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online master’s in cyber security
Introduction
Affordable Master’s in Cyber Security Programs Online
Most Affordable Programs
Online Master’s in Cyber Security Programs Online
Best Programs
Online Master’s in Cyber Security Program
Program Details
 Financing a Online Master’s in Cyber Security
How to Pay?
Low-Cost Master’s in Cybersecurity Programs
Free Programs
online master’s in cyber security
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Online Master’s in Cyber Security

Online Master’s in Cyber Security

Building off a background in data and computer science, an online master’s in cyber security introduces new topics that lead to well-paying careers. Not only do cyber security professionals earn high wages, but the job outlook for skills cyber security workers is highly positive. Projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a 28% job growth rate for cyber security consultants over the next decade.

This page explores the best and most affordable online master’s in cyber security degrees, including potential specializations, careers, courses students might take, and how to secure financial aid and a cyber security career.

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20 Most Affordable Master’s in Cyber Security Programs Online

Not only do online degrees offer more flexibility, but many online master’s in cyber security programs also offer lower tuition rates than on-campus cyber security programs. These programs offer the best degrees at an affordable cost.

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Southern Arkansas University
100 E. University, Magnolia, Arkansas 71753
$5,04041%
#2
Missouri State University
901 S National Avenue, Springfield, Missouri 65897
$5,20254%
#3
University of the Cumberlands
6191 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, Kentucky 40769
$5,67033%
#4
Sam Houston State University
1806 Ave J, Huntsville, Texas 77340
$5,76552%
#5
Dakota State University
820 N Washington Ave, Madison, South Dakota 57042
$5,93947%
#6
Texas A&M University
JKW Administration Building, Suite 200, College Station, Texas 77843
$6,67782%
#7
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816
$6,916 73%
#8
Saint Leo University
33701 State Road 52, Saint Leo, Florida 33574
$7,29651%
#9
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, Illinois 61920
$7,356 58%
#10
Western Governors University
001 South 700 East Suite 700, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107
$7,50029%
#11
Liberty University
971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515
$7,98050%
#12
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
1 Aerospace Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
$8,26819%
#13
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, Florida 33620
$8,35073%
#14
Wilmington University
320 Dupont Hwy, New Castle, Delaware 19720
$8,78424%
#15
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights, Winona, Minnesota 55987
$9,18061%
#16
Purdue University
Hovde Hall of Administration, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
$9,20881%
#17
Jacksonville State University
700 Pelham Road North, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265
$9,60042%
#18
Iowa State University
1750 Beardshear Hall, Ames, Iowa 50011
$9,75875%
#19
Grand Canyon University
3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85017
$10,17537%
#20
Old Dominion University
5115 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, Virginia 23529
$10,20752%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Top 25 Online Master’s in Cyber Security Programs Online

Some of the best master’s in cyber security degrees are entirely online, letting students continue to gain professional experience while earning a graduate degree. These schools demonstrate the highest quality of education, outcomes, and program options.

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
New York University
70 Washington Sq South, New York, New York 10012
$33,40885%
#2
University of Delaware
104 Hullihen Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716
$34,16481%
#3
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
$55,35093%
#4
Lewis University
One University Parkway, Romeoville, Illinois 60446
$14,40064%
#5
University of Dallas
1845 E Northgate Drive, Irving, Texas 75062
$33,75066%
#6
University of California, Berkeley
200 California Hall, Berkeley, California 94720
$11,44291%
#7
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, California 92110
$27,28880%
#8
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
$46,27292%
#9
University of Arizona
401 E University, Tucson, Arizona 85721
$11,938 64%
#10
Syracuse University
900 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse, New York 13244
$38,88083%
#11
Western Governors University
001 South 700 East Suite 700, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107
$7,50029%
#12
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, Illinois 61920
$7,35658%
#13
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
$35,18174%
#14
Liberty University
971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24515

$7,98050%
#15
Robert Morris University
6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, Pennsylvania 15108
NA64%
#16
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, Florida 33620
$8,35073%
#17
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085
$20,50691%
#18
DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, Pennsylvania 18034
$20,52071%
#19
Pennsylvania State University
201 Old Main, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
$21,96085%
#20
George Washington University
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
$31,77082%
#21
University of Charleston
2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, West Virginia 25304
$16,58447%
#22
Mississippi College
200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, Mississippi 39058
$11,25053%
#23
Maryville University
650 Maryville University Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri 63141
$14,34672%
#24
University of the Cumberlands
6191 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, Kentucky 40769
$5,67033%
#25
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
1 Aerospace Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
$8,26819%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Understanding an Online Master’s in Cyber Security Program

Designed for current IT professionals or those with a background in computer or data science, a master’s in cyber security teaches a broad range of skills, including cloud security, data protection, and network analysis, and leads to a variety of careers.

Common Specializations for an Online Master’s in Cyber Security

Cyber Security includes a variety of topics, so many programs offer concentrations or specializations. Selecting a concentration increases your exposure to a specific field, ultimately helping graduates find a position or prepare for a doctoral program related to the concentration.

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Cloud SecurityAlso known as cloud security engineering, cloud security teaches students to protect cloud-based platforms. Topics include designing and implementing cloud security controls, cloud security countermeasures, and industry best practices.Data scientist, cybercrime analyst, IT auditor, cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity consultant
Cyber EngineeringA specialization in cyber engineering has students cover the planning, creation, and implementation of various cybersecurity programs. Some courses also focus on hardware over software.Computer engineer, cybersecurity consultant, data scientist, information security analyst, software engineer
Digital ForensicsDigital forensics applies cybersecurity to criminal investigation. Courses in this specialization teach investigative methods, complex data analysis, and collecting and presenting evidence for prosecution.Cybercrime analyst, cybersecurity analyst, software engineer, cybersecurity consultant, cyber investigator
Information AssuranceA specialization in information assurance blends cybersecurity with data privacy. Students learn to analyze existing ecosystems and audit them to determine better data protection practices.Cyber security analyst, data security manager, IT specialist, information risk analyst
Information SecuritySimilar to information assurance, a specialization in information security teaches students to protect information. Courses might focus on the protection of customer data or valuable business information.Cyber security consultant, cybersecurity analyst, IT security analyst, ethical hacker
Internet SecurityInternet security focuses on the protection of information available online. Students learn to analyze a network’s exposure over the internet, then find ways to mitigate risk and protect data.Data scientist, cybersecurity analyst, data security manager, IT specialist, risk analyst
Network SecurityA specialization in network security focuses on the protection of internal networks. Students learn to protect information and data as networks become more complex and interconnect.Data scientist, cybersecurity consultant, IT security analyst, IT specialist, network manager

Online Master’s in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

Admission into an online master’s in cybersecurity program is highly competitive, and applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements to have their application considered. Requirements include:

  • Minimum GPA: Instead of requiring standardized test scores like the GRE, many online master’s in cybersecurity programs instead look for a GPA of 3.0 or higher on previous college transcripts.
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution at a minimum, though most programs prefer applicants who studied computer science or a related field.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Even some students with a background in computer science may need to complete additional prerequisite courses before getting admitted into a master’s in cybersecurity program. Specific prerequisite course requirements vary by school.
  • Professional Resume: While most programs set no professional experience requirements, applicants with several years of relevant work experience often submit stronger applications.
  • English Proficiency/TOEFL: Students born outside of the country must prove English language proficiency. Most schools require foreign-born students to take the TOEFL.

Curriculum for an Online Master of Cyber Security Program

Every program decides what courses to include in the master’s of cybersecurity curriculum. While course names and specific materials may vary, most programs offer the following courses.

  • Information Assurance Analysis: Information assurance analysis introduces effective analyses to inform software development, criminal investigations, and network operations. Students also cover the collection, use, and visualization of data.
  • Foundations in Algorithms: Building off data structure skills that students already know, foundations in algorithms looks at different ways to design, analyze, and implement algorithms. Students then use algorithms to perform various computer science tasks.
  • Cryptology: Usually offered as an introduction to cryptology, cryptology looks at the classical cryptographic techniques that led to today’s modern cryptology. Students cover topics including symmetric block ciphers, public key cryptosystems, and digital signatures.
  • Ethical Hacking: Also known as ethical penetration testing, this course teaches students to use hacking and penetration tools to find and exploit vulnerabilities in systems. Finding and fixing these vulnerabilities is critical for cybersecurity professionals.
  • Malware and Attack Reverse Engineering: Malware and attack reverse engineering explores the ways that criminals use malicious software. Students then find ways to detect and prevent malware attacks through reverse engineering.

Online Master’s in Cyber Security Program Length

Before beginning a master’s in cybersecurity, understand that program length depends on several factors, including:

  • Part-time vs. Full-time: Selecting a full-time program means completing a degree in 1 year, compared to 2 or more for a part-time degree. However, full-time students commit to a stricter schedule.
  • On-campus vs. Online: Online students have more flexibility, and some choose to complete their degrees faster than on-campus students.
  • Accelerated Programs: Some schools offer accelerated programs that intentionally push students to graduate sooner than full-time students. These rigorous programs often use accelerated 8-week courses.
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How to Pay for a Master’s in Cyber Security Degree

While online education can reduce the cost of a master’s in cybersecurity, students still must cover remaining tuition costs and fees. To do so, students take advantage of different types of financial aid, including fellowships, internships, and student loans.

Techniques for Financing a Online Master’s in Cyber Security

FellowshipsInternshipsStudent Loans
Fellowships, such as the New America Cybersecurity Fellowship and the Belfer Center Cybersecurity Fellowship, provides students with payment or a stipend in return for work, meaning students also receive experience.Fellowships, such as the New America Cybersecurity Fellowship and the Belfer Center Cybersecurity Fellowship, provides students with payment or a stipend in return for work, meaning students also receive experience.Internships offer students college credits, payment, or both. Programs like the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Internship also teach students important real-world skills.If students have remaining costs associated with their education, student loans provide an effective way to pay for a college degree. However, unlike funds earned from rewards or work, students must eventually pay the loans back.

Scholarships for Online Master’s in Cyber Security Students

Scholarships continue to be one of the most effective ways to reduce — or entirely cover — tuition costs. Thousands of internships are available, some of which are specific to cybersecurity and computer science.

  • CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service Who Can Apply: Any undergraduate or graduate cybersecurity students can apply for up to three years of full tuition scholarships. In return, winners must work for the U.S. Government for the same lengths as the scholarship. Amount: Full tuition up to three years
  • WTM Scholarship for Computer Science & Gaming Who Can Apply: Created for any women pursuing a degree in computer science or gaming, the WTM Scholarship goes to applicants who exhibit leadership, a strong academic background, and diversity. Amount: $10,000
  • Cybersecurity Graduate Scholarship Who Can Apply: This scholarship goes to master’s degree students focusing in cybersecurity. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA but may study online and part-time. Amount: $1,000 – $5,000
  • ISSA Education Foundation Scholarships Who Can Apply: With multiple awards available, the ISSA accepts applicants pursuing a security-related degree. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA and submit a letter of intent. Amount: $2,000 – $3,500

Free Online Masters in Cyber Security

Graduate students continue to seek out affordable options for college, but did you know that there are some cyber security programs that are free? While there are no full master’s programs in cyber security for free, that are accredited, there are some programs that allow students to watch lectures from past sessions and free courses from reputable institutions. Students won’t get a masters diploma in cyber security from these courses, but they can learn on par with masters students at other online masters institutions. All of this for free and 100% online. Explore the following programs below:
The Open University: The Open University offers a free program called Introduction to Cyber security.
University of Maryland via Coursera: University of Maryland offers Cyber Security Specialization course via Coursera. The course is free to “read and view course content”.
Stanford University: Stanford University offers Cryptography 1 course via Coursera.
MIT Opencourseware: MIT offers a free Computer Systems Security course from past year’s lecture.

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Resources for Online Master’s in Cyber Security Students

While working toward a graduate degree, cybersecurity students can network, improve their resumes, and prepare for their future careers with the help of professional organizations. Some organizations that master’s in cybersecurity students should consider include:

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals: IAPP is the world’s largest community for information privacy professionals. Members gain access to an extensive network, various certifications, and plenty of exclusive industry content.
  • Information Systems Security Association: Among the top international associations for cybersecurity professionals, ISSA offers members breaking industry information, access to content from experts, and educational opportunities.
  • ISC2: Along with online education and various types of training, ISC2 membership proves that professionals rank among the top in their field. Membership requirements are strict, however.
  • ISACA: With membership options available for current professionals and students, ISACA’s members get exactly what they need, whether that be access to networking events or meeting with local chapters.
  • CompTIA: A leading organization for certifying cybersecurity professionals. CompTIA’s student membership provides students with industry discounts, scholarship opportunities, and connections to internships and jobs.

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