Cybersecurity Online Master’s Programs Top 20

Cybersecurity is becoming one of the more necessary fields of study as the world moves closer to being entirely online. There is also a drastic need for cybersecurity specialists as there are not nearly enough members of this workforce. That has led to an uptick in universities offering a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity. However, not all Master’s programs are created the same.

A Master of Science in Cybersecurity can lead to a variety of sought-after positions. Graduates often take on positions that include cybersecurity engineers, information security architects, chief technology officers, cybersecurity analysts and much more. This type of degree can open up a whole new world of possibilities as there is not an abundance of individuals that hold an MS in cybersecurity. 

The online educational pathway allows students to earn a degree at their own pace and for some, it means a faster track to taking on a high-level position that could come with a handsome salary. There is not going to be a shortage of cybersecurity regardless of what happens as there is going to be an incessant need to guard against cyberattacks. That means more universities are going to look to add cybersecurity degree programs.

How Do You Quantify “The Top 25”

Cybersecurity Master’s Degree programs are not as widely available as other majors. Of the ones that do exist, it is important to examine their offerings. One of the first offerings is the number of resources available to the students. This educational field demands state-of-the-art coursework as industry trends change on a yearly basis. The universities that have committees, panels or councils entrusted with facilitating updates to the curriculum receive higher marks.

It is also important to identify faculty members and their collective level of expertise. This helps to paint a clearer picture of what kind of experience will be in store for students. Reviews, awards, affiliations, accolades and rankings are also taken into account in the process of putting together a list of the top 25 online cybersecurity graduate programs.

Tuition costs are also examined, but the cost is not measured on a scale from lowest to highest. The value in that overall tuition cost is taken into consideration as programs that offer students the most for their money have earned a place in the list of the top 25 programs. Graduation rate and retention rates play a role, but are more appropriately applied to undergraduate programs. Teacher to student ratio is another key element as it represents the level of attention students will receive while enrolled in a master’s level online program. All of those factors led to the development of this Top 25 and the information gathered helps prospective students find the most beneficial online cybersecurity graduate program that will help further their career. 


Online Master’s Programs

University of North Dakota

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $816

  • Master’s program offers a choice of four different tracks which are cybersecurity specializations with separate focus areas
  • Self-paced coursework allows students to progress at their own rate

The Master’s program in general cybersecurity at the University of North Dakota offers various specializations according to student preference. Students can choose specializations in Cybersecurity Behavior, Data Security, Autonomous Systems or General Cybersecurity. This allows for versatility in the curriculum that caters to each student’s specific needs. Tuition rates are competitive and considered one of the more affordable options for what is offered in terms of resources, subject material and educational experience. The team of cybersecurity instructors has accumulated a wealth of experience, both professionally and academically. The cybersecurity program can begin at any time for students, who have up to nine months to complete the source. The minimum amount of time is three months as it allows students to adjust their school routine to their own lifestyle.

Florida Institute of Technology

Master of Business Administration in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $777

  • Florida Tech has gained an esteemed reputation for being one of the nation’s prominent research universities
  • Challenging coursework combined with faculty will thoroughly prepare students for their professional careers

There are a lot of advantages that come with enrolling in the Master’s program at Florida Tech. U.S. World News & Report ranks as a tier one best national university and that reputation is well-deserved. As a research university, Florida Tech remains on the cutting edge of new innovations and approaches to cybersecurity. There are three separate Master of Science Degree programs offered at Florida Tech. They include an MBA in cybersecurity, an MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity and an MS in Information Technology/Cybersecurity. Florida Tech was recently featured in Newsweek and Forbes for its success in cyber defense research. The program was also recognized for its academic excellence by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. The success rates of prior students in the workforce also add to the acclaim of a cybersecurity graduate degree from Florida Tech.

Tiffin University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $550

  • Terms are set up so that students who attend on a full-time basis can earn their degree within one year
  • Features a Center for Cyber Defense & Forensics which provides students with an abundance of resources

The M.S. Cybersecurity program is an excellent value for the quality of the degree as tuition is less than many schools of equal quality. The program design was based on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. The Center for Cyber Defense & Forensics offers an immensity of resources, which includes collaborations with foundations, and private and public entities. It also offers students industry certification opportunities and conducts cyber-related community outreach. Classes begin at six different starting points over the course of a year and students who attend on a full-time basis can earn their degree in just under a year. Student reviews carry exceptional approval rates. In most student surveys, 97% of former students recommend Tiffin’s graduate program.

University of Rhode Island

Professional Science Master’s in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $855

  • Features a Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center which produces state-of-the-art research and is a valuable resource to all URI students
  • Private university Master’s Degree is considered to carry high value by many publications

The program is equipped with an internship that allows students to apply their coursework to real life situations. Internship requirements may be satisfied by prior employment in the cybersecurity sector. The program also requires students to complete graduate-level research projects. The University of Rhode Island ranks 166th among all national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.  The Wall Street Journal Smart Money Magazine ranks all universities in terms of tuition costs and earning power and determined URI is No.1 in new England and No.13 in the nation. The NSA and DHS also designated URI’s cybersecurity program as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research.

University of Charleston

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $425

  • One of the most economically priced cybersecurity master’s programs among universities that are more than 100 years old
  • School schedule divided into terms which provides the opportunity to accelerate graduation

The University of Charleston is a private institution, although its tuition costs are far below most public universities. At Charleston, students are able to earn a Master’s Degree from a private university with a longstanding history in American education. Based out of West Virginia, this program does not require additional tuition from students who reside out of state. The program can be completed in as few as five terms. There is a small faculty to student ratio for online coursework. The advantages of this program appeal to students looking for quality education at a reduced rate and one they can complete rather quickly.

Franklin University

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $670

  • The time factor is a benefit as a Master’s Degree from Franklin University spans just 16 months
  • Program curriculum continues to update emerging technologies to help students stay updated on the latest industry trends

Franklin University offers a private school education at an affordable price. The university has developed a reputation for its Master’s Degree programs being its strongest offering. It is also a top choice of working adults as its flexibility has been very accommodating to students. The Cybersecurity program is a member of the National CyberWatch Center, which allows for industry collaborations and access to the latest research and education. Franklin features a Center for Public Safety and Cybersecurity Education which is the hub for its cybersecurity Master’s program and all those resources are available to online students. The design of the Master’s program at Franklin is aligned with all the top industry certifications, and also includes valuable employee skill building which is specific to this discipline.

Northcentral University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $962

  • Flexible start times allows students to begin classes at any time over the course of a year
  • Private university education featuring prominent faculty with extensive industry experience

Northcentral University has steadily grown since its inception in 1996 and featured its largest graduating class in 2018. A recent study showed that 68% of NCU alumni completed their master’s degree within one to two years, which is above 48% of online master’s degree alumni from around the country. The cybersecurity program meets the standards as dictated by the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Students can enroll during any week over the course of a year as the MS Cybersecurity program features 10 courses needed for completion. The online option also allows for hands-on experience as the coursework has been carefully implemented with the inclusion of the latest industry standards and trends.

Purdue University Global

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $420

  • Earning an elite Big Ten Master’s Degree from a far at a reduced tuition rate provides students with a great value for their dollar
  • Previously attained industry certifications count towards the MS cybersecurity degree

Value is the top offering to students in the MS Cybersecurity at Purdue Global. The quality of this Master’s Degree education is often priced much higher at competing universities. Purdue ranked in the top 100 universities per a report from The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education. Purdue Global ranked No.43 overall, which is fifth-best among public universities. Purdue’s 12-1 faculty to student ratio is also among the best in the nation as it has received multiple recognitions for that distinction. The price per credit can be reduced even more as there are a number of financial aid, grant and scholarship options available. The program features the simulation of real-world situations in its Cybersecurity program and graduates can take advantage of the extensive Purdue alumni network that boasts numerous advantages.

St. Leo University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $770

  • Term length allows students to take multiple courses at once and fast track their graduation
  • Courses are based on all the top industry certifications with proficiency standards in emerging technologies, which provides a comprehensive skillset

St. Leo continues to grow in popularity and the expansion of its resources on an annual basis has benefited students in the Cybersecurity program. The Florida-based school also has a traditional campus, although all its resources are available to online students. Graduates have gone on to work in advanced research in information security and assurance, taking advantage of the MS Cybersecurity program education and credentials. The U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Leo as the No.25 school in its Universities South category. St. Leo also ranked fifth in the category of Best Value Schools, per U.S. News & World Report. The MS Cybersecurity Program at St. Leo has also received the designation of National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

University of Maine

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $421 (in-state) $526 (out-of-state)

  • Affordable tuition for a degree from a recognized university that has been in existence since 1865
  • Students can utilize UMA’s Cybersecurity Range research operation that brings a unique aspect to this type of education

The MS Cybersecurity program at UMA was designed to align with benchmarks set by the National Security Agency. The Cybersecurity Range is a resource that allows students and faculty to counterattack simulated attacks. These exercises are available for online and on-campus students. The cost of tuition is on the lower end of comparative master’s programs, although UMA has a longer history and record of academic achievements than many of its competitors. Forbes ranks UMA as No.207 in research universities and the six-year graduation rate is above the national average at 58%. There are also a vast amount of clubs offered at UMA, many of which are open to online students as well.

Syracuse University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $1,620 per credit

  • One of the most prestigious MS Cybersecurity Degrees in the country as it is part of the Syracuse College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • High-level curriculum with Live HD classes every week

The tuition is higher than most competitive programs, although the education speaks for itself. The U.S. News & World Report voted the MS Cybersecurity Program at Syracuse the No.19 Best Online Graduate Information Technology Program. The unique design of the program requires 15 elective credits as students can choose from cybersecurity classes not available at most universities. Classes sizes are limited to provide students with more individual attention from renowned professors who have been celebrated in the field. Syracuse is highly acclaimed when it comes to computer science as an MS in Cybersecurity can prove to be a major benefit in the professional world. The online Master’s Degree can be completed in as little as 15 months, but does include what is considered to be a rigorous curriculum.

Arizona State University

Master of Computer Science in Cybersecurity

Program Cost: $15,000

  • Features low-cost tuition from a university that has been nationally recognized since it first opened in 1885
  • Learn from an esteemed faculty that includes a Nobel laureate and numerous National Academy of Science members

Arizona State University has become an innovator in online education as it provides a large selection of distance learning majors. That includes a graduate degree in cybersecurity as ASU alumni have gone on to work in some of the most prominent defense organizations in the world. The distance learning option in cybersecurity follows standards set by the National Security Agency. The comprehensive nature of this program allows students to pursue a variety of careers and they are also helped by having a degree from a university that carries name recognition. Students from all over the country are eligible to apply for this online program which has been recognized as one of the nation’s elite by U.S. News & World Report.

La Salle University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $920

  • A private university with high-quality reputation and respectable national ranking
  • Low faculty to student ratio (11:1) which allows a lot of individual attention

The Philadelphia-based university has a long-standing history of academic excellence. The online cybersecurity program allows anyone to obtain a top-level education from La Salle, which has been in existence since 1863. The courses in the cybersecurity span eight weeks and students are permitted to take two per semester, and the school has three semesters over the course of a year. La Salle is a private university that continues to receive high marks by numerous ranking services. The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education have once again named La Salle one of the Top 300 institutions. La Salle has traditionally been considered an excellent value for the quality of education and a Master’s Degree from the university can carry a great deal of weight when navigating through the job market.

Bellevue University

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $585

  • Highly rated by many services that evaluate online programs specializing in cybersecurity
  • Affordable pricing with numerous financial aid options provides students with an excellent value from what is considered a reputable university in the Information Technology sector

Those who have previous experience and certifications in the MIS, IT, or Information Security sectors can qualify for the accelerated cohort option, which helps to fast track their degree. Bellevue is based out of Nebraska and caters to adult professionals as 80% of its graduates are over the age of 24. For three consecutive years, Washington Monthly named Bellevue one of the 10 best universities for online learners. The Cybersecurity program has been recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. The university also features a high retention rate at 77% and provides an average of more than $6,000 a year in financial aid to its students.

Sam Houston State University

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $603

  • Provides students with an abundance of resources within its extensive computer science department that comes equipped with its own center
  • Regularly ranked among the best online technology programs in the country and offers students a wealth of support services

This Master of Science program was ranked No. 1 by Best College Reviews for online programs in the cybersecurity category. This MS program is a little different than most Cybersecurity programs in that it combines Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. This allows students to receive a comprehensive learning experience with a great deal of detail. Sam Houston State is based out of Texas and features a Computer Science Department led by faculty members who have accumulated numerous industry accolades. The university is home to a Cyber Forensics Intelligence Center which facilitates industry relationships and also implements internships, capstone projects and seminar presentations. The major benefit of this Master’s program lies in its state-of-the-art curriculum and availability of resources.

Brandeis University

Master of Science in Information Security Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,179

  • Detailed and thorough curriculum led by industry experts that equips students with a vast knowledge base
  • Ranked No.40 among National Universities by U.S. World & News Report, maintain a high quality reputation for academic excellence

A private research university based out of Massachusetts, Brandeis has extended its reach to a global level with all its online offerings. The MS program can be completed anywhere from 15 to 30 months. It is defined as a GPS learning experience led by a leadership committee entrusted with keeping the curriculum current. There are online information sessions available to get students acclimated to the process and provide information on what to expect as a student at Brandeis. There is an extensive amount of resources offered to students at Brandeis as it attempts to redefine the online learning experience. There are also advisors available at all levels as students can engage human resources for assistants before during and after their graduate level experience at Brandeis.

University of Delaware

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $1,237

  • Students receive a high a great deal of attention from instructors while also collaborating regularly with peers in what is a highly interactive online program
  • One of the highest rated and reviewed online master’s program as Delaware has built an esteemed reputation in the academic community

The design of the online program differentiates it from other programs because of its hands-on approach. Classes within this program feature faculty engagements and peer collaborations as an essential part of each course. The hands-on training uses virtual machine technology that allows students to build and interact with virtual machines. This major is also designed to engrain project leadership management into the student experience. The coursework can be challenging, although a Master’s Degree from the University of Delaware carries a wealth of credibility. The program consists of 30 credits and is not a cheap option, although there is a high level of value in the educational experience received in the UDel Cybersecurity Master’s program.

Mississippi College

Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Cost Per Credit: $625

  • The Cybersecurity curriculum at Mississippi College takes on a traditional scheduling format and provides a lot of individual attention from its faculty
  • Positive student experiences have led to a plethora of good reviews as the student experience is a selling point of this online program

The Cybersecurity faculty at Mississippi College features a team of industry experts with multiple high-level degrees. The courses are 16 weeks in length as Mississippi College does not rush through the curriculum and covers a wide array of essential topics in each course. That has translated into very favorable reviews by multiple outlets and also saw its MS Cybersecurity program named the 22nd most affordable in the nation by Online U. Mississippi College was also voted the best online college in Mississippi by the Center for Online Education. The faculty to student ratio stands at 15:1 and its 77% retention rate is above the national average.

University of San Diego

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Operations and Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $925

  • The USD program has been heralded by members of Homeland Security as one of the most comprehensive in existence
  • Innovative curriculum that fuses leadership elements in the coursework, adding to the prestige and credibility of this degree

The University of San Diego features one of the most revered Cybersecurity Master’s programs in the country as it adds leadership elements to its curriculum. The U.S. Deputy Director of Homeland Security lauded the program saying there is no other that rivals the total immersion strategy used by USD. In addition to financial aid options, there are several cybersecurity scholarships and grants open to students. There is even a USD cybersecurity blog that is regularly updated with relevant topics and extensive information. The program spans five semesters and Can be completed in 20 months. It is one of the most cost-efficient MS Cybersecurity options as the level of education provides excellent value. The majority of students also qualify for some form of financial assistance.

Maryville University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $816

  • The program can be completed in as little as 12 months, allowing students to fast track through a comprehensive curriculum
  • Students work in Maryville’s virtual lab which has been recognized by Apple for its innovativeness

Some of the faculty in the Maryville program remain working in the cybersecurity sector, providing a direct link to the latest developments in the industry. Maryville has also earned numerous accolades and recognition from major entities, such as Forbes and Kiplinger for being one of the top online universities in the United States. The student population continues to grow, although Maryville is able to maintain a small teacher to student ratio of 14:1. The Cybersecurity program is often smaller than that as students take advantage of an abundance of individual attention and interaction with the faculty. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, the Cybersecurity program is part of Maryville’s John E. Simon School of Business. This offers a variety of resources to students.

University of South Florida

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $347

  • One of the most economical MS Cybersecurity programs in the United States as its low-cost tuition makes it affordable for students on all types of budgets
  • Students can choose from four areas of concentration that will specialize their MS in cybersecurity

The above listed cost is for in-state residents, although students from 16 states belonging to the Southern Regional Education Board will also qualify for that same tuition fee. One of the benefits of the USF program is that it allows graduate students to choose a specific discipline for their Cybersecurity Degree. Those disciplines are Computer Security Fundamentals, Cyber Intelligence, Digital Forensics, and Information Assurance. The program is also designed with an interdisciplinary approach with contributions from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Behavioral and Community Sciences. Courses are set up in eight-week formats, providing convenience for students looking to accelerate their graduate experience. The USF campus also houses the Florida Center for Cybersecurity.

James Madison University

Master of Science in Information Security

Cost Per Credit: $775

  • One of the oldest cybersecurity Master’s Degree programs and this public university provides a private school type of education
  • The online cybersecurity program was moved online in 1999 and is considered one of the more challenging and respected in the United States

JMU was an innovator in Cybersecurity education as it was one of the first seven universities to earn the distinction of the National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. This distinction is issued by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. While other schools also have that distinction, JMU has built on such accolades for many years. That has led to a comprehensive technical curriculum that has been defined as quite rigorous. JMU’s program is also affiliated with major cybersecurity organizations as it has become an educational leader in this field. There is also a large number of alumni working in lofty positions as many have gone on to be employed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

EC-Council University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $540

  • Completion of the program earns students seven industry certifications and there are also five specializations offered
  • EECU provides a cybersecurity educational experience that features a lot of interaction, outreach and events that are comparable to an on-campus experience

The MS in cybersecurity allows students to choose from five specializations which are Security Analyst, Enterprise Security Architect, Digital Forensics, Incident Management and Business Continuity, and Executive Leadership in Information Assurance. Based out of New Mexico, EECU facilitates frequent interaction between students and instructors in the online program. Coursework is designed to take place in EECU’s iLabs which offers the benefit of complete customization. This type of virtualization allows for a unique online experience in which students learn through 100% virtualization. ECCU also runs a cyber challenge that is a weeklong competition that awards the winners partial scholarships in what has become a popular annual event. EECU also endorses a number of cybersecurity scholarships, which helps to ease the financial burden among students. Transfer credits are accepted and prior cybersecurity experience can also contribute to satisfying certain credit requirements.

John Brown University

Master of Science or Master of Business Administration in Cybersecurity

Cost Per Credit: $600

  • One of few schools that offers the choice of an MS or an MBA in cybersecurity
  • Program has gained relatively quick success as it was formed in 2017 and has expanded resources and credibility in each of the past few years

John Brown University is one of the few schools to offer both an MS and MBA in Cybersecurity. The MBA option emphasizes leadership in preventing and understanding cyberattacks while the MS option involves a more technical approach. The MBA requires an additional 6-15 credits to complete while the MS program requires the completion of 30 total credits. There is a limited number of schools offering an MBA in cybersecurity and online programs are even more limited. Based out of Arkansas, JBU has a long history of academic excellence as it was founded in 1919. The success of the Master’s program has led to the introduction of an undergraduate cybersecurity major this year at JBU.

Southern Utah University

Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Cost Per Credit: $485

  • The program is broken down into two separate distinctions which allow students to tailor their cybersecurity education towards their desired area of work
  • There has been an ongoing commitment to building the computer science department at Southern Utah and that has resulted in quality education at a very affordable price

The Southern Utah Cybersecurity program features two emphases, one in Cyber and Web Security and another in Government, Regulation, and Compliance and IS Controls. The former allows students to expand on their existing computer science experience while the latter focuses on cybersecurity laws and best safety practices without the need for students to possess a coding background. The program is part of Southern Utah’s Computer Science & Information Systems Department, which has developed enhanced criteria for students in the program. Southern Utah is also one of the best priced programs in the country as it offers more value than many who are double in cost.