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Top 10 Online Information Security Degrees

Data and information are as valuable as currency or precious metals.  Protecting information and data is of paramount importance, particularly personal financial information.  The type of stakeholder who needs the protection of their information and data has expanded from government and finance to large and small businesses, local organizations and individuals.  Keeping confidential data secure, restricting access to networks and offering the assurance of protection comprises some of the skills needed to provide true information security.

Online Security Degrees is pleased to provide the Top Ten Online Information Security Degree Programs 2018.  Degree programs in this sphere include elements of Cyber Security, Information Technology and Risk Management as well as the specific aspects of information security.  The ten schools on this list represent the best options specifically for online Information Security degrees. The criteria for this ranking includes accreditation type (there is a government-sponsored accreditation body covering cybersecurity), number of distinct programs, graduation rate and overall cost.  Weights for each criteria element were assigned and the totals were ordered into the following Top Ten list.

1. Excelsior College

Excelsior College is a private, nonprofit college located in Albany, New York. Primarily a distance learning institution, Excelsior College began in 1971 as the Regents External Degree Program (REX); the young institution was initially funded by major grants from the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation and was created with a mission to provide educational opportunities for adult learners. In 1998 the institution’s mission and scope were expanded as the school was granted its charter to operate as a private, nonprofit and independent institution. In 2001 the institution adopted its current name of Excelsior College. Governed by a board of trustees who are leaders in the areas of education, business and the professions, Excelsior College offers over 25 degree and certificate programs through its several schools. These include the School of Business, School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts, School of Nursing, School of Public Service, and School of Technology. The College strives to “meet students where they are — academically and geographically, offering quality instruction and the assessment of learning,” and its mission is to provide “educational opportunity to adult learners with an emphasis on those historically underrepresented in higher education.”

Excelsior College offers a single online degree program in the area of Information Security, namely the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The program is available with concentrations in either Cybersecurity or Information Security and cultivates in students expertise in areas including network security, computer forensics, information assurance, cryptography, web security, software analysis and design and more. The B.S in Information Technology is specially accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, an accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA).

2. Colorado Technical University


Colorado Technical University is a private institution of higher education located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Established as the Colorado Electronic Training Center in 1965, the University is recognized as a leader in hybrid and online learning and offers education options to career-focused individuals in a variety of fields. Colorado Technical University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the areas of Business & Management, Engineering & Computer Science, Healthcare, Information Systems & Technology, Nursing, Project Management, and in Security Studies. Colorado Technical University’s mission is to “provide industry-relevant higher education to a diverse student population through innovative technology and experienced faculty, enabling the pursuit of personal and professional goals.” One of the advantages the University has to offer is that each student is connected to a personalized learning system known as intellipath™, the University’s proprietary education technology. An adaptive learning technology, the intellipath™ system is designed to tailor courses to each student’s needs allowing them to gain more opportunities to help them learn and grow.

Colorado Technical University offers three online degree programs in the area of Information Security. These include the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an emphasis in Security; the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security with an emphasis in Information Assurance; the Master of Science in Information Technology with an emphasis in Security Management; the Master of Science in Management with an emphasis in Information Systems Security; and the Doctorate in Computer Science with an emphasis in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Colorado Technical University’s security degree programs have been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

3. Utica College


Utica College is a comprehensive, independent, private institution located in Utica, New York in the heart of Central NY.  Established in 1946 by Syracuse University, Utica College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. The College’s mission is to educate “students for rewarding careers, responsible citizenship, enlightened leadership, and fulfilling lives by integrating liberal and professional study, by creating a community of learners with diverse experiences and perspectives, by balancing a commitment to its local heritage with global outreach, by encouraging lifelong learning, and by promoting scholarship in the belief that the discovery and application of knowledge enrich teaching, learning, and society.” Utica College offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including over a dozen available 100% online. The College is home to several centers and institutes and operates with a vision to be “the nation’s most innovative small university, inspiring students to create a future beyond their imagining.”

Utica College offers a single online degree program related to Information Security- the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity with specialization options in Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation, Information Assurance, Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation, and Cyber Operations. Utica College is currently designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education (CAE IA/CD) for academic years 2015-2019 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency. The College is also home to two centers related to information security, the Economic Crime and Cybersecurity Institute of Utica College and the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection.

4. Lewis University


Located in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis University is a private, coeducational, comprehensive Catholic university, sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, an international Roman Catholic teaching order. Established in 1932, the University is guided by its Catholic and Lasallian heritage and seeks to provide “diverse student population programs for liberal and professional education, grounded in the interaction of knowledge and fidelity in the search for truth.” This mission statement continues, “Lewis promotes the development of the complete person through the pursuit of wisdom and justice. Fundamental to its Mission is a spirit of association which fosters community in all teaching, learning, and service.” Comprising multiple colleges and a school, these include the College Of Arts & Sciences, the College Of Business, the College Of Education, the College Of Nursing & Health Professions, and the School Of Graduate, Professional & Continuing Education. Lewis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and currently offers 80 undergrad majors and programs, 37 graduate programs, and 2 doctoral programs.

Lewis University offers two online Information Security-related degree programs: the Bachelor of Science in Information Security and Risk Management, and the Master of Science in Information Security. The former program is an accelerated undergraduate degree offered through the College of Business. The program is taught from a hands-on, cutting-edge curriculum and educates students in the areas of telecommunications & network security; security management practices; IT operations security; information security risk management; ethical hacking and much more. The Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS)’s curriculum is aligned with the National Security Systems National Training Standards for Information Systems Security Professionals, Senior Systems Managers. Lewis University is also nationally recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

5. Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) is a nonprofit institution of higher education headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. A unique institution, the University was founded by a group of U.S. governors in 1977 as an “innovative solution to their states’ rapidly growing and dramatically changing demand for high-quality, outcomes-oriented higher education.” A pioneer in the competency-based learning approach, students are able to earn their degree by proving knowledge, rather than merely logging class hours. WGU is known for its solid academic results and for offering some of the best values in education thanks to low tuition costs and due to the fact that students are able to accelerate through their program, further reducing expense. WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and is comprised of for colleges, namely the College of Business, the Teachers College, the College of Information Technology, and the College of Health Professions. WGU’s primary mission is “to improve quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time or place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers.”

Western Governors University offers two online Information Security degree programs: the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance and the Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Both programs are available through the College of Information Technology and the undergraduate degree program has several certifications worked into the coursework, allowing students to earn their certifications at no additional time or cost. The master’s degree program is designed to develop in students competencies in a range of areas including security, risk management, cyberlaw, network design and management, security policies and standards, hacking, forensics and network intrusion, disaster recovery and more.

6. Capella University

Capella University is a private, for-profit, online institution of higher education headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Owned by the Capella Education Company, the University began in 1993 and was originally known as The Graduate School of America (TGSA). Founded upon the belief that “quality higher education should be broadly accessible to working adults,” in 1997 TGSA became accredited and graduated its first students; in 1999 TGSA officially became known as Capella University, a name chosen in honor of the brightest star in the constellation Auriga. Capella University’s mission is to “extend access to high-quality bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs for adults who seek to maximize their personal and professional potential.” This statement continues, “This mission is fulfilled through innovative programs that are responsive to the needs of adult learners and involve active, engaging, challenging, and relevant learning experiences offered in a variety of delivery modes.” Capella University offers a wide range of doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees as well as a number of certificate programs.

Capella University offers a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. Consisting of 8-15 general education courses, 15 core courses, 9 specialization courses, 5-9 elective courses and the program’s capstone, the B.S. in Information Technology degree is available in FlexPath, the University’s convenient and affordable self-paced, pay-per-session format. Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Information Technology program is specially accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, an accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). Capella University’s Information Technology program is also officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

7. University of Illinois – Springfield

Located in Springfield, Illinois, the University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS) is a public institution of higher education. Originally founded as Sangamon State University in 1969, the institution was established by concerned citizens who banded together to create the Springfield Committee for Higher Education. Today, UIS is a member of the world-class University of Illinois System, becoming the System’s third campus in 1995. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, UIS offers over 30 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and one doctoral degree program through its four colleges. These include the College of Business and Management; the College of Education and Human Services; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and the College of Public Affairs and Administration. The University’s mission is to provide “an intellectually rich, collaborative, and intimate learning environment for students, faculty, and staff, while serving local, regional, state, national, and international communities.”

The University of Illinois-Springfield offers a single online degree program in information security- the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Security Degree, offered through the University’s Department of Computer Science. The program is designed to give students a “strong foundation in computer science and related disciplines” and to provide them with “experience in mastering problem-solving skills relevant to the business, scientific, and public sectors.” A hands-on learning program, the program utilizes a number of cutting-edge technologies and labs. Outcomes of the program include students’ ability to “exhibit an understanding of the crucial concepts of information systems security; demonstrate and communicate best security practices and ethics, and be able to designed and implement secure systems.” In order to qualify, students must possess at least two semesters of Java Programming Experience; one semester of each of calculus, discrete or finite math, and statistics; and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

8. Baker College


Baker College, located in Flint, Michigan, is a private, nonprofit, independent institution and the largest of its kind in the state. Established in 1888 as Muskegon College, the institution was founded by the future Michigan Governor and United States Senator, Woodbridge Ferris. In 1969 the College became a non-profit corporation and today offers over 100 programs across its nine on-ground campuses, multiple extension campuses, and online. The College’s mission is “to provide quality higher education and training which enable graduates to be successful throughout challenging and rewarding careers.” Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Baker College comprises multiple colleges and schools, including the Auto Diesel Institute of Michigan, the Center for Graduate Studies, the College of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Health Science, the College of Information Technology, the College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the College of Social Science, the Culinary Institute of Michigan, and the School of Nursing.

Baker College offers a single online degree program related to Information Security: the Master of Science in Information Systems in Cloud Security Risk Management. Also available as a Master of Business Administration degree, the Cloud Security Risk management major is designed to help students master hands-on cloud risk management skills and improve their understanding of the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework (RMF). One of the program’s objectives is that upon graduation, “students will be uniquely qualified for advancement to executive level cybersecurity positions.” A 38 credit-hour program, the degree includes 15 hours of Major requirements, 12 Business Requirements, and 11 hours of Management Information Systems Requirements. Coursework within the program’s Major requirements includes Cloud Security Risk Management Policy and Methods; a Cloud Security Risk Management Practicum (parts I and II); and Cloud Security Vulnerability Management.

9. Purdue University Global


Purdue University Global is a public, nonprofit institution which offers world-class education to students online. Headquartered on Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, the University’s main campus, which was established in 1869 as Indiana’s land-grant institution, is now one of the most prestigious research universities in the world. In 2017 Purdue acquired Kaplan University, a longtime leader in online adult education with the intention of creating a new, public institution now known as Purdue Global. The mission for the University’s online campus builds upon its original intent to “to provide greater access to affordable, high-quality education.” Purdue Global’s expanded mission is to “deliver a fully personalized online learning experience that’s tailored to the unique needs of working adults—one that gives you the support you need to achieve your goals and creates new opportunities for your future.” One of the ways the University accomplishes this mission is by offering programs in three online formats: 1) the Traditional Classroom Format, 2) the Competency-based Excel Track, and 3) Open College at Purdue Global which provides access to free and low-cost open, online resources.

Purdue University Global offers two online programs related to Information Security. These include the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (IT) with a concentration in Information Security and Assurance and the Master of Science in Information Technology also with a concentration in Information Security and Assurance. The objective of the undergraduate program is to help students “prepare for advancement in the information technology (IT) field by providing the technical knowledge, the communication, critical thinking, and creative skills relevant to the modern workplace.” The program further assists students in developing a “working knowledge of IT concepts, tools and methods as well as the leading-edge technologies needed to design information systems.”

10. Drexel University

Drexel University is a private, nonprofit, comprehensive institution located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 1891, the University’s vision is to prepare “each new generation of students for productive professional and civic lives while also focusing our collective expertise on solving society’s greatest problems.” Drexel University’s mission is to be an academically comprehensive and globally engaged urban research university, dedicated to advancing knowledge and society and to providing every student with a valuable, rigorous, experiential, technology-infused education, enriched by the nation’s premier co-operative education program” Drexel University has gained a global reputation built upon its core achievements, including its leadership in experiential learning, its history of academic technological firsts, and its model of the best practices in translational, use-inspired research. Offering over 200 degree programs, Drexel University comprises several colleges and schools including the College of Arts and Sciences; School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems; Lebow College of Business; College of Computing & Informatics; School of Education; College of Engineering; Close School of Entrepreneurship; Center for Food and Hospitality Management; Graduate College; Pennoni Honors College; Kline School of Law; Westphal College of Media Arts & Design; College of Medicine; College of Nursing and Health Professions; Goodwin College of Professional Studies; Donrsife School of Public Health; and the Center for Sport Management.

A pioneer in online education since 1996, Drexel University is well known for its high quality and innovative internet-based programs. The University offers a single online degree program related to Information Security: the Bachelor of Science in Computing & Security Technology (BSCST). The program is designed to prepare students for “work related to the management and administration of large-scale computing infrastructure,” and provides students with experience in core information technology (IT) areas including databases, networks, servers, information security, and cybersecurity. The program further emphasizes both practical education and fundamental concepts which are supplemented by experiences in the lab.










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