Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

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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Best Online Master's Degree Programs in Cybersecurity

Looking for a great master's program in cybersecurity? The research team at BestColleges crunched the numbers to determine the 10 best online programs of 2024 — and Stevenson University comes in at number one.

We ranked schools based on metrics like affordability, student outcomes, reputation, and diversity and social mobility. Stevenson University earned the top spot because it has the most affordable and accessible cybersecurity master's program on the list:

If you like a cozy cohort, Stevenson could be a good fit for you — the most recent graduating class had just 11 people. But if you want a wider network of potential connections, the cybersecurity program at the University of San Diego is the largest on our list, with a recent graduating class of 60 students.

  • A year of graduate studies at Stevenson University costs around $8,300.
  • 91% of applicants to Stevenson University gain admission.

Keep reading to discover which of the top online cybersecurity programs of 2024 is the best fit for you.

Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Degree Programs 2024

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and 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.

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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#1 Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

Stevenson University

  • Stevenson, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $705
Out-of-State | $705

Credits to Graduate: 36

Stevenson's master's in cybersecurity and digital forensics equips graduates to prevent and investigate cybercrime using the latest tools and techniques. This 100% online program requires courses such as mock intrusion and response; incident response and evidence collection; and malware detection, analysis, and prevention. 

Applicants need a bachelor's degree in a technical major with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Prospective students with other majors should hold at least five years of professional experience in a related field.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$35,504
Out-of-state
$35,504
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,340
Out-of-state
$8,340
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
3,454
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
67% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#2 Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

University of Arizona

  • Tucson, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $1,332
Out-of-State | $1,332

Credits to Graduate: 33

Students in UArizona's online master's in cybersecurity complete 12 units of a common core and 21 credits in either information systems or physical systems. Core courses include systems cybersecurity engineering, engineering of trustworthy secure systems, and data communications and networking. Information systems courses operate on an eight-week calendar and physical systems courses on a 16-week calendar. 

UArizona also offers an MS in cyber and information operations, a synchronous online degree for aspiring researchers, teachers, and leaders in cyber operations. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,990
Out-of-state
$33,739
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$12,106
Out-of-state
$32,290
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
48,274
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#3 Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

Champlain College

  • Burlington, VT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $595
Out-of-State | $595

Credits to Graduate: 30

Champlain's online MS in cybersecurity analytics prepares graduates to gather, organize, and interpret data on cyber vulnerabilities in order to properly assess risks. This program requires 10 classes spread across six terms. Courses include scripting for data science, data analysis and mining, and applied cybersecurity analytics. The program concludes with a capstone.

Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.5 or better. Prospective students without an appropriate background in the major can take leveling courses at Champlain. 

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 Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

DeSales University

  • Center Valley, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $915
Out-of-State | $915

Credits to Graduate: 36

Created for working professionals, DeSales' master of science in cybersecurity requires 12 three-credit courses, including an independent capstone project. Students take 15 credits of core courses, 12 of concentration courses, and six of electives. DeSales also offers a concentration in information systems.

Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better and a major in a computer-related discipline. Prospective students who do not meet these qualifications but have extensive experience in the field may also apply.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$39,500
Out-of-state
$39,500
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$21,120
Out-of-state
$21,120
Retention Rate
81%
Acceptance Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
3,101
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#5 Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

University of San Diego

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $1,290
Out-of-State | $1,290

Credits to Graduate: 30

In USD's master of science in cybersecurity engineering, online students focus on one course every seven weeks for 20 months. The curriculum aligns with the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and includes cybersecurity domain, applied cryptography, and security test engineering courses.

Alternatively, students can pursue USD's online MS in cybersecurity operations and leadership, a 30-credit program emphasizing cybersecurity analysis. Neither degree requires GMAT or GRE scores for admission, but both call for a bachelor's degree and an appropriate background in the field. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$52,120
Out-of-state
$52,120
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$27,936
Out-of-state
$27,936
Retention Rate
92%
Acceptance Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
9,041
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#6 Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

Chestnut Hill College

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $650
Out-of-State | $650

Credits to Graduate: 30-36

CHC's online master of science in cybersecurity is a 20-24 month program built on accelerated, eight-week modules focusing on practice and theory. Students take courses on vulnerability assessment, cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism, and human factors impacting cybersecurity.

CHC invites applications from both career-switchers and prospective students with technology backgrounds. All applicants should hold a bachelor's degree, and accepted students with an appropriate knowledge of computer science may waive 3-6 credits. New courses begin three times a year.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$37,950
Out-of-state
$37,950
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$17,400
Out-of-state
$17,400
Retention Rate
68%
Acceptance Rate
98%
Students Enrolled
1,505
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#7 Best Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs 2024

George Washington University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $1,195
Out-of-State | $1,195

Credits to Graduate: 30

Offered through the School of Engineering & Applied Science, GW's online master of engineering in cybersecurity policy and compliance prepares professionals to align organizational security policies and procedures with legal and regulatory statutes. This program's 10 courses require both synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences.

Students interested in problem-solving and decision-making may select GW's master of engineering in cybersecurity analytics. Both programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in a related field with a GPA of 2.7 or better.  

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$57,894
Out-of-state
$57,894
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$32,850
Out-of-state
$32,850
Retention Rate
91%
Acceptance Rate
50%
Students Enrolled
26,457
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

How We Rank Schools

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.

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.

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

Widely considered a specialization of computer science, cybersecurity programs tend to confer master of science (MS) degrees. This type of degree often has a focus on computer networks, programming languages, and applied cryptography. Many programs also incorporate IT project management skills.

Students may be able to choose between a general or concentrated cybersecurity degree. Schools commonly offer concentrations, such as information assurance, computer security fundamentals, cyberforensics, or cyberintelligence. In some cases, cybersecurity is offered as a specialization of a broader computer science, information technology, or MBA degree.

Most master's in cybersecurity programs require you to take 30-33 credits. Many schools uphold generous credit-transfer policies for students looking to graduate in fewer than two years. Additionally, many online master's in cybersecurity programs offer accelerated completion times. Some schools offer dual-degree programs resulting in both a bachelor's and master's in cybersecurity.

Programs may require or strongly recommend that you complete an internship or other fieldwork to complement your online coursework. A master's in cybersecurity often has experiential learning opportunities, with some leading to optional professional licensure. Most programs culminate in a practicum and/or capstone requirement.

How Much Is an Online Master's in Cybersecurity Degree?

Data published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that online students tend to pay less for a cybersecurity master's degree.

The NCES data reported below covers tuition and required fees. It shows that students in campus-only programs paid an average of 54% more, compared to peers who studied entirely online.

Beyond tuition, required texts and computer equipment are the main costs of an online master's in cybersecurity. Campus-based programs involve additional costs, which can include relocation, housing, commuting, and parking. Given these trends, cost-conscious students can realize significant savings by pursuing a cybersecurity master's online.

Average Annual Cost of a Master's in Cybersecurity Degree

Online

$10,877

In-Person

$16,750

Source: NCES

Popular Online Programs

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

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

An online master's in cybersecurity is an excellent credential for entry to multiple career paths. The following table profiles positions that strongly prefer or require an advanced cybersecurity degree. Remember that supplementing your degree with additional credentials such as professional certifications can boost your hiring chances.

Cybersecurity Careers for Master's Degree Graduates
Jobs Details Salaries (April 2024)
Security Policy Analyst Security policy analysts review organizational cyber and information security strategies, identify and close gaps and weaknesses, and ensure compliance. $81,312
Data Privacy Consultant These specialists work for multiple clients, helping them develop, implement, and update their data protection and privacy policies and safeguards. $95,956
Cybersecurity Engineer Cybersecurity engineers apply advanced knowledge of cyberthreats to identify and address specific weaknesses in software, systems, and networks. $101,829
Security Architect This senior position focuses on leading cybersecurity policy development and overseeing the engineering and technical teams who implement it. $139,626
Chief Information Security Officer A high-profile, C-suite role, this career involves executive oversight of data, information, and cybersecurity in corporate environments. $176,721
Source: Payscale

More Questions About Getting a Cybersecurity Master's Online

Can I get a master's in cybersecurity online?

Yes, many accredited public and private U.S. colleges offer online master's in cybersecurity programs. However, keep in mind that online programs may include some in-person components such as occasional campus residencies, internships, and practicums.

A cybersecurity master's degree is a key qualification for cyber and information security careers with advancement potential. By pairing your graduate degree with professional experience, you can ascend into senior roles in cybersecurity policy analysis, engineering, and architecture. C-suite roles represent the pinnacle of the profession and commonly require a relevant master's degree.

Payscale data from April 2024 indicates the elevated financial value of a cybersecurity master's degree. The average base salary of a working professional with a cybersecurity bachelor's was $77,000 per year. Meanwhile, those with a master's in the field commanded average base salaries of $96,000 per year.

Success in a master's in cybersecurity program depends on having the necessary skills, aptitudes, and background knowledge. You will need a strong base of general computer science skills, plus foundational to intermediate-level knowledge of cybersecurity principles. Mathematical skills, especially in Boolean algebra, linear algebra, and binary number theory, are also essential.

An online master's in cybersecurity can be a good investment for learners who match particular profiles. Graduate cybersecurity programs can help computer science generalists build targeted security proficiencies with strong appeal to employers. They can also open doors for established, advancement-minded cybersecurity professionals seeking to develop more advanced skill sets.

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 December 7, 2023.

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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