Hacking has become a household word due to the prolific nature in which this crime occurs. The best word to describe such criminal activity is ubiquitous: meaning- pervasive, worldwide, global, omnipresent. Examples of hacked companies in 2016 alone are: Wendy’s, Verizon, Oracle, Yahoo, LinkedIn, UC Berkeley, and more disturbing are the hacked government agencies. We would presume that these top security branches of the federal government are immune to this activity. Not so. In February 2016, hackers breached the U.S. Department of Justice’s database and accessed data on 10,000 Department of Homeland Security employees; same month 2016, the IRS announced a data breach that had occurred in May 2015-this resulted in personal information compromised on 700,000 taxpayers. To combat this epidemic, the U.S. Department of Defense and the FBI stated they would add 6,000 people with cybersecurity skills in 2016. These statistics translate to employment opportunities for those seeking degrees in this burgeoning field.
With respect to this ranking, most of the schools have been endorsed by governmental agencies, for example: National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security of Department of Defense; recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education or the National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education; received accolades from prestigious publications: Forbes, Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine, Washington Post, and others, as referenced within this report.
1. Penn State World Campus
Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is a leader among information schools, and the faculty are a diverse group of thought leaders from numerous fields, including computer science, engineering, psychology, chemistry, artificial intelligence, and more. Pursuing the online Master of Professional Studies in Information Sciences-Cybersecurity and Information Assurance (MPS in IS) gives you flexibility combined with a highly relevant course curriculum that incorporates real-world business issues and simulations. The MPS in IS program consists of foundational courses combined with courses specific to cybersecurity and information assurance. The MPS in IS — cybersecurity and information assurance — focuses on information analysis, cybersecurity, and information science training.
The 33-credit online master’s degree program in information sciences can be completed in as little as two years on a part-time basis.
The core course of study includes:
- information technology
- knowledge management
- network management and security
- web and Internet information retrieval
Courses specific to cybersecurity and information assurance include:
- information security management
- information security and assurance
- intelligent agents and distributed decision making
- multi-sensor data fusion
Penn State has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. It has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Online Program in Grad Computer Information Technology in 2016.
Tuition: $854 per credit
2. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University’s (CTU) online programs were recognized by the prestigious U.S. News and World Report lists for Best Online Programs for 2016. For the second year, CTU was recognized for its online Bachelor’s degree programs as well as its Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Information Technology and Master of Science in Criminal Justice.
At the graduate level, CTU offers degree choices in the field of cybersecurity:
Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy: This degree program is intended to provide a basic knowledge of cybersecurity issues for managers of Information Technology professionals. This curriculum is designed to help students develop skills to cope with policy-level decision-making with respect to cybersecurity issues in the public or private sector.
Master of Science in Homeland Security-Cybersecurity Policy: This degree aims to provide experienced Homeland Security professionals with the analytical and communication tools they need to become key thought-leaders and decision-makers in the evolving sector of cybersecurity policy-making.
Master of Science in Management-Homeland Security: Program aims to engage with complex, real-world situations and challenge students to address policy, organizational and substantive issues regarding homeland security to provide a relevant management master’s degree program.
Master of Science in Management-Information Systems Security: It is designed to help to prepare technical leaders in security management to combat threats in today’s environment through an understanding of security management, network security principles, and certification and accreditation requirements.
These graduate programs has been endorsed by the NSA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as the National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity 2014-2021.
Tuition: $585 per credit hour; $460 Active Duty Military
3. Maryville University
Maryville’s online Master of Science in Cyber Security will teach you the technical intricacies of cyber security and turn them into strategies that protect precious data. The Maryville Virtual Lab is a course delivery system that doubles as a virtual training ground. From any device, anywhere, you can hone your skills in a safe and protected environment. It’s literally practice for the professional world. Their faculty members know the industry’s highest expectations because they’ve seen them firsthand in their positions in Fortune 500 companies and the FBI. Most of the professors still work actively in cyber security, which helps them keep a fluid line of communication open with the marketplace.
The school’s cyber security master’s offers you a robust curriculum of specialty courses to boost your technical skill set. From studying drones to wireless network security to digital forensics, you can build the specialized expertise the industry is seeking. Since the 30 credit hour course program is housed within the John E. Simon School of Business, you’ll be prepared for the changing role of cyber security profession within the business environment. Also, you may graduate in as few as 18 months to launch or enhance your career from security analyst to network architect to Information Security engineer or officer.
Maryville is a Top Military Friendly School 2016, a Kiplinger’s Best Value College 2015, a Forbes Top College 2015, and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Tuition: $800 per credit hour or $24,000 total
4. Western Governors University
Western Governors University offers a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance online has been created with significant input from industry and academic experts who serve on our Information Technology Program Council. The curriculum is closely aligned with the 2014 National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework that identifies a standard set of competencies for cybersecurity professionals.
The program consists of 30 competency units (CUs: equivalent to the traditional credit hour), including the completion of a capstone project. The core objectives are to:
- Understand levels of risk and mitigation strategies for maintaining business continuity in a global marketplace.
- Explore the current state and future of cyber-related capabilities, threats, and emerging technologies.
- Analyze cybercrime laws and address relevant governance, standards, policies, and legislation.
- Evaluate and implement information security audits and assurance initiatives.
- Understand organizational challenges and threats to networks connected to the public internet, along with countermeasures to disarm them.
- Learn to expose and prevent system vulnerabilities, and apply hacking skills on different types of networks and platforms.
- Evaluate forensic investigations of computer networks, stored data, and physical and virtual devices.
- Create plans to implement comprehensive organization-wide initiatives for information assurance management.
WGU has been recognized for their education excellence and innovation by a host of respected publications: The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Huffington Post, U.S. World News & World Report, The Washington Post, Computersciencemajor.org, Money Magazine, and The Atlantic.
Tuition: $2,890 per term (6 months)
5. Regis University
Regis University offers a Master of Science in Information Assurance (IA) online, on campus or a blend of both. This 36 credit hours program will provide the education for protecting the confidentiality, security, integrity and availability of data whether it is in storage, processing, or transit. There is the choice of two specializations geared for specific career tracks in cybersecurity and IA policy management:
Cybersecurity Specialization: Study the fundamentals for securing entire data networks with specific courses on database security, risk analysis and policy, and computer and network forensics. This specialization will provide you with hands-on experience and time in our up-to-date labs.
IA Policy Management Specialization: Learn how to plan for physical security breaches, disaster recovery, implementation of enterprise and architecture security systems, risk management, and auditing best practices. Through this specialization you will study the governance side of information assurance.
Graduates will be prepared for industry certification exams, including:
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Security Systems Certified Practitioner (SSCP)
Regis University is a designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the gold standard of educational instruction for computer and network security. The curricular guidelines are modeled on The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
Tuition: $565 per credit
6. University of Maryland University College
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) offers a Master of Science in these 3 degree specialties: Cybersecurity Management and Policy, Cybersecurity Technology, and Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation online. Their Virtual Security Lab, you can combat simulated cyber security attacks and develop experience that can be applied immediately in the workplace. UMUC believes the school is at the epicenter of cyber security since it is headquartered between the Department of Defense’s Cyber Command in Maryland and the Cyber Corridor in Virginia.
Here is a synopsis of the three graduate degree 36 credits-programs:
MS in Cybersecurity Management and Policy: Learn how to create a security approach that combines technology, governance, and compliance perspectives. Gain advanced knowledge in organizational structures, communications, operational business processes, and the legal framework for cyber security policy.
MS in Cybersecurity Technology: This program draws from fields such as technology, forensics, management, law, science, business, and psychology to provide you with the most current knowledge and skills for protecting critical cyber infrastructure and assets.
MS in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation: Students gain the capability to help organizations and law enforcement detect data breaches, cyber attacks, and digital crime. Learn how to determine whether a digital system has been attacked or compromised, as well as how to uncover, preserve, and present evidence for legal prosecution.
University of Maryland University College was recently designated as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence by the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center, known as DC3—the first institution in the University System of Maryland to earn this prestigious designation
Tuition: $694 per credit
7. Florida Institute of Technology
The Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity degree program at Florida Tech equips students with the advanced skills needed to stop a growing list of security risks facing corporate, government and military institutions. This includes identity and intellectual property theft, threats to infrastructure security and unlawful access to personal information.Course components cover a range of topics from high-level company policy security issues to technical aspects, such as verifying the contents of memory.
Designated by the Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Florida Tech’s curriculum focuses on fundamental skills for addressing the various threats cybersecurity professionals not only face today, but also will confront in the future. This includes:
- Threats, vulnerabilities and different security architectures
- Attack models, forensics and operations processes
- Operating system security mechanisms and the secure and unsecure features of those systems
- Communications model and communications encryption
- Data mining and machine learning methods to cybersecurity scenarios
- Biometric technology and the privacy and legal issues surrounding it
- Implementing security strategies in new technology and protecting assets against attack
Florida Tech has been ranked a Tier 1 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report; ranked one of America’s “Best Value” universities by Forbes; and has been recognized as one of the best colleges in the Southeast by The Princeton Review.
Tuition: $777 per credit hour
8. Davenport University
Davenport’s Global Campus offers an online Master of Science in Information Assurance at their College of Technology. The 34 semester credit hour Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) includes nine core courses, two upper-level electives, and a thesis focused on Information Assurance and Computer Security. All students are expected to have the necessary undergraduate preparation in computer, networking, statistical analysis, and security foundations prior to entering the 600-level courses.
The curriculum includes the topics of: information security planning, cryptography, project management and risk mitigation, application security, network security, forensics, and legal and ethical roles and topics specific to security. Students will also choose electives within their concentration and complete a thesis under the direct guidance of a faculty member. Elective topics include: wireless and mobile security, banking and financial security, securing resource transfer, and health care security.
A thesis paper forms the Capstone of this Master of Science Information Assurance program. The Capstone is a comprehensive research paper encompassing the learning from the students’ coursework in the program. The final thesis paper is to be completed under the guidance of your faculty advisor and/or university designated faculty member.
In 2011, Davenport University was designated as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) for its Information Assurance programs for the years 2011-2016. CAEs are designated by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) and are jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Tuition: $674 per credit hour
9. Robert Morris University
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Cyber Security and Information Assurance degree program at Robert Morris University (RMU) prepares information technology professionals to recognize and combat information systems threats and vulnerabilities. In addition to the traditional MS Cyber Security and Info Assurance, there is an Enterprise Systems Concentration added in 2013. The 30-credit Master of Science (M.S.) Information Security & Assurance-Enterprise Systems Concentration degree program at Robert Morris University prepares information technology professionals for the challenges of developing and maintaining secure mainframe-based enterprise information systems in organizations facing the dynamic challenges of cyber-terrorism and world-wide security challenges.
The M.S. in Information Security and Assurance is a 30-credit degree program comprised of 21 credits of required courses and nine credits chosen from advanced communications and information systems electives. The core courses are:
- Hardware and Operating Systems
- Network Technology and Management (N+)
- Database Management Systems
- Computer Network Security
- Information Technology Security, Control and Assurance
- Secure Programming
- Information Technology Governance
RMU, as of September 2016, made its first appearance on the U.S. News and World Report rankings of national universities, debuting at No. 188 on a list of venerable institutions that includes Princeton, Harvard, Stanford and Duke, as well as other Pittsburgh-area schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, and the University of Pittsburgh. The school offers 49 undergraduate and 35 graduate programs across five academic schools with online students from 45 states and 41 nations.
Tuition: $870 per credit
10. Northwestern University
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies (SPS) is one of the 12 colleges and schools at this institution. SPS and adult learning have been a core part of Northwestern’s mission for more than 80 years. SPS students become part of a university ranked 12th among the nation’s best universities by U.S. News and World Report with top medical, law and business schools. Additionally, their faculty has made pioneering contributions to materials science, nanotechnology, economics, African studies and more.
The SPS offers an online Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) that teaches students in information systems methodologies, with an emphasis on design, implementation and evaluation of software applications and theoretical models. The program includes project based study from real-world cases. The degree provides access to professionals anticipating the next tech trends. The MSIS program requires 11 units of credit to earn the Master of Science degree. Students complete three core courses and six elective courses based on an area of specialization. Electives allow MSIS students the flexibility to tailor their curricula to specific professional goals.
There are 7 areas of specialization, one of which is Information Systems Security. This specialization focuses on skills that allow students to design a secured system and make recommendations for the protection of sensitive corporate data in accordance with commerce and privacy regulations. Students learn how to secure network systems (LAN, WAN, wireless). Topics include VPN, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, cryptography, anti-virus, anti-spam and application security techniques. Students also learn the managerial and administrative aspects of security such as vulnerabilities, countermeasures, network security architectures, policy development and legal/ regulatory issues, risk management and disaster recovery planning.
Tuition: $4,494 per course; $49,434-$50,754 total estimated cost
11. National University
Since 1971, National University has supported working professionals by making education accessible to adults who live and work in the real world. It’s why they were the first to develop a flexible, one-class-per-month format, and currently offer more than 120 graduate and undergraduate degree programs.
The Master of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance is a professional degree for those who endeavor through technical and managerial measures to ensure the security, confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, control, availability and utility of the world’s computing and information systems infrastructure. The program has a required core and a required specialization which can be selected from some alternatives. The core is designed to provide a means of supporting the variety of backgrounds (both education and work experience) that those who wish to study this area may bring to the program.
To earn this Master’s degree, students must complete 58.5 graduate units. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another regionally accredited institution, as it applies to this degree, and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. All students must complete the 9 core requirements and choose an Area of Specialization:
Ethical Hacking and Pen Testing: This specialization is designed to provide unique applications involved in the professional domain of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CSIA). The curriculum focus is directed toward ethical hacking and penetration (Pen) testing. Penetration tests probe network and information system security components by conducting simulated attacks on systems.
Information Assurance and Security Policy: The specialization in Information Assurance and Security Policy provides study in the professional domain of Cyber Security and Information Assurance that focuses on the organizational and informational portion of the field. This arena particularly involves larger organizations, often in government, that have codified standards, policies and practices for this field.
Tuition: $416 per credit
12. Capitol Technology University
Capitol Technology University was founded in Washington, DC, as the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute in 1927 by Eugene H. Rietzke. A Navy veteran and radio operator, Rietzke foresaw the need for an advanced school that could produce talented radio and electronics technicians. In 1980, the school found its home in Laurel, Maryland, and in the 1990’s it began offering master’s degrees. In 2010, Capitol launched its first doctoral program in college’s history. The doctorate in information assurance was designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the burgeoning field of cybersecurity.
The school offers a Master of Science in Cyber and Information Security (MSCIS) is a 36-39 credit graduate program designed to meet the growing demand for highly skilled professionals in the specialty field of information assurance. The program also provides students with the professional competencies specified by the world’s two most prominent authorities in cybersecurity — the joint National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS), and the (ISC)2 organization‘s requirements for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential. All eight common bodies of knowledge associated with the CISSP are integrated within the curriculum, as are the six federal training standards. Graduates of the MSCIS program, in addition to their diploma, receive a certificate attesting that they’ve studied and been determined to meet the National Training Standards curriculum.
The NSA and DHS have designated Capitol Technology University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD) in all six CNSS domains, and at the advanced level where applicable.
Tuition: $585 per credit
13. Utica College
Utica College’s online Master of Science in Cybersecurity trains students to proactively address ever-changing attack and infiltration techniques. A leader in economic crime programs for more than 20 years, Utica designed the program in response to calls from cybersecurity professionals for a graduate-level program that combines state-of-the-art practices in intelligence, forensics and cyber operations.
The 30 credit hours program offers three specializations targeted to students with different interests in this field:
- Intelligence: Designed for professionals interested in cyber intelligence and counterintelligence, cyber counterterrorism and cyber counter sabotage. The curriculum covers analysis of global and national cybersecurity policies, the study and protection of critical infrastructures, as well as operations involving cyber threats and defense.
- Computer Forensics: Designed for students interested in collecting and preparing evidence of computer crimes such as fraud, child pornography and cyber espionage. The curriculum emphasizes a comprehensive understanding of the forensic tools and techniques used to investigate and analyze network-related incidents and preserve digital evidence.
- Cyber Operations: Designed for students who wish to protect and defend organizations from cyber attacks. Students gain the critical knowledge needed through a hands-on, lab-oriented curriculum that includes an in-depth examination of cyber tactics, techniques, procedures and more.
This learning institution has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The College has also been designated an Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) by the EC-Council, one of the premier certifying bodies in the field of cybersecurity.
Tuition: $895 per credit hour
14. Nova Southeastern University
Their Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) is a 36 credit-hour degree program at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Engineering and Computing. Offered online and on-campus in South Florida, the MSIS degree program is designed for someone who wants to design, program, enhance and develop cyber security technologies that secure information and systems. Students must take all ten core courses and two electives. Students who wish to take an additional elective must request approval from the program office prior to registration. If the thesis option is elected, students take six these credits in place of the two electives. Plans for the thesis option must be made with and approved by the program office.
Some of the core courses are: Computer Networks, Software Engineering, Applied Cryptography, Database Security, and Network Forensics. This curriculum is designed to give graduates the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts, technologies, and challenges of telecommunications and network security; demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts of information security governance and risk management; and possess an understanding of the major cryptographic algorithms used in information security and how each can be effectively integrated into a secure information infrastructure.
This security program is recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As a result of this recognition federal agencies may sponsor civilian and military personnel to take the school’s certified graduate courses.
Tuition: $745 per credit hour
15. Brandeis University
Brandeis has been consistently ranked among the nation’s best universities, Brandeis is widely recognized for the excellence of its teaching, the quality and diversity of its student body and the outstanding research of its faculty. In 1985 Brandeis was nominated and elected to membership in the Association of American Universities, which represents the 61 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.
Offered through their Graduate Professional Studies, this Master of Science in Information Security Leadership is for those who have an undergraduate degree in a technical field (such as computer science or software engineering), with focus areas in data communications, TCP/IP protocol suite, networking devices, and a programming or scripting language. The 30-credit Information Security Leadership program has six required courses and four electives The 30-credit Information Security Leadership program has six required courses and four electives. The required courses are:
- Foundations of Information Security
- Information Security Management
- Principles of Computer Incident Response and Investigation
- Principles of Risk Management in IT Security
- IT Security and Compliance
- Leading Security in Complex Organizations
Sample electives are:
- Applied Cryptography and Identity Management
- Information Technology Forensics and Investigations
- Securing Applications, Web Services, and Software as a Service (SAAS)
- Software Security Testing and Code Assessment
The program objectives are for graduates to be able to:
- Assess risks to the security of proprietary information in an organization
- Understand the technical, organizational and human factors associated with these risks
- Evaluate information technology tools designed to protect against threats facing organizations
- Assess the impact of security policies on existing complex systems and organizational objectives while simultaneously considering regulatory requirements and compliance
- Oversee the information security life cycle of an organization, including planning, acquisition, development and evolution of secure infrastructures
Tuition: $3,335 (3 credits)
16. Boston University
The online Master of Criminal Justice concentration in Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity allows students to develop competency and practical knowledge, enabling them to work with various issues related to cybercrime. By participating in the program, students will gain insight into cybercriminology and the legal practices, practical digital investigative knowledge, and policies related to cybersecurity risk assessment. In addition, going beyond understanding practical and essential knowledge of cybercrime and cybersecurity, students who successfully complete the concentration are eligible to take the forensic examiner exams.
The curriculum consists of a total of 10 courses or 40 credits: six required courses and four concentration requirements. The required courses are (24 credits): Criminology, Victimology, White-Collar Crime, Analytical Methods, Research Methods, and Criminal Justice Administration. The concentration requirements are (16 credits): Cybercrime, Applied Digital Forensics Investigation, Security Policies & Procedures, and Digital Forensics & Investigations. The average completion time for the degree is 18-24 months.
Complimenting the school’s cybersecurity degree graduate program is their ranking as #1 among the nation’s Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
Tuition: $830 per credit or $35,600 (estimated total cost)
17. University of San Diego
The University of San Diego’s (USD) 100% online Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership (MS-CSOL) is designed for students who desire to effect positive change in mitigating cyber security threats and become leaders in their organizations. This program (and elements of cyber security as a whole) presents the learner with tremendous ability to mitigate threats, but also with knowledge that could be utilized to cause damage to a system. The 31-credits MS-CSOL program will consist of eleven courses – ten 3-unit courses and a 1-unit integrative capstone course. This 31-unit program can be completed in five semesters (20 months).
The faculty for MS-CSOL are experienced instructor practitioners, who hold advanced degrees in the fields of Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology, and Information Assurance/Cyber Security. All of the instructors have extensive industry experience in working in contested cyber environments to mitigate advanced persistent threats. The faculty is versed in the areas of specialization including: defense technologies, cyber security, entertainment and creative technologies, analytics, strategic operations and consultation, bio-terrorism detection and deterrence methodologies, construction/building technologies, integration of technology into elementary and secondary pedagogical practice, business and decision support methodologies, system architecture, conceptual engineering, and strategic planning.
USD’s online degree programs have been a nationally ranked university by U.S. News & World Report and Business Week. Unlike a standard online lecture, USD’s online courses are highly interactive, engaging each student and ensuring the subject matter is fully understood.
Tuition: $925 per credit
18. DePaul University
Their Master of Science (MS) in Computer, Information and Network Security is intended for students who wish to specialize in the security aspects of the Information Technology field. This program educates professionals for the fast growing and wide ranging information security and cyber security markets by providing foundations 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.
Graduates must complete a minimum of 52 graduate credit hours in addition to any required introductory courses of the designated degree program. Offered through their College of Computing and Digital Media, there are three concentrations to choose:
Network Infrastructure: The Network Security concentration focuses on the network infrastructure and network security management aspects information security. This concentration will provide in-depth coverage of network security infrastructure technologies such as firewalls, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS).
Computer Security: The Computer Security concentration focuses on fundamental security topics that arise in the design, analysis, and implementation of distributed systems. This concentration provides in-depth coverage of the theory and application of identity, authentication, access control, auditing, assessment and prevention of software vulnerabilities, and cryptography.
Compliance: This concentration focuses on enterprise-level information security risk management, IT audit, and regulatory compliance. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, focus is put on how to develop an information security program; assess security risk in business processes; identify and implement a system of controls for security governance.
DePaul has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.
Tuition: $815 per credit hour
19. Lewis University
Lewis University’s Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) program will prepare you identify the causes of breaches after they happen, and to prevent the same kind of attack in the future. After the set of core courses- students choose one of the two concentrations:
Technical Concentration: This hands-on concentration examines how information systems can be made secure, including information processing systems, secure operating systems and applications, network security, cryptography, security protocols and other issues that confront those charged with securing information networks.
Management Concentration: Designed for information technology (IT) leaders, information security managers, and directors who are responsible for designing, recommending, and maintaining the IT infrastructure and information security controls. The management concentration has hands-on courses in cybercrime identification and prevention, computer forensics, ethical hacking, database security, risk management, and information security governance and compliance.
Near the end of your program, you will take two focused seminars designed to prepare you for the CISSP certification exam. Then, you will complete your studies with a 16-week research project of your choice under the guidance of an expert in the field, and be prepared to graduate uniquely well-versed in both the computer science of cyber security and its impact on and integration into the business environment.
Lewis is a Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency nationally recognized Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
Tuition: $795 per credit
20. University of Dallas
The charter of the University of Dallas (UD) dates from 1910 when the Vincentian Fathers took that name for the Holy Trinity College they had founded five years earlier. Holy Trinity College closed in 1928, and the charter was placed with the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The learning institution became a four-year university in 1956 northwest of the city of Dallas. In 2013, the School of Business was named the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business to recognize the $12 million gift of Satish and Yasmin Gupta, two management alumni.
The Gupta College of Business offers a 30-credit-hour Master of Science in Cybersecurity program that provides an in-depth education with a leadership and ethics focus. Going beyond programming and network administration, the cybersecurity master’s program covers the critical topics facing organizations today, including data protection, legal and compliance, operational and strategic Cybersecurity management, penetration testing, and digital forensics.
One of the prime advantages of the College of Business at the University of Dallas is convenience for the working professional. All classes are held in the evenings on-ground (in-person / in-classroom) and available online anytime, anywhere. Inter-semester classes held two evenings and Saturdays for 3-4 weeks are also an option. The school uses a trimester system, with fall, spring and summer terms.
Since 2003, the Cybersecurity program at UD has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance / Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Tuition: $1250 per credit hour
21. Syracuse University
Their Master of Science (M.S.) in Cybersecurity delivered online through Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science prepares students to identify, prevent, and counteract cyber crime. The curriculum focuses on five major objectives:
- Design of new systems that are inherently secure
- Protection of systems such as web, mobile, and critical infrastructures
- Systems assurance through application of mathematical logic
- Analysis and detection of malware and other cyber attacks
- Data mining and anomaly detection to identify suspicious cyber behavior
These objectives are reached through the 15 core courses and 15 electives. Core courses:Computer Security: Operating system security; Unix security; trusted computing base; authentication; access control; security models, among others.
- Internet Security: Provides an in-depth study of various network attack techniques and methods to defend against them.
- Assurance Foundations: Functional programming; theorem proving; and logic for reasoning about access control, security, and trust.
- Design and Analysis of Algorithms: Covers topics related to algorithm design and analysis.
- Principles of Operating Systems: Design and implementation of operating systems; process and memory management; resource scheduling; file system management; I/O and kernel services; and structuring.
Syracuse University has been designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
Tuition: $1,443 per credit
23. Northeastern University
Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world. Located in the heart of Boston, we offer a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s doctorate and graduate certificates in nine colleges and schools across our graduate campuses in Boston, Charlotte, Silicon Valley, Toronto, and Seattle.
Northeastern’s online Master of Science Degree Program in Information Assurance and Cyber Security takes an interdisciplinary approach that offers a range of unique benefits. Offered through the ALIGN program, you’ll take courses tailored to your background and interests. Those with social science or other non-technology backgrounds will strengthen technical skills. Those with prior technical experience will add to their understanding of the context in which technology is applied. The ALIGN program is designed to quickly and efficiently earn you a master of science degree in one of today’s most popular STEM professions. Even if you come from a non-science background, rigorous bridge courses can get you up to speed with the subject matter and on your way to a satisfying and rewarding new career.
The innovative ALIGN bridge program to the interdisciplinary MS in Information Assurance and Cyber Security combines computer systems and network security training with knowledge from the social sciences, law, criminology and management, giving you skills that are in high demand. More importantly, Northeastern University has been designated by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense, in IA Research, and in Cyber Operations.
Tuition: $1,450 per credit hour
24. Norwich University
Norwich University’s Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance program helps working adults interested in the many aspects of information security to develop the business acumen and management skills needed to pursue leadership positions in information security and assurance. During their four core courses, students will conduct a case study using their current workplace or industry, or other relevant organization that they have access to. They will examine current security strategies and identify recommendations for improvement. For their last two courses, students focus their studies on a selected concentration that can include computer forensics and incident response management, critical infrastructure protection & cyber crime, cyber law & international perspectives on cyberspace, project management, or vulnerability management.
The 36 credit hours program is presented in three six-month semesters, each comprising two 11-week, six-credit courses. The course topics introduce today’s most critical and relevant areas of information assurance. Students master one course at a time, with each course building on the next to create a strong foundation of knowledge and context for future topics. The final semester offers a concentration option through which students may pursue a specialized area of interest. The program culminates in a required one-week residency and a graduation ceremony at Norwich University in June.
Norwich is recognized by the National Security Agency and of Department of Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
Tuition: $791 per credit; $31,851 total cost (3 semesters)
25. Liberty University
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s largest private, nonprofit online university. As part of the world’s largest Christian university, Liberty University Online offers a unique approach to online education, through their 245 degree programs. Currently, more than 95,000 students around the world enjoy the same quality education as the residential students with the added flexibility of online classes.
Liberty’s Master of Science in Cyber Security instructs students in advanced defense of computer and network security, equipping them to combat existing threats and bolster systems to withstand future attacks. Students are prepared to work as “cyber warriors” in the government and military arenas or as security professionals in industry. The courses focus on providing students with the analytical framework necessary for prevention, detection, countering, and recovery from security vulnerabilities and cyber incidents. Students will also study the tools, standards, and practices related to an organization’s cyberspace infrastructure. These skills will be reinforced with numerous practical hands-on lab exercises in each course, allowing students to develop their abilities in realistic scenarios and prepare for professional certifications which would further enhance their expertise in the ever-changing field of cyber security.
The 36 credit hour curriculum is designed for graduate to have the knowledge and expertise to seek a potential career in:
- Information security specialist
- Security engineer
- Penetration Tester/Ethical Hacker
- Digital Forensics Analyst
- Secure Network Engineer
- Security Researcher
Tuition: $565 per credit hour
There is a significant program worth researching: CyberCorps, also known as: Scholarship For Service (SFS) that started in 2000. This program was designed to increase the number of federal information assurance professionals in the government. The scholarships may fund the typical costs incurred by full-time students while attending a participating institution. Also, participants may receive stipends of $22,500 for undergraduate and $34,000 for graduate students. Additional information is available at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.