Best Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs of 2024

Cybersecurity professionals protect our privacy, finances, and country from attack. Start your infosec career with an online cybersecurity degree.
By
portrait of Holland Webb, MA
Holland Webb, MA
Read Full Bio

Writer

Holland Webb has more than 20 years of experience in education, serving at nearly every level, from preschool to postsecondary. Holland has written for brands such as MailChimp, Wiley, Modkat, This Old House, and Architectural Digest. He has edited a...
Updated on January 18, 2024
Edited by
portrait of Cassie Muniz
Cassie Muniz
Read Full Bio

Editor

Cassie Muniz is an associate editor for BestColleges, specializing in alternative education in the tech field. She previously worked in education as a technical editor, where she edited curriculum materials for digital skills bootcamps. She is passio...
Reviewed by
portrait of Victoria Ivy Southall
Victoria Ivy Southall
Read Full Bio

Reviewer

Victoria Ivy Southall is a United States Navy Veteran, Cybersecurity Manager, and IT professional with over 13 years of extensive experience beginning at 17 years old as an IT/Cyber professional in the United States Navy. She holds a Bachelors of Sci...
Learn more about our editorial process

www.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.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

Top
Ranked

2024

Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity experts are on the front lines of national, corporate, and personal defense, helping prevent cybercriminals and other malicious actors from committing fraud, theft, or acts of terror.

This fast-growing field urgently needs qualified administrators, analysts, engineers, and executives to help meet a severe employment shortage.

Earning an online cybersecurity degree is the first step toward becoming an information security professional. Many schools offer an accelerated cybersecurity degree online that lets you maximize your transfer credits and life experience to graduate early and get started in an exciting professional role.

How We Rank Schools

Chevron Down

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

Best Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs

We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. 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. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such. All data is current as of the date this article was published. Program-specific information may vary.

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.

  • Browse programs
  • Discover matches
  • Request info
#1 Best Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs of 2024

Charter Oak State College

  • New Britain, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $329
Out-of-State | $329

Credits to Graduate: 120

Charter Oak State College's online cybersecurity bachelor's program offers six start dates each year. Students who earn the degree can acquire the skills and knowledge to launch careers as security professionals. 

Major requirements include managing risk in information systems, auditing IT infrastructure for compliance, and fundamentals of network security. Other topics include cyberpolicy analysis, social and ethical dilemmas in the field, and vulnerability assessments. 

Students must complete a capstone course to graduate and can get academic credit for prior learning and work experience.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,656
Out-of-state
$10,056
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,288
Out-of-state
$9,720
Retention Rate
67%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,618
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#2 Best Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs of 2024

University of St Thomas

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $1,175
Out-of-State | $1,175

Credits to Graduate: 120

The University of St. Thomas's online global cybersecurity program takes a multidisciplinary look at technology's place in society and explores privacy, data protection, and ethics. Students can complete the degree entirely online or choose a hyflex option if they want to attend some courses on campus.

The school has small class sizes, a diverse student body, and opportunities for experiential learning. Admission requirements for the BA in global cybersecurity program include a minimum cumulative 2.8 GPA and a minimum score of 1140 on the SAT or 23 on the ACT. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$30,800
Out-of-state
$30,800
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$20,934
Out-of-state
$20,934
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
98%
Students Enrolled
3,877
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Best Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs of 2024

Champlain College

  • Burlington, VT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $335
Out-of-State | $335

Credits to Graduate: 120

Champlain College's online cybersecurity bachelor's degree explores digital forensic investigation techniques, ethical hacking, and cybersecurity policy analysis. Designed for working professionals, the program accepts up to 90 transfer credits. The program does not charge an application fee.

The school is home to the Senator Patrick Leahy Center for Digital Investigation & Cybersecurity and employs experienced practitioner-faculty who are leaders in the field. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designated Champlain College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$42,564
Out-of-state
$42,564
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,310
Out-of-state
$14,310
Retention Rate
69%
Acceptance Rate
62%
Students Enrolled
3,825
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#4 Best Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs of 2024

Hilbert College

  • Hamburg, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $450
Out-of-State | $450

Credits to Graduate: 120

Hilbert College Global's online bachelor of science in cybersecurity program covers digital forensics, technical and managerial aspects of cybersecurity, and ethics. The curriculum includes real-world examples and develops technical expertise, communication skills, and knowledge in human resources, finance, and accounting. 

Required classes include computer crime, a cybersecurity internship, and introduction to network security. All coursework takes place online and asynchronously, and the program offers six start dates per year. The transfer-friendly program accepts up to 90 transfer credits and it's free to apply.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$24,435
Out-of-state
$24,435
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$17,955
Out-of-state
$17,955
Retention Rate
62%
Acceptance Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
784
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Featured Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs

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

What Can I Expect From an Online Cybersecurity Degree Program?

Cybersecurity online degree programs typically attract students who are analytical, are detail-oriented, and enjoy problem-solving. The ability to work independently as well as on a team is an important skill for cybersecurity students.

The majority of full-time online bachelor's in cybersecurity programs consist of 120 credits and take four years to complete. In addition to general education and core coursework requirements, some schools also offer concentrations to help students build nuanced skills in specific areas.

Concentrations vary from program to program, but common options include:

Some online bachelor's programs also require you to participate in a semester-long internship, as this allows you to build real-world skills and start networking with other professionals prior to graduating.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Cybersecurity Degree Program?

Cybersecurity Principles

Typically taken in your first year, this course introduces the tenets of cybersecurity and provides you with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in more advanced courses.

Introduction to Programming

In this course, you learn about various programming languages and begin designing basic algorithms that can translate into programs. You also learn how to problem-solve and design programs that have real-life applications.

Ethical Hacking

This course trains you to use penetration testing and other forms of ethical hacking to look for security vulnerabilities. You work with volunteer clients to look for ways of strengthening their networks.

Digital Forensics

With a focus on electronic evidence identification and collection, this course teaches you the skills you need to gather important evidence related to cybercrimes so that they can be properly litigated. The course places special emphasis on how to use digital forensics in criminal and civil courtrooms.

Cybersecurity Internship

Typically completed in your third or fourth year of study, an internship gives you the opportunity to put your learning into action through a semester-long placement. Completing an internship can also help you expand your network.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity Cost?

The average undergraduate major in computer and information science costs $17,545.70 in annual tuition, according to the NCES. Earning your degree entirely online reduced the average cost to $11,480 per year.

Fortunately, most students do not pay the sticker price for their degrees. Pell grants, work-study programs, and state-supported merit scholarships can all reduce overall costs.

Organizations, companies, schools, and even the federal government also offer cybersecurity scholarships. For example, the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies provides undergraduate students with a $27,000 annual scholarship, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) offers several scholarships to employees and non-employees majoring in cybersecurity.

What Are the Admission Requirements for Cybersecurity Bachelor's Programs?

Admission requirements for online bachelor's in cybersecurity programs vary by school, so it is important that you carefully review the information provided by each institution. In addition to the components outlined below, some programs may require you to participate in interviews.

Application

Most schools allow you to submit your completed applications online. However, a few may still allow for mailed applications. These forms typically ask for basic demographic information such as your full name, mailing address, date of birth, and citizenship status.

Test Scores

At the undergraduate level, it's common for schools to request ACT or SAT scores from incoming first-year students. That said, some schools are phasing out this requirement or making it optional. Be sure to review each prospective school's requirements.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation play an important role in the admissions process, as they help schools better understand how others view candidates. Your recommendation letters can come from former or current teachers, supervisors, mentors, volunteer managers, or faith leaders.

Essays

College application essays provide an opportunity for you to share, in your own words, what makes you a stand-out candidate and what you can bring to the table. Most schools supply prompts or questions to help you frame your answers. Be sure to follow all directions carefully and fully.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts help admission officers verify your GPA and ensure you took all the required high school prerequisites. If you are a transfer student, you must submit your college transcripts so that the registrar can determine how many transfer credits you've earned.

Featured Cybersecurity Online Degree Programs

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

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree Program?

Cost

The cost of a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity can vary substantially based on whether you attend a private vs. public school, or an in-state vs. out-of-state school. If you're looking at local colleges and universities, it may be worthwhile to compare the costs of online and campus-based programs to see which option is more cost-effective.

Location

Location can play an important role in choosing a program, even for online students. Even an online bachelor's in cybersecurity program may have some campus-based requirements. If so, you may want to be within driving distance of the campus.

Program Format

For online cybersecurity programs, you can generally choose between asynchronous and synchronous learning formats. Synchronous programs have live virtual meetings, whereas asynchronous programs allow you to complete lessons at your own pace. Online programs typically offer both part-time and full-time options to support different scheduling needs. Some programs may even allow you to earn an accelerated degree.

Accreditation

Before enrolling in a cybersecurity program, you should confirm that the institution is accredited, which legitimizes your degree and qualifies you for federal financial aid.

Cybersecurity programs can also be accredited by ABET, or sometimes by the National Security Agency (NSA) or the DOD. Programmatic accreditation is an additional marker of a quality education and may be preferred by some employers.

Student Support

Colleges provide support services to ensure you get the academic, social, and professional support you need to thrive. The best schools provide access to professional mentors as well as top-tier internship sites.

Many schools now provide specific services to online students to ensure they feel supported as well. Check that the school you are interested in offers the support services that best fit your needs.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing professional fields in the world. Fortune Business Insight projects that the global cybersecurity market will expand from $172.32 billion in 2023 to $424.97 billion in 2030. Observers attribute this expansion to the sharp increase in cybersecurity attacks and the development of AI and ML tools.

As a result, jobs in the field continue to outpace qualified applicants. ISC2's Cyber Workforce Study puts the workforce shortage at 4 million. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that information security analyst jobs will grow by 32% between 2022 and 2032. A bachelor's degree in cybersecurity can set you up for a career in this rapidly expanding industry.

Popular Careers for Graduates of Cybersecurity Programs
Job Title Job Duties Median Annual Salary (May 2022) Job Growth (2022-2032)
Information security analyst
  • Install firewalls
  • Use data encryption
  • Educate employees
  • Stay current on security trends
$112,000 32%
Computer and information systems manager
  • Oversee tech organizations' needs
  • Maintain hardware and software
  • Educate employees
  • Upgrade existing systems
$164,070 15%
Database administrator
  • Create systems to prevent data loss
  • Protect confidential information
  • Design databases to do the above
  • Maintain existing databases
$112,110 8%
Network and computer systems administrator
  • Manage daily intranet operations
  • Manage local area networks and data comms
  • Create security permissions
  • Stay current on security trends and needs
$90,520 2%
Ethical hacker
  • Wield malware and penetration testing tools
  • Test security and protocols for vulnerabilities
  • Offer suggestions to prevent further breaches
$85,720* not available
Source: BLS, Payscale
*Average salary as of January 2024

Continuing Education

After completing an online bachelor's in cybersecurity and working in the field for some time, you may decide you want to return to school and earn an advanced degree. Several universities now offer in-person and online master's in cybersecurity degrees focused on building deeper knowledge and skills.

Completing a master's in cybersecurity can help you build the qualifications to take on more senior leadership roles that typically pay higher wages and allow for more responsibilities. Most master's programs take about two years to complete, and many schools now make them available online.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Cybersecurity Degrees Online

Is an online degree in cybersecurity worth it?

Chevron Down

As of January 2024, Payscale reports that the average salary for a bachelor's in cybersecurity is $76,000. Earning your degree online can help you save time and money as you work toward securing your place in a cybersecurity profession.

Is an online cybersecurity degree a hard major?

Chevron Down

A cybersecurity major requires learning complex concepts like cryptography and coding languages. Consequently, many people may find it more difficult than studying business or the humanities. However, cybersecurity is often less complex than other STEM fields that demand higher math or laboratory science.

How long does an online cybersecurity degree take?

Chevron Down

A bachelor's degree in cybersecurity typically requires 120 credits or more and takes four years for full-time students and six years for part-time learners. Accelerated programs, online degrees, and transfer-friendly schools can help shave time off your educational experience. Some universities also grant credit for work or military experience, which can shorten your time to graduation.

Can I get a cybersecurity job without a degree?

Chevron Down

Yes, getting a cybersecurity job without a degree is possible, but typically, the best-paying spots go to the best-prepared applicants. Consequently, graduating from a cybersecurity bootcamp or earning a bachelor's degree is often a smart step for aspiring professionals.

You'll probably earn more with a degree. While individual experiences vary, on average, people with bachelor's degrees earn 84% more than high school graduates, according to data from Georgetown University.

What are the highest-paying jobs in cybersecurity?

Chevron Down

According to Payscale data as of January 2024, cybersecurity engineers, IT security architects, and chief information security officers are among the top-paying jobs in the industry. These careers often require professional certifications, graduate degrees, or extensive professional experience. For all the highest-paying security professions, however, a bachelor's degree is a great place to start.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed January 12, 2024.

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.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.