United States Information Assurance and Cyber Security Schools

Several accredited universities and cyber security schools offer cyber security graduate degree programs in traditional campus-based formats. As a relatively new field, technology continues to evolve, which may translate into several variations within cyber security programs. Some schools offer these degrees through either their computer science, criminal justice and legal or technology and business departments.

Cyber Security Graduate Degree

Why Consider a Cyber Security Graduate Degree?

Cyber Security graduate degree programs may offer a combination of business and computer-related courses that might help position individuals to pursue more advanced career paths or responsibilities[i]. Graduates of information assurance programs may leave with an understanding on government policies, and both the technological and operational aspects of information warfare, including cyberattack and cyber defense. Studying information systems and cybersecurity at the graduate level offers individuals the opportunity to study in-depth the issues of cybercrime, cyberwarfare, and virtual espionage.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2014 it was reported that 1,872 Masters degrees and 16 Research Doctorates were awarded in Computer & Information Systems Security.[ii]

Why Earn a Cyber Security Graduate Degree on Campus?

One of the potential advantages to choosing a campus-based cyber security graduate degree program is that you would be learning in a face-to-face setting with industry professionals. This in-person setting not only gives you the opportunity to meet your faculty, but also to learn in physical computer laboratories. Other possible benefits to earning a graduate degree in cyber security on campus might include;

  • Studying on campus may be a great place to foster mentorships;
  • You might find a close-knit community of students, faculty and administrators that contribute positively to your learning environment;
  • You might enjoy the campus grounds and the opportunity to interact with others;
  • Some cyber security university programs might offer evening and/or week end classes

Selecting a Cyber Security School

Keep the following in mind as you search our directory for on campus cyber security programs:

  • Choose the type of cyber security graduate program you are interested in to help narrow down your choices for schools.
  • Look for a program where you are comfortable with things like location and student-to-faculty ratio.
  • Look for an accredited cyber security school or university.

What Does it Mean to Study Cybersecurity in Grad School?

Cybersecurity is considered a subset of information security. Essentially the field of cybersecurity encompasses protection of networks, computers, programs and data from attacks, viruses, and unauthorized data. While information assurance deals with issues such as authentication and confidentiality, cyber security is concerned with computers and computer systems.

Potential Graduate Cyber Security Courses

Some cybersecurity schools might focus on computer programming, others may emphasize digital forensics, or security policy. Check the syllabus for each program from the schools on your list to make sure it aligns with you. A generalized, information systems and cybersecurity graduate program might cover some of the following courses[iii]:

  • Computer forensics
  • Systems security engineering
  • Software applications
  • Threat and vulnerability assessment
  • Wireless networks and satellite communication
  • Cryptography
  • Tactical and strategic planning
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Cyber warfare systems development and acquisition

Cyber Security Degree Requirements

Cyber Security graduate degree programs are available at the Masters, Doctorate and MBA cybersecurity levels of study. Some graduate schools with cyber security degree programs consider applicants with an undergraduate degree in computer science (E.g. Bachelors in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity), mathematics, science, or engineering. Specific cyber security degree requirements are likely to depend on your program and degree level, so use your preferences, career goals and any previous education to refine your search for cyber security university programs.

Campus Cyber Security Master’s Degree Programs

On-campus Masters in Cybersecurity degree programs typically require about 2-years of full-time education beyond the Bachelor’s degree. Cyber security Masters degree programs might blend theory and research with applied knowledge.

Campus Doctoral Programs in Information security

On-campus Doctoral programs in information security may entail two years of graduate classes and qualifying exams, followed by 3-5 years of independent research culminating in a detailed, scientific dissertation.

Accredited Cyber Security Graduate Schools

Look for a regionally accredited graduate school that undergoes periodic assessment for quality standards. Some universities that offer cyber security graduate degree programs may also be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE), which is jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security[iv].

Per the NSA, “Prospective schools are designated after meeting stringent CAE criteria and mapping curricula to a core set of cyber defense knowledge units. Schools may also elect to map their curricula to specialized Focus Areas. CAE-CD institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing our Nation's information systems.”[v]

Location: Finding Cyber Security Schools

Location may play a significant role in your choice of university. You may be open to relocating, especially if your prospective school has interesting partnerships, opportunities for internships or is conducting the type of research you favor. Alternatively, you might prefer commuting to a local graduate school. Search our directory for sponsored listings in doctoral, cyber security masters degree programs, and MBA cybersecurity options by location. Choose a city, state or country.

Take the Next Step

You have an analytical mindset, are attentive to details and rise to meet challenges with ingenuity and excellent problem solving skills. You also read the news and hear first-hand about the increasing threats in the form of cyberattacks. You want to channel your strengths, acquire sharper skills and more knowledge. Find the on-campus cyber security graduate degree program that might take you forward in learning and potentially enhance career opportunities.Choose your degree level, read through sponsored listings. Contact prospective cyber security schools using our on-page navigation. It’s simple to get started. Take the next step today!

[i]bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm | [ii] datausa.io/profile/cip/111003/ | [iii] nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=89471| [iv].nsa.gov/resources/educators/centers-academic-excellence/cyber-defense/ |[v] [iv]

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