The 25 Best Online Master’s in Information Assurance and Security Degree Programs

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by Tessa Cooper, TBS Staff Writers
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Many schools offer online master's in information assurance and security programs. These programs train learners to protect information and knowledge sources. Graduates may work for corporations or government agencies. Many degree-holders work as information security analysts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for these workers to grow 33% from 2020-2030.

This page lists the best master's in information assurance and security degrees. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and how to become an information security analyst.

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Questions About Information Assurance and Security

Q. What can you do with an information security and assurance degree?

Graduates often work as information security analysts. Degree-holders may also work as information technology specialists.

Q. What degree do you need for information security?

Professionals can practice with just a bachelor's degree. The degree must typically relate to information security.

Q. Do cybersecurity jobs pay well?

Yes. Many cybersecurity jobs pay more than the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations, according to the BLS. Information security analysts and computer network architects earn six-figure salaries.

Why Get a Master's Degree in Information Assurance and Security?

Earning a degree can help graduates qualify for high-paying careers. Computer and information technology professionals earn a median $91,250 annually.

Students pursuing an online master's in information assurance and security degree benefit from flexibility. Many programs run asynchronously, letting enrollees complete assignments when convenient. Online learners also save time and money by not traveling to campus.

How Much Does an Information Assurance and Security Degree Cost?

Master's degrees cost an average of $66,340, according to EducationData.org. However, costs vary by school, learners' residency status, and program length. Full-time students can usually complete a master's degree in two years. Some schools offer accelerated programs that let students graduate sooner. Quickly finishing a degree can help learners avoid rising tuition rates.

Learners attending in-state public schools typically pay the most affordable tuition. Online degree-seekers can explore top programs without moving. This benefit can help them save money by attending the most affordable program.

Additional Online Student Fees

Some schools do not charge online learners campus maintenance or student activity fees. However, other schools charge these fees plus extra online fees. The online fees may cover expenses like a virtual classroom management platform.

Online degree-seekers may need to buy computer software and technology. They should also budget for supplies and books. Students can save money by renting books or buying used or virtual copies.

How Much Do Information Assurance and Security Graduates Make?

Salaries vary by professionals' job title, employer, and geographic location. Graduates with a master of science in information assurance earn an average of $97,000 annually, according to Jan. 2022 Payscale data.

Information security analysts earn a median $103,590 annually, according to the BLS. These professionals who live in California earn a mean wage of ​​$125,990. Information security analysts in Florida earn $95,190.

Courses in Information Assurance and Security

An online master's in information assurance and security usually requires 30-36 credits. This includes 10-12 classes. Students learn to identify system vulnerabilities and protect network systems. Many classes focus on interpersonal communication. Degree-seekers learn how to explain findings and suggestions in easy-to-understand ways.

Most master's programs require a capstone or thesis project. Some programs offer concentrations in topics like ethical hacking or auditing.

Students pursuing a master's in information assurance and security degree often take the three classes below. Please note that not every school offers these exact classes.

How to Become an Information Security Analyst

Aspiring information security analysts first need a bachelor's degree. Most master's in information assurance and security online programs require a related undergraduate degree. Some programs allow students with unrelated undergraduate majors to complete prerequisite courses.

Degree-seekers complete industry research. They practice resolving security threats and showing knowledge through a capstone project.

Recent graduates often gain experience as network and computer systems administrators before applying for more advanced jobs. Most leadership roles in this field require certification. Employers often prefer to hire certified information systems security professionals.

The 25 Best Online Master's in Information Assurance and Security Degrees

  1. Northwestern University
    Location

    Evanston, IL

    Founded in 1933, the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University builds on over 80 years of tradition in professional education. With a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in diverse fields of study, the School of Professional Studies remains committed to its founding mission of quality professional education. The school serves traditional and nontraditional students through flexible online and evening program options, professional development services, internship and scholarship opportunities, and other resources.

    The School of Professional Studies offers an online master of science in information systems degree program with a specialization in information systems security. Blending in–depth coursework with hands–on research, the program develops advanced knowledge in the field.

    The curriculum utilizes practical and theoretical approaches to engage students with key aspects of the field, including network security planning and implementation, information assurance project management, and disaster recovery and risk management. Students prepare to advance or pursue a variety of careers in the field, including chief technology officer, network security analyst, and information assurance manager.

    The online Master of Science in Information Systems program requires 11 credit units and includes the following Information Systems Security specialization courses:

    • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Techniques
    • Fundamentals of Network Security
    • Management of Information Security
    • Project Management Concepts

    Students in the online Master of Science in Information Systems program must complete a capstone or thesis project.

  2. Boston University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    The Metropolitan College at Boston University, founded in 1965 as the Division of Continuing Education, offers over half a century of experience in meeting the educational needs of nontraditional students through distance and part–time programs. The Metropolitan College allows busy adult students to earn the advanced education they need for professional success through a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree and non–degree programs across a diverse array of fields.

    The Metropolitan College offers an online master of science in computer information systems degree program with a concentration in security. The program develops the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to the field and features certification by the Committee on National Security Systems.

    Through a blend of in–depth core and specialization coursework, students engage with fundamental aspects of information assurance professions. The program covers concepts such as implementing cybersecurity plans, database security architecture, digital forensics, and risk management. Students emerge prepared to pursue a variety of careers, including information security analyst, network and computer systems administrator, and cybersecurity specialist.

    The online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems program requires 40 credit hours and includes a selection of the following Security concentration courses:

    • Database Security
    • Digital Forensics and Investigations
    • Enterprise Cyber Security
    • IT Security Policies and Procedures
    • Mobile Forensics and Security
    • Network Security
    • Quantitative Methods for Information Systems

    The online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems program may be completed in 18–24 months.

    The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Boston University as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Research and Information Assurance Education.

  3. Brandeis University
    Location

    Waltham , MA

    Since 1992, the Rabb School of Continuing Studies at Brandeis University has served nontraditional students through its three divisions, including the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies. Dedicated to serving the academic and professional needs of busy adult students, the Rabb school offers a variety of online, evening, and part–time undergraduate and graduate programs across a diverse array of fields, as well as numerous valuable resources.

    The Division of Graduate Professional Studies offers an online master of science in information security leadership degree program for students seeking to advance professionally in the information assurance field. With a blend of core courses and plenty of elective options, the program develops key knowledge and skills in information security practice.

    Students engage with fundamental aspects of information assurance professions, including IT security practices, risk management and incident response, security leadership, and implementing information security strategies. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, including chief information assurance officer, chief risk manager, information assurance analyst, and network security analyst.

    The online Master of Science in Information Security Leadership program requires 30 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

    • Foundations of Information Security
    • Information Security Management
    • IT Security and Compliance
    • Leading Security in Complex Organizations
    • Principles of Computer Incident Response and Investigation
    • Principles of Risk Management and IT Security
  4. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    With nearly 1,500 students enrolled, the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University serves a population through undergraduate and graduate programs in diverse areas of study. Through online program options, internship and scholarship options, numerous labs, and student organizations, the college provides students with plenty of developmental opportunities. Additionally, the college engages in advancing the field through research in the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, the Institute of Information Assurance, and the Network Science Institute.

    The College of Computer and Information Science offers an online master of science in information assurance and cyber security degree program with a Technical track option, and a Contextual track option. The Technical track focuses on the development of key technical skills and knowledge, while the Contextual track focuses on a large, contextual understanding of the field and the role of professionals in information assurance. Regardless of the path students choose, the program develops a strong foundation of knowledge, focusing on fundamental aspects of information assurance.

    The curriculum utilizes a flexible model, with plenty of electives, including coursework in database security architecture, network security strategies and implementation, and risk management and incident recovery, as well as hands–on research projects and independent study options. Students prepare to advance or pursue a variety of careers in the field, including chief technology officer, network security analyst, and information assurance manager.

    The online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cyber Security program requires 32 credit hours for completion. The Technical track includes a selection of the following courses:

    • Applied Cryptography
    • Computer System Security
    • Network Security Practices
    • Software Security Practices

    The Contextual track includes a selection of the following courses:

    • Cyberlaw: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights
    • Decision Making in Critical Infrastructure
    • Information System Forensics
    • Security Risk Management and Assessment

    The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Northeastern University as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Research and Information Assurance Education.

  5. Iowa State University
    Location

    Ames, IA

    The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate program options in diverse areas of study. Housed in the College of Engineering, the department serves traditional and nontraditional students through online program options, student organizations, internship and scholarship opportunities, and affiliation with a variety of labs and centers, including the Information Assurance Center.

    In collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers an online master of science in information assurance degree program for individuals seeking to advance in the information assurance field. The program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, with a blend of in–depth coursework and hands–on research and projects.

    The program develops a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to information assurance professions. Students engage in courses covering key aspects of information assurance, including computer security strategies and implementation, ethical and legal issues in the field, digital forensics, and information warfare. Students emerge prepared to pursue a variety of careers, including chief technology officer, network security analyst, and information assurance manager.

    The online Master of Science in Information Assurance program requires 30 credit hours and includes the following core courses:

    • Advanced Computer Networking
    • Computer Security
    • Ethical and Legal Issues in Computer Security
    • Information Warfare

    Students in the online Master of Science in Information Assurance program must complete a thesis project or capstone course.

    The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Iowa State University as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Research and Information Assurance Education.

  6. Lewis University
    Location

    Romeoville , IL

    Lewis University’ College of Arts and Sciences provides students with a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in fields like counseling, criminal justice, data science, public safety administration, and computer science. With its online program options, internship and scholarship options, student organizations, and a variety of other resources, the college serves career–minded students from all backgrounds.

    The College of Arts and Sciences offers an online master of science in computer science with a cyber security concentration. With six courses dedicated to the concentration, students develop a strong foundation of computer science knowledge alongside niche cybersecurity skills. Students engage with key field aspects, such as:

    • Encryption and Authentication
    • Ethical and Legal Issues
    • Including Cyber Security Theory and Practice

    Graduates emerge prepared to combat both public and private sector cybersecurity threats.

    This online master’s in cyber security requires 33 credits and includes the following online college courses:

    • Advanced Cyber Security
    • Advanced Network Security
    • Application Security
    • Cyber Security Essentials
    • Encryption and Authentication
    • Network Security Essentials
    • Research in Computer Science

    Students in the online master’s in cyber security program must complete a thesis project. Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution that was earned with a 3.0 GPA.

    The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Lewis University as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education.

  7. University of Denver - University College
    Location

    Denver, CO

    University College at the University of Denver provides a variety of flexible online, part–time, and evening programs to serve the academic and professional needs of nontraditional students. With undergraduate and graduate programs in a diverse array of fields, as well as numerous academic and professional resources, University College meets the unique needs of nontraditional students seeking professional advancement through higher education.

    University College offers an online master of science in information and communications technology degree program with a concentration in information systems security. The curriculum utilized by the program aligns with the Common Body of Knowledge for CISSP certification developed by the International Information Systems Security Certifications Consortium.

    Moreover, the Information Security Systems Association collaborated on the development of the courses, and they have been mapped to the Committee on National Security Systems Standards. With all this formal prestige, the program engages students with a thorough study in advanced aspects of the field. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers, including chief technology officer, network security analyst, and information assurance consultant.

    The online Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology program requires 48 credit hours and includes the following Information Systems Security concentration courses:

    • Computer and Physical Security
    • Network Security with Lab
    • Principles of Information Security
    • Web Enabled Information Systems

    Students in the online Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology program must complete a capstone project.

    The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate the University of Denver as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Education.

  8. Regis University
    Location

    Denver , CO

    The College of Computer and Information Science at Regis University provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options across diverse fields of study. Building on the Jesuit values of the university, the college promotes excellence and service leadership through comprehensive programs, online degree options, internship and scholarship options, professional partnerships with government agencies and industry leaders, and other valuable resources.

    The College of Computer and Information Science offers both ground–based and online master of science in information assurance degree program with two specialization options, in Cybersecurity, or IA Policy Management, as well as a general, no–specialization option. The program features a curriculum modeled on guidelines from several major professional organizations, including the Committee on National Security Systems, and the National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education.

    The program emphasizes practical and theoretical approaches to the field, covering key topics such as information assurance strategy, managing information security, risk management, and secure enterprise architecture. Students prepare to advance or pursue a variety of careers in the field, including chief technology officer, network security analyst, and information assurance manager.

    The Master of Science in Information Assurance program requires 36 credit hours and includes the following core/required courses:

    • Enterprise Architecture
    • Information Technology Concepts
    • Information Technology Research Methods
    • Managing a Secure Enterprise
    • Risk Management

    Students in the Master of Science in Information Assurance program must choose from one of the following three degree completion options: a capstone project, a thesis, or an information assurance practicum.

    The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate Regis University as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education.

  9. Liberty University Online
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    The School of Business at Liberty University provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional program options across a diverse array of fields in business. In keeping with the mission of the university, the School of Business integrates Christian teachings and principles into the core of its programs. The school serves traditional and nontraditional students alike through resources that include online program options, student organizations, and internship and scholarship opportunities.

    Through the Liberty University Online platform, the School of Business offers an online master of science in information systems degree program with an Information Assurance cognate. The program develops a strong foundation of knowledge and skills necessary to the information assurance field.

    Students engage in a blend of in–depth information assurance coursework, core business information systems coursework, and hands–on projects and research. The curriculum covers fundamentals, such as information forensics, risk management, and secure enterprise design. Students prepare to pursue a variety of careers in information assurance, including network security analyst, information assurance manager, and chief technology officer.

    The online Master of Science in Information Systems program requires 36 credit hours and includes the following Information Assurance Cognate courses:

    • Information Forensics, Compliance, and Risk Management
    • Information Operations and Security
    • Secure Enterprise Design and Development
    • Telecommunications and Network Security

    Students in the online Master of Science in Information Systems program must complete a capstone.

  10. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City , UT

    The College of Information Technology provides a variety of undergraduate and graduate program options across a diverse array of information technology fields. In keeping with the mission of Western Governors University, the college serves the unique academic and professional needs of nontraditional students through flexible, comprehensive online programs, professional development services, and a variety of online learning resources.

    The College of Information Technology offers an online master of science in cybersecurity and information assurance degree program for individuals seeking to pursue or advance information assurance careers. The program develops a balance of advanced knowledge and skills necessary to information assurance professions.

    The curriculum covers fundamental aspects of the field, including cyber law and regulations, ethical hacking, network forensics, and security network design. Through completing the program, students may earn certifications as EC–Council Certified Ethical Hacker, and EC–Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator. Students emerge prepared to pursue a variety of careers in the field, including cybersecurity analyst, systems administrator, and cybersecurity consultant.

    The online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program consists of 30 competency units and the following ten courses:

    • Cyberlaw, Regulations, and Compliance
    • Cyberwarfare
    • Disaster Recovery Planning, Prevention, and Response
    • Ethical Hacking
    • Forensics and Network Intrusion
    • Information Security and Assurance Capstone Project
    • Risk Management
    • Secure Network Design
    • Secure Software Design
    • Security Policies and Standards – Best Practices

    Students in the online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program must complete a capstone project. The program typically takes two years to complete, but it may be completed in one year of continuous study.

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