Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs of 2022

A master's in cybersecurity program explores cyber law, cryptography, forensics, ethical hacking, and risk management. An advanced degree can lead to a higher salary and promotion.

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Published on December 23, 2021 · Updated on April 26, 2022

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Professionals with a cybersecurity master's degree can access some of the most in-demand careers in the industry. As the usage and importance of data grows within organizations, experts who protect that information become increasingly valuable. Gartner Research projects the cybersecurity industry will likely surpass $170 billion by 2022.

As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 31% job growth for information security analysts between 2019 and 2029. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of information science master's degrees awarded increased by 175% between 2000 and 2018.

Below, we explore cybersecurity coursework and careers in more detail while also ranking the best online master's in cybersecurity programs.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Cybersecurity Program?

The format of a master's in cybersecurity online varies for each program, but these degrees typically require 30-45 credits and take 1-2 years. Many programs provide students with leadership and communication skills, along with advanced practical training in cyberdefense, preventative measures, incident response, and penetration testing.

Many programs provide students with leadership and communication skills, along with advanced practical training in cyberdefense, preventative measures, incident response, and penetration testing.

While most online cybersecurity master's programs award an MS degree, they may also provide MA degrees. In addition to offering different general education and elective courses, these degree types can differ in their emphasis. For example, an MS in cybersecurity often focuses on technical aspects, whereas an MA degree focuses on leadership and interdisciplinary approaches.

Within many cybersecurity master's online programs, students can choose a concentration like network security, systems security, or information systems analysis. Alternatively, degree-seekers can choose cybersecurity as a concentration within another discipline, such as computer science or management information systems.

Many online programs feature practicum and internship requirements that learners can usually complete at a location near them. Some host on-campus computer and network lab sessions that students may need to attend.

Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Cybersecurity Programs

Like most graduate applicants, prospective cybersecurity students need a relevant bachelor's degree. Prospective students may also need to submit GRE scores and letters of recommendation.

Applicants often need certain prerequisite courses as well, such as calculus, algebra, computer programming, and data structures. Depending on the competitiveness of the program, prospective students may also need to meet a GPA cutoff.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Cybersecurity Program?

Many factors influence the type of courses students take in a master's degree in cybersecurity, including degree type, program focus, specialization, and a student's individual interests. Still, these programs tend to offer similar core courses. The following section explores some of the most common classes.

Cybersecurity Law

This course examines the laws and policies regarding cybersecurity and cyberattacks. Covered topics include information privacy laws, professional ethics, and the processes involved in prosecuting cybercriminals. Students learn about the regulations protecting organizations from data breaches, copyright infringement, and surveillance.

Modern Cryptography

Students in this course learn to protect information and communications effectively. They learn to use various cryptographic algorithms, master public key and symmetric primitives, and understand professional protocols. They also explore different types of encryption and study emerging and innovative research in the field.

Computer Forensics

This course teaches students how to use computer forensics and the processes involved in an investigation. Learners explore protocols for collecting evidence and reporting a cybercrime. They also learn how the authorities and courts handle these cases and study the psychology and motivation behind cybercrime.

Security Risk Management

This course teaches students how individuals and organizations can minimize the risk of cyberattacks and safeguard against damages. Coursework may explore the technologies and processes involved in cybercrime prevention and cyberattacks. Students also learn how and why cybercrime has become so relevant and where the field may head in the future.

Ethical Hacking

In this course, students learn how to conduct vulnerability and weakness systems checks safely. They study tools and techniques for cyber penetration testing and how to analyze the findings to improve systems defenses. Additional topics may include password cracking, phishing attacks, and cyberterrorism.

2022 Best Accredited Online Master's in Cybersecurity Programs

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#1 Online College in District of Columbia

Georgetown University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 14%
Graduation Rate 95%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,483
Out of State | $1,483

Credits to Graduate
33

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Georgetown's online master's in cybersecurity risk management teaches the tools and techniques for mitigating security threats. Students complete 33 credits online in 2-5 years. Foundational courses explore subjects such as security architecture and design. Enrollees learn how to conduct cyber threat intelligence and cyber defense analysis.

Learners gain hands-on experience during group projects. Students can enroll in this master's in cybersecurity program full time or part time. Applicants need a bachelor's degree.

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#2 Online College in Maryland

Johns Hopkins University

School Information
Location Baltimore, Maryland
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 93%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $5,872 per three-credit course
Out of State | $5,872 per three-credit course

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education 

Learners can enroll in Johns Hopkins' master's in cybersecurity program part time. Students complete 10 online courses. Foundational coursework explores information assurance, algorithms, and cryptology. The program offers several tracks, including systems, network, analysis, and assured autonomy.

Enrollees can choose a track that requires independent study. Applicants need a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and prerequisite coursework such as Java and data structures.

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#3 Online College in California

University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $2,199
Out of State | $2,199

Credits to Graduate
32

Program Information
Program Accreditation | WASC Senior College and University Commission

USC offers a fully online master's in computer science with an emphasis in computer security. The curriculum focuses on computer security research and best practices. Students learn how to analyze algorithms. They explore security systems, computer networking, and applied cryptography.

Enrollees can use elective credit for directed research. Students can complete the degree in 2-3 years. Admission requires a bachelor's in computer science or the equivalent.

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#4 Online College in New York

New York University

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 16%
Graduation Rate 85%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $2,021
Out of State | $2,021

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education 

NYU's master's in cybersecurity program requires 30 credits and takes one year to complete. Enrollees can choose a cyber defense or cyber operations track. Enrollees culminate the degree with a capstone project. 

The NYU Cyber Fellows program offers 75% tuition scholarships for students pursuing a master's in cybersecurity. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field.

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#5 Online College in Florida

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $456
Out of State | $1,002 

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

FIU offers a master's in computer engineering with a network security concentration. Students can complete the 30-credit program entirely online in 10 months. The degree provides training in forensics, network security, and malware analysis. 

Eight-week sessions accelerate completion of this online master's in cybersecurity. All students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a related field. They also need a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#6 Online College in California

University of California-Berkeley

School Information
Location Berkeley, California
Admission Rate 16%
Graduation Rate 93%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $2,712
Out of State | $2,712

Credits to Graduate
27

Program Information
Program Accreditation | WASC Senior College and University Commission 

UC Berkeley's master of information and cybersecurity teaches students the economic, legal, and ethical aspects of cybersecurity. Enrollees complete nine courses in 20 months. The program uses live online classes and in-person immersions.

The program covers topics such as cyber risk management and cryptography. The school's location and alumni provide access to industry connections in Silicon Valley. Applicants need a bachelor's degree, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a strong computational background.

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#7 Online College in Utah

Western Governors University

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Graduation Rate 21%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $4,295 per six-month term
Out of State | $4,295 per six-month term

Credits to Graduate
30 

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities 

WGU specializes in online learning in fields such as business and information technology. The school's master's in cybersecurity and information assurance enrolls industry professionals seeking career advancement. The program offers a self-paced curriculum. Students develop proficiencies such as cybersecurity management and ethical hacking.

Enrollees demonstrate their competencies with a capstone project. Students can help pay for tuition with $5,000 cybersecurity or leadership scholarships. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and all school transcripts.

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#8 Online College in Massachusetts

Brandeis University

School Information
Location Waltham, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 30%
Graduation Rate 87%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $3,535 per course
Out of State | $3,535 per course

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | New England Commission of Higher Education 

Massachusetts-based Brandeis offers a fully online master's in information security leadership. The part-time program requires 30 credits. Enrollees study risk management and incident response.

Students can use elective credit to learn Python programming or network security. One elective teaches how to launch FinTech ventures. All learners pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and all school transcripts.

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#9 Online College in District of Columbia

George Washington University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 41%
Graduation Rate 82%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $1,095
Out of State | $1,095

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Program Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Students learn how to mitigate cyberthreats in GW's master's in cybersecurity analytics. The online program enrolls those new to cybersecurity and experienced cyber professionals. Enrollees can complete the 30-credit program in two years. 

Coursework explores topics such as cyber forensics, applied network defense, and cyber resilience. Students receive practical experience in the use of cybersecurity and analytics tools. Applicants need a bachelor's in engineering, computer science, or a related major. They also need a minimum 2.7 GPA. GW encourages applicants to submit GRE scores.

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#10 Online College in California

University of San Diego

School Information
Location San Diego, California
Admission Rate 49%
Graduation Rate 81%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $925
Out of State | $925

Credits to Graduate
31

Program Information
Program Accreditation | WASC Senior College and University Commission 

Students can earn USD's online master's in cybersecurity operations and leadership in 20 months. The 31-credit program teaches various cybersecurity concepts and leadership skills. Learners study topics such as applied cryptography and secure systems architecture. 

A course focuses on cyber incident response and computer network forensics. Enrollees complete a capstone project. All students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 2.75 GPA.

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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Cybersecurity Degree?

With a master's degree in cybersecurity, graduates can pursue careers in some very promising fields. The projected growth and median annual salaries in this industry far exceed the average growth rate and median salary across all occupations. In fact, the BLS projects the addition of more than 530,000 computer-related jobs between 2019 and 2029, including more than 40,000 cybersecurity positions.

To give prospective students an idea of where they can land, the following section explores some possible career options.

Discover what an online master's in cybersecurity can offer you. Learn more about cybersecurity careers.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts manage the protection of an organization's computer systems and data. They identify potential risks and vulnerabilities, monitor threats, search for security upgrades, and investigate attacks and disruptions. According to the BLS, most analysts work in information, finance and insurance, and enterprise management.

Computer Research Scientist

Computer research scientists search for innovative uses for technology and solutions to problems for various organizations. They may design new systems or software, tackle computing problems, and test theories that advance technologies. According to the BLS, most of these scientists work in the government, software publishing, and engineering sciences research and development.

Information Systems Manager

Information systems managers supervise most computer-related responsibilities within an organization. They may manage computer needs, security, projects, and technology teams. According to the BLS, most of these managers work in enterprise management, information, and finance and insurance.

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts ensure an organization's information systems and networks meet their needs. They evaluate the performance of the systems, look for opportunities to improve their effectiveness, and implement new software and systems wherever needed. According to the BLS, most of these analysts work in information, finance and insurance, and enterprise management.

Computer Network Architect

Computer network architects build and manage communication and information systems networks for organizations. They assess organizational needs, design and establish new systems, and implement appropriate security. According to the BLS, most architects work in telecommunications, enterprise management, and insurance.

Cybersecurity Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Cybersecurity Programs

Do you need a master's in cybersecurity?

While a bachelor's degree can provide numerous opportunities, an online master's in cybersecurity gives graduates a competitive advantage in the field. A cybersecurity master's degree is the minimum requirement for most management positions in the field.

How long does it take to get a master's in cybersecurity?

The typical online master's in cybersecurity takes learners two years to complete. Accelerated programs may allow students to graduate in 1-2 years, and part-time programs give students more time to finish.

How many credits are required for a master's degree in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity master's degrees typically require 30-45 credits. Additional concentrations or graduate certificate pathways may add more credits depending on the program. Transfer students with previous relevant training can reduce the number of required credits.

What jobs can you get with a master's in cybersecurity?

In addition to information security analyst positions, the best online cybersecurity master's degrees can lead to many computer-related careers. Possible options may include computer network architect and computer scientist. Graduates may also pursue computer management positions.

How much can you make with a master's in cybersecurity?

Graduates with a master's degree in cybersecurity can earn very strong salaries. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for computer occupations was $91,250 in 2020, more than twice the median annual wage for all occupations. Information security analysts made a median annual wage of $103,590 that year.

Compare the top-ranked online master's in computer science programs. Learn how far a master's in computer science degree can take you. Bachelor's in cybersecurity degrees prepare students for the fast-growing tech field with flexible virtual classes. Learn more about the best online cybersecurity programs of 2022, including tuition rates, curriculum, and... Learn what a cybersecurity degree can do for you. Consult our ranking of the best online master's in information systems security programs and compare the top schools and degrees.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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