Hackers continue to develop new techniques for trying to steal important information through digital platforms, and it takes well-trained professionals, such as those in computer forensics, to help prevent these individuals from getting away with these crimes.
What Is Computer Forensics?
Computer Forensics is the forensic science of examining evidence contained in computers and digital storage media. This evidence can help to trace the pack of hackers who have violated the system’s integrity.
It can also show when digital elements have been deleted or who they were deleted by. It is the digital equivalent of classic detective work.
Many of the schools featured on this list also appear on our Best Online Colleges and Universities master ranking.
How Much Money Can I Earn Working in Computer Forensics?
Because of the high demand for technical professionals in the modern workforce, computer forensics is a lucrative job market to enter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts earn a median salary of $95,510.
This is on top of job growth of 28 percent, which translates to more than 29,000 new job openings over the next 10 years!
Why Choose An Online Master’s in Computer Forensics?
Traditional graduate programs can constrain students. Professionals already engaged in education or students looking to start a family need programs that will work with them when it comes to courses and schoolwork.
Online programs give students the ability to raise a family or continue pursuing a career while they are in school. Classes are available wherever and whenever students need them to be. And the experience that students gain with technology through online learning gives them even more skills to use in the classroom.
What Are the 30 Best Online Master’s in Computer Forensics?
College Choice considers a multitude of factors including institutional success, student well-being, and financial return to develop rankings.
Institutional success combines metrics such as endowment, graduation rates and student-to-faculty ratios to measure each school’s ability to provide exemplary and practical education for each student. Student well-being measures how satisfied current and former students felt with the services and programs offered at their school. And finally, financial return looks at the monetary benefits students are likely to receive from each school’s education, balanced against the costs of attendance, namely tuition and student loans.
In the end, we believe these are the 30 Best Online Masters in Computer Forensics.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $31,539
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, MA. BU is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but defines itself as nonsectarian. Boston U has almost 33,000 students and 4,000 faculty members, and offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees.
Boston offers a Master of Science degree in Computer Science with a specialization in cyber security. The degree requires completion of 8 credits/32 credits, which include the following sample courses:
- Complexity Theory
- Advanced Cryptography
- Artificial Intelligence
Students must take a series of core courses, before then selecting three elective courses in consultation with their academic advisor. Students must achieve a minimum grade of B- to receive graduate credit for courses.
Students may take courses that help give them a broader perspective beyond simply CS Security courses. These other options include courses at Metropolitan College, the ECE Department in the College of Engineering, and the School of Management. This is intended to give students the most well-rounded education in computer security possible.
Johns Hopkins University
College Choice Score: 99.57
Average Net Price: $27,352
Johns Hopkins University is a private research university located in Baltimore, MD. JHU is considered the first research university in the United States, having adopted the concept of graduate study from Heidelberg University in Germany. Johns Hopkins has an overall student population of around 20,000 students, almost 75 percent of which are postgraduates.
Johns Hopkins offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity. Students may choose between online, hybrid, or on-site programs. Students are required to complete a series of 10 courses within five years. These courses include three foundation courses, five courses from the Cybersecurity program, and two electives. Sample coursework includes:
- Foundations of Algorithms
- Network Security
- Operating Systems
Students choose a track from the following list: analysis, networks, systems, and independent study.
To enter the program, students must present prerequisites including a year of calculus, as well as courses in computer programming and data structures. Graduates from the program are eligible to complete a Post-Masters certificate in Cybersecurity, which includes a further six courses within three years.
College Choice Score: 98.88
Average Net Price: $11,693
Purdue University is a public research university located in West Lafayette, IN. Purdue offers more than 200 undergraduate programs, along with over 69 masters and doctoral programs, as well as professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. At around 40,000 students, Purdue has the second largest student population in the state of Indiana.
Purdue offers a Master of Science in Computer and Information Technology. Degree plans are divided between the Primary Area (foundation courses) and the Related Area of Study (specialization) and also tend to include a thesis or directed project. A sample plan of study includes:
- Graduate-level statistics
- Primary Area selective
- Related Area elective
- Research Methods and Writing Selective
The degree is intended to be highly flexible, to allow each student to mold the degree to their own professional and research interests.
To be admitted to the program, applicants are required to have a baccalaureate degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering, information systems or another computer-related field of study. GRE scores are required for unconditional admission, with specific focus on the quantitative score. There are availabilities for both on-campus programs, as well as online professional programs.
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
College Choice Score: 96.34
Average Net Price: $23,129
Pennsylvania State University is a public doctoral university with its main campus being located in University Park, PA. Penn State is often dubbed to be one of the “Public Ivies”, as being as public school that offers a quality of education comparable to an Ivy-League institution. Penn State maintains a student population of almost 100,000, including almost 15,000 postgraduate students.
Penn State offers a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security, with an option in Information Security and Forensics. The program is offered through Penn State’s fully online “World Campus.” Students complete a series of 33 credits, which includes core courses and a capstone project. Course options include:
- Computer and Cyber Forensics
- Information Security Management
- Network Management and Security
- Foundations of Information Security and Assurance
Courses intend to balance theories and technologies associated with cyber and network security with practical skills for the job market.
Applicants to the program are required to hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the international equivalent. The degree is considered interdisciplinary, so students from many academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. However, the technical nature of the degree means that applicants with technical degrees or work experience are preferred.
University of Central Florida
College Choice Score: 94.79
Average Net Price: $15,533
The University of Central Florida is a public university located in Orlando, FL. It is the largest university in the United States by enrollment, with more than 66,000 students. The school originally opened in 1968 as the Florida Technological University. The school has connections with NASA Space programs and has around 2,600 academic staff members.
UCF offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics. The degree program is offered fully online through the school’s UCF online service. It is a collaborative effort between a number of UCF departments and the National Center for Forensic Science. The NCFS is based in the UCF College of Science, which is located in Orlando’s Research Park.
The program may be completed fully online; however, not all elective options or program prerequisites are necessarily offered online. Students who enroll fully-online may apply for a reduction in campus-based fees.
Graduates of the program are able to pursue a diverse range of career options, which include chief information security officer, cyber investigator, digital forensics analyst, or information security analyst. UCF emphasizes their core values through the program, which are access, innovation, and impact.
College Choice Score: 94.78
Average Net Price: $38,370
Champlain College is a private, co-educational college located in the city of Burlington, VT. The school was founded in 1878, and today offers undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, and online certificates in more than 80 disciplines. Champlain has a student body of more than 2,000 students. Their motto is, “Let Us Dare.”
Champlain College offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics. The degree is offered fully online. Completion of the degree requires 30 credit-hours, through 8-week courses. Sample courses include:
- Mobile Device Analysis
- Operating System Analysis
- Capstone Research Thesis
- Digital Forensic Science
Champlain intends for the program to be completed in 12 months, with enrollment in two classes per semester, with three semesters offered per year.
The program utilizes a virtual learning environment and combines commercial and open source software. Through these avenues, students are presented with challenges comparable to those that they would face in the real world. Students are not required to submit GMAT or GRE scores to apply.
College Choice Score: 94.15
Average Net Price: $20,232
Lewis University is a private university located in Romeoville, IL, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs for its 6,800 students. The school has an association with both the Roman Catholic tradition, as well as with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as the Lasallian Brothers
Lewis University offers a Master of Science in Computer Science with a Cyber Security concentration. The program is offered fully online. Students pursue a total of 15 credit-hours to complete the cyber security concentration, with courses including:
- Securing Linux
- Cyber Security Essentials
- Advanced Cyber Security
- Communications and Networking
The coursework includes four core courses and one elective course. Based on this coursework, students may pursue special projects during their studies.
Example special projects include study in intrusion detection, reverse engineering of malware, penetration testing, operating system and network forensics, defense-in-depth technologies, and other assignments relevant to keeping data systems safe. Upon graduation, students possess the skills to mitigate cyber attacks and specify tools and architecture to help secure information systems.
College Choice Score: 92.03
Average Net Price: $31,823
Syracuse University is a private, research university located in Syracuse, NY. The school maintains a relationship with the United Methodist Church, but has identified itself as nonsectarian since 1920. Syracuse has around 1,500 academic staff members and 22,000 total students.
Syracuse offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity. Students in the program are required to complete 30 credit-hours of study, which can be done either online or on-campus. Students can typically complete the program in around 15 months. During their course of study students will take classes including:
- Computer Security
- Internet Security
- Assurance Foundations
- Machine Learning
Syracuse also emphasizes immersion strategies, which allow students to meet and collaborate with their peers. Immersions are on-campus opportunities, but are open to online students.
Some students may be required to complete preparatory courses, which help to prepare students for the rigor of online programs from the College of Engineering and Computer Science. There are two courses offered which emphasize the foundational knowledge and competencies necessary for success in the programs.
College Choice Score: 91.79
Average Net Price: $27,686
Stevenson University is a private university located in Stevenson, MD. Steven was previously a Roman Catholic, one-year secretary training school known as Villa Julie College. In 1967, the school became independent of the church and now has a student body of around 4,000 students.
Stevenson offers a Master of Science degree in Cyber Forensics through their online learning service. This degree program is intended for experienced information technology professionals interested in the analysis of forensic collection and acquired digital evidence. Example courses from the program include:
- Incident Response and Evidence Collection
- Windows Forensic Examination
- E-Systems Security
- Cyber Warfare and Cyber Terrorism
Students have the option of pursuing this degree on campus. They may also choose to pursue a hybrid version of the degree, utilizing both on-campus instruction and Stevenson’s unique digital learning environment.
For admission into the program, students must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study, such as Information Assurance or Network Administration. Students with relevant degrees should also have at least two years of work experience. Students with a bachelors in an unrelated field should possess at least five years of relevant work experience.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 90.72
Average Net Price: $39,562
George Washington University is a private university located in Washington DC. GWU has 14 colleges and schools, including the School of Engineering & Applied Science, which houses its computer science department. The school was founded to fulfill the wishes of the university’s namesake, George Washington, for a national university in the nation’s capital.
George Washington offers a Master of Professional Studies degree in Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management. The program is offered fully online through the school’s online learning service. Students may enter the program in Summer, Spring, or Fall. Sample courses from the program include:
- Cybersecurity Law and Policy
- Cyber Defense Strategies
- Applied Technology to Data Analytics
- Strategic IT Investment and Performance Management
The program involves 36 credit-hours of study and can usually be completed within 16 months.
The school also offers an MPS degree in Homeland Security, which includes the same number of credit-hours and takes a similar amount of time to complete. Students applying to the program should have relevant work experience, and should be able to submit a letter of recommendation from a past or current supervisor.
College Choice Score: 88.72
Average Net Price: $39,021
Drexel University is a private research university with three campuses, all located in Philadelphia, PA. The school has recently expanded through the addition of a medical college in 2002, and now serves over 26,000 students through a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs
Drexel University offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity through their online learning service. Students receive training in both academic and practical aspects of cybersecurity. This course of study includes courses such as:
- Information Ethics
- Computer Networks
- Probability & Random Variables
- Information Policy
Courses are divided into four 10-week quarters each year, which allows students to take more courses in a shorter amount of time.
For students with transfer credit, 1 semester credit is generally equal to 1.5 quarter credits. Students may also choose to pursue the program or relevant courses on campus. Courses are malleable to help fit students’ unique professional goals, and are taught by the same on-campus faculty that traditional students work with.
University of Arizona
College Choice Score: 86.88
Average Net Price: $16,466
The University of Arizona is a public university located in Tucson, AZ. Arizona has 19 colleges and schools, as well as two medical centers associated with the school. UA has around 43,000 students, including around 8,000 postgraduates. It is the only Arizona university that is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Arizona offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity, which is offered fully online through their UA Online learning service. It is a 33-unit program, which is intended for professionals with at least three years of work experience in IT, engineering, or a related field. Students in the program will take courses such as:
- Information Security in Public and Private Sectors
- Data Mining for Business Intelligence
- Fundamentals of Computer Networks
- Systems Cyber Security Engineering
There are two tracks available in the program. Students may pursue either information systems or physical systems (engineering) depending on their future professional goals.
Other courses in the program cover topics including systems security management, cyber warfare, cyber threat intelligence, penetration testing, and ethical hacking and social engineering. In these classes students pursue hands-on learning that helps turn their theoretical knowledge into practical use.
College Choice Score: 86.40
Average Net Price: $24,153
Utica College is a private university located in Utica, NY. Utica was an offshoot of Syracuse University established in 1946, and became fully independent in 1995. The school has a study body of around 3,000 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students. They have an endowment just short of $28 million.
Utica College offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity, with a specialization in Computer Forensics. The degree requires the completion of 30 credit-hours, and may be completed in as few as two years. Course samples include:
- Cyber Intelligence
- International Terrorism
- Cyber Data Fusion
- Network Forensics
Students’ elective courses will vary based on their chosen specialization. Available specializations include Cyber Forensics, Cyber Operations, Malware Analysis, and Electronic Crime.
Prerequisites also vary based on the chosen specialization, but all applicants to the program should possess a bachelor’s degree and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. The cybersecurity specialization requires a three-day on campus residency, but also may take only 18-20 months as compared to the other programs.
University of Maryland University College
College Choice Score: 86.30
Average Net Price: $12,483
The University of Maryland University College is a public not-for-profit university, located in Adelphi, MD. UMUC is one of the largest distance learning universities in the world, with over 90,000 students. The university offers around 120 undergraduate programs, and has a 100 percent admissions rate for its undergraduate programs.
The University of Maryland University College offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation. The degree involves completion of 36-credit-hours, of which up to six credits may be transfer credit. All courses are offered online, and some courses may also offer a hybrid format. Course options include:
- Digital Forensic Response and Analysis
- Cyberspace and Cybersecurity Foundations
- Communicating, Problem Solving, and Leading in Cybersecurity
- Capstone in Cybersecurity
Students who do not have a significant background in computer program may be asked to take courses in Basic Information Technology or Essentials of Computer Programing. These are 0-credit courses intended to prepare students for the rigor of the graduate program.
Students are required to complete core courses, before moving on to their elective courses, and then finally completing their capstone project. Students must earn at least a B in each class to be allowed to advance to the next course. Coursework is intended to prepare students for coursework in government, the private sector, or at law enforcement agencies.
Sam Houston State University
College Choice Score: 85.80
Average Net Price: $12,365
Sam Houston State University is a public university located in Huntsville, TX. Sam Houston began as the Sam Houston Normal Institute in 1879, educating teachers for the state of Texas. It is the third oldest public university in the state of Texas. SHSU has more than 20,000 students and offers almost 70 different graduate degree programs.
Sam Houston State University offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics, which may be pursued in the classroom or fully online. It is a 36-credit-hour program, which requires completion of courses such as:
- Network and Cyber Security
- File System Forensics
- Digital Security
- Cyber Law
In addition to these specified courses, students must choose six electives courses in Digital Forensics or any approved computer science course. These electives will make up half of the credits taken during the program.
To be admitted to the program, students must submit official GRE scores and letters of recommendation addressing qualification for graduate study. Students may waive the GRE requirement if they have an MS degree from an accredited institution or five years of relevant work experience. Students without a background in computer science may be asked to take stem work courses before beginning their degree program.
Nova Southeastern University
College Choice Score: 84.75
Average Net Price: $25,344
Nova Southeastern University, better known as NSU or Nova, is a private nonprofit university located in Davie, FL. Nova is currently made up of 18 colleges and schools that offer over 175 academic programs with more than 250 majors. NSU enrolled around 24,000 students during the 2014-2015 academic year and has an alumni network of over 170,000 people.
Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science degree in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity. Students may choose to pursue the degree either on campus or online. It is a 36 credit-hour program offered through the school’s College of Engineering and Computing. Courses are divided between core and electives, which include:
- Software Engineering
- Database Security
- Information Security Governance
- Applied Cryptography
For their electives, students may choose any 600-level courses at NSU with computer science or information services prefixes, save for a few exceptions.
NSU online courses utilize Blackboard to deliver online course content. Most students are able to complete the program in two years. Students work with their academic advisors to craft course plans and timeframes that work for each students’ unique schedules and needs.
George Mason University
College Choice Score: 84.43
Average Net Price: $18,032
George Mason University is a public research university located in Fairfax, VA. George Mason is the largest research university in the state of Virginia, with around 35,000 students and 2,600 academic staff. George Mason was originally a college of the University of Virginia, before becoming a fully independent university in 1972.
George Mason University offers a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics, which is offered through the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students complete 30 credit-hours of study, which includes 18 core and 12 elective credits. Course options include:
- Network Forensics
- Digital Media Forensics
- Operations of Intrusion Detection for Forensics
- Advanced Computer Forensics
Students in this degree program may also pursue courses offered through the MS in Digital Forensics & Cyber Analysis program.
For admission to the program, students should possess a bachelor’s degree in engineering, math, science, computer science, business, or economics. Students without a quantitative academic background should posses work experience that showcases analytical aptitude. Generally speaking, students are required to possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 to gain admission to the program.
Capitol Technology University
College Choice Score: 83.70
Average Net Price: $20,571
Capitol Technology University is a private university located in Washington DC. CTU was founded as the Capital Radio Engineering Institute in 1927, and also known as Capitol College until 2014. The school now has more than 840 students and an endowment of approximately $5 million. It’s motto is, “either find a way or make one.”
Capitol Technology University offers a Master of Science degree in Cyber and Information Security. This degree program is offered fully online through the school’s online learning service. Students complete 36-39 hours of study, in courses such as:
- Malicious Software
- Internal Protection
- Computer Forensics and Incident Handling
- Mobile Computer Security
At the end of the program students will complete a capstone course that will be the culmination of their learning throughout the program.
Students applying to the program are expected to have a background in computer information systems, computer networking, telecommunications, information technology, or computer science. CCNS, Security+, SSCP, or CISSP certifications are considered excellent signals of high competency, but are not required for admission.
College Choice Score: 83.38
Average Net Price: $22,377
National University is a private university located in La Jolla, CA. National has an additional campus located in Henderson, NV. Most academic programs at National University are condescend into 4 weeks, and are intended for adult learners. NU has more than 23,000 students and around 2,700 full-time and part-time academic staff members.
National University offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. It is a 58.5 credit graduate degree program, which may include up to one quarter of transfer credit for equivalent coursework completed at another similarly accredited university. Courses in the program include:
- Cyber Security Technology
- Wireless and Mobile Security
- Threat Modeling & Intel
- Net Defense & Cloud Security
During the program students will also complete a series of three different Cyber Security projects, which help them to put their classroom knowledge to practical use.
Students have the option of pursuing two different specializations while in the program. The specialization in Ethical Hacking & Pen Testing helps prepare students for pursuing a career in Penetration Testing. There is also a specialization in Information Assurance and Security Policy, which helps prepare students for pursuing careers in those fields.
Our Lady of the Lake University
College Choice Score: 83.33
Average Net Price: $18,754
Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university located in San Antonio, TX. The school was founded in 1895 by the Sisters of Divine Providence, and the school maintains an affiliation with the Congregation of Divine Providence. OLLU has around 3,100 students and an endowment of approximately $30 million.
Our Lady of the Lake University offers a Master of Science degree in Information Systems & Security. In the program students complete 30 hours of degree study in core CISS courses and Information Assurance courses, which include:
- Database Management Systems
- Special Topics in Information Systems
- Principles of Information Assurance and Security
- Information Assurance Assessment
This is an online-only program offered exclusively through the university’s online learning service.
Our Lady’s program is certified by the National Security Agency. The program can be completed in as little as one year, with completion times varying by student schedules and preferences. Graduates from the program have a nearly perfect passing rate in national certification exams such as the CISSP.
University of Texas San Antonio
College Choice Score: 82.45
Average Net Price: $12,107
University of Texas San Antonio is a public university located in San Antonio, TX. UTSA has three campuses throughout the San Antonio area, and is the eighth largest university in the state of Texas. The school has almost 31,000 students and 1,200 academic staff members. They have almost 70 master’s degree programs and 25 doctoral programs.
University of Texas San Antonio offers a Master of Science with an Information Technology Cybersecurity concentration. Coursework for the program includes:
- Security and Risk Analysis
- Introduction to Voice and Data Security
- Computer Forensics
- Secure Software Design
The program is designed to give professionals in the information technology sector the technical and business skills needed to become stellar cyber professionals.
Employers have recruited graduates from the program to work at corporations such as Google, Amazon, USAA, and Digital Defense, as well as at agencies such as the NSA. Applicants need to submit GMAT and GRE scores that are no older than five years, along with a statement of academic and personal goals.
Kentucky State University
College Choice Score: 80.98
Average Net Price: $6,503
Kentucky State University is a public university located in Frankfort, KY. KSU was a founded in 1886 as a state normal school, helping to educate teachers for the state of Kentucky. They have a little over 1,500 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students.
Kentucky State University offers a Master of Science in Computer Science Technology, which offers options in Information Engineering and Cybersecurity. Students may choose between thesis and non-thesis track options, which also determines the credit-hour requirement. Sample courses from the programs include:
- Advanced Database Management
- Advanced Computer Architecture and Software
- Software Engineering
- Advanced Programming & Data Structures
The Cybersecurity option puts an advanced focus on concepts including information and network security, enterprise management, and cryptography.
Students with a degree from outside of the computer-science discipline will be required to complete Foundation courses in computer science before moving on to core courses. All course requirements must be completed within three years of initial admission or four years if the student maintains part-time status.
Southern Arkansas University
College Choice Score: 80.95
Average Net Price: $11,428
Southern Arkansas University is a public university located in Magnolia, AR. SAU was founded as the Third District Agricultural School in 1909. The school has since diversified their offerings to include unique programs such as Game and Animation Design. They have a little under 5,000 total students, including 1,500 postgraduates.
Southern Arkansas University offers a Master of Science degree in Computer and Information Science. There is an optional focus available in Cyber Security and Privacy. It is a 30 credit-hour program, which generally takes around 2 years to complete. Courses in the program include:
- Database Management Systems
- Information & Network Security
- Computer Networking
- Software Engineering
Twelve credit-hours must be core courses. The remaining 18 hours come from electives, some of which are required for the Cyber Security focus.
Students have the option of completing the course fully online, as well as through the hybrid style and solely on-campus options offered by SAU. In addition to the cyber security option, there are also focuses available in Data Science and Information Technology. Students with bachelor’s degrees in fields unrelated to computer science may be required to take up to four undergraduate courses before beginning graduate study.
University of the Cumberlands
College Choice Score: 80.76
Average Net Price: $17,619
University of the Cumberlands is a private, religious college located in Williamsburg, KY. The school has an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students, and has an endowment of $73 million. The school is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which is the state affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention.
University of the Cumberlands offers a Master of Science degree in Information Systems Security. The program is intended for those already working in the information technology field, and who want to gain a deeper professional understanding of information systems. Courses in the program include:
- Application Security
- Operations Security
- Access Control
There are also more advanced courses offered in Physical Security and Special Topics, which students may pursue later on in their progression.
The program is available fully online and includes online instruction from the same professors who teach in person classes. Students applying to the program should have a minimum GPA of 2.50. Students may receive graduate credit certifications such as the ISACA CISM or GIAC Information.
Colorado Technical University
College Choice Score: 80.34
Average Net Price: $19,856
Colorado Technical University is a for-profit college located in Colorado Springs, CO. CTU was founded in 1965, and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, with around 92 percent of students taking classes fully online. Colorado Tech has no affiliation with the state of Colorado, and has a reported enrollment of around 21,000 students.
CTU offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity that is intended to educate managers of Information Technology professionals. It is a 48-credit program available fully online, which includes courses such as:
- Data and Applications Security
- Network Security
- IT Management
- Cyber Organizations and Structures
Classes begin each month, and there is no application fee for the initial online application. Most students enter the program with a baseline knowledge of cybersecurity issues, but not enough to be at the level of a technical specialist.
The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Administration have designated CTU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense. CTU also offers a concentration in Security Management, for IT professionals who are more interested in the technical roles of implementing and overseeing IT systems.
University of Detroit Mercy
College Choice Score: 79.11
Average Net Price: $22,382
University of Detroit Mercy is a private, Roman Catholic university located in Detroit, MI. The school is sponsored by the Society of Jesus and the Religious Sisters of Mercy. It is the largest Roman Catholic university in the state of Michigan, with around 5,000 students and 225 full-time academic staff members.
The University of Detroit Mercy offers a Master of Science degree in Information Assurance. It is a 30-credit degree program, with its major focus in Cybersecurity. The program can be completed in as little as one year, and is available solely online. Courses taken during the program include:
- Ethical Hacking
- Incident Response and Digital Forensics
- Software and System Assurance
- Supply Chain Risk Management
The program has been certified to meet the requirements of the Committee on National Security Systems. Detroit Mercy is one of an elite group of universities to receive this designation for its cybersecurity and information assurance programs.
Detroit Mercy has also partnered with the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants to offer an online certification in Hacking. Students are eligible to take a series of three courses, including the Certified Ethical Hacker program. The program is discounted for Detroit Mercy graduate students.
College Choice Score: 78.84
Average Net Price: $28,242
Norwich University is a private university located in Northfield, VT. Norwich is the oldest private military college in the United States, having been founded in 1819 as the American, Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. Is it recognized by the United States military as the birthplace of ROTC, and thus is the oldest of the six senior military colleges in the US.
Norwich University offers a Master of Science degree in Information Security & Assurance. It is a 36 credit-hour program, which is offered fully and exclusively online. Students take one 11-week course at a time, including options such as:
- Foundations and Historical Underpinnings of Information Assurance
- Computer Forensic Investigation
- Cyber Crime
- Strategic Management in Project Management
Each course is worth six credit-hours, and students choose elective courses based on their areas of interest. Available areas of interest include Vulnerability Management, Project Management, and Critical Infrastructure Protection & Cyber Crime, among others.
Students are not required to submit GRE/GMAT scores for admission and the program has a minimum GPA of 2.75 for all applicants. Students may transfer up to 12 credits from other graduate work that they have completed in relevant/comparable courses. Four start dates are offered throughout the year.
Western Governors University
College Choice Score: 78.30
Average Net Price: $9,115
West Governors University is a private, non-profit online university that is based out of Salt Lake City, UT. The school was founded in 1995, and utilizes a competency-based learning system to deliver its course content. The idea for the school came from 19 different US Governors, who each committed $100,000 towards the project. The group was spearheaded by the then-governor of Utah Mike Leavitt.
West Governors University offers a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. It is a 10-course program, which includes courses such as:
- Risk Management
- Ethical Hacking
- Disaster Recovery Planning, Prevention, and Response
- Cyberlaw, Regulations, and Compliance
Students complete their course of study through a capstone project, which culminates the academic and professional knowledge that students have been building throughout the program.
Students are expected to complete at least eight credit-hours (referred to at WGU as a “competency hour”) each six-month term. This generally translates to completing two courses each six months. Graduates have gone on to pursue careers including Cyber Security Analyst, Systems Administrator, and Cybersecurity Consultant.
College Choice Score: 77.77
Average Net Price: $16,742
Davenport University is a private university located across the state of Michigan, with its main campus located in Grand Rapids. Davenport was founded in 1866 by a Civil War veteran, and became fully accredited in 1976. The school now offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in a wide range of subjects.
Davenport offers a Master of Science degree in Information Assurance and Cyber Security. This program requires the completion of 34 credits, including foundation, core, and thesis classes. Courses offered in the program include:
- Wireless and Mobile Security
- Banking and Financial Security
- Information Security Planning
- Network Security
- Legal and Ethical Security Topics
The program is completed when a student finishes their master’s thesis, which serves as the capstone project for the program.
Davenport emphasizes that it grants more than $15 million in scholarships each year. The program is intended to prepare students for a career in the industry, and to prepare them to enter a job as soon as they graduate. Classes are offered both online, as well as during the day and the evenings on campus to provide maximum flexibility.
Dakota State University
College Choice Score: 76.94
Average Net Price: $15,375
Dakota State University is a public university located in Madison, SD. DSU emphasizes the use of technology in its classrooms and through its curriculum. Dakota State requires all of its undergraduate students to take introductory computer science courses and to use tablets and laptops in class. The school has around 3,300 total students, including around 350 postgraduates.
Dakota State offers a Master of Science degree in Information Assurance and Computer Security. The MSIA program requires completion of 30 credits, which typically takes students two years. Part-time students may take longer, but it depends on the number of credit-hours taken per semester. Classes available include:
- Principles of Information Assurance
- Data Privacy
- Compliance and Audit
Students must finish the program within five years of the semester of their first course. They must almost maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and finish a comprehensive exam at the end of their program.
Students may enter during the fall, spring, or summer semester. Application deadlines vary based on the intended term of entry. Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree in a computer science-related field. They will also be asked to write an essay response to a security problem scenario found within the application form.