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When you earn a master’s degree in internet security, you enter the fast-growing field of cyber defense. Hacking and cyberattacks cost businesses millions of dollars every year, making careers in internet security careers essential — and projected to grow over 30% in the next decade. These 21st-century jobs evolve with the ever-changing pace of technology, making a career path in cybersecurity exciting for technology-minded individuals interested in keeping people and their information safe.

In 2023, the average tuition and fees for a master’s degree in internet security was $20,513. Graduates from internet security degree programs become leaders in information security and computer systems, making more than double the median annual wage. In 2023, the median yearly pay for computer systems analysts was $103,800, and information security analysts made a median wage of $120,360.

How to Choose an Internet Security Degree Program

Choose your area of study

The most popular master’s degree in internet security is a Master of Science in Cyber Security. It covers the fundamentals of online defense and computer science with a heightened focus on the changing technological landscape.

Other degree options in internet security include:

  • Master of Science in Information Security
  • Master of Science in Cyber Defense
  • Master of Science in Computer Systems and Software Design
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security and Information Assurance
  • Master of Science in Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy
  • Master of Science in Management Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Computer Science and Cybersecurity

Research schools and programs

Your internet security degree program and the institution you attend should be accredited to ensure that your education adheres to academic and professional standards. Accreditation also makes it easier to transfer credits and degrees between programs and schools. Agencies like the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) assess institutions for academic rigor and focus on student needs, while the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) keeps a list of accredited programs in engineering and technology.

After you’ve made a list of accredited programs and schools, consider any additional needs you’ll encounter during your education. Housing, transportation, educational materials, and location are important factors to consider when choosing the right school for you. Tour your prospective school to learn more about it, and contact program representatives for information about their internet security degree program.

Prepare for tests and applications

Most internet security degree programs require minimum test scores on graduate admissions tests, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Like many technology-based degree programs, entrance requirements for internet security degrees may also include English proficiency exams, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Schedule your tests several weeks or months before your application deadline to give yourself time to study and retake exams as necessary.

Other standard requirements for internet security programs include letters of recommendation from professors or employers, sealed transcripts from previous degree programs, and a resume that shows a depth of experience in technology and computer systems.

Select your program

Consider your academic needs and desired career path before choosing an internet security degree program. For a more computer-science based degree with mathematics-based coursework, find programs in colleges of computing or engineering. Internet security degree programs from colleges of business prepare students to apply technological skills in many industries.

For more information, talk to a program representative at your desired school. Ask about the coursework they offer for a degree in internet security and what careers their students often join after graduating.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Start your financial aid research by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You’ll learn how much aid you can apply toward your internet security program before pursuing other forms of financial assistance, such as grants, scholarships, and programs like employer tuition assistance. Contact the school’s financial aid office for additional ways to pay for your degree.

Best 50 Accredited Internet Security Degree Programs

Best Master's in Internet Security Degree Programs_badge 2024
Intelligent Pick
Jacksonville State University
Most Innovative Online Program
EC-Council University
Best Class Format
Mercyhurst University
Best for Enterprise Systems
Robert Morris University
Best Catholic Institution
University of Detroit Mercy
Best Capstone Project
University of Colorado Boulder
Best M.S. in Information Assurance
Oklahoma State University - Spears School of Business
Best for Adult Learners
Lewis University
Best M.S. in Information Technology
Virginia Tech
Best for Traditional Students
Sam Houston State University
Fastest Completion Time
University of Dallas
Most Flexible Start Dates
Wilmington University
Best Value Online Program
American National University
Best for International Students
Saint Leo University
Best Accelerated Option
Bellevue University
Most Customizable Program
Purdue University
Best in the South
Nova Southeastern University
Most Specialization Options
Utica College
Best BS/MS Program
Mercy College
Most Flexible Program
National University
Best Faith-Based Institution
Regis University
Best for Study Abroad
Bay Atlantic University
Best Computer Science Focus
George Washington University
Best Part-Time Program
University of Denver
Best Industry Network
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Best Research Opportunities
Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals
Best Job Placement Rate
Northeastern University
Best GIAC Certificate Options
Sans Technology Institute
Best Local Job Opportunities
Stevens Institute of Technology
Best Scholarships
Indiana University - Cybersecurity Education

Discover More Options

How we rank schools

Our list details graduate programs providing a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Cyber Defense, or a similar field of study. We reviewed various offerings, including in-person classes, online courses, and programs offering both delivery formats.

The Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits programs in computing, engineering, technology, and applied and natural sciences. ABET accreditation reflects the nonprofit agency’s determination that these programs meet its quality standards for entering the cybersecurity profession. Our list also includes several master’s programs offered by regionally accredited colleges and universities.

We evaluated each program based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect From an Internet Security Degree Program

An internet security degree focuses on emerging cases and crimes in cybersecurity. It applies past best practices and critical thinking skills to solve problems in today’s cyber defense world and predict technological security issues in the future. Students participate in class discussions, hands-on projects, research assignments, and internships with industry partners.

Potential courses you’ll take in an internet security degree program

  • Computing and Information Science. In computing and information science courses, students apply the fundamentals of computer science theory and information systems to real-world cybersecurity situations.
  • Cyber Risk Management. Cyber risk management classes teach students to assess security risks in various information systems. They also practice strengthening data resources and implementing different forms of cyber defense.
  • Digital Forensics. Students in digital forensics classes use investigative skills and strategic thinking to collect and protect digital evidence. They master encryption techniques and common hacking strategies to consider innovative and effective protection measures.
  • Cyber Law. A cyber law course teaches students about the role of the internet and digital law in the 21st century. It explores how the legal world has shifted to incorporate modern cyber crimes, such as data breaches and cyberwarfare, and where gaps in the current laws may pose problems for businesses and individuals.

Internet Security Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an internet security degree program?

Check your school’s program admission page for their specific application requirements. Like many postgraduate degrees, internet security master’s degree programs require a minimum GPA, test scores, and letters of recommendation. Experience and expertise in computer systems can set your application apart.

Be sure to note application deadlines and collect all materials well in advance. Apply early if possible, and ask your school’s admissions office about possible early application and acceptance so you can hear about your acceptance as soon as possible.

How much does an internet security degree cost?

In 2023, the average cost of a master’s degree in internet security was $20,513, including tuition and application fees, but not additional expenses such as housing, transportation, or instructional materials. Before you plan to attend your internet security degree program, create a budget with these factors in mind. Talk to your school’s financial aid office for more information on ways to afford tuition and other educational costs.

How long does it take to earn an internet security degree?

A typical postgraduate degree in internet security requires between 30 and 60 graduation credits. Full-time students can complete the program in two years, taking between 15 and 30 units per year. Attending a part-time internet security program may take more than three or four years to complete. Accelerated programs allow students to graduate in one year if they complete all the necessary graduation units on time.

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