Top 20 Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degree Programs

CYBER SECURITY BACHELOR’S DEGREE

With cyber crime on the rise, now is the perfect time to consider cyber security bachelor’s degree options. As online data continues to need to be protected, there is a big gap in the skilled work force. In fact, experts say this is a cause for worry. And, according to CPO Magazine it will take 145% more cyber security pros to fill the short fall. While the skills gap may be alarming news, it also creates new jobs!

What is a Cyber Security Degree?

Cyber security bachelor’s degrees study cyber crime from all sides. How they happen. And, ways to keep data safe, secure and private. They aim to equip students with the skill set to defend a companies computer operating systems, networks and data from cyber attacks. While part of the learning is theory, cyber security degrees are technical degrees.

These programs should teach you how to spot design flaws and threats. You may also study protocols and codes that protect systems. Firewalls are one example. In other classes, you may learn about design. For example, how to build strong networks. Or, craft apps that check for breaches. Also, many programs discuss all kinds of cyber attacks. These range from gray ware to viruses. And, may help you predict hacker behavior.

Types of Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degrees

Cyber Security bachelors degrees come in two basic types. There are Bachelor of Arts (BA) and of Sciences (BS). Most schools award a bachelor of science (BS). BS or BA, there are many variations on actual degree program names. In some cases, it may also affect the specific core elements of the degree.

For example, some of them are more technical. They fall under Comp Sci. Or software engineering. Others relate to the business side of cyber defense. So, may help you learn to craft a security policy. Or, manage IT teams and security projects.

Bachelors in Cyber Security (BS)

Schools may offer programs in a variety of ways. Some may offer a general cyber security core that cover courses like cyber principals and database design. Then, allow the student to choose a track. You may be able to select a general track that covers both offense and defense concepts. Another option may be an offense track that covers more of a focus on hacking. There may also be a defense track that covers things like cloud security and digital forensics.

Business Admin (BBA) – Cyber Security

At the core of this degree are basic business concepts meant to help you hone your skills as a leader. Along with business classes, you take a handful of classes in cyber security. Classes would include how to manage systems and databases. And, how to keep them safe and secure. This may also expose you to trends in software.

Information Systems (BS) – Cyber Security Intelligence

In this program, you study network systems. You are also likely to learn about cyber defense. This can mean learning how to craft a tactical plan. Then to share it with execs in your company. Often, this takes a deep grasp of national security issues. So, you may also study foreign policy and data privacy laws.

Criminal Justice (BS)  – Crime Analysis

A criminal justice studies laws and how to solve cyber crime. To do this, you may study cyber laws. Plus the ins and outs of ethical hacking.

The Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security

The tuition for a bachelor’s in cyber security varies. For the 2018 school year, NCES found the average cost per year for a bachelor degree was $20,050. This is for an in state, 4 year public college. This cost goes up to $43,139 for private college. These figures are only for tuition and fees. As such, you may have other things to budget for. Like books, supplies, room and board. If you choose an online degree, some of these costs will not be a factor.

Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degree Courses

Like other programs, many cyber security degrees go both wide and deep. So, they may start with intro level 101 classes. Then, move into more complex ones. To give you an idea, here are a few core topics.

 

Core Courses:

  • Cyber Basics
    This course may teach you how to put in place and audit the Critical Security Controls as documented by the Council on Cyber Security. These Controls are becoming the norm of what must be done at all companies.
  • Basics of Network Security
    This type of class would teach you ways to keep computer networks safe. Safe from hackers, viruses and other breaches. You may study previous cyber attacks to learn of how to detect and prevent future attacks.
  • Digital Forensics
    Hackers often leave traces behind after a cyber attack. So, this class may hone your detective skills. As such, you may learn how to track and collect this evidence to help catch the bad guys.
  • Safety Measures
    Weak systems are easy to hack and attack. As such, this class often looks at systems software design. For instance, how to build secure systems. And scan for flaws. So, other topics also look at safety protocols and tests.
  • Cyber Law
    This course would cover topics such as info security and policies related to privacy, incident response, computer crime, IP, and recently decided cases.
Top 2020 Cyber Security Bachelor's Degree Programs

How Long Does It Take to Earn a BS in Cyber Security?

It may take 4 years of full time study to earn a BS in cyber security. And, while most plans entail 120 credits, you may fast track your studies. There are a few ways to do this. One is to transfer credits from an associate degree. Another way is to earn your degree online. Then, take a very full course load and no summer break.

Once you earn your BS, you may want to pursue a certification. CompTIA, or ISACA are a few. Some people also go onto pursue a master’s in cyber security. If you do, it may help you in a few ways. For one, to climb the ladder into a manager role. And, also earn more money.

To this point, one study looked at people with bachelors and masters in comp sci degrees. It then linked each level to their starer salaries to see if there was any wage gap. And there was. People with a BS earned about $68,103 per year according to the NACE.  But, those with a master’s often earn $82,275. That’s a jump up of more than $14,000!

What Accreditation Should I Look For?

Accredited programs meet norms for quality. As cyber security falls under Computer Science, a main accrediting agency is ABET. ABET grants CAC approval. CAC approval, in turn, may help you when it comes to pursue a job. Or, take certification exams.

20 Best Schools with Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degree Programs

What make one cyber security bachelor’s degree distinct from another? The reality is, no two schools are the same. As you can see, there is a lot of choice. So, we want to help you nail down some options. To do this, we ranked our top 20 colleges. And used data from the NCES to back up our methods.

1

Colorado Technical University

4435 N Chestnut Street | Colorado Springs, CO 80907

BS in Cyber Security 

This is a 186 credit program. And one you may complete online or on the Colorado campus.

Part of your credits (70) go to general topics. But the rest are Comp Sci (64) and cyber security (52) classes.

  1. Network Security
  2. How to Manage Risk
  3. Cloud Computing – Safety and Privacy
  4. Software Security

Skills You May Gain

  • How to detect common risks
  • Plans to counter hacking, spam, worms, malware and computer viruses
  • Be able to cyber sleuth and find weak areas in systems
  • Assess a business system and come up with a plan of defense
Tuition & Fees: $11,960
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
74%, Average Amount: $4,270
Federal Loans:
74%, Average Amount: $8,036
2

University of Maryland Global

3501 University Blvd East | Adelphi, MD 20783

Cyber Security Management and Policy (BS) 

A 120 credit program, a third (33) go to the major. You can also take all classes online.

  1. Cyber security for leaders and managers
  2. How gov’t agencies use cyber tactics
  3. Keeping info systems safe
  4. Policy and cyber security

Skills You May Gain

  • Learn how to write up reports and security policies
  • Know how to draft a disaster recovery plan and brief execs
  • Assess company practices
  • Understand cyber laws
  • Have a finger on the pulse of hi tech solutions
Tuition & Fees: $12,336
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
29%, Average Amount: $3,315
Federal Loans:
19%, Average Amount: $7,927
3

Excelsior College

7 Columbia Circle | Albany, NY 12203

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

Within the 120 credit hours you need, 36 are core concepts. So, they cover cyber security in depth.

You can also choose one of two anchor points. General which has a Comp Sci slant. Or Cyber Operations.

  1. Cyber security defense
  2. All about cyber attacks
  3. Risk and security
  4. Digital Forensics

Skills You May Gain

  • How to build and assess networks using many layers and systems
  • Run tests to check security systems
  • Learn how to spot risks and weak areas
Tuition & Fees: $6,805
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
14%, Average Amount: $2,968
Federal Loans:
11%, Average Amount: $6,581
4

Capitol Technology University

11301 Springfield Rd | Laurel, MD 20708

Management of Cyber and Information Technology (BS)

For this program, you need to complete 120 credits. And, may do so online. Either in real time or any time format.

You will also study a mix of math, security topics and Comp Sci.

  1. Intro to info sec
  2. Computer security
  3. Applied wireless network security
  4. How to handle issues and malicious code

Skills You May Gain

  • Be able to problem solve
  • Assess, design and put into use tactical plans
  • Understand ethics and cyber laws
Tuition & Fees: $25,540
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
75%, Average Amount $13,491
Federal Loans:
52%, Average Amount: $6,878
5

American Public University System

111 W Congress St | Charles Town, WV 25414

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

This 120 credit program is available online.

It also covers both theory and practical uses. So, you may learn how to assess risks. And to design defense plans for the public and private sectors.

  1. Cyber warfare
  2. Privacy and  cyber law
  3. Security audits for IT
  4. IT Security and risk

Skills You May Gain

  • Learn the finer points of digital forensics
  • Grasp key issues in cyber defense and operations
  • Be able to assess the design and defense of wired, wireless, and satellite networks
Tuition & Fees: $6,880
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
85%, Average Amount $1,705
Federal Loans:
22%, Average Amount: $8,635
6

Arizona State University

University Drive and Mill Avenue | Tempe, AZ 85287

Applied Computing BS – Cyber Security

Many of the 120 credits cover comp sci topics. As such, the focus is on analytics. And using them to assess risks to info sec systems.

  1. Intro to comp sci
  2. Network security
  3. Info Sec operations
  4. Programming

Skills You May Gain

  • Deeper grasp of how to use comp sci skills to defend networks
  • Know about risk, laws, ethics and policy
  • How to share info with teams about complex risk issues
  • Problem solving with various security models
Tuition & Fees: $28,336
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
76%, Average Amount $12,060
Federal Loans:
36%, Average Amount: $4,948
7

Regent University

1000 Regent University Dr | Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

Regents BS program is a (CAE-CDE). Or, National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

This status comes from the National Security Agency (NSA). And the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

You also have a choice of format. So, you can earn your 120 credits on campus or online.

  1. Ethics for comp sci
  2. Digital forensics
  3. Basics of databases
  4. Info Sec management

Skills You May Gain

  • How to create and put into use a security plan
  • Identify what practices to use to defend specific systems
  • Lessen risks of breach through tests
  • Be able to harness  IT resources to guard systems
Tuition & Fees: $18,380
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
84%, Average Amount $7,230
Federal Loans:
81%, Average Amount: $9,559
8

Kennesaw State University

1000 Chastain Rd | Kennesaw, GA 30144

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

A 120 credit program, you take all courses online. And studying cyber security also awards a minor in IT.

  1. Operating systems
  2. Basics of info sec
  3. Management of global info sec functions
  4. Incident response and planning

Skills You May Gain

  • Understand and use info sec technology
  • A deeper grasp of the business side of cyber defense
  • And an awareness of cyber crime issues
Tuition & Fees: $17,329
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
73%, Average Amount $5,048
Federal Loans:
50%, Average Amount: $6,361
9

George Mason University

1000 Chastain Rd | Kennesaw, GA 30144

Cyber Security Engineering (BS)

For this 126 credit degree, you may need a strong skills in math and science.

It covers main topics from two areas. Cyber security and system engineering.

  1. Intro to network security
  2. Cyber systems
  3. Secure software engineering
  4. System security

Skill You May Gain

  • Know how to  solve defense problems of all kinds
  • Design and develop secure systems at the outset
Tuition & Fees: $35,922
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
48%, Average Amount $7,175
Federal Loans:
42%, Average Amount: $6,873
10

Utica College

1600 Burrstone Rd | Utica, NY 13502

Online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

One feature of this 120 credit online program is its choice of focus topics. You could get your sleuth on and study Network Forensics. Or study operations and even cyber crime and fraud.

  1. Cyber crime law
  2. Info system threats, attacks and defenses
  3. System Testing
  4. Risk and Compliance

Skills You May Gain

  • Deeper grasp of key concepts
  • Know how to apply statutes and case law
  • Basic and key comp sci concepts that relate to cyber security
Tuition & Fees: $21,382
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
69%, Average Amount $9,464
Federal Loans:
73%, Average Amount: $10,435
11

California State – San Bernadino

5500 University Parkway | San Bernardino, CA 92407

BS Information Systems & Technology, Cyber Security Option

This 180 Credit BSIT program looks at info systems in depth.

  1. How to problem solve using IT
  2. Security systems management
  3. Cyber defense
  4. Digital forensics

Skills You May Gain

  • Grasp of how info systems relate to cyber security
  • Key practices in cyber defense used by federal and state agencies
  • Ability to spot, record and analyze digital evidence
Tuition & Fees: $18,802
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
83%, Average Amount $9,405
Federal Loans:
36%, Average Amount: $6,102
12

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

210 Burruss Hall, 800 Drillfield Dr | Blacksburg, VA 24061

Computer Engineering (BS)– Networking and Cyber Security Major

Virginia Tech’s 131 credit program features one focal point. Networks and cyber security. It also aims to ready you to solve hard digital security issues

  1. How to manage risk
  2. Security systems
  3. Cyber defense
  4. Digital forensics

Skills You May Gain

  • Spot and solve complex cyber and network security issues
  • Ethics of systems design
  • How to develop and test systems for risk
Tuition & Fees: $31,908
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
49%, Average Amount $8,630
Federal Loans:
36%, Average Amount: $6,524
13

Fairleigh Dickinson University

1000 River Rd | Teaneck, NJ 07666

Computer Science (BS) – Cyber Security

Fairleigh Dickinson University is a (CAE/CDE). And its status is current through 2020. Some of the courses on the 120 study plan are below.

  1. Basics in cyber security
  2. Network security
  3. Software design
  4. Operating systems

Skills You May Gain

  • Know about major cyber security concepts and how to apply them
  • The tech skills to develop algorithms, systems, and tools for info sec
  • Ability to encrypt data and use biometrics
Tuition & Fees: $40,732
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
53%, Average Amount $22,490
Federal Loans:
44%, Average Amount: $10,017
14

SUNY at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue | Albany, NY 12222

Cyber Security (BS)

In this program, you may get hands on practice. So your classes may simulate real scenarios. And you may work with real clients as case studies.

  1. Networks and cryptography
  2. Cyber threats and intelligence
  3. Global cyber conflicts
  4. Incident analysis

Skills You May Gain

  • Know how to consult and use data analytics
  • Work to investigate fraud
  • Cyber incident response
  • Be able to prepare a business report
Tuition & Fees: $26,851
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
64%, Average Amount $9,226
Federal Loans:
57%, Average Amount: $6,757
15

Baker College

1050 West Bristol Road | Flint, MI 48507

B.S. in Information Technology and Security – Information Assurance and Cyber Security

This 120-credit Bachelor of Science program in information technology and security with a concentration in information assurance/cyber security is led by IT professionals following a curriculum designed to provide a solid foundation in security across several different systems and platforms. Course examples include:

  1. Principles of Computer Science
  2. Security Policies and Auditing
  3. Information Systems Threat Assessments
  4. Designing for Security

Desired Outcomes:

  • Learn how to analyze and respond to computer infrastructure problems
  • Identify internal and external threats
  • Proficiency in platform security, network security and operating system security
Tuition & Fees: $9,800
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
100%, Average Amount $4,440
Federal Loans:
84%, Average Amount: $6,798
16

Strayer University - Global

1133 15th St NW, Suite 200 | Washington, D.C. 20005

Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Cyber Security

In this program, you may learn how to think like a hacker. This has two main aims. One to understand how black-hat programmers breach network systems. And two, to know which defense systems to use to protect data. Some common topics are

  1. Digital forensics
  2. Perimeter defenses
  3. Network testing
  4. Intro to IT

Skills You May Gain

  • Understand ethical and criminal hacking
  • Be able to run security tests for wireless networks
  • Master the functions and impacts of malicious programs
  • Learn how to use counter measures
Tuition & Fees: $13,380
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
35%, Average Amount $4,326
Federal Loans:
36%, Average Amount: $10,188
17

Purdue University – Global - Davenport

1801 East Kimberly Road, Suite 1 | Davenport, IA 52807

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

This program is a focal point in the Comp and IT program. And, covers key areas of cyber security. As such it may prep you to take industry certification exams. A few samples of the 180 quarter credit course plan follow.

  1. Basics of cyber security
  2. Computer Forensics and Investigations
  3. Ethical Hacking and Network Defense
  4. Policies

Skills You May Gain

  • Be able to analyze cyber problems
  • Design and apply solutions
  • Understand how to make ethical decisions
  • Know key practices and concepts as well as how to put them into use
Tuition & Fees: $14,343
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
67%, Average Amount $4,150
Federal Loans:
54%, Average Amount: $6,292
18

Columbia Southern University

21982 University Lane | Orange Beach, AL 36561

Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Cyber Security

This 120 credit program focuses on systems security. It also covers analytics. So, you may learn how to detect intruders from running tests. Then to apply counter measures.

  1. Cyber security and crime
  2. Systems and how to protect them
  3. Cloud and Network Security
  4. Security Apps

Skills You May Gain

  • Be able to apply business tools to solve info sec issues
  • Practices to optimize the way a system performs
  • How to spot potential threats, risks, and weak areas in systems
  • Understand cyber law and use it to form plans
Tuition & Fees: $5,535
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
84%, Average Amount $1,903
Federal Loans:
30%, Average Amount: $6,821
19

Walden University

100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900 | Minneapolis, MN 55401

Cyber Security For Information Systems: BS in Computer Information Systems

An 181 quarter credit program, it studies many core areas. Both the comp sci ones and info sec ones. In doing so, you may learn about privacy laws.

  1. Cloud computing
  2. Systems analysis
  3. Systems software security
  4. Network security

Desired Outcomes:

  • Apply basics of comp sci and math to problem solve
  • Assess business systems to fit client goals
  • Design, put into use and test programs
Tuition & Fees: $12,120
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
35%, Average Amount $3,885
Federal Loans:
52%, Average Amount: $10,518
20

Columbia College

11600 Columbia College Dr | Sonora, CA 95370

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security

In this program you study a few key areas. Data bases, info systems and how manage them. It also covers network design and entails 12o credits

  1. Cloud computing
  2. Systems analysis
  3. Systems software security
  4. Network Security

Desired Outcomes:

  • Ability to manage IT and info sec projects
  • Know how to do digital forensics
  • Prepare for digital threats and know how to respond
Tuition & Fees: $7,358
Financial Aid:
Grants & Scholarships:
65%, Average Amount $2,831
Federal Loans:
0%, Average Amount: N/A

What Jobs Can You Get with a Bachelor’s in Cyber Security?

Computer Programmer: $84,280 median 2018 annual salary

If you’re into writing and testing code this job may be perfect for you. It asks you to be attentive to detail. But there’s room to be creative when you use “beautiful coding”.

Database Administrator: $90,070 median 2018 annual salary

You’ve heard of data wonks. Well this is in their wheel house. In this job, you need to care for data on every level. So, you need the skills to protect, keep, and manage data.

Information Security Analyst: $98,350 median 2018 annual salary

This job focuses on analysis. And O-Net reports 53% of people working in this field have a bachelor’s degree. As an info sec analyst you are likely to run lots of systems tests. These tests check for risks. So, you will be helping to prevent and deter cyber attacks.

Top Salaries by State for Information Security Analysts

StateEmploymentLowest 10%Annual Mean WageHighest 10%
NY6,930$64,430$122,000$191,550
NJ3,480$66,040$121,600$173,130
DC1,660$63,340$118,080$178,510
CT980$67,280$112,900$177,540
VA14,180$68,250$111,780$162,830

The Certification requests Cyber Security employers may make:

Security+

CompTIA offers the Security+ credential. It covers basic skills. Some of these skills relate to spotting risks. While others, to managing threats. Once you have your Security+, you must renew it every 3 years. To do so, you will need at least 50 credit units more.

CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional

Created by (ISC)2, CISSP focuses on two things, security policy and management. As a result, it is not for the newbie. In fact, to take the exam, you need at least 5 years in the cyber work force. You must also know at least two of these  areas.

  • Security and how to manage risk
  • Asset security
  • Security engineering
  • Communications and network security
  • Manage identity and Access
  • Security assessment and testing
  • Security operations
  • How to develop secure software

As a cert holder, you must also join the (ISC)2. And then re certify every three years. Plus, CISSPs have to do a few things each year. One, pay an $85 fee each year. And two, submit 40 advanced credits.

CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor

CISA is an ISACA® credential that over 140,ooo pros have. To get it, you need to master 5 areas. You also have to recertify every three years.

  • How to conduct an audit
  • Manage and craft policy
  • Buy, develop and put systems into use that meet your business goals
  • Operations
  • How to protect info systems

As a CISA you also have to pay an annual fee. It’s $45 for ISACA® members, and $85 for non members.

CISM: Certified Information Security Manager

ISACA® also offers the CISM. It is a credential that over 40,000 pros have.

To get it, you need to be able master four content areas.

  • Info sec laws and protocols
  • Manage risk
  • Develop an info sec plan
  • Detect and track down incidents