Cybersecurity

Many professionals today wonder about the necessity of an accelerated Online Master’s in Cybersecurity. The answer is simple: in-service professionals who take on a graduate degree in the field will find better work with more responsibility and a better chance at making a difference. And while this is all true, it’s also true that cybersecurity graduate professionals are in high demand in every sector in America, including in the government.

But while it is possible to earn a traditional degree in cybersecurity, many professionals do not have the time to go to attend an on-campus program. They need accelerated and affordable programs that fit around their already busy schedules. And as online programs have grown in popularity, so too have the options that come with these degrees, such as completing a master’s in two years with part-time study or even being able to finish in just one year. The programs listed below all provide the ability to finish a degree in two years or less and are also affordable options, making it a perfect read for anyone interested in a graduate degree.

Methodology

This ranking was created by researching the term “accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity” on the National Center for Education Statistics website. The schools were then inputted into the College Navigator database, which is available to the public, to compare and contrast several factors including accelerated degree options and tuition rates. Out of an initial 50 schools, 20 were selected for this list based on their in-state graduate tuition rate.

Ranking Low-Cost Accelerated Master’s in Cybersecurity

20. Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

Nova Southeastern University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity from NSU requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $27,900

Nova Southeastern University offers students the chance to earn a one year Master’s in Cybersecurity online that will pave the way for them to work in mid-level management positions. This degree was developed to answer the call of employers who need professionals who understand how to maintain, secure, and control sensitive information and the networks that house them. This is a 100 percent online degree that is housed at the school’s College of Engineering and Computing, which has the distinction of being recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. As an accelerated degree, students will find that most courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously throughout terms that vary from 12 weeks to 16 weeks in length. This degree requires 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Secure Computer Systems, Applied Cryptography, and Computer and Network Forensics.

19. Regis University

Denver, Colorado

Online Master of Science in Information Assurance

Regis University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Information Assurance from Regis University is available 100 percent online.

Website

Tuition: $27,000

Students at Regis University are offered an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity that will prepare them for various career tracks within the field. Students will find a 100 percent online degree that has two specializations: Cybersecurity and IA Policy Management. The school is also recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, which is a distinction that many employers look for once a student has graduated. This degree can be taken 100 percent online and is delivered through asynchronous and synchronous courses. Students who study full-time can finish the requirements for this degree in less than 18 months. Students will be required to complete a total of 36 credit hours of coursework, a thesis or creative project, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Information Technology Research Methods, Information Technology Concepts, and Legal Basics in Cyber and Information Security.

18. Our Lady of the Lake University

San Antonio, Texas

Online Master of Science in Information Systems and Security

Our Lady of the Lake University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Information Systems and Security from Our Lady of the Lake University requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $26,670

Our Lady of the Lake University’s one year online Master’s in Cybersecurity degree is a great choice for cybersecurity professionals. It is certified by the National Security Agency and is housed in a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the agency as well as the Department of Homeland Security. The curriculum has a stated focus on innovative programming and an applied practice approach, ensuring that students not only understand the concepts and theories taught in the classroom but they can also apply what they have learned to real-world issues. This degree is held entirely online and is delivered through synchronous courses; live participation by students is required. This degree can be completed in as little as one year provided that a student attend school full-time or study year-round. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Principles of Information Assurance and Security, Data Base Management Systems, and Special Topics in Information Systems and Security.

17. The University of Detroit at Mercy

Mercy, Michigan

Online Master of Science in Information Assurance with a Major in Cybersecurity

University of Detroit Mercy - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Information Assurance from University of Detroit at Mercy requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $24,780

The accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity that is available at the University of Detroit at Mercy is nationally recognized as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. It is a 100 percent online degree that is easily attainable with one year of full-time study and is only available through the school’s virtual portal. Courses are delivered primarily synchronously, however some courses are available asynchronously. Students will find that the majority of the curriculum is dedicated to cyber defense operations and tactics, making it a great choice for those who are interested in working for the government after graduation. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a creative project, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Principles of Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Management Processes, and Advanced Network Security.

16. Fordham University

New York City, New York

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Fordham University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from Fordham University is hybrid cohort degree.

Website

Tuition: $24,300

Fordham University confers an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity through the school’s Center for Cybersecurity. It is a designated National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and provides students with a curriculum that adheres to guidelines set forth by the government for cybersecurity professionals. This degree was designed for both pre-service and in-service professionals; students from all backgrounds can apply for the program and may be required to complete prerequisite courses prior to beginning their plan of study. The degree is a hybrid cohort model, meaning that students will be required to complete residency requirements during the summer in order to graduate. It is possible to graduate in one year if a student studies full-time. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone or a master’s thesis, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Network Essentials Intensive, Incident Response and Risk Management, and Leadership and Management in Cybersecurity.

15. Champlain College

Burlington, Virginia

Online Master of Science in Information Security Operations

Champlain College - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Information Security Operations from Champlain College offers courses either asynchronously or synchronously.

Website

Tuition: $23,850

The accelerated master’s online in cybersecurity degree from Champlain College is an incredible program that will take a student and prepare them to become a cybersecurity professional in less than two years. This degree is offered 100 percent online and is a great choice for students who have professional or personal obligations. All courses are delivered either asynchronously or synchronously and in an eight-week term format; this means that students can finish this degree in less than two years. This degree has also been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education as well as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence; the latter is a designation that has only been offered to four other colleges in the country. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Security Scripting with Python, Managing Risk in Information Technology Organizations, and Cyber Warfare and Cyber Crime.

14. The University of Rhode Island at Providence

Providence, Rhode Island

Online Master of Science in Cyber Security

University of Rhode Island - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cyber Security from URI requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $23,580

The University of Rhode Island at Providence offers an accelerated online program that is bolstered by the school’s distinction as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. This school confers a professional science master’s degree, one that is both a tech-oriented program yet requires no technology prerequisite courses. Students need only hold a four-year degree from an accredited university in order to apply for this program. This is a comprehensive degree that is held entirely online; students will participate in asynchronous and synchronous courses, all available within the school’s virtual portal. Students will also find that any labs can also be completed online and in real time. Students are expected to complete an internship as their final project for this degree, and this takes place in their own area of residence. Students will be required to also complete 36 quarter credit hours of coursework as well as a comprehensive final exam. Sample courses include Professional Skills for Cyber Security, Advanced Intrusion Detection and Defense, and Introduction to Network and Systems Security.

13. Excelsior College

Albany, New York

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Excelsior College - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from Excelsior College can be completed in one year of study.

Website

Tuition: $21,295

Students at Excelsior College will find an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity degree that comes with three different concentrations in order to help them find their specialty prior to entering the workforce. These include Information Assurance, Medical Data Security, and Policy Administration. The program is also aligned with the cybersecurity academic guidelines that have been put forth by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The program was built for working adults and consists of 100 percent online asynchronous and synchronous courses that are taught by cybersecurity experts. Students who study full-time and year-round may find that they can finish the requirements for this degree in one year. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Leadership and Communication in Cybersecurity, Foundations of Cybersecurity, and Ethics, Legal, and Compliance Issues in Cybersecurity.

12. Pennsylvania State University — World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Professional Studies in Information Sciences — Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Penn State University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online Master of Professional Studies in Information Sciences form PSU can be completed in 18 months of part-time study.

Website

Tuition: $21,120

Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus is home to one of the best affordable accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity degrees available in the country. This program is built on a socio-technical approach that showcases the different perspectives one can take on the cyber domain. The degree is held 100 percent online and can be completed in as little as 18 months with part-time study. Courses are synchronous and highly interactive, meaning that students will be expected to participate in projects and debates in real time. Courses are also taught by leading experts in the field, ensuring that students are earning an education that can truly help them once they enter the workforce after they have graduated. Students can expect to complete 33 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project or research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Computer and Cyber Forensics, Topics in Visual Analytics, and Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management.

11. Maryville University

St. Louis, Missouri

Online Master of Science in Cyber Security

Maryville University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cyber Security from Maryville University can be completed in 18 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $19,584

The accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity degree that is located at Maryville University is one of the most affordable and comprehensive programs in the nation. This program was developed for professionals who wish to transition into management or C-level roles within the business sector. The degree is conferred 100 percent online with absolutely no campus residency requirements; courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously, utilizing real-world case studies and real-world trends and issues in order to keep students up-to-date with the industry. Students who study part-time can graduate in as little as 18 months. This degree requires 30 credit hours of coursework, a final project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Designing and Implementing Cloud Security, Mobile Device Hacking and Forensics, and Legal Aspects of Privacy and Compliance.

10. The University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware

Online Master of Science in Cyber Security

University of Delaware - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cyber Security from UD can be completed in one year.

Website

Tuition: $17,985

The University of Delaware provides students with a 12 month online Master’s in Cybersecurity degree that is approved by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. This program was designed to prepare students for working as cyber security professionals and defending infrastructures from any type of attack. This degree is best suited for professionals with a programming, engineering, or computer science background; however, conditional admissions is available and will require students enter into prerequisite courses prior to moving into the program. This is a 100 percent and extremely flexible online program; courses are delivered asynchronously and in a seven-week term format. The program can be completed in as little as one year with full-time and year-round study. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a final research project, and a comprehensive written and oral exam. Sample courses include Search and Data Mining, Pen Test and Reverse Engineering, and System Hardening and Protection.

9. Utica College

Utica, New York

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Utica College - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from Utica College requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,900

Students at Utica College are offered an affordable accelerated Master’s in Cybersecurity online degree that comes from a school that has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by both the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. This degree comes with five specializations: Intelligence, Cyber Operations, Malware Analysis, Computer Forensics, and Electronic Crime. This is a mostly online degree; students will be required to complete one three-day residency during the first semester of their plan of study. This degree was constructed to be completed in two years with part-time study and students will have access to asynchronous and synchronous courses. Students can expect to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written exam. Sample courses include Principles of Cybersecurity, Principles of Cybercrime Investigations, and Critical National Infrastructures and National Security.

8. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, Florida

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Saint Leo University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from from Saint Leo University requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,880

Saint Leo University offers students the chance to take part of an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity that aligns itself with the guidelines set forth for graduate information assurance degrees by the National Security Agency. This is a hybrid degree; students will take half of their courses online as synchronous offerings and the other half on campus. This program is straightforward and comprehensive, with students sticking to a core curriculum that has already been set out for them. Should a student choose to study full-time, they will be able to complete this degree in two years, provided they take courses during the summer. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a final capstone or research project, and a comprehensive mid-term and final written exam. Sample courses include Principles of Cybersecurity Management, Cybersecurity Compliance and Legal Issues, and Advanced Networking and Protocols.

7. Mercy College

Dobbs Ferry, New York

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Mercy College - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from Mercy College requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $17,520

Students at Mercy College are offered the chance to complete an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity from an outstanding program. This degree was built for pre-service and in-service professionals and prepares them to take on mid- to senior-level positions in the cybersecurity field. Students will find that this program is built to maintain a student’s understanding of the field while also encouraging them to do their own research and engage in their own projects. This 100 percent online degree focuses on the various aspects that challenge cybersecurity professionals today; these courses are delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats for the convenience of the students. The degree also requires 36 credit hours of coursework, a research project, and a capstone project or master thesis. Sample courses include Mobile Technologies and Wireless Sensor Services, Social Implications of Information Security, and Firewall and Intrusion Detection.

6. Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Regent University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from Regent University requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $15,600

Regent University confers an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity that is taught in a Christian worldview. Students will be taught the moral and ethical issues that come with cybersecurity along with how to spot a cyber attack. This degree will be of importance to students who are interested in working in the public or government sector, especially as the influence that technology has in terms of sensitive information becomes more apparent. Students who take on this degree will be met with an entirely virtual curriculum; courses are delivered asynchronously and synchronously. It is possible that a student who studies part-time can finish this degree in two years or less. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a final project, and a comprehensive exit exam. Sample courses include Information Security Management, Business Continuation and Disaster Recovery, and Digital Systems Design and Forensics.

5. Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Bellevue University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from Bellevue University offers two tracks of study.

Website

Tuition: $13,800

Students who study at Bellevue University will be treated to an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity that can be completed in under two years. This school has received designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity from the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The school provides two different tracks for online students: Traditional Online and Cohort Online. The difference between the two tracks is based on a professional’s level of experience in the field. The traditional track takes longer and is built for entry-level or pre-service professionals; it is this track that follows the traditional on-campus format. The cohort online program is an accelerated track that was designed for professionals that have at least three years of work experience in cybersecurity. This track, which offers students an entirely online and synchronous degree plan, can be completed in less than two years, provided the student studies part-time every session. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exit exam for graduation. Sample courses include Cybersecurity Governance and Compliance, Ethical Hacking and Response, and Business Continuity and Recovery Planning.

4. East Coast Polytechnic Institute

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

East Coast Polytechnic Institute - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity from ECPI requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $12,960

East Coast Polytechnic Institute offers students the chance to earn an accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity that was created with the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security program guidelines in mind; the program is currently seeking designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense. This program is comprehensive and goes in-depth; therefore, it is advised that students with a minimum of one year of work experience in the field apply for this program. The entire degree is conferred online; courses are delivered asynchronously and all lab assignments take place in the simulation lab provided by the school’s virtual portal. Students have the choice of two concentrations: Cyber Operations or Cybersecurity Policy. The degree requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exit exam in order to graduate. Sample courses include Applied Cryptography and Data Protection, Network Security and Intrusion Detection, and Wireless and Mobile Security.

3. Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online Master of Science in Cyber Security

Liberty University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cyber Security from Liberty University can be completed in one year.

Website

Tuition: $10,170

Students at Liberty University can take part in a 12 month master’s online in cybersecurity degree. This program was built for professionals with a background in computer science or a related field and who have at least one year’s worth of work experience in cybersecurity. The program is delivered 100 percent online and is offered in the asynchronous format; courses are eight weeks long and a student can transfer in up to 50 percent of their courses in order to complete this degree in less than one year. Students can expect to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Secure Software Engineering, Applied Network Security, and Advanced Topics in Computer Security.

2. Western Governors University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Western Governors University - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance form WGU can be completed in 18 months of study.

Website

Tuition: $6,980

The accelerated online Master’s in Cybersecurity available from Western Governors University is a program that is perfect for students who are seeking certification as an ethical hacker or computer forensic investigator. This degree was designed to the specifications put forward by the guidelines from the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency. Students will find that this degree is 100 percent delivered online through asynchronous and synchronous courses, enabling them to complete this degree in less than 18 months when they study full-time. Students will be expected to complete 30 credit hours of coursework, a capstone project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Ethical Hacking, Disaster Recovery Planning, Prevention and Response, and Security Policies and Standards: Best Practices.

1. The University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Online Master of Science in Cyber Security

University of South Florida - Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Cybersecurity Online for 2018
The online MS in Cyber Security from USF requires 30 credit hours of coursework.

Website

Tuition: $6,959

The University of South Florida provides students with an accelerated Master’s in Cybersecurity that comes with four concentrations: Computer Security Fundamentals, Cyber Intelligence, Digital Forensics, and Information Assurance. This is an interdisciplinary degree that is found 100 percent online; courses are asynchronous and delivered on an eight-week format. Students will also be required to take on a practicum, a work experience that can be undertaken in their area of residence. Other degree requirements include 30 credit hours of coursework, an electronic portfolio, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Statistical Data Mining, Digital Evidence Recognition, and Network Forensic Criminal Investigations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Cybersecurity Degree?

  • Network Architect
  • Security Director
  • Cybercrime Intelligence Officer
  • Chief Security Officer
  • Information Assurance Director
  • Security Engineer
  • Catastrophe Risk Analyst
  • Enterprise Architect
  • Cyber Network Director of Operations
  • Compliance Manager
  • Systems Integration Analyst
  • IT Consulting Manager

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

The cybersecurity field is one that constitutes high wages; the current salary range is between $89,000 to $150,000. This includes senior level and C-level positions as well as positions in the private sector, which are generally the best paying positions; it also includes lower-paying and entry-level positions in the public and government sectors. The range does not, however, account for overtime and bonus forms of compensation, such as commissions or yearly bonuses.

What are the Various Disciplines of Cybersecurity ?

There are a variety of disciplines that can be found in cybersecurity, not least of which is information assurance, information security, cyber crime, and more. Others include computer programming, software development, project management, testing, information technology, digital forensics, law, economics, finance, and more. In truth, the disciplines at play in cybersecurity depend on a professional’s field of expertise; while some may work on cybersecurity for a bank or a business, others may work for the government. This requires a knowledge of specific disciplines that are at play in that professional’s day-to-day responsibilities and will require additional research by interested parties.

Cybersecurity remains a huge issue in America, especially as more personal information is put online. There is a real need for professionals who understand the aspects of keeping sensitive information safe and as technology continues to advance, so too will the need for individuals who have the necessary education to protect the public interest. Professionals who pursue an accelerated Online Master’s in Cybersecurity degree will be the first and best line of defense against cyber attacks, a threat that continues to be a major issue for anyone who lives part of their life online.

FOM Staff
April 2018

This concludes our ranking of the Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Cybersecurity Online for 2018.