfer policy of up to 90 credits. Credit may also be granted by examination, for military training experience, or for industry standard certifications. In keeping with its roots as a college for soldiers who served in the civil war, Peirce offers benefits to military students, spouses, and dependents, with a 25% tuition discount. These applicants may also be eligible for special military–only scholarships.

Distance learners may take advantage of free online tutoring services and receive discounts on laptops and internet access.

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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Cybersecurity?

Digital attacks aim to access, destroy, or change sensitive information in an organization. Cybersecurity protects computer systems from these threats and attacks.

What Is a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree?

A bachelor's in cybersecurity teaches students how to protect various information systems and data, emphasizing technical knowledge and skills.

What Kind of Degree Do You Need for Cybersecurity?

While employers may accept applicants with an associate degree for entry-level cybersecurity positions, most employers require a bachelor's degree at minimum. Certifications can provide an additional advantage in the job market.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cybersecurity Degree?

Students can earn a cybersecurity bachelor's degree in four years of full-time attendance. However, online programs may offer accelerated options, which allow students to graduate sooner.

How Much Do You Make in Cybersecurity?

According to BLS data, network and computer systems administrators earn a median annual salary of $82,050.

Do You Need a Bachelor's Degree for Cybersecurity?

Professionals may find limited entry-level jobs with an associate degree in cybersecurity, but most employers require a bachelor's degree.

How Much Do Cybersecurity Majors Make?

Cybersecurity salaries vary by location, experience, industry, and title. For instance, professionals who provide educational services earn median annual wages of around $71,990, while information administrators earn median salaries of $88,440.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity professionals typically offer computer systems design services. They may also work in education-related services, finance and insurance, or management.

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.

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.

Computer Systems Administrators

Computer systems administrators manage network-related tasks within an organization. These professionals must maintain network transfer performance, review protocols, and develop scripts that enhance networking devices. Other responsibilities include updating computer systems, reviewing software installations, and developing run-times for multiple programming languages.

This position requires analytical, IT, and business skills. Computer systems administrators need to perform well in teams while operating with minimal supervision. Most employers require applicants to hold a cybersecurity bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Employers may also require prior related experience or industry certifications.

Median Annual Salary


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Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts improve data safety within an organization. Primary responsibilities include research, data collection, strategy development, and efficiency improvement. These analysts also implement and uphold privacy policies and security guidelines. This role requires constant assessment of enterprise environments, log monitoring, and computer traffic management.

The best candidates can multitask and pay attention to detail. Information security analysts also need problem-solving skills. Employers typically require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and experience in the field.

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Network Architects

Network architects create and review network capabilities and needs for their companies. Other responsibilities include providing technical support regarding advanced wireless networks and managing client relationships under the guidance of organizational protocols and standards. These professionals work closely with network administrators.

This role requires advanced organizational skills to prevent detrimental network issues. Network architects must maintain detailed reports of their work to prevent and manage connectivity problems. These professionals also need strong communication skills to stay abreast of changes within the field. Employers typically look for candidates with a bachelor's degree. Some roles may also require prior experience.

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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.


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 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 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.