Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Learn about and connect with leading information systems security degrees. Compare program features, explore professional certifications, and more.
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Information has enormous value. Cybercriminals know that, which is why they continue to launch high-profile attacks at growing rates.

Organizations need experts to counter the efforts of cybercriminals and other threat actors, including internal ones. Information systems security degrees help aspiring professionals build that expertise.

Information security (infosec) is the technology discipline dedicated to the systems, principles, and protective tools that safeguard sensitive information. Some colleges offer dedicated information security programs, while others cover infosec concepts through cybersecurity, network security, IT management, database management, or business administration coursework.

This program guide features a ranked list of the top information systems security programs available to online learners. It also introduces key infosec certifications, explores career paths, and answers common questions about this valuable tech specialization.

Featured Online Bachelor's in Information Systems Security Programs

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

Best Online Information Systems Security Programs

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#1 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 2 years
  • Online

Salt Lake City's WGU delivers an online bachelor of science in network operations and security. Nearly three-quarters of graduates earn their degree within 36 months, and the program's curriculum leads to nine industry certifications at no additional cost.

This bachelor's program features an asynchronous structure that empowers degree-seekers to work as quickly as they like. Courses use a competency model to evaluate learning: students qualify for course completion as soon as they pass an associated assessment test.

With fixed tuition fees set per term rather than per credit, WGU offers unusually strong value to highly motivated students. To qualify for admission, applicants must hold an associate computer science degree from an accredited institution or two years of professional IT experience.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,162
Out-of-state
$7,162
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,500
Out-of-state
$7,765
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
150,116
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#2 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Bellevue University

  • Bellevue, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

BU's online bachelor's in computer information systems combines three essential aspects of computer science into a single program; learners emerge with strong professional competencies in database design, computer programming, and information system management.

Students have the flexibility to pursue specializations in app development, business intelligence, cybersecurity, and networking. Participants also have the option to earn a 120-credit bachelor of applied science or a 127-credit bachelor of science.

Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, BU maintains an open-enrollment policy and functions as a private institution. The school's Center for Cybersecurity Education ranks among the top institutions of its kind in the United States.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,560
Out-of-state
$7,560
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,980
Out-of-state
$10,980
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,902
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#3 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

University of Illinois Springfield

  • Springfield, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

UIS hosts a top-rated online bachelor of science in computer science with an available concentration in information systems security. Learners cover key fundamental skills and develop the sound educational base needed for a successful career.

Students who earn this bachelor's in information systems security complete 36 credits in their concentration, learning about essential computing concepts. Specialized course topics include network administration, programming languages, a capstone project, and three electives.

Entrance and exit assessments bookend the specialization, ensuring that degree-seekers meet stated learning outcomes. Applicants to this program should possess college-level training in Java programming (minimum two semesters) and calculus, statistics, and discrete or finite mathematics (minimum one semester each); students who do not meet these requirements may take prerequisites at UIS.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,645
Out-of-state
$16,449
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,375
Out-of-state
$14,021
Retention Rate
67%
Acceptance Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
3,944
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#4 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Kennesaw State University

  • Kennesaw, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Georgia's KSU offers an online program that combines elements of business administration and computer science. Leading to a bachelor of business administration in information security and assurance, this study path balances business acumen with technological proficiency.

This program uses courseware approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Committee on National Security Systems. Degree-seekers engage with learning tools that meet advanced information security standards.

Coursework teaches students how to protect the confidentiality and integrity of digital, technological, and information-based enterprise assets. KSU holds official standing as an NSA- and Department of Homeland Security-backed National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,450
Out-of-state
$15,704
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,238
Out-of-state
$19,188
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
42,899
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Central Washington University

  • Ellensburg, WA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

CWU offers an online bachelor of science in information technology and administrative management through its Department of Information Technology. The curriculum of this program focuses on developing effective leaders and managers who also possess advanced technical and technological skills.

Graduates emerge with computer science competencies related to cybersecurity, web and mobile app development, network maintenance, and programming. Students also develop managerial and soft skills, strengthening their communication, teamwork, business management, and change management proficiencies.

Learners can also access internship opportunities. The program undergoes regular curriculum reviews to maintain its relevance. CWU holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges And Universities.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,816
Out-of-state
$23,881
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,401
Out-of-state
$24,361
Retention Rate
67%
Acceptance Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
9,257
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
#6 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Dakota State University

  • Madison, SD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

DSU offers an online bachelor of science in computer information systems degree that builds versatile skill sets. Learners complete an intensive set of core programming courses that develop .Net, client-side, and server-side programming proficiencies. Coursework also focuses on app development, networking, systems analysis, and database administration.

The study path approaches coursework from an enterprise viewpoint, emphasizing the practical, business-oriented applications of material. Degree-seekers complement their advanced technical coursework with professional project management and data analysis classes.

DSU's computer science programs undergo regular reviews by an internal CIS Advisory Board. Comprising representatives from major companies that hire DSU graduates, the board helps ensure that program content is applicable to the current business environment.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,616
Out-of-state
$10,718
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,999
Out-of-state
$11,199
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
3,241
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Adelphi, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online

UMGC's 120-credit bachelor of science in information systems management prepares students for management-level IT and information assurance careers. The program's flexible design allows degree-seekers to continue full-time work while managing their course load.

Faculty designed the curriculum of this program with input from computer science and information security experts, leading scholars, and corporate chief information officers. Coursework helps degree-seekers build advanced system development insights and the ability to make reliable technical and technological recommendations to their employers.

Learners also master important communication skills, information assurance proficiencies, and strategy-oriented management and leadership capabilities.

Students with existing credits, industry certifications, and professional experience can take advantage of a generous transfer policy. Eligible learners can transfer in up to three-quarters of the degree's requirements.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,344
Out-of-state
$11,976
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,072
Out-of-state
$11,862
Retention Rate
52%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
55,323
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#8 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Lewis University

  • Romeoville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis offers its online bachelor of science in information security management with an accelerated timeline. Learners benefit from small classes made up entirely of working professionals.

The program's hands-on design focuses on core skills, including network and IT security best practices, risk assessment and mitigation, security incident and event management, data discovery and computer forensics, and ethical hacking. Graduates are prepared to earn at least six standard professional certifications, including security+, certified ethical hacker, and certified forensics examiner credentials.

Lewis is recognized by the National Security Organization and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$35,262
Out-of-state
$35,262
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$14,760
Out-of-state
$14,760
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
6,513
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
77% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#9 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Champlain College

  • Burlington, VT
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Champlain — located in Burlington, Vermont — oversees a bachelor of science in computer and information systems program. This program can be completed entirely online, and faculty deliver seven-week classes asynchronously. This schedule creates six terms throughout the year, enabling motivated learners to expedite degree completion.

Learners can also build their choice of 11 specialized certifications into their degree plans, enhancing their employability. Participants learn about network security and administration best practices, advanced database management, and enterprise information system design.

Coursework also teaches students a strong set of soft skills that can improve their career achievement outlooks. Assignments go beyond technical content to emphasize critical analysis, creative thinking, teamwork, and communication.

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
70%
Acceptance Rate
62%
Students Enrolled
2,373
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#10 Best Online Information Systems Security (InfoSec) Programs

Davenport University

  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

DU's Global Campus offers an online bachelor's degree in computer information systems. With an entirely online format, this 120-credit program positions graduates for career success in enterprise settings by combining computer science classes with required coursework in finance, data analysis, and project management.

Program graduates possess advanced business administration and management skills, as well as strong technical proficiencies. Learners can also customize their degrees by choosing one of four available concentrations: web and mobile development, programming, database analytics, and secure software development. Students can add a mathematics minor.

Graduates master at least three programming language families, including Java, C#, and C++. DU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and the average class size at the university is 17 students.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$20,064
Out-of-state
$20,064
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$16,308
Out-of-state
$16,308
Retention Rate
78%
Acceptance Rate
98%
Students Enrolled
5,384
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
81% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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Information Systems Security vs. Cybersecurity: What's the Difference?

Tech experts often classify cybersecurity as an information security subfield. Cybersecurity focuses exclusively on electronic data and the computer systems and networks that transmit and store it. Infosec has a broader scope: It includes both digital and non-digital media, covering the principles, processes, and tools used to protect it.

To better understand the distinction, consider a healthcare company in the process of digitizing paper-based patient records. Cybersecurity measures would only protect the records already entered into digital systems, while infosec would extend to the physical records still awaiting conversion.

Information security also carefully considers both external and internal threats, whereas cybersecurity tends to pay more attention to external factors. A 2024 Cybercrime Magazine article highlighted the enormous damage caused by insider-related data breaches at Apple, Cisco, Google, Twitter, and the U.S. Air Force, among other high-profile organizations.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Information Systems Security?

Information systems security specialists generally earn high salaries, and many associated career paths also appear poised for strong near-term growth. The information security analyst and IT director job titles profiled in the table below represent two clear examples.

Typical infosec career paths begin with an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree. Graduates then transition to the workforce, usually beginning with entry-level or supporting roles. Infosec professionals then move into senior positions with management and leadership responsibilities as they gain experience. Some choose to earn professional certifications, which may accelerate their advancement.

For infosec professionals, key technical skills cover IT management, network administration and security, programming, and threat analysis. The job titles below emphasize these proficiencies in profiling some of the paths you can take with an information systems security degree.

Popular Careers With an Information Systems Security Degree
Jobs Median Salary (2023) Job Outlook (2022-2032)
IT Auditor $76,950 (Payscale data, February 2024) N/A
Network Administrator $95,360 2%
Computer Programmer $99,700 -11%
Computer Systems Analyst $103,800 10%
Information Security Analyst $120,360 32%
Computer Network Architect $129,840 4%
IT Director $169,510 15%
Source: BLS

What Can I Expect From an Online Information Systems Security Program?

Bachelor's information systems security degrees cover about 120 semester credits. Schools offer these programs under various names, which often indicate the degree's focus. For instance, cybersecurity programs will emphasize computer systems, networks, and digital data. Similarly, concentrated business administration programs in information security explore the non-technical infosec needs of private enterprises.

Some schools have only general admission requirements. These typically include a high school diploma, demonstrated foundational knowledge of computer science, and a strong academic background in STEM subjects. If specific prerequisites apply, they usually extend to subjects like mathematics and programming languages.

Curricula feature intensive technical coverage of subjects like programming, networking, cybersecurity, cryptography, and information assurance. They may include internships or other practical training components and often culminate in a senior capstone project.

Information Systems Security Certifications

Infosec certifications may boost your professional development, advancement potential, and overall career prospects. Established professionals often pursue them to gain authoritative credentials that validate their skill sets.

Some certifications are open to anyone capable of demonstrating their mastery of the associated knowledge and skills. Others require multiple years of professional experience in a related role.

Popular infosec certifications include:

Certified Information Systems Security Professional

Offered by ISC2, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) covers eight domains in risk management, security protocols and technologies, security assessment, and access management. To qualify for CISSP certification, you need at least five years of paid work experience in at least two of the eight domains.

To earn CISSP certification, you must pass a rigorous three-hour examination covering 100-150 questions. The highest possible score is 1,000 points, and you must get at least 700 points to pass.

Certified Information Systems Auditor

ISACA provides the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification, which is intended for information technology and information systems auditors, and advanced infosec professionals focused on access control and information assurance.

The four-hour, 150-question CISA exam tests knowledge in five domains spanning auditing processes, IT governance, information system development and management, IT operations, and asset protection. To sit for the exam, you must have at least five years of professional IT auditing, information assurance, control, or information security experience.

Certified Information Security Manager

ISACA's Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is also for infosec professionals with at least five years' experience. CISM focuses on technical proficiencies covering the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of organizational infosec systems.

The four-hour CISM exam has 150 questions across four domains: infosec governance (17% of questions), infosec risk management (20%), infosec programs (33%), and incident management (30%).

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA's Security+ certification appeals to infosec and cybersecurity professionals who already hold the organization's Network+ credential and have two additional years of related paid work experience. The 90-minute test includes 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions. You must earn a minimum score of 750 (out of 900) to pass.

Questions focus on the best practices infosec professionals use to evaluate security environments and to recommend, design, and implement security solutions. They also cover IT governance, relevant laws, and compliance factors.

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner

CompTIA designed its Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) program for experienced non-management infosec practitioners. To sit for the exam, you must have at least 10 years of IT experience, of which at least five years must cover information security or cybersecurity.

The 90-question, 165-minute CASP+ exam uses a pass/fail format and emphasizes detailed technical knowledge of security architecture, engineering, and implementation. Successful test-takers will understand how to balance organizational security and resilience needs with applicable laws and compliance guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions Information Systems Security

Which degree is better: information systems security or cybersecurity?

It depends on your interests and professional goals, but information systems security degrees also cover cybersecurity and may therefore make a more balanced and versatile choice. Unlike cybersecurity, information security extends beyond purely digital and electronic domains, taking a broader and more inclusive approach to organizational security needs.

Not necessarily, if you can demonstrate that you possess the advanced technical knowledge and hard skills employers need and demand. As an alternative route, you could build these skills through independent study and then validate them by earning a professional credential such as ISC2's Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Information security analysts earn high pay and have very bright growth prospects, which combine to give the career path significant appeal.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), infosec analysts earned a median salary of $120,360 per year as of May 2023. The BLS also projects a stunning job growth rate of 32% for this career path from 2022 to 2032.

While the scope of your duties will depend on your exact job role, infosec professionals generally design and implement security policies, oversee risk management, monitor online and offline information systems, and ensure compliance. They also provide security leadership by training non-technical team members in information security and information assurance best practices.

The CISSP, CISA, CISM, Security+, and CASP+ infosec certifications all involve very challenging examinations and are often counted among the most difficult credentials to earn. They each require mastery of highly detailed technical knowledge and multiple years of paid professional experience.

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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