No one wants to feel vulnerable and unprotected. As technology improves and rapidly becomes commonplace in ways that could have only been dreamed of decades ago, cyber space becomes a field ripe for hacking, tampering, and bad intentions. This is where the cybersecurity professional steps in: according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, a leading company researching and distributing information on global cyber security issues, over 3 million jobs in the cyber security field will be unfilled by 2020. So now is the time to take advantage of the need for cybersecurity professionals–time to get your advanced degree! If you aren’t able to travel to the school with the best program that fits your needs, no need to fear: the Master of Cybersecurity Degree is one of the 50 Most Popular Online Master Degree Programs, and there is a wealth of good schools offering stellar cybersecurity master’s programs online. We’ve combed through the data to find the factors that make an exceptional cybersecurity program. Read over our methodology below and then check out our list of the top 50 schools.
Methodology: A popular field for online degree programs, Cybersecurity allows for many online opportunities. Utilizing publicly available sources like U.S. News and World Report and the websites of schools that offer online cybersecurity or similar graduate degree programs, we determined several common elements that helped 50 programs stand out and by which we came up with our ranking. When programs received the same number of points, the lower out-of-state tuition per credit hour was the tie-breaking factor. Our criteria for ranking:
- Interdisciplinary programmatic approach and specializations offered 25%
- Extent to which the degree can be completed entirely online 25%
- Institutional or departmental designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 25%
- Program-specific student support services 25%
When the technology for space travel was leading to the “space race” of the 1950s, a school was founded in 1958 in Florida to capitalize on the excitement. This school, called Brevard Engineering College, would grow to become the Florida Institute of Technology. Established in Melbourne, Florida by Jerome P. Keuper, a physicist from Cape Canaveral, the school provided classes in science and technology. As part of America’s space program, the institution known since 1966 as Florida Tech is a private, coeducational university with a high level of research provides “high-quality education . . . to prepare students for entering the global workforce.” Five academic colleges (College of Aeronautics, College of Engineering and Computing, Nathan Bisk College of Business, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, and College of Science) provide both on-campus and online programs to nearly 6,500 currently enrolled students. Regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Three distinct Masters of Cybersecurity degrees are offered in a supportive online delivery format at Florida Tech. The entirely online 33-credit hour Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) degree program provides a specialization in Cybersecurity and is ideal for students who want to learn “fundamental business applications . . . as well as specialized knowledge in information security management, project management for IT, host-based security, and secure networks and communications.” The 36-credit hour MBA with a Specialization in Cybersecurity is also entirely online and provides an exploration of cybersecurity and “core business principles from a management perspective.” Finally, the MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity degree program is offered online through Florida Tech’s Harris Institute for Assured Information—a center created through a partnership with Harris Corp, a leader in global security. The interdisciplinary MS requires 33 credit hours of classes such as “Biometric Authentication Technologies” and “Secure Operating Systems” and culminates with a Capstone Project in Information Assurance. CAE designated
In 1885, Arizona Territory began planning a land-grant university to benefit from the federal Morrill Act of 1862. The University of Arizona (UA or “Arizona”) was constructed in 1887, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Arizona. Located in Tucson, Arizona, the university welcomed 32 students to the first classes in 1891; now over 43,000 students are currently enrolled. There are more than 350 academic degree programs offered through the nineteen schools and colleges, and there are more than 500 clubs and organizations for students to join. A main campus of 380 acres is still in Tucson, and much of the campus is an arboretum. UA is a public research university with a very high research level as designated by the Carnegie Foundation, and it is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. Regional accreditation is provided for UA through the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: An interdisciplinary program that draws on three different UA departments (Management Information Systems Department in the Eller College of Management, and the College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering), the MS in Cybersecurity is a comprehensive, unique degree. The 33-credit hour program is accessible entirely online and offers two different tracks to customize the degree: Information Systems or Physical Systems. The coursework is rigorous and relevant; electives include such topics as “Machine Learning and Data Analytics,” “Social and Ethical Issues of the Internet,” and “Engineering Statistics.” A National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (IASEC), UA’s MS in Cybersecurity is designed for professionals in the industry with at least three years of experience. In addition to the university-wide online student support services, there are program-specific advisors to assist students with guidance, course structure, program policy, and any other needs “from registration to graduation.” CAE designated
New York University was founded by two-administration Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin in 1831 as “a system of rational and practical education fitting for all and graciously opened to all” in the metropolitan New York City. The first semester saw an enrollment of over 150 students, and now there is an enrollment of nearly 60,000 students at this university that is one of 60 elite institutions that can claim membership in the Association of American Universities. Two other degree-conferring campuses (in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai) join the New York campus, and there are multiple global academic centers and research programs worldwide. Eighteen schools and colleges provide academic degree programs at this private, non-profit institution of higher education. One of the largest universities in the nation, NYU has a mission “to be a top quality international center of scholarship, teaching and research,” and regional accreditation comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: Through the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, an online 30-credit hour MS in Cybersecurity is available for a wide-range of students, even those who don’t have an undergraduate computer science degree (these students will work with an advisor under conditional admission). Taking required classes from a computer science core and a security core, students are free to choose three electives—two of the elective options offered include a research project (with guidance of a research professor) or a master’s thesis. A Cyber Ops Specialization is also offered—this interdisciplinary twelve-week summer National Security Agency (NSA) program provides coursework such as “Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Analysis,” “Mobile Security,” and “Information, Security and Privacy.” Students in the selective program will “gain knowledge of specific cyber-related topics and apply educational knowledge to address various real-world mission-related technical challenges.” A wide range of student services are provided through the Tandon School, with the goal to “nourish each and every student” and help them succeed. CAE designated
In 1965, members of the Chamber of Commerce of Bellevue, Nebraska advocated for an institution of higher education in their city. Being in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, the location would benefit from its own university. The following year Bellevue College (it would become Bellevue University in 1994) opened to produce students who would, via the school’s mission, “thrive in a connected, competitive world.” Serving the working adult, Bellevue caters to the non-traditional age student (over the age of 25) with both on-campus and online, accelerated programs and the learning approach called “Real Mastery®”. One of the largest private universities in the state, this not-for-profit school enrolls almost 9,000 students currently and has a network of alumni numbering in the 50,000s. Several Bellevue centers have opened in surrounding areas—such as the Lozier Professional Center in Omaha. A military-friendly school, Bellevue is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The Bellevue University Center for Cybersecurity Education (CCE) provides a multitude of all-level degree programs and resources for students interested in cybersecurity. The MS in Cybersecurity is a 36-credit hour degree program that can be completed online in two formats. Students who are entering into the field take the traditional approach, while students who have relevant work experience can pursue the accelerated cohort option. The required core coursework for both formats include classes such as “Security Architecture and Design,” “Human Aspects of Cybersecurity,” and “Ethical Hacking and Response.” Electives can be chosen in the traditional approach and include subjects like “Information Warfare,” “IT Strategy and Policy,” and “Business Continuity and Recovery Planning.” For the business-minded students, the 36-credit hour online MBA with a Cybersecurity Concentration is an option as well, with specialization classes like “Computer Forensics” and “Information Security Management.” Several other interdisciplinary information assurance graduate degree programs are also available through the CCE. CAE designated
Iowa State University was established by the Iowa General Assembly in 1858 as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. As the school was being constructed on nearly 650 acres in Story County, the federal Morrill Act of 1862 was passed, and in 1864 the school became a land-grant institution. Classes began in 1869 and the first graduating class of 1872 included 24 men and two women. Currently, over 35,000 students are enrolled in nearly 300 academic degree programs offered through ten schools and colleges. Officially named Iowa State University of Science and Technology since 1959, the school is generally referred to as Iowa State University, and just Iowa State or ISU for short. A public university that is the flagship of the state, Iowa State is a land- and space-grant institution. Campus now sits on over 1,800 acres in Ames, Iowa, and is often recognized for its beauty. Iowa State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Iowa State University’s interdisciplinary MS in Information Assurance degree program is provided entirely online through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Coursework for the 30-credit hour program is delivered asynchronously and students have the option of completing the degree with six hours towards a thesis or a capstone (but must take final oral exam as well). Classes include topics like “Information Warfare,” “Advanced Computer Networking,” and “Steganography,” and individuals may take up to nine credit hours of coursework as a non-degree seeking student prior to being admitted. Up to six credits of previous graduate-level coursework may be transfer into the program, and students generally complete the degree in less than two years. Specific online student services are provided through the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Engineering-LAS Online Learning) and the Iowa State Information Assurance Center (IAC) provides research, cyber competitions, and many other resources. CAE designated
In 1947, a satellite of the College of Education from the University of Maryland was established in Adelphi, Maryland. Called the College of Special and Continuation Studies (CSCS), the institution provided classes and educational programs to non-traditional students (primarily working adults). One of several extension programs across the state, this school would become the independent institution known as University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in 1970. One of the largest institutions of higher education providing online and distance education, UMUC offers many online programs and some on-campus programs at the location in Adelphi. Both an Undergraduate School and a Graduate School provide the 80,000 enrolled students with over 50 academic degree programs online, in Adelphi and at satellite facilities in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and in Europe. UMUC also offers classes and services to serving military members in at military bases in both Afghanistan and Djibouti, Africa. Regional accreditation is granted by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: Offering a selection of graduate degrees in cybersecurity online, UMUC is a leader in the field of cybersecurity education. Degrees such as the MS in Cybersecurity Management and Policy and the MS in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation (among several others) give students distinct areas in the field to explore and master. All degrees require 36 credit hours to graduate, with coursework that is “continually updated and designed with input from leading employers and cyber security experts.” The faculty are industry experts with a wide range of experience and connections. For real-world experience and networking opportunities, students (as well as alumni and faculty members) can join the UMUC cybersecurity competition team known as the Cyber Padawans. An award-winning team, the Cyber Padawans compete successfully in security games and practices across the globe. Additionally, the Center for Security Studies at UMUC offers security-specific academic resources and services to cybersecurity students. CAE designated
In 1955 a Florida House Bill was passed to create a state university in Hillsborough County. The University of South Florida (USF) was constructed on the former Henderson Air Field just outside of Tampa, Florida. Campus now covers almost 2,000 acres, and this pubic research university can claim the distinctive honor of being the first independent state university completely conceived of and created in the 20th century. A metropolitan institution of higher education, USF is one if the five largest schools in Florida and a member of the State University System of Florida. The main campus is still located in Tampa, but two other campuses (USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee) combine with USF Tampa to form the USF System. With a joint enrollment of 50,000-plus students across the system and fourteen academic colleges offering more than 100 degree programs, USF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Offered as an interdisciplinary program through the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Muma College of Business, and College of Engineering, USF’s MS in Cybersecurity degree is a 30 to 33 credit hour program. There are three entirely online concentration options: Cyber Intelligence, Digital Forensics, and Information Assurance. All three concentrations engage in the same required twelve credit hours of core coursework such as “Basics of Information Security and Risk Management” and “Data Networks, Systems and Securities.” The remaining coursework is comprised of concentration courses and electives, as well as a practicum that is either completed through independent study or supervised, real-world experience. A wide selection of student support services are available, and students can be assured their degree is relevant—USF has strong ties to the cybersecurity community and provides “training and partnership opportunities for higher education institutions, government agencies and businesses across the state.” CAE designated
DePaul University was established as St. Vincent’s College in Chicago, Illinois in 1898. Founded by the Congregation of the Mission (a Catholic order following Saint Vincent de Paul), the school was begun by the Vincentian priests and initially intended to provide education for the Roman Catholic children of immigrants. The first year saw an enrollment of 70 students with seven instructors; less than a decade later the school was chartered as DePaul University. With the name change in 1907, the school also opened its doors to students without regard to religious background. Currently, this private coeducational, non-profit institution of higher education is the largest Catholic university in the United States, and over 22,000 students are now enrolled throughout the three Chicago campuses: the main campus in Lincoln Park, the “Loop” business district campus, and a campus near O’Hare airport. DePaul University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Three concentrations are available to the DePaul University online MS in Cybersecurity degree program student. With a choice of specializing in Computer Security, Governance, Risk Management and Compliance, or Networking and Infrastructure, students gain foundational knowledge “in the theory of information security as well as knowledge needed to properly design, implement, and manage secured IT infrastructure and risks in an enterprise.” All three concentrations require 52 credit hours (although some introductory courses may be waived if certain conditions are met) and several Capstone options are provided (such as completing a research project or a master’s thesis). Additionally, the Compliance concentration is certified to be aligned with ISACA’s Model Curriculum for IS Audit and Control. Offered through the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) and entirely online, students of the MS in Cybersecurity degree program are provided with a CDM Ambassador to offer guidance and information about the program. CAE designated
#9. Virginia Tech
Founded as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1872, Virginia Tech was the first land-grant university for white students in Virginia (Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute, which was founded in 1868, was the land-grant school for black students). Going through multiple name changes, the final, official name of “Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University” was bestowed in 1970. Located in Blacksburg, Virginia on a 2,600-acre main campus, there are other academic research centers throughout Virginia and an 1,800-acre learning farm near main campus. Approximately 280 academic degree programs are offered through ten schools and colleges to more than 34,000 enrolled students. The third largest university in Virginia, Virginia Tech is a public research university with, in addition to its land-grant status, designation as a space- and sea-grant school. One of only six senior military colleges in the nation, Virginia Tech is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: Virginia Tech provides an online Master of Information Technology (VT-MIT) degree program with three specific cybersecurity “modules” (focus areas) to customize the degree: Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Management, and Cybersecurity Policy. These three cybersecurity modules are among eleven offered within the MIT degree, and students can complete up to three modules (cybersecurity or otherwise) before graduation. Completely online, the 33-credit hour program requires eleven courses and can be completed as quickly or leisurely (up to five years) as needed. The VT-MIT core classes include topics like “Web-Based Applications & Electronic Commerce” and “Strategic Leadership in Technology-Based Organizations,” and the three cybersecurity modules offer subjects like “Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things,” “Cybersecurity Governance and Risk Management,” and “Crime and Conflict in Cyberspace.” Constructed as a program for working professionals, the interdisciplinary VT-MIT program is provided through a collaboration with the Pamplin College of Business and the College of Engineering. CAE designated
The University of Maryland was established as Maryland Agricultural College in 1856. Over 400 acres of former farmland was to be utilized as the campus, and classes began at the new school in 1859. Originally a school for males, there were 30 students the first year. After the federal Morrill Act of 1862 was passed, the school became a land-grant institution. Struggling through the Civil War, the school allowed the state to take some ownership to help it succeed. Fifty years later in 1916, the school became a fully-public, coeducational university and was soon renamed University of Maryland (UMD). The flagship institution of the University System of Maryland, there are nearly 40,000 currently enrolled at this school located in College Park, Maryland. With space- and sea-grant designation in addition to its land-grant status, UMD offers more than 220 academic degree programs within fourteen schools and colleges, and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools provides regional accreditation.
Program Details: Located in the A. James Clark School of Engineering and offered jointly through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Computer Science, and the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, UMD’s Master of Engineering (MEng) in Cybersecurity can be completed entirely online. This interdisciplinary degree program requires 30 credits and offers courses such as “Reverse Software Engineerings,” “Analytics for Decision Support,” and “Hacking of C programs and Unix Binaries.” The Clark School of Engineering’s Office of Advanced Engineering provides both a dedicated Academic Advisor and an Office of Academic Affairs Coordinator to assist the MEng student with elective choices and any online student needs. For prospective students, Virtual Open House sessions are presented regularly to answer questions about the various engineering programs available. Current students are provided many resources and services through the Office of Advanced Engineering, so a rigorous and relevant education is obtainable with plenty of support along the way. CAE designated
Johns Hopkins was an entrepreneur and well-known Quaker abolitionist in the 1800s in Baltimore, Maryland. When he passed away in 1873 as an heir-less bachelor, he willed his estate to the city in order to establish two institutions to benefit the people of Baltimore. Bequeathing $7 million (a legendary gift at that time), he stipulated that the institutions be named after him: Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. His home was not suitable to serve as the campus, so the school was located first in downtown Baltimore and finally on a 140-acre site (the Homewood Estate). Classes began in 1876 with the mission to “educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.” Over 24,000 students are currently enrolled in this private research university, and regional accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: The MS in Cybersecurity through Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals allows up to five years to complete the required 30 hours of coursework, and students are able to complete the program entirely online. There are three required foundation courses: “Foundations of Algorithms,” “Cryptology,” and “Foundations of Information Assurance,” and students choose electives based on their choice of focus area track. Tracks in Analysis, Networks, or Systems offer students the opportunity for degree customization and add a selection of electives within each area from which to choose. A Cybersecurity Advising Corner is provided for students to access information about the program and how best to navigate it successfully. Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering offers periodic information sessions for prospective students (as well as also archiving past information sessions that can be viewed online), so interested individuals can find the guides they need to assess if the program fits their needs. CAE designated
#12. Utica College
Utica College began in the 1930s as an extension program of Syracuse University. Located in Utica, New York, the academic programs sparked the interest in the town’s business owners and community leaders for a college of their own, and in 1946 the idea was realized when Utica College (UC) was founded with support from Syracuse. The school gradually gained full independence from Syracuse by 2008, and now offers 60 academic degree programs to the more than 5,000 currently enrolled students. A private coeducational institution of higher education, Utica College desires to be “the nation’s most innovative small university, inspiring students to create a future beyond their imagining.” An impressive student-to-faculty ratio of eleven to one has been enjoyed by an alumni network of over 25,000, and regional accreditation is provided by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: In addition to the online MS in Cybersecurity, Utica College provides three other graduate degrees in Cybersecurity: the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis or the MBA in either Cybersecurity or Cyber Policy. All degrees require 30 credit hours to graduate, and all are offered completely online (the MS in Cybersecurity degree does require one on-campus residency). Further customization is offered within the MS degree with multiple concentration options in Intelligence, Computer Forensics, Cyber Operations, Malware Analysis, and Electronic Crime. Core curriculum requirements for all five specializations include classes such as “Critical National Infrastructures and National Security” and “Principles of Cybercrime Investigations,” and all students complete a Capstone Project. Highlights of cybersecurity student successes are available for prospective and current students to examine, and all students are invited to participate in cybersecurity competition clubs and groups. CAE designated
#13. Syracuse University
The State of New York instituted a charter for the establishment of a university in 1870. The school would open in Syracuse, New York, and classes started a year later for 41 coeducational students (a progressive move for a school at that time). As the school grew in its first decade, classes went from being held in a downtown location to a permanent campus site. Currently the campus encompasses almost 700 acres, and this private research university holds the “highest level of research activity” designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. A nonsectarian institution of higher education, Syracuse claims a vision of being a “pre-eminent and inclusive student-focused research university, preparing engaged citizens, scholars, and leaders for participation in a changing global society.” Thirteen schools and colleges serve the nearly 23,000 currently enrolled students, and regional accreditation is provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an MS in Cybersecurity degree online that can be “tailored to each student’s unique personal and professional schedule.” In addition to the flexibility of the program, the 30-credit hour curriculum is bolstered by a multidisciplinary approach. Fifteen credit hours are devoted to core courses such as “Principles of Operating Systems” and “Design and Analysis of Algorithms,” and the other fifteen credits are comprised of the student’s chosen electives, with topics like “Advanced Computer Architecture” and “Introduction to Cryptography.” The degree is designed to be completed in fifteen months, and one required on-campus immersion kicks off the program. Even though students then go on to complete their coursework completely online from their own homes, the student support and resources provided by Syracuse and Engineering & Computer Science engages each online student to “become a fully immersed member of the Syracuse University community.” CAE designated
#14. National University
National University was established as an institution of higher education that would cater to working adults and members of the military community. Founded by retired Navy lieutenant commander David Chigos in California in 1971, classes began the following year with 27 enrolled students. The night and weekend classes were immensely popular, focusing on relevant and professional degree programs. As the popularity increased, National added campuses throughout the state of California and into Nevada. National University now boasts 28 campuses in total, with six schools and colleges that offer more than 130 academic degree programs—and more than 70 are offered online. The administrative and corporate headquarters are located in La Jolla, California, and the 25,000 currently enrolled students make National one of the largest private universities in California. National has been regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges continually since 1977.
Program Details: National University’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance (MS-CSIA) degree is an online, 40.5 unit program. Offered through the School of Engineering and Computing, up to 13.5 transfer units may be applied to this professional degree program. Core coursework focuses on classes such as “Cyber Security Ethical Issues,” “Threat Modeling & Intel,” and “Net Defense & Cloud Security,” and three one-and-a-half unit Cyber Security Project courses complete the degree. Students choose between two focus area options: Specialization in Ethical Hacking & Pen Testing and Specialization in Information Assurance and Security Policy. Both specializations require eighteen units, and students engage in innovative and interactive courses like the “Red vs. Blue Team Exercise” class, in which the Red team constructs a cyber attack and the Blue Team must defend the infrastructure. Ideal for professionals who want to “ensure the security, confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, control, availability, and utility” of cyber space. CAE designated
Wilmington University (originally Wilmington College) was founded in 1968 by Dr. Donald E. Ross. Dr. Ross also served as the first president of this school located near New Castle, Delaware, and he opened the doors of the school for almost 200 students that first year it existed. Wilmington University (known as “WilmU”) has fourteen other locations in Maryland and New Jersey in addition to the original historic site near New Castle and also offers a great deal of online programs. There are seven colleges that provide almost 100 academic degree programs to the current student body of over 20,000 students. This non-sectarian coeducational private doctoral-research institution has a mission statement of being “committed to excellence in teaching, relevancy of the curriculum, and individual attention to students,” and has been regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education continuously since 1975.
Program Details: Through the College of Technology, WilmU provides an entirely online MS in Cybersecurity degree. The 36-credit hour program requires seven core courses in topics such as “Protecting and Securing the OS,” “Cyberthreat Intelligence,” and “Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing” in addition to both a Cybersecurity Capstone course and a Research Seminar. Two optional concentrations in Cyber Terrorism or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Cybersecurity join a general track and take a multidisciplinary approach with courses across different academic divisions. For those students who do not desire a concentration area, electives are offered from which thy can choose such classes as “Project and Change Management,” “Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Applied Systems,” and “Incident Handling and Response.” Each WilmU student is assigned an Academic Advisor and there is a Wilmington University Student Success Center that all online students can seek out for support and resources. CAE designated
Finding inspiration in Brooklyn’s Pratt Institution, Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Technical Schools in 1900 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Carnegie established the schools with a $1 million donation—his vision was to create institutions to educate the young men and women of Pittsburgh in vocational skills. Many of the students were the offspring of workers in his mills, and Carnegie declared “My heart is in the work.” The schools would merge fully in 1967 as Carnegie Mellon University, and the main campus sits on 140 acres just a few miles from downtown. Seven colleges and schools provide more than 140 academic degree programs to the currently enrolled students—almost 14,000. This private research university also has campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley, and there are multiple other extensions around the world. Carnegie Mellon has regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy offers a Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) in Information Security & Assurance degree program that provides 100% online, asynchronous coursework for a convenient experience without sacrificing quality. With input from the CERT Division of CMU’s Software Engineering Institute, the graduation requirements include 60 units of core coursework and 84 of electives, and up to 24 units may be transferred into the program. The same renowned on-campus faculty teach the online courses, with topics ranging from core courses like “Privacy in the Digital Age” and “Information Security Risk Management” to electives such as “Applied Threat Analysis” and “Intro to Human-Computer Interaction.” The part-time program is designed for current technical professionals and those who have at least three years of professional work experience in other fields but want to “pivot toward technology-intensive roles and improve their analytical skills.” CAE designated
#17. Excelsior College
Established as the Regents External Degree Program (REX) in 1971, Excelsior College was started as an external degree program to provide outreach and academics to currently working adults and non-traditional age students. With a goal to reach students “historically underrepresented in higher education,” the institution received grant funding from the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation. Located in Albany, New York and governed by the New York State Board of Regents, by 1998 the school grew to become an independent institution of higher education renamed “Excelsior College” (which is Latin for “higher” or “ever upward”). Five academic schools (the School of Business and Technology, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Nursing, and the School of Public Service) serve the more than 32,000 currently enrolled students. Regional accreditation for this private, not-for-profit college comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: Students have the option of a general MS in Cybersecurity degree program or an MS in Cybersecurity degree with a concentration in Information Assurance. Both are available entirely online and require a minimum of 30 credit hours to graduate, and students have the opportunity to transfer in up to fifteen credit hours. Core courses comprise 21 of the credit hour requirements and are presented in eight-week terms, and classes cover essential cybersecurity topics such as “Ethics, Legal, and Compliance Issues in Cybersecurity,” “Information Assurance,” and “Leadership and Communication in Cybersecurity,” and all students complete the degree with a Cybersecurity Capstone. Excelsior houses the dual academic and research National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI), which provides not only the research and the degree programs for the MS in Cybersecurity degree students, but also resources, publications, and events to help bolster the student’s experience and knowledge in the field of cybersecurity. CAE designated
Begun as a land-grant university in 1888 with funding made available to state schools due to the federal Morrill Act of 1862, the University of Rhode Island was originally the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Established on the former farmstead of Oliver Watson, the campus encompassed 140 acres in Kingston, Rhode Island (the oldest building from the farm was built in 1796 and still remains). Becoming first the Rhode Island State College in 1909 and then the University of Rhode Island (URI) in 1951, the institution is the flagship of the state with several campuses—the Kingston campus remains the main location. Eight colleges offer nearly 130 academic degree programs to the more than 16,000 enrolled students, and this land- and sea-grant designated institution of higher education is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Available through the URI’s Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center and both the Departments of Electrical Engineering and of Computer Science and Statistics, the Professional Science Master in Cyber Security degree program is completely online. The 36-credit hour program doesn’t require a final research project or master’s thesis—hence the “Professional” degree. Rather, students complete an internship, ideally at their current employment, to culminate the degree. Nine courses comprise the entire degree, ranging from core courses such as “Professional Skills for Cyber Security” and “Introduction to Information Assurance” to electives like “Advanced Intrusion Detection and Defense” and “Digital Forensics.” Students can choose from several recommended program sequences but are also free to take the classes in the order they wish as long as prerequisites have been fulfilled. Program-specific resources are offered to students, as well as access to a self-directed “Fundamentals for Cyber Security” course for students who need a crash-course in tech concepts. CAE designated
#19. Champlain College
Established in 1878 as the Burlington Business School to train men in skills like penmanship and business practices, the institution underwent many name changes and leaders. Becoming Champlain College and moving to the current 22-acre campus overlooking Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont in 1958, 60 coeducational students enrolled at that time. Utilizing the “Upside Down Curriculum” model, Champlain allows undergraduate students to take significant courses in their major area of study within their first semesters. More than 80 academic degree programs and certificates are offered to the over 2,200 students enrolled—either on-campus, at one of the Champlain College international campuses in Montreal, Quebec or Dublin, Ireland, or online. With an endeavor “to be a leader in educating today’s students to become skilled practitioners, effective professionals and engaged global citizens,” Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The Master of Science in Information Security Operations degree program at Champlain is available entirely online. A cybersecurity advanced degree crafted for “information security professionals who are involved in the day-to-day operations of running systems and networks,” the MS degree takes students to the “next level” through rigorous and inventive coursework. Classes in the 30-credit hour program include required subjects such as “Threat & Vulnerability Analysis,” “Incident Response & Event Management,” and the “War Games Capstone.” All classes are asynchronous, and the entire program can be completed in less than two years. Online student support and distinct MS in Information Security Operations program information webinars are available to current and prospective students. As one of only five institutions of higher education in the US to be designated by the Defense Cyber Crime Center Air Force Office of Special Investigations as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence, students are assured of a quality academic experience. CAE designated
Businessmen who met regularly for breakfast networking in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the 1960s would come up with the concept for a school that would lead to the creation of Nova Southeastern University. The businessmen thought a graduate-level institution with an emphasis on the physical and social sciences would benefit the area, and in 1964 the Nova University of Advanced Technology was founded. The school was initially located on a former Navy landing field in Fort Lauderdale but has since moved to its current location in Davie, Florida. The school has also added undergraduate programs, and in 1994 Nova University of Advanced Technology and the Southeastern University of the Health merged to become Nova Southeastern University (NSU). A private university with the highest level of research designation granted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU provides over 175 academic degree programs to the 24,000 students who are currently enrolled. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges grants NSU with regional accreditation.
Program Details: Both a Master of Science in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity (MSIS) and a Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MMIS) with a concentration in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity Management are the cybersecurity advanced degrees offered online at NSU. Both programs are housed in NSU’s College of Engineering and Computing and require 36 credit hours to graduate. The MMIS degree program provides concentration coursework such as “Information System Auditing” and “Information Security Governance” to help students gain focus “on the application of information technology to the design, collection, retention, and dissemination of information for management planning and decision making.” The MSIS degree program is ideal for students who want to “design, program, enhance and develop cyber security technologies that secure information and systems.” Classes in the MSIS program include core courses such as “Applied Cryptology” “Database Security,” and “Computer and Network Forensics.” CAE designated
The beginnings of The Pennsylvania State University, more commonly known as “Penn State,” were prompted in 1851 when 200 acres of farmland was designated for the school. The official charter came in 1855, and the institution’s first president, Evan Pugh, would be one of the advocates for the passage of the federal Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862. This Act would benefit Penn State post factum, thus allowing the University to be the only land-grant school in the state. Located in University Park, the main campus is the flagship campus of the 24 total Penn State locations and the World Campus (Penn State’s online program offerings). In addition to its land-grant status, Penn State is also a sun-, space, and sea-grant university and enrolls nearly 50,000 students just at the University Park campus. One of the largest in the country, this public research institution is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: The Penn State World Campus Master of Professional Studies in Information Sciences (MPS in IS) is an online degree offering “flexibility combined with a highly relevant course curriculum.” The 33-credit hour, multidisciplinary program is housed within Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology. The curriculum includes core courses like “Web Fundamentals,” Cybersecurity and Information Assurance courses such as “Intelligent Agents and Distributed Decision Making” and “Introduction to Multisensor Data Fusion,” and a selection of electives ranging from “Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management” to “Topics in Visual Analytics for Security Intelligence.” A final Capstone Experience in the form or a research paper or project culminates the degree, which can be completed on a part-time basis in less than two years. High accolades and student testimonials offer insight into the program for prospective students, and Penn State World Campus online student services offer support to current students. CAE designated
#22. Mercy College
The Sisters of Mercy, a religious order in the Jesuit tradition, founded Mercy College in 1950 in Dobbs Ferry, New York. In 1961, the school began offering full four-year degrees to its students. The 66-acre main campus in Dobbs Ferry is joined by other campus locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Yorktown Heights. There are five academic schools housed within the College—School of Business, School of Education, School of Health and Natural Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, and School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. These schools offer nearly 100 degree programs, 40 of which are offered online (Mercy has provided online degree programs since the 1990s). Serving almost 10,000 currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, Mercy College is committed to “offering liberal arts and professional programs in personalized and high quality learning environments.” A private, nonsectarian coeducational institution of higher education, Mercy has been continually regionally accredited since 1968 by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: Mercy College offers both a five-year Bachelor of Science/Master of Science Cybersecurity dual degree program and an Master of Science in Cybersecurity program that can be completed in just eighteen months entirely online (but students have up to five years to complete the degree as needed). Through the Mercy Cybersecurity Education Center (MCEC) and the School of Liberal Arts, the MS in Cybersecurity degree requires 30 credit hours to graduate. The required hours are categorized into 29 credit hours of a cybersecurity core and one credit that goes towards a Capstone. Classes in the cybersecurity core include “Mobile Technologies and Wireless Sensor Services,” “Social Implication of Info Security,” and “Forensic Computing,” and students have the option of a Master’s Project or Master’s Thesis (with approval) if they choose. Upon graduation, students will be poised to take exams to help them achieve certifications (such as the CISSP—Certified Information System Security Professionals). CAE designated
The school named for our nation’s first president began with a mention in George Washington’s first State of the Union address. In 1790, 33 years before students would grace the future campus, President Washington stated that a national university was crucial to benefiting the American public. By 1819 the cause had been taken up by a group of Baptist ministers—they petitioned Congress to establish the university Washington had invoked in his speech. Purchasing 46 acres in the District of Columbia, the ministers assured the founding of Columbian College, as the school was then known. The first students began class in 1822, and the name of the school wouldn’t become George Washington University (GW) until 1904. Three campuses serve over 25,000 students, and there are fourteen schools and colleges housed within the campuses, as well as many online programs. A private research university located in the nation’s capital, GW is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: The Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity Policy and Compliance—shortened to MEng(CPC) for simplicity—program is offered entirely online through the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). A multidisciplinary degree with aspects of business, policy and technology interspersed throughout the coursework and requiring 30 credit hours to graduate, students participate in innovative classes such as “Cybercrime for Information Security Managers,” “Managing the Protection of Information Assets and Systems,” and “Information Security in Government.” Five start dates offer convenience and flexibility, and students enrolled in the program full-time can complete the degree in two-and-a-half years and find themselves poised for a myriad of careers. With “access to the world-class faculty, pioneering research, and spirit of exploration that defines GW as a leading institution,” all SEAS online students have access to the same thoughtful resources and student services that are available to on-campus students. CAE designated
Oklahoma State University (known as Oklahoma State, OSU, or OKState) began in 1890 due to the federal benefits provided to states from the Morrill Act of 1862. Known originally as the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College and established in Stillwater, Oklahoma, classes were held for the first time the following year at the Stillwater Congregation Church. Four local families then donated 200 acres of prairie that would become the campus of the school, and in 1896 the first graduating class of six male students were celebrated. Now, over 37,000 coeducational students are enrolled in more than 200 academic degree programs within the ten schools and colleges. The flagship university in the Oklahoma State University System, this public research institution is designated by the Carnegie Foundation as having a high level of research. Being both a land-grant and a sun-grant school, Oklahoma State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) degree program at OSU is housed within the Watson Graduate School of Management in the AACSB-accredited Spears School of Business. Available entirely online and requiring 35-36 credit hours, the program provides 30 hours of required core courses such as “The Upper Layers of Telecommunications Systems,” “Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Technology,” and “Information Assurance Management.” Students then have their choice of electives to complete the remaining five to six hours, which can be applied to a practicum or internship with approval. Citing a list of twelve “tremendous reasons” to pursue an online degree at OSU, the Spears School of Business makes sure that online students receive all of the technical and academic support they need. OSU also has a Center for Telecommunications and Network Security that offers a multidisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance for students who do not desire a full degree. CAE designated
The University of Delaware actually began in 1743 as the “Free School” in the state if Pennsylvania. Presbyterian minister Reverend Dr. Francis Alison established the school in New London, Pennsylvania, and it changed names and locations several times before becoming the Academy of Newark in 1769. Delaware was a part of Pennsylvania until 1776, and the school located in Newark, Delaware was renamed Newark College in 1834. Changing names twice more, the school merged with the Women’s College of Delaware to become the University of Delaware (UD) in 1921. Well over 300 academic degree programs are currently offered through the seven colleges to the more than 23,000 enrolled students, and this public research university is designated as a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution. Classified with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation, UD is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: The online MS in Cybersecurity degree program is offered in the UD College of Engineering Studies. Located in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the program requires 30 credit hours and can be completed in just two years. Ideal for students with a background in fields related to computer science, engineering, math or physics, the curriculum is strong with classes such as “Pen Test and Reverse Engineering,” “System Hardening and Protection,” and “Applied Cryptography.” Provided completely online, the program combines “expert faculty, discovery-based learning and the flexible access only online learning offers” to provide a rigorous, relevant and highly-regarded academic experience. Faculty members are actively involved in practicing and research in the field (in both corporate and military settings), so students are learning from well-connected and experienced instructors. Additionally, University of Delaware houses the Cybersecurity Initiative, which is a partnership through the University, the state, and federal and private sector agencies interested in cybersecurity. CAE designated
#26. University of Dallas
The history of the University of Dallas begins many years before the school was established in 1956. The charter for the school name occurred in 1910 when priests of the Western Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) renamed their Holy Trinity College in Dallas. That school closed in 1928, and the charter was held by the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The University of Dallas (UD) as we know it today came into being in 1955 when laity and the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur worked to open a new institution of higher education. The first enrollment consisted of 96 students that first day in September 1956, and campus was located on 1,000 acres just northwest of Dallas in Irving, Texas. Currently, over 3,000 students are enrolled at this private Catholic liberal arts university. Welcoming students of all faiths, UD is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Program Details: The MS in Cybersecurity degree at University of Dallas’ AACSB-accredited Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business can be pursued completely online. With the claim of helping today’s cybersecurity student become “the locksmith of the 21st century,” the 30-credit hour degree program offers coursework in such topics as “The Effective Leader,” “Business and Society,” and “Operational Cybersecurity Management” (for students who desire an even heavier business approach, the 42-credit hour MBA with a Cybersecurity Concentration program is an option). The faculty all have real-world experience, and students can see up-close the business influence in the program as it provides an “in-depth understanding of the complexities in protecting and defending infrastructures with an emphasis on leadership, management and the ethical issues.” Assuring that the curriculum is timely and relevant, the Gupta College of Business has a Cybersecurity Advisory Board in place with industry experts and leaders to constantly assess and adapt the program. CAE designated
#27. Drexel University
The Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry was founded in 1891 by banker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Anthony Drexel. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel intended the school to be a beacon of hope for a better world—he purposely established the school as a coeducational institution, and his vision was to encourage and give skills to “each new generation of students for productive professional and civic lives while also focusing our collective expertise on solving society’s greatest problems.” Today over 26,000 students engage in the nearly 200 academic degree programs offered through fifteen schools and colleges. The school is still located in University City, a neighborhood of Philadelphia, and students are encouraged to participate in a full-time, paid, eighteen-month co-op experience in their area of study prior to graduation. This private research university has several additional campuses in Philadelphia and a Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento, California, and regional accreditation comes from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: The MS in Cybersecurity at Drexel University is an interdisciplinary degree program devised by the College of Engineering and College of Computing and Informatics. Fully online, the 45-credit hour program is ideal for students with technical backgrounds in fields such as engineering and computer science. Fifteen credit hours are dedicated to core and foundational classes such as “Information Ethics,” “Principles of Computer Networking,” and “Probability & Random Variables,” and students work with an advisor to choose the remaining credits from electives. Eighteen credits go towards cybersecurity and twelve towards general electives to customize the degree (cybersecurity electives are chosen from within the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Computing and Security Technology, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering). Four start dates a year allow for flexibility, and a robust online student support network allows for many opportunities for Drexel MS students to succeed. CAE designated
Begun as an extension campus for the University of Virginia, George Mason University was launched in 1949. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, the school was originally called the Northern Virginia University Center of the University of Virginia but was renamed George Mason College of the University of Virginia in 1957 to honor one of the founding fathers. The school gained full independence as George Mason University in 1972 (simply called “Mason”). Four campuses are located in Virginia and one international campus is in Songdo, South Korea (known as Mason Korea); the Fairfax location remains the main campus. A public university with the highest level of research (as designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education), Mason is comprised of ten schools and colleges to educate the nearly 36,000 currently enrolled students. The largest public institution of higher education in the state, Mason receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: George Mason University’s Department of Information Sciences and Technology in the Volgenau School of Engineering offers an entirely online Master of Science in Applied Information Technology (MS AIT) degree with a Cyber Security Concentration. Requiring 30 credit hours, students engage in twelve credits of AIT core courses on subjects such as “Information: Representation, Processing and Visualization” and “Algorithms and Data Structures Essentials.” The Cyber Security concentration comprises the remaining eighteen credit hours, and students participate in coursework that is both required (classes like “Cyber Security Fundamentals” and “Secure Software Development”) and elective (options offered include “Identity and Access Management” and “Cyber Security: Emerging Threats and Countermeasures”). The program can be completed on a part-time basis in just five semesters, and industry specific support services and resources are provided to MS AIT students in the form of “online and face-to-face advising consultations, web resources, and social resources.” CAE designated
Northeastern University is a private university in Boston, Massachusetts. The history for the school began with The Evening Institute for Young Men, which offered classes at the Huntington Avenue YMCA in 1898. The classes proved so successful that it grew into Northeastern College in 1917 and then Northeastern University (NU) in 1923. Since then, NU has grown to serve more than 25,000 students with over 300 academic degree programs offered through nine schools and colleges. Satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, and San Jose, California offer graduate programs, and NU partners with more than 3,000 worldwide organizations to make co-op experiences available to students. Many Research Centers and Institutes are integrated on and around campus, and there are over 200 student-led organizations available. A research institution with the highest level of research designation from the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, NU is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The fully online MS in Cybersecurity at Northeastern University is provided through the College of Computer & Information Science and can be finished between two to three years. The program requires 32 credit hours to graduate, and the interdisciplinary coursework covers foundational information, both a technical and a contextual track, and culminates with a Capstone Project or Seminar. The sixteen credits of the two tracks are chosen from a selection of courses such as “Applied Cryptography” and “Software Security Practices” (Technical) and “Cyberlaw: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights” and “Decision Making for Critical Infrastructure” (Contextual). Electives are available from multiple disciplines, with a variety of classes like “Institutional Leadership and the Public Manager” and “Special Topics in Criminology and Public Policy.” Students are encouraged to participate in a co-op experience, with internships lasting three to four months during the summer or six to eight months during the school academic year. CAE designated
University of Detroit Mercy is the largest and most comprehensive Catholic university in Michigan. For more than 10 consecutive years, US News and World Report voted it as one of the best universities in the Midwest. Originally founded as a Jesuit university in 1877 and strengthened in the 1990s by joining with the Sisters of Mercy, the University has a 140-year history and a well-established reputation for academic excellence. In the area of information assurance and cybersecurity that reputation was further enhanced by its designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education from 2004-2016, making it a pioneer in the field. Detroit Mercy also received designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) from 2016-2022. Detroit Mercy is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Detroit Mercy offers a Master of Science in Information Assurance (MS-IA) program with a major in Cybersecurity through the College of Liberal Arts & Education. Requiring 30 credits, students can complete the online degree program in just one academic year. There are nine required core courses such as “Cybersecurity Technologies”, “Secure Acquisition”, and “Risk Management Processes,” and students choose one elective from a wide selection of topics like “Systems Forensics,” “Ethical Hacking,” and “Software Assurance.” Celebrated experts in the field serve as faculty, including one subject matter experts utilized by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education for “Securely Provision” for both NICE 1 and NICE 2 (now NIST 800-181) as well as a subject matter expert for the Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education (CSEC2017) which developed the first comprehensive curriculum guidelines for post-secondary degree programs in cybersecurity. As an added benefit, students receive a certificate of completion from the degree program indicating that they graduated from a National Security Agency (NSA) – sanctioned curriculum. CAE-CDE designated
#31. Norwich University
Norwich University was established in 1819 as the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy. Located first in Norwich, Vermont, the school was designed and founded by Captain Alden Partridge, who was a retired West Point Academy instructor—he wanted an institution that would blend liberal arts with civil engineering and military sciences. Calling his development the “American System of Education,” Partridge planted the seed that would grow into the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. Moving locations several times, campus settled in a permanent site in Northfield, Vermont. The institution became a full degree-granting university in 1898 and was designated as “The Military College of the State of Vermont.” Norwich serves almost 3,500 students in five schools and colleges with over 50 academic degree programs, and this coeducational private military university (the oldest of its kind in the United States) is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools.
Program Details: Norwich University Online’s Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance (MSISA) degree program takes just eighteen months to complete. All coursework for the program is entirely online (every online master’s degree program at Norwich requires a one-week residency just prior to graduation called the Culminating Campus Experience. Touted as “transformative,” the residency receives high praises from recent graduates). A 36-credit hour program, the MSISA is comprised of six eleven-week classes. Core classes include topics like “Human Factors and Managing Risk” and “Foundations and Historical Underpinnings of Information Assurance,” and students have their choice of five concentrations for customization: Computer Forensics Investigation and Incident Response Management, Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber Crime, Cyber Law and International Perspectives on Cyberspace, Project Management, or Vulnerability Management. Four start dates are offered each year, and there are admissions webinars offered periodically to help prospective students obtain information on the program. CAE designated
The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) began in the late 19th century with the foundation of two separate schools: the Lowell Normal School for women in 1894 and the Lowell Textile School for men in 1895. The schools would merge in 1975, becoming the University of Lowell. Joining the University of Massachusetts system in 1991, the institution gained its current name. With six schools and colleges (the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Education; the Kennedy College of Sciences; the Francis College of Engineering; the Manning School of Business; and the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences), UMass Lowell provides over 200 academic degree programs to more than 18,000 currently enrolled students. A public research university with a satellite campus in Haverhill, UMass Lowell offers over 200 student-led organizations and is the second-largest public university in the state. Regional accreditation comes from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The completely online Master of Science in Security Studies degree program with a Cyber Security Concentration at UMass Lowell is provided for working professionals through the Division of Online and Continuing Education and taught by the esteemed faculty of the School of Criminology and Justice Studies. The curriculum of the 30-credit hour program requires core courses such as “Designing and Building a Cybersecurity Program” and “Issues in Computer Crime and Cyber Security.” Students have a selection of concentration electives from which to choose in topics like “Descriptive & Inferential Statistics,” “Systems Security and Auditing,” and “Information Security, Privacy and Regulatory Compliance.” With 24/7 technical support, academic advisors, and program coordinators, online students of UMass Lowell are well supported and connected. An additional layer of support is offered through information; students can access articles focusing on security issues as well as stories on current students and faculty accomplishments. CAE designated
Nineteen governors from the western region of the United States make up the Western Governors Association. At their annual Association meeting in 1995, the idea was born to construct an institution of higher education both philosophically and literally. The vision for the school was that it would be designed to meet the needs of working adult professionals and non-traditional age students. Two years later, Western Governors University (WGU) was established and would utilize a competency-based model of learning. All programs are offered entirely online in order to “improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities,” and the administrative headquarters are located in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are four academic colleges: the College of Business, the College of Information Technology, the Teachers College, and the College of Health Professions. This private, non-for-profit university has a current enrollment of nearly 80,000 students, and regional accreditation comes from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Program Details: The WGU MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance online degree program is a comprehensive degree that is regularly assessed for industry pertinence by the WGU Information Technology Program Council. The curriculum is aligned with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) and utilizes the competency-based model for which WGU is known, helping students gain a “timely, relevant, and practical” education. Classes include topics in “Forensics and Network Intrusion,” “Disaster Recovery Planning, Prevention and Response,” and “Secure Network Design,” and all students complete the degree with an “Information Security and Assurance Capstone Project.” Completing the program also means that students receive certifications in two areas: EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker and EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI). Most students complete the degree in just one year, and all can join the active WGU alumni network, which provides resources and support post-graduation. Although not CAE designated, the degree meets the DHS and NSA academic guidelines.
Dakota State University began as the Madison Normal School in Madison, South Dakota in 1881. With the original purpose of training teachers for the Dakota Territory (South Dakota would not become a state until 1889), the school went through multiple changes through the years before becoming Dakota State University (DSU) in 1989. Focusing on technology with the motto “Technically, we’re better,” DSU provides a laptop to all incoming students. There are four academic colleges (the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Information Systems, the Beacom College of Computing and Cyber Sciences, and the College of Education) that provide over 35 technology-infused degree programs to more than 3,000 enrolled students, and this public university states as its mission to provide “learning that integrates technology and innovation to develop graduates ready to contribute to local, national, and global prosperity.” DSU’s regional accreditation comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The Master of Science in Information Assurance and Computer Security (MSIACS) degree program at DSU is offered through the Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences. The 30-credit hour program is provided online and requires classes such as “Data Privacy,” “Incident Response,” “Offensive Security,” and “Ethics and Information Technology” (students who do not have an academic background in various engineering disciplines, information technology or assurance, or computer science may be required to take additional coursework). The curriculum is ideal for students who want to be “challenged every day, and come away from the program as an expert,” and takes about two years to complete on a full-time basis (part-time students have up to five years to complete the degree). Three start dates a year allow for flexibility, and a full-time Online Learning Staff is on hand to assure that all online students receive all the support they need. CAE designated
Originally established as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University was a for-profit business school started by a husband and wife duo. Harry A.B. Shapiro and his wife Gertrude Crockett Shapiro opened the school in Manchester, New Hampshire, and in 1963 it received a charter to become a degree-granting institution. The school would change through the years—both in name and in academic offerings—and would gain non-profit status in 1968. Two years later, the campus location was moved to the current site on 300 acres along the Merrimack River between Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. Achieving the name Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in 2001, the school currently serves 5,000 students on-campus and 75,000 online through six academic colleges and at several satellite campuses. A private, nonsectarian, coeducational institution of higher education, SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: SNHU’s online MS in Cyber Security degree program is considered a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program, which means it is “an innovative degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or mathematics while developing workplace skills.” Requiring 36 credit hours to graduate, students take core classes such as “Investigation and Digital Forensics,” “Human Factors in Security,” and “Network Assessment and Defense” and can opt to choose general electives to complete the degree or pursue the Information Technology Management concentration. A culminating Cyber Security Capstone finishes the degree, and students can complete the degree in just fifteen months. There are program-specific student support services available, but in addition to academic advisors and tech support, there are reference news articles on cyber security specifics at SNHU, such as an Online MS in Cyber Security student’s experience and information on the “first all-female team to compete in National Cyber League.”
#36. Capella University
Started as The Graduate School of America in 1993, Capella University was established by Dr. Harold Abel and Stephen Shank. Dr. Abel served as the school’s first president, and the vision was “a high-quality university that people could attend from any location.” Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and owned by the Capella Education Company, the online education institution was renamed Capella University in 1999. Undergraduate degrees were offered for the first time in 2000, and students have the option of two distinct learning formats: FlexPath, which is very self-directed and allows students to take courses at their own pace and pay per session, or GuidedPath, which is a pay-per-course option with more structure and interactive guidance. There are more than 50 academic degree programs offered exclusively online to about 37,500 students who are currently enrolled, and this for-profit online university has been continuously regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1997.
Program Details: Capella offers an online MS in Information Technology, Cybersecurity specialization degree program for students who desire to “build the knowledge and experience in cybersecurity to mitigate risk, design solutions, and identify opportunities for effective change.” Entirely online, the 48-credit hour program requires seven core courses such as “Project Management Fundamentals” and “Security and Enterprise Networks” and five specialization courses covering topics like “Network Security Fundamentals and Cryptography” and “Digital Forensics Processes.” Also required is the Applied IT Project in which students work on real-world problems over a two-term period to showcase the skills they’ve incorporated from the coursework. Another degree option is the online MS in Information and Cybersecurity degree program through the School of Business & Technology. Also a 48-credit hour program, three specializations are offered: Digital Forensics, Health Care Security, and Network Defense. Core courses (regardless of specialization) include classes like “Information Security Regulatory and Legal Environment” and “Identifying and Managing Risk.” CAE designated
#37. Regis University
Las Vegas College was the original name of the institution of higher education now known as Regis University. Established by Jesuits in 1877 in Las Vegas, New Mexico, the school moved to Colorado in 1884 and to the current location in Denver in 1887. The name changed several times as well, settling on Regis in 1921 to honor John Francis Regis, a Jesuit saint. Regis College until becoming Regis University in 1991, the school maintains its Jesuit tradition as a Roman Catholic coeducational private university. There are more than 11,000 students currently enrolled in both on-campus and online programs offered through the five academic colleges: Regis College, the Rueckert Hartman College for Health Professions, the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies, the College of Computer and Information Sciences, and the College of Business and Economics. The regional accreditation for Regis University comes from the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: Regis University’s MS in Information Assurance degree program is offered online through the College of Computer & Information Studies. Two specialization tracks are provided for the 36-credit hour program: Cyber Security or Policy Management. Core courses comprise fifteen credit hours with classes such as “Managing a Secure Enterprise” and “Information Technology Concepts.” Specialization coursework provides choices such as “Legal Basics in Cyber and Information Security” and “Planning and Implementing Architecture Security.” Student complete the degree with their choice of a Graduate Capstone, Graduate Thesis, or Information Assurance Practicum II. The curriculum prepares students for various industry exams (Cisco, International Security Audit and Controls Association, International Information Systems Security Certification, and Electronic Commerce Council). Five start dates allow for flexibility and convenience, and students of the program with gain “transformative expertise for long-term career success.” Additionally, “WorldClass Student Resources” are available not just to current students and alumni, but also to prospective students considering Regis’ online programs.
#38. Davenport University
Established as the as the Grand Rapids Business College in 1866 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Davenport University began as institution teaching business skills. The school moved and changed names multiple times, but in 1910 instructor Michael Davenport reinvented the school with a new purpose and assumed leadership. The school would take on his name as the Davenport-McLachlan Institute and expand successfully, becoming a non-profit institution in 1954. Renamed Davenport University in the early 21st century, this private university offers more than 50 academic degree programs to the over 8,500 currently enrolled students through four colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Health Professions, The College of Technology, and The Donald W. Maine College of Business. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1976, Davenport “prepares and transforms students to achieve the highest levels of academic performance, leading them to excel and advance in their chosen fields in the 21st century.”
Program Details: Davenport University’s College of Technology offers an online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cyber Security (MSIA) degree program that is aligned to the Committee on National Security Systems Training Standards. The 34-credit hour program includes 27 credits of core classes like “Project Management and Risk Mitigation,” “Legal and Ethical Security Topics,” and “Research Techniques for Information Assurance” (although students without a relevant undergraduate degree, prior coursework, or one of several applicable Security Certifications will need to take additional foundational courses such as “Introduction to Programming” and “Data Communications and Networks”). Students have a choice of electives such as “Wireless and Mobile Security,” “Health Care Security,” and “Comprehensive Issues,” and all students culminate the degree with an Information Assurance Thesis Capstone “encompassing the learning from the students’ coursework in the program.” After receiving approval for their Capstone Intent and Research Proposal, students engage in the Capstone and are provided guidance by their faculty advisor. CAE designated
#39. Boston University
The earliest start for the Boston University was the establishment of the Newbury Bible Institute in 1839 in Newbury, Vermont. Begun by Boston delegates of the United Methodist Church, the school would be reorganized with a new charter as the Boston Theological Institute in Boston, Massachusetts in 1867. Boston University was organized by three of the trustees of the Theological Institute in 1869, and then the two schools would merge in 1871 as Boston University (BU). Scattered about the city, the school’s location would consolidate on fifteen acres on the banks of the Charles River (there is also the Boston University Medical Campus on the South End of Boston). Seventeen schools and colleges provide the academic programs to the more than 33,000 currently enrolled students, and this private, nonsectarian school is classified as having very high doctoral research by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Regional accreditation comes from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems (MSCIS) degree program is a 40-credit hour, entirely online program with a concentration in Security. Offered through Boston University Online and the Boston University Metropolitan College (MET), the program and concentration focus area are ideal for students who want to learn the skills to “identify, develop, and implement highly secure systems and networks that support organizational goals.” With certification from the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS), the curriculum offers core courses like “IT Strategy and Management” and “Business Data Communications and Networks” and specific, required concentration courses such as “Quantitative Methods for Information Systems” and “Enterprise Cyber Security.” The program can be completed in under two years, and all coursework is taught by the expert, full-time faculty members. Boston University Online provides online student resources and guidance from an array of services. CAE designated
Quinnipiac University began as the Connecticut College of Commerce in New Haven, Connecticut in 1929. This business-based institution began after Northeastern University withdrew its satellite program in the town due to the onset of the Great Depression. The school would change names multiple times before becoming first Quinnipiac College in 1951 and then Quinnipiac University in 2000 in honor of the indigenous Quinnipiac nation that originally inhabited the area. Outgrowing the New Haven location, the school moved to Hamden, Connecticut in 1966. In 2007, an additional campus was added on 100 acres in North Haven. Eight schools and colleges provide more than 80 academic degree programs to over 10,000 currently enrolled students, and this private, nonsectarian university desire to be “a national leader in the education of undergraduate and graduate students, transforming passion into impact.” Quinnipiac is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: The Quinnipiac University School of Engineering presents an online MS in Cyber Security degree program that will teach students the skills to “leverage advanced prevention, detection, countering and recovery methods to successfully defend cyber assets.” A 36-credit hour program aligned with the academic requirements set forth by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, students take advanced coursework in topics like “Data Analytics for Cyber Security,” “Theory of Computation,” and “Scripting for Investigations.” A final required Cyber Security Capstone Experience completes the degree program, and through it students will be challenged to “examine the architecture of a complex system, identify vulnerabilities, and determine the specific security approaches that should be employed.” In addition to services for current online students, Quinnipiac offers periodic online program open house webinars for prospective students to observe elements of the program and discover how to apply. Although not CAE designated, the curriculum is CAE aligned.
Northcentral University (NCU) was created as a for-profit doctoral research university by educator and business consultant Dr. Donald Hecht in 1996 (he had previously founded the California Southern University in 1978). Offering all programs entirely online, the school was led by Dr. Hecht as president, and his vision was a school that would offer a “premier education that is geared to scholars who are driven to maximize their education and achieve their own particular dreams.” The administrative headquarters were located first in Southern California, then in Arizona, and are now located in San Diego. The five academic schools (School of Business, School of Technology, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, and School of Social and Behavioral Sciences) offer over 25 degree programs exclusively online to more than 10,000 currently enrolled students. Northcentral has been regionally accredited since 2003, first by the Higher Learning Commission and now by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Northcentral University’s online MS Cybersecurity program is housed in the School of Technology and offers start dates every Monday for 52 possible times that students can begin working on their degree. The 30-credit hour program can be completed in less than two years and boasts a curriculum that follows the standards set forth by the Certified Information Systems Security Professional® (CISSP). Students have up to five years to finish the required coursework, and the ten classes include relevant topics such as “Changing Times: Trends and Topics in Cybersecurity” and “Strategic Management of Cybersecurity.” Another entirely online 30-credit hour program, the Master of Science in Technology and Innovation Management (MS-TIM) with a Cybersecurity specialization offers students the training to “think outside of the box as an innovation leader who stays one step ahead of those dedicated to breaching security.” The coursework provides students with the skills to become “champions of positive change through new ideas and new technologies.”
The College of California in Oakland and the Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College, a land-grant institution, merged in 1868 to become the University of California (UC). UC was located on the former College of California in Oakland campus, and the new school saw a first enrollment of 40 students its inaugural year. The school outgrew the Oakland campus and moved to Berkeley, California in 1873. A branch UC campus was established in Los Angeles in 1919, and this was the beginning of the University of California system. By 1952 each of the ten schools within the University of California system became independent institutions within the system (as opposed to extensions of the University of California campus in Berkeley). Known since then as UC Berkeley, this original campus is the flagship institution of the system and enrolls more than 40,000 students in the 170 academic degree programs offered through the fourteen schools and colleges. A public research university, UC Berkeley is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges.
Program Details: Through the UC Berkeley School of Information (I School), a Master of Information and Cybersecurity (MICS) degree program is available to students who want to “develop solutions for complex cybersecurity challenges.” An interdisciplinary program in coordination with the College of Engineering and requiring 27 units, students can complete the degree in 20 months. An on-campus immersion (either at UC Berkeley or another U.S. site that is related to cybersecurity) is required along with the entirely online coursework, and a final Capstone culminates the degree. Classes cover cutting-edge topics such as “Government, National Security, and the Fifth Domain,” “Managing Cyber Risk,” and “Usable Privacy and Security.” Housed within the I School, the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC) is a “research hub” providing resources and support to cybersecurity students and faculty, and traditional student support is provided through, among other things, a dedicated “personal support advisor,” career services, and an extensive alumni global network.
The junior college for men established as Saint Mary’s College in 1912 in Winona, Minnesota would become the coeducational Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The school was founded by Bishop Patrick Richard Heffron and leadership was provided by the Winona Diocese. Transitioning into a full four-year degree-granting institution in 1925, the school was then purchased in 1933 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers (a religious order known for their commitment to education). The De La Salle Brothers supported the school through great growth—academically and physically. The school became coeducational in 1969 and global through the years, being renamed Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMU or Saint Mary’s) because of the global reach in Jamaica and Kenya. This private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university offers programs at the main campus in Winona, the additional campuses and extension centers, and online to nearly 6,000 currently enrolled students. Regional accreditation for Saint Mary’s is provided by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: The Saint Mary’s MS in Cybersecurity degree program is offered entirely online and can be completed in two years. The 36-credit hour curriculum was designed by cybersecurity experts working in the field and in relation to the specifics detailed in the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certifications, so graduates of the program will come out uniquely qualified to excel at the certification exams. An interdisciplinary approach prepares students not just with the technology skills expected from a cybersecurity program, but also with a healthy attention to business skills and leadership. Classes include topics ranging from “Security Architecture” to “Communication for Cybersecurity Professionals” to “Leadership and Ethics.” The classes are taught by faculty members who are “practice-based experts” that will provide online students with “firsthand insights, guidance and instruction.” Additionally, all online Saint Mary’s students receive an iPad® as their online learning device.
#44. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University started as St. Leo’s College in 1889 and was named for Pope Leo the Great, pope at that time Leo XIII, and Abbott Leo Haid, who helped establish the school and serve as its first president. The school was located north of Tampa in what would become the town of St. Leo, Florida. Classes began the next year for the school, and the seven students who enrolled initially would grow to an enrollment of over 30 by the end of the academic year. Saint Leo University since 1999, this school is one of the five largest Catholic institutions of higher education in the nation and the oldest Roman Catholic university in the state of Florida. Over 16,000 students are enrolled in the on-campus and online academic programs offered, as well as in the over 40 education centers spread throughout Florida, California, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Program Details: Saint Leo University provides an MS in Cybersecurity degree program that can be completed on-campus, online, or at one of three Saint Leo education centers. Although the on-campus program requires students to begin the program only in the fall, online students can start any semester. A 36-credit hour program, the curriculum follows the guidelines determined by the NSA with classes such as “Cybersecurity Compliance and Legal Issues,” “Systems Security Management,” and “Advanced Networking & Protocols.” In addition, the curriculum is crafted to be in conjunction with the academic units present in several of the industry-standard professional certifications (like CISSP, SSCP, CSSLP, and CISM). Online distance learners at Saint Leo are provided with exceptional support opportunities through Saint Leo Worldwide’s Student Life Department. Virtual student organizations, virtual open house events, and other services help to make the online Saint Leo student feel a part of the university community without ever having to leave their own location. CAE aligned
#45. La Salle University
Founded through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by the Lasallian Brothers as the all-male La Salle College in 1863, La Salle University is the oldest university named in honor of Catholic Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Located in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the school remained a college for men for over a century, becoming coeducational in 1970. University status was achieved in 1984, and there are three academic schools: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and School of Nursing and Health Sciences. With a mission to “educate the whole person by fostering a rigorous free search for truth,” La Salle currently serves over 6,000 students on-campus and online. Proud of its Catholic Lasallian heritage, La Salle also has distinction as one of only a few Catholic wet campuses and has been recognized as an LGBTQ-friendly Catholic institution. La Salle is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Program Details: A multidisciplinary degree program offered entirely online, the La Salle University MS in Cybersecurity degree is designed for professionals with IT backgrounds or those who have experience in business management or criminal justice. A “compressed program” requiring 30 credit hours, students can complete the degree in just two years by taking two courses every eight-week term. The online program is offered through the School of Arts and Sciences, and the curriculum is interdisciplinary and drawn from other La Salle “programs in information technology leadership, computer information science, and economic crime forensics.” Courses include innovative subjects like “The Computer and Internet Fraud,” “Cybercrime, Cyber Warfare and Cyber Espionage,” and “Leadership Assessment and Evaluation,” and all students finish the program with an Integrative Capstone. The Capstone project is independent, particular to the interests of each student and asks them to “apply knowledge in ways that are relevant to their professional goals.”
#46. Brandeis University
In 1948, Brandeis University was established by the American Jewish community and named in honor of first Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. The 235-acre campus is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. The school was instituted as a secular, coeducational school to provide a space for “talented faculty and students of all backgrounds and beliefs” at a time when many schools were remaining sectarian and exclusive. A private liberal arts university with nearly 6,000 students enrolled on-campus and online, Brandeis offers nearly 100 different academic majors and minors and, as part of the Boston Consortium, allows students to take classes at other Boston area institutions of higher education. Five schools are housed with the university (Brandeis University College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Rabb School of Summer and Continuing Studies, and Brandeis International Business School) and regional accreditation comes from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Brandeis presents an completely online MS in Information Security Leadership degree program through the Rabb School of Continuing Studies division of Graduate Professional Studies (GPS). The 30-credit hour program draws from different industry leaders to provide six core classes such as “Principles of Computer Incident Response and Investigation,” “IT Security and Compliance,” and “Leading Security in Complex Organizations.” Students choose four electives to customize the degree, and the selection of possible topics include “Applied Cryptography and Identity Management,” “Information Technology Forensics and Investigations,” and “Organizational Leadership and Decision Making.” The part-time program is ideal for professionals who want to build “leadership savvy and skill in leveraging technical know-how” in order to be “influencers” in the field of information and cyber security. Designed for students with relevant educational backgrounds or work experience, students who don’t meet the admission criteria are still encouraged to contact the GPS Enrollment Advisors for guidance.
Established in 1876 in Boulder, Colorado, the University of Colorado was founded five months before Colorado officially became a state. The initial class of students consisted of fifteen men and women. The flagship institution in the University of Colorado System, CU Boulder houses nine schools and colleges offering more than 150 academic degree programs to over 33,000 currently enrolled students. CU Boulder is one of only 34 public research universities in the nation to be a member of the Association of American Universities; the school is also one of 52 designated space-grant schools, which is a collection of institutions of higher education that conduct outer space research. A large portion of the student body, faculty and staff of CU Boulder participate in community service, which is in line with the school’s dedication to creating “a community of thinkers and doers who can benefit humanity locally, nationally and abroad.” The Higher Learning Commission grants regional accreditation to CU Boulder.
Program Details: CU Boulder offers an Interdisciplinary Telecom Program (ITP) Master of Science in Telecommunications degree program with a Network Security Track (all core courses are available online). Students gain experience through the Security Lab (which is structured like a Security Operations Center) as a classroom and a research center. Classes such as “Secure Embedded Programming,” “Large Scale Network Analysis,” and “Applied Network Security” construct the 30-credit hour program, and the student’s choice of either a Capstone or a Master’s Thesis completes the degree. Another option is the Professional Master’s Program (PMP) in Cyber Security offered online with one three-week on-campus residency required. Classes for the 36-credit hour program are provided in topics like “CyberEconomics,” “Cyber Information Risk Management,” and “Cyber Security Policy” (although as of summer 2018 PMP in Cybersecurity students were not being admitted at this time). Specific faculty research advisors and Engineering Career Service specialists are available to online ITP students to help them succeed.
Established in 1880, the University of Southern California (USC) owes its existence to the diligence of local judge Robert Maclay Widney and the funding provided by several prominent figures living in the area at that time. Over 300 acres of donated land in Los Angeles served as the campus location, and the first enrollment included 53 students and their ten instructors. Currently over 45,000 students are enrolled at this private research university—the oldest in the state, and in addition USC has designation as both a sea- and a space-grant institution. Known for innovation and entrepreneurialism, USC has seventeen schools offering over 200 academic degree programs and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. With a mission to contribute to the “development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit,” USC is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Program Details: Offered entirely online through DEN@Viterbi, the USC’s online Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering degree is a rigorous 28 unit program. Housed in the Viterbi School of Engineering, the curriculum is made up of sixteen units of required core courses such as “Foundations and Policy for Information Security” and “Computer Systems Assurance.” Students have their choice of at least eight units of electives from a selection of classes like “Trusted System Design, Analysis and Development” and “Computer Forensics,” and there is the option for up to two units to be applied towards Directed Research. Designed for professionals with some background experience with information security or for those who want to continue on to doctoral work, the MS degree produces graduates who are “well versed in the challenges and problems of secure operating systems . . . and key management” in order to create and implement security policies that make a difference.
The University of Charleston dates all the way back to the Barboursville Seminary, which was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church South in Barboursville, West Virginia in 1888. The school struggled until a sizeable financial gift from Morris Harvey reinvigorated the institution in 1901—in thanks the school was renamed Morris Harvey College. By the 1930s the school outgrew its location and moved to Charleston in 1935, and in 1942 the affiliation with the Methodist Church ended as the school became independent. Becoming the University of Charleston (UC) in 1978, the mission of the school is to “educate each student for a life of productive work, enlightened living, and community involvement.” The main campus in Charleston is joined by an additional campus in Beckley, West Virginia. Four schools of UC enroll nearly 2,500 students currently, and this private, coeducational institution of higher education is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Program Details: For students with an undergraduate degree in business, technology, or broader information sciences, the UC online Master of Science in Cyber Security degree program is ideal to prepare them with the skills to be a leader in the field of cyber security. Offered through the ACBSP-accredited School of Business & Leadership, the 30-credit hour curriculum offers ten required courses such as “Cyber Operations Management,” “Strategic Investments in Information Security,” and “Enterprise Infrastructure Planning and Safeguarding.” A final “Capstone: Practical Applications in Security” culminates the degree program, and through it students must “demonstrate the ability to effectively strategize, implement and sustain a Defense in Depth cyber security information management program” in order to affirm they’ve mastered the information presented throughout the coursework over the course of the program. A selection of resources for online students is made available to assist and support each student during their academic journey.
Founded in 1879 as the Sam Houston Normal Institute, Sam Houston State University is named for the famed Texas politician and icon. Located in Huntsville, Texas, the school was initially established to train teachers for the schools of Texas. The first of its kind in the southwest, the school’s first enrollment of 110 students began classes the fall of that year. Renamed several times before becoming Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in 1969, the school is a member of the Texas State University System and the third oldest public university in the state. Currently 20,000 students are enrolled in this Doctoral Research University (designation by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education), and there are over 150 academic degree programs offered through the eight colleges. Campus covers more than 300 acres in Huntsville, and there are nearly 2,000 acres of additional education space with a research farm, rodeo arena, body farm, and a planetarium. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges provides regional accreditation.
Program Details: The online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security degree program at SHSU is a 36-credit hour program with start dates offered three times a year for convenience. Offered exclusively online through the College of Science and Engineering Technology’s Department of Computer Science, the curriculum for the program provides specified coursework in classes like “Business Continuity Management,” “Organization System Security,” and “Principle and Policy of Information Assurance.” Ideal for individuals who already have an undergraduate degree in a similar field, graduates of the program will be prepared to “utilize knowledge and methods to ensure the protection of corporate information resources, be able to effectively harden and secure network systems, prevent network damage, perform risk assessment and plan for disaster recovery.” Additionally, SHSU created a Center of Excellence in Digital Forensics in 2004 to train professionals and serve as a resource for combating cybercrime. MS students benefit from the Network Security Lab and Data Center housed within the Center.