Best Online Master’s in Cybercrime 2021

| TBS Staff


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Cybercrime master's degrees train candidates in math concepts, classroom technologies, research skills, cultural considerations, and the history of cybercrime.

Freshman applicants must submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Some online universities require high school prerequisites, FAFSA results, and standardized test scores. Applicants with college experience should also provide official undergraduate transcripts to receive transfer credit, lower their overall tuition bill, and reduce the time needed to graduate.

The Best Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs

Mississippi College true View School Profile Clinton, MS 53% 49% 39% Mississippi College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1826 as a Baptist university, MC provides more than 130 graduate and undergraduate degrees to just over 5,000 students each year.

MC offers an online master of science in cybersecurity and information assurance that can be completed in five semesters. Courses include computer security, ethics and law in information security, and wireless, mobile, and cloud computing.

To graduate, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 for the duration of the program.

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field with a GPA of at least 2.75.

University of San Diego true View School Profile San Diego, CA 80% 38% 8% University of San Diego is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC).

Founded in 1949, USD boasts 88 graduate and undergraduate programs in a Roman Catholic educational setting.

USD offers a master of science in cybersecurity operations and leadership that can be completed in as little as 20 months. Courses include applied cryptography, secure systems architecture, and cyber incident response and computer network forensics.

To graduate, students must complete 31 credits and a final capstone project.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 GPA and demonstrate information technology experience.

University of Charleston true View School Profile Charleston, WV 47% 48% 74% University of Charleston is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Found 1888 as a seminary, today UC enrolls more than 2,600 students across numerous online and on-campus programs.

UC offers an online master of science in cybersecurity that lasts less than three years. Courses include cyber operations management, cyberpsychology, and offensive and defensive strategies.

To graduate, students must complete a capstone project demonstrating a practical application of the coursework.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide true View School Profile Daytona Beach, FL 62% 14% 96% Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1925 by a barnstormer, today ERAU provides educational opportunities in aviation and six other fields.

ERAU offers an online master of science in information security and assurance with an emphasis on enterprise-level business strategy. Core courses include risk management and business continuity, incident management and information forensics, and quality management for information assurance.

Students also complete a certificate in one of nine areas, including information systems security, information technology management, and business intelligence and analytics.

University of Arizona true View School Profile $$$ Tucson, AZ 64% 37% 39% University of Arizona is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1885, today UofA teaches nearly 47,000 students across 300 majors.

UofA offers an online master of science in cybersecurity with tracks in information systems and physical systems. Courses last eight weeks and include information security in public and private sectors, engineering of trustworthy secure systems, and business data communications and networking.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 and have three years of technical work experience, a relevant industry certificate, or an undergraduate degree in a computer science field completed in the last year.

Liberty University View School Profile Lynchburg, VA 50% 60% 90% Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Founded in 1971, today Liberty enrolls over 100,000 students through robust online and on-campus programs.

Liberty offers an online master of science in cybersecurity that can be completed in as little as 1.5 years. Classes take place in eight-week formats. Courses include digital forensics, applied cryptography, and ethical hacking. Students also complete a final capstone project.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 in computer programming, computer science, or an information technology major.

Eastern Illinois University View School Profile $$ Charleston, IL 58% 55% 33% Eastern Illinois University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

EIU offers more than 86 graduate and undergraduate programs, including many that take place online.

EIU's master of science in cybersecurity prepares students for leadership roles in cybersecurity departments. Courses include advanced database technology, systems security, and ethical hacking and network defense.

To graduate, students must complete 32 credits of online coursework and two brief on-campus residencies. Students also complete a hands-on practicum.

Applicants must submit official transcripts and the name and contact information for two references.

Webster University View School Profile Saint Louis, MO 59% 54% 43% Webster University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1915, today Webster serves more than 12,000 students across 50 locations around the world.

Webster offers an online master of science in cybersecurity that prepares students to work in the public or private sector. Courses include cybersecurity communications, encryption methods and techniques, and cybersecurity risk management framework.

Students also complete a practical research course and an optional internship.

Webster also offers a dual degree with the program in national security studies.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA.

DeSales University View School Profile Center Valley, PA 70% 64% 32% DeSales University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

DeSales teaches more than 3,300 students through traditional, graduate, and adult higher education programs.

DeSales offers an online master of science in cybersecurity for students interested in careers preventing cyberattacks. Courses include IT security, wireless technology management, and cryptography. Students also complete a concentration in information systems and choose electives that meet their career goals.

To graduate, students must complete 36 credits and a capstone.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field with a GPA of 3.0. In some cases, professional experience may waive the computer-related discipline requirement.

Maryville University of Saint Louis View School Profile Saint Louis, MO 72% 49% 56% Maryville University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1872, Maryville now enrolls more than 7,000 students through its online programs alone.

Maryville offers an online master of science in cybersecurity that also prepares students for relevant industry certifications. Courses include controls for effective cyber defense, cybersecurity incident response and examination, and ethical hacking. Students also choose an optional concentration in leadership or technical aspects of cybersecurity.

Some students complete the program in as little as one year.

Applicants must submit official transcripts showing a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0.

Robert Morris University View School Profile Moon Township, PA 64% 64% 36% Robert Morris University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1921, RMU offers more than 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees across disciplines.

RMU's online master of science in cybersecurity prepares students for careers in a growing field. Courses include hardware and operating systems, computer network security, and information technology governance. Students also complete a capstone project.

Applicants must submit official transcripts showing a GPA of 2.75 or higher and two letters of recommendation.

The U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security recognize RMU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Champlain College View School Profile Burlington, VT 64% 54% 52% Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Founded in 1878, Champlain enrolls just over 2,000 students in 90 academic areas.

Champlain offers an online master of science in digital forensic science that prepares students to work as analysts in information security, computer systems, and more. Courses include information technology and security, the practice of digital investigations, and incident response and network forensics.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.5 and demonstrate work experience and/or a foundational understanding of computer crime laws and evidence handling.

Stevenson University View School Profile Stevenson, MD 56% 60% 54% Stevenson University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1947, Stevenson teaches approximately 3,500 students across 90 majors, including 27 online degree programs.

Stevenson offers an online master of science in cybersecurity and digital forensics leading to careers as cybersecurity engineers and analysts. Courses include incident response and evidence collection, Windows forensic examinations and legal compliance and ethics.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a technical or quantitative major or professional work experience. Official transcripts must show a GPA of at least 3.0.

Valparaiso University View School Profile Valparaiso, IN 71% 67% 12% Valparaiso University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1859, Valpo offers more than 20 graduate programs and significant online learning opportunities.

Valpo's online master of science in cybersecurity prepares students with technical backgrounds to advance in this growing field. Courses include ethics in information technology, information assurance and security, IT risk management. Students customize their degrees through elective courses.

To graduate, students choose between an internship, research project, and thesis.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA and the equivalent of a minor in computer science or IT.

University of Maryland Global Campus View School Profile $$ Adelphi, MD 15% 19% 90% University of Maryland Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded over 70 years ago to serve working adults, today UMGC offers numerous online academic programs to continue that mission.

UMGC offers an online master of science in cybersecurity technology that prepares students for industry certifications as Computer Information Security Systems Professionals (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hackers (CEH). Courses include cyberspace and cybersecurity foundations, prevention of cyberattack methodologies, and digital forensics technology and practices.

Students also complete a cybersecurity capstone. To graduate, they must maintain a GPA of 3.0.

Excelsior College View School Profile Albany, NY 10% 100%
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

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

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

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

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

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

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

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

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

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

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

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

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

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

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

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs

What Is an Online Master's in Cybercrime?

An online master's in cybersecurity equips graduates with the skills to detect and protect against cyberattacks. They learn to analyze systems for vulnerabilities and investigate any suspicious or malicious activity. These programs typically take two years to complete, though some schools offer accelerated programs online.

Completing a master's in cybersecurity most often leads to information technology occupations, including advanced positions as computer scientists and management-level professionals. Master's degrees help learners develop expertise in different operating systems, industries, and emerging technologies. Students can specialize their degrees to focus on niche areas like digital forensics, cybersecurity law, or incident management.

Choosing an Online Master's in Cybercrime Program

When choosing an online master's in cybersecurity, students should consider several factors that can impact experience and outcomes. For online programs, learners should pay close attention to program length, tuition costs for in-state and out-of-state students, and residency requirements.

Cybersecurity degree-seekers should also consider each program's curriculum, offered specializations, and practical training opportunities. It's best to choose a program that aligns with your career goals and interests. Try making a priority list and creating your own rankings to help narrow your options.

What's the Difference Between Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, and Computer Forensics?

An online master's in cybersecurity typically provides similar core training and requires the same amount of time as degrees in cybercrime and computer forensics. However, cybersecurity focuses more on establishing protections and thwarting criminal activity, while cybercrime programs focus on analyzing criminal behavior. Computer forensics emphasizes investigative analysis.

These programs can lead to many of the same cybersecurity careers, such as information security analyst and computer and information systems manager. While each specialization offers unique strengths, online master's in cybersecurity degrees are the most common, so more employers recognize the training.

Accreditation for Online Master's in Cybercrime Programs

Before deciding on a school, students should always check for accreditation. Required by most employers and financial aid organizations, regional accreditation ensures that the program meets necessary educational quality standards. 

Though not always required, cybersecurity programs can also receive programmatic accreditation from ABET. Like regional accreditation, this recognition assures students and employers that the program provides training that meets or exceeds industry standards.

What Can I Expect When Pursuing a Master's in Cybercrime Online?

Each master's in cybersecurity offers a unique curriculum, but there are a few core topics that most programs include. The following section explores the most popular courses in cybersecurity.

Common Courses in Cybercrime Online Programs

  • Information Assurance: This course covers basic concepts for protecting networks, communication, and data, including how to plan, implement, and manage security and system integrity. Students examine the most contemporary approaches to preventing, detecting, and recovering from information loss; fundamentals and applications of cryptography; and security in networks and distributed environments.
  • Digital Forensics Investigation: Enrollees explore investigation practices for uncovering digital crime in computers, networks, operating systems, mobile devices, and other areas of digital forensics. Coursework covers the identification, collection, authentication, preservation, and presentation of digital forensic evidence.
  • Security Risk Analysis and Planning: Degree-seekers receive training in risk analysis, disaster recovery, incident response, security controls, and business continuity. Students examine internal and external partnerships, governance, emerging threats and vulnerabilities, and security capabilities. The course also addresses risks in financial regulations and privacy.
  • Network Security: Students learn to apply defensive measures to secure networks, identify the overall network security posture, and implement basic practices in vulnerability assessment. Topics include data and host security; protocols and analysis; threats and vulnerabilities; and application, access control, and identity management.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Security: Cybersecurity professionals must understand the legal and ethical issues related to the rise of global connectivity and information sharing. Students examine confidentiality, privacy, and local, federal, and international laws. The course emphasizes government regulation, e-commerce, and e-business.

Cybercrime Professional Organizations

Professional organizations provide students and professionals with access to supportive career resources. In the cybersecurity industry, these organizations help members find employment and advance their careers. Some of the most significant professional organizations in the industry are listed below.

Established in 1989, IACIS is a leading organization for computer forensic professionals, serving over 2,200 members from more than 60 countries. The association administers certification courses, including the certified forensic computer examiner program. It also hosts a forum for information exchange on emerging cyberthreats. ISSA offers continuing education courses and networking opportunities for its membership of about 10,000 international cybersecurity specialists. Members receive access to professional development training, webinars, and a career center that offers services to employers and job-seekers. The organization also hosts an annual conference that attracts cybercrime experts from around the globe. As one of the few organizations dedicated to the detection and prevention of financial crime, ACFCS offers certification, training opportunities, and networking for financial security specialists. Membership includes access to webinars, bi-weekly newsletters, and daily news briefs. ACFCS also administers the certified financial crime program for financial intelligence specialists who work in regulatory agencies and law enforcement.

Cybercrime Careers

Earning a master's in cybersecurity opens many professional doors. The specialized training equips them for various leadership and computer information technology careers.

While graduates usually qualify for the positions listed below, some employers may require additional training or certifications. When considering jobs in cybersecurity, it's best to check with local employers and ask about their employment requirements.

Forensic Science Technicians
Median BLS Salary (2020) $59,150
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 14%

Forensic science technicians collect and analyze evidence for various crimes. They follow proper legal procedures when gathering evidence and then analyze that evidence and information, often in a laboratory. Cybersecurity professionals often work in digital forensics, investigating cybercriminals and cybercrimes, like fraud and identity theft.

Employers typically require a bachelor's degree and specialized investigative training. Technicians pursuing work for police departments may need to become police officers, which requires police academy training. Candidates need strong communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Private Detectives and Investigators
Median BLS Salary (2020) $50,510
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 8%

Private detectives and investigators seek out information on people, activities, and crimes. They research legal matters and personal backgrounds for organizations, lawyers, and individuals, collecting evidence for their clients.

For employment, investigators usually need a relevant degree and industry experience. To gain experience, many private detectives first work in a legal profession. Most states require licensure for private investigators, and industry certification may help candidates find employment.

Computer and Information Research Scientists
Median BLS Salary (2020) $122,840
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 15%

Computer information research scientists develop new technologies and advancements for existing technologies. They often begin with a problem or inefficiency and then research or develop solutions. They design new computing methods, test their inventions, analyze results, and publish their findings.

These scientists usually need a master's degree in a computer-related field for employment, though some employers accept applicants with bachelor's degrees. Industry certifications can improve a candidate's employability, but employers typically place more value on experience. These professionals need strong analytical, mathematics, and communication skills.

Information Security Analysts
Median BLS Salary (2020) $99,730
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 31%

Information security analysts protect organizations' computer systems from internal and external threats. They establish protections, create backups, test for vulnerabilities, and investigate suspicious activities. If a cyberattack occurs, analysts collect evidence and provide reports to management and the authorities.

While some employers prefer to hire professionals with master's degrees, many bachelor's-level candidates can also find employment. Though not required, information security professionals often pursue industry certifications to add more credentials to their resumes. Employers commonly seek out candidates with experience in leadership or network administration.

Computer and Information Systems Managers
Median BLS Salary (2020) $146,360
Projected Job Outlook (2019-2029) 10%

Computer and information systems managers oversee computer-related activities and personnel within an organization. They ensure that all equipment receives proper maintenance, upgrades, and security. They also assess companies' technological needs and suggest improvements.

Computer systems managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree, though many employers prefer master's degrees. Management roles usually require substantial experience, and industry certifications also help bolster a candidate's credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

true Can You Get a Master's in Cybercrime?

Many schools offer a master's in cybersecurity or a related discipline, such as cybercrime or computer forensics. Some programs offer cybersecurity and cybercrime as specializations within a master's in computer science.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Cybercrime?

With a master's in cybersecurity, graduates can pursue computer and information technology occupations. BLS data projects an 11% job growth rate in the sector from 2019-2029.

What Are the Top Five Math Careers?

Which math career is the best depends on individual job-seekers. The highest-paid math careers are mathematicians and statisticians; economists; financial analysts; actuaries; and computer systems analysts.

Is It Worth It to Get a Master's Degree in Cybercrime?

BLS projections indicate a 31% job growth rate for information security analysts from 2019-2029, with a $99,730 median annual salary in 2019 — more than double the median annual salary for all occupations.

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