Best Online Master’s in Information Systems Security Programs

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Published on April 14, 2021

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Cybercrime could result in $6 trillion in damages by the end of 2021. As a result, cybersecurity has become one of the nation's fastest-growing fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects jobs for information security analysts to grow 31%, which is significantly faster than average.

While alarming, the meteoric growth in cybercrime provides enormous opportunities for cybersecurity experts. Professionals with an online master's in information systems security, for example, possess the skills needed to protect organizations and their data across different systems and services. Read on to learn about the best online master's in information systems security programs.

For more information, consult our master's in information systems security program guide.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Information Systems Security Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
#2 University of Denver Denver, CO
#3 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
#4 Iowa State University Ames, IA
#5 University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI
#6 Champlain College Burlington, VT
#7 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
#8 Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, TX
#9 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT

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Best Accredited Online Master's in Information Systems Security Programs

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Best Online Master's in Information Systems Security Programs

  1. Brandeis University
    Location

    Waltham, MA

    This online master's in information security leadership trains students in security leadership and risk. Master's students advance their technical skills while gaining management training. Designed for those with a background in networking, computer security, or computer science, the program offers a flexible enrollment format.

    Degree-seekers choose from electives in financial technology, identity management, cloud security, and IT forensics. Applicants submit transcripts, a resume, a statement of goals, and letters of recommendation.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $1,178
    • Program Length: Under three years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education
  2. University of Denver
    Location

    Denver, CO

    The University of Denver's online master's in information systems security prioritizes customization. Graduate students complete four core courses, four concentration courses, and four electives. The concentration options include information security, identity and access management, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning. Electives cover unique areas like geospatial intelligence, healthcare cybersecurity, and cryptography.

    Learners take classes on a ten-week schedule. Applicants submit official transcripts, a resume, and a personal statement. The program does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $744
    • Program Length: 18 months
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 48
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  3. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Tuition

    $12516

    This master's in information assurance and cybersecurity emphasizes commercial, industrial, and governmental information systems security. Graduate students learn how to protect information resources, secure network systems, and create disaster recovery plans. The curriculum includes training in database security, business continuity management, and network security.

    Applicants should hold a bachelor's in computer science, management information systems, or a related technical field. The program prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also submit a resume, GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $827
    • Program Length: 1-2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 36
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  4. Iowa State University
    Location

    Ames, IA

    Tuition

    $14643

    The online master's in information systems security at Iowa State is part of the computer engineering program. Learners earn a master's of engineering in information assurance. The curriculum includes 18 credits of core classes, 3-9 credits of electives, and a capstone course.

    Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in computer engineering or a closely related field. The program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE scores. Applicants also submit a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $6,491 per semester in-state; $14,490 per semester out-of-state
    • Program Length: 1-2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  5. University of Detroit Mercy
    Location

    Detroit, MI

    This online master's in information assurance program trains students in cybersecurity principles and processes. Students complete technical courses in ethical hacking and incident response. The program also includes managerial courses in cybersecurity operations, regulatory compliance, and system assurance. After completing eight core courses, master's students choose two electives to specialize in.

    Applicants submit official transcripts for previous academic work, a graduate application form, and optional materials like letters of recommendation.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $889
    • Program Length: 1 year
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  6. Champlain College
    Location

    Burlington, VT

    The master's in information systems security at Champlain lets graduate students focus their course of study with a specialty track. Students may choose an operations track, which focuses on strategic thinking, prevention, and response. The program also offers a management track for those seeking leadership roles in information systems.

    The program requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants should also hold a minimum of two years of work experience.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $795
    • Program Length: 1 year
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30-33
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education
  7. University of the Cumberlands
    Location

    Williamsburg, KY

    The online master's in information systems security at University of the Cumberlands trains students to develop and implement security policies. Learners examine disaster prevention, recovery strategies, and physical security measures. The curriculum covers topics like access control, cryptography, security architecture, and operations security.

    Students can transfer up to nine credits toward the 31-credit master's degree. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. The program does not require standardized test scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $315
    • Program Length: 1-2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 31
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  8. Our Lady of the Lake University
    Location

    San Antonio, TX

    Our Lady of the Lake University offers a master's in information systems and security that can help IT professionals move into management roles. With a focus on information assurance, database management systems, and information systems platforms, the program advances technical knowledge.

    The program uses an asynchronous schedule with no set meeting times. Students can also take courses in any order, increasing flexibility. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in a technical field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program also requires GRE or GMAT scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $925
    • Program Length: 1 year
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • Program Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  9. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    The master's in cybersecurity and information assurance at WGU trains students in advanced data protection and information systems security. Designed for experienced tech professionals, the master's degree offers flexibility for working students.

    The curriculum covers secure systems design, network management, forensics, and a cybersecurity capstone course. Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree in a STEM field, a business degree, or a quantitative major. Other majors require two years of work experience in IT. The program does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost per Credit: $4,590 per six-month term
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Information Systems Security Program?

A master's in information systems security can vary considerably by school. In general, these programs require 30-45 credits and take two years to complete. However, students may encounter several program types. In addition to information systems security, program options may include cybersecurity, cybercrime, and information assurance.

In general, these degrees require 30-45 credits and take two years to complete, but students may encounter several program types.

These programs may lead to similar outcomes, but coursework can differ. Information systems security and cybersecurity programs typically focus on protecting digital information, while information assurance programs teach learners to protect all information types. Cybercrime programs examine cybercriminal behavior profiles and actions.

Degree types can vary as well, with master of science (MS), master of arts (MA), and master of engineering (MEng) options available. Core coursework in MA and MS programs usually looks similar, but the former may emphasize interdisciplinary approaches, while the latter explores more technical and practical aspects. MEng programs offer a mixture of the other degree types, plus the added focus on engineering solutions.

In many cases, students choose information systems security as a concentration in a computer science major. Sometimes learners add a concentration in an area like database management, cryptology, or risk assessment. In the absence of specializations, enrollees can create their own track by choosing focused courses and internships.

Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Information Systems Security Programs

For admission to an online master's in information systems security program, applicants typically need a bachelor's degree. Some programs require that prospective students hold a degree in a relevant discipline with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Additionally, applicants must often submit professional recommendations, a statement of purpose, and GRE scores. Prospective learners may also need prerequisite coursework in math and science. Consult our graduate admissions guide for more information.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Information Systems Security Program?

In master's in information systems security programs, coursework varies by program and school. To give learners an idea of what they may encounter, the following section highlights the most common core courses.

Security Tools and Programming

Enrollees explore various tools and programming languages and techniques used for programming. They learn some of the most common types of security programs, how to develop them, and how to troubleshoot them. Learners may also study programming differences for mobile and cloud security.

Wireless Security

Students examine how professionals protect wireless access networks. They learn common languages, techniques, and protocols. Learners may study the best protection methods, how to detect vulnerabilities, and how to use authentication and encryption techniques.

Network Security

Network security courses teach learners how to identify and evaluate a network's risk and how to implement the appropriate protections. Students may learn about cryptography, digital signatures, power attacks, and e-commerce security. They also study major security protocols, firewalls, and intrusion detection applications.

Secure Operating Systems

Secure operating systems courses teach learners about the need for security, leading applications, and the languages used in these developments and processes. Coursework may also delve into organizational data security, hardware protections, and file and systems security.

Data Recovery

Students learn major data recovery methods and strategies. They learn how to design and develop recovery and backup infrastructure and how to choose the best services and hardware for the occasion. Additional topics may include legal and financial aspects of data theft, damage, and security investigation.

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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Information Systems Security Degree?

With a master's in information systems security, graduates can pursue computer occupations. The BLS projects 11% job growth in this field between 2019 and 2029, with those who trained in information security earning some of the best opportunities available.

Many graduates can pursue positions as information security analysts. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 31% between 2019 and 2029, nearly eight times the average rate for all occupations.

See where a master's in information systems security can take you. Learn more about computer science careers.

true Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts protect organizations' information and computer systems. They evaluate security strengths, identify weaknesses, develop protections, and make necessary upgrades to keep everything secure. According to BLS data, 26% of analysts work in computer systems design services, 18% work in finance, and 8% work in information.

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Computer and information research scientists design and study new technologies and uses for technology. They examine technological problems and shortcomings, create solutions, improve efficiency, and present findings. According to BLS data, 28% of these scientists work for the government and 19% work in computer systems design services.

Information Systems Manager

Information systems managers supervise computer operations for organizations. They ensure that each organization's systems are updated and efficient, look for new opportunities, and manage computer budgeting and staff. According to the BLS, 22% of these managers work in computer systems design services, 11% work in information, and 11% work in finance.

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts examine an organization's computer systems to determine improvement areas. They may review processes and operations, security, staff, and hardware and software components to determine where to make changes. According to BLS data, 28% of analysts work in computer systems design services, 14% work in finance, and 7% work in information.

Computer Systems Administrator

Computer systems administrators manage daily computer activities for organizations. They ensure that systems receive proper hardware, software, and security updates and maintain user and consumer access to those systems. According to the BLS, 18% of administrators work in computer systems design services, 10% work in educational services, and 10% work in information.

Information Systems Security Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Network Security Careers Data Science Careers Computer Programming Careers

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Information Systems Security Programs

Is a master's in information systems security worth it?

Yes. Computer occupations boast higher-than-average projected growth rates and median annual salaries higher than the median annual salary for all occupations. Prospective students with an interest in computer systems should find plenty to love about this degree.

What can I do with a master's in information systems security?

Graduates with a master's in information systems security can pursue many computer-related careers. While many degree-holders pursue cybersecurity professions, graduates can work as managers, administrators, analysts, and designers. They may also pursue a doctoral degree or work in research and development.

Is information systems security a good career?

Yes. Most positions in information systems security pay a high median annual wage, and the BLS projects steady growth for most careers in the field between 2019 and 2029.

How much money can I make with a master's in information systems security?

According to the BLS, information security analysts made a median annual salary of $103,590 in 2020. This figure significantly exceeds the $41,950 median annual salary for all occupations.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in information systems security?

The highest-paying job for graduates with a master's in information systems security is computer and information systems manager. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $151,150 in 2020. The top 10% of earners in this field make more than $208,000 per year.

We've ranked the top online master's in information systems security programs. Compare schools by cost, convenience, and academic quality. We've ranked the top online master's in public safety administration programs. Compare schools by cost and convenience. Earn your master's degree online. Discover the best online bachelor's programs in information systems security. Learn about the application process and potential careers.

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