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List of Best Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Programs in the United States (2023)

cybersecurity masters degree in usa

The Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity lays the groundwork for you to:

  • Understand the essence of electronic and cyber-physical infrastructure vulnerabilities and vulnerability mechanisms.
  • Develop an understanding of the program, network, and operating system vulnerabilities.
  • Understand data protection approaches and techniques for networks, applications, and other cyber and cyber-physical systems.
  • Investigate the constraints and costs of cybercrime and espionage on privacy, connectivity, and technological utilization.
  • Examine the role of government, business, and coalition policies in halting and preventing cybercrime and surveillance.

One particularly prominent trend in the cybersecurity master’s is that name-brand universities deliver more and more graduate degrees in cybersecurity.

Ironically, online or hybrid formats entail some campus time, and then students complete coursework remotely.

What is a Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Program?

Master’s degrees in cybersecurity focus on the systems and technologies utilized in cyber defense and operations.

This is distinct from information security and information technology (IT), which both focus on techniques for safeguarding computers, networks, and other technology against attack or misuse.

However, because these disciplines overlap in many ways, several cybersecurity schools offer specializations in IT and other closely related professions.

The length of these programs varies based on the credit requirements. In most cases, students may complete a master’s degree in cybersecurity in 1-3 years.

How To Choose a Best Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Program?

Choosing the best cybersecurity master’s degree program requires careful research and consideration of various factors to ensure it aligns with your interests, career goals, and budget. 13 steps to help you choose the best cybersecurity master’s program:

Define Your Career Goals

  • Determine your specific interests within the field of cybersecurity (e.g., network security, ethical hacking, risk management, digital forensics).
  • Identify your long-term career objectives (e.g., becoming a security analyst, penetration tester, or security consultant).

Accreditation

  • Ensure the program is accredited by a recognized accreditation body, such as ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) or a regional accreditation agency.
  • Accreditation ensures the program meets certain quality standards.

Research Programs

  • Create a list of potential universities or institutions that offer cybersecurity master’s programs.
  • Look for programs that have a strong emphasis on hands-on practical experience and up-to-date course content.

Faculty Expertise

  • Go through the faculty member’s qualifications, research interests, and industry experience.
  • Professors with extensive cybersecurity experience and connections can enhance your learning experience and career prospects.

Location and Delivery Format

  • Consider whether you want to attend an on-campus program or prefer the flexibility of an online program.
  • Evaluate the location of the institution and whether it offers opportunities for internships, networking, and collaboration with local cybersecurity companies.

Specializations and Electives

  • Check if the program offers specializations or elective courses that align with your career goals.
  • Some programs may have a broader curriculum, while others focus on specific areas within cybersecurity.

Alumni Network and Industry Connections

  • Inquire into the program’s alumni network and whether graduates have successfully transitioned into cybersecurity job roles.
  • Look for programs that have strong ties to the industry, including partnerships with cybersecurity companies, guest speakers, and job placement assistance.

Program Length

  • Check the program’s duration and whether it fits your timeline.
  • Some programs offer accelerated options, while others are part-time or full-time.

Admission Requirements

  • Checkup the admission requirements, including prerequisites, standardized tests (e.g., GRE), and GPA expectations.
  • Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.

Financial Considerations

  • Evaluate the cost of tuition, fees, and other expenses.
  • Look for the scholarship, grant, and financial aid opportunities.
  • Consider the potential return on investment (ROI) of the program in terms of increased earning potential and career advancement.

Read Reviews and Seek Recommendations

  • Look for online reviews and testimonials from current and former students.
  • Talk to professionals in the field or mentors who can provide recommendations based on their experiences.

Visit Campus or Attend Information Sessions

  • If possible, visit the campus or attend virtual information sessions to get a feel for the program and ask questions.

Compare Programs

  • Create a spreadsheet or list to compare the programs you have researched based on the factors mentioned above.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of each program to make an informed decision.

Remember that the best cybersecurity master’s program for you may vary depending on your individual goals and circumstances.

Take your time, conduct thorough research, and make a perfect decision that aligns with your career aspirations and personal preferences.

List of Best Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Programs in the United States

The following guide is devoted to supplying students interested in obtaining a master’s degree in cybersecurity with the most detailed guide available.

Please consider that this is not in any particular order- rather, it is a current cybersecurity master’s programs list:

StateLocationSchool/UniversityName of the Master’s Degree
AlabamaMontgomeryAuburn University at MontgomeryMaster of Science in Computer Information Systems & Cybersecurity Engineering
AlabamaBirminghamThe University of Alabama at BirminghamM.S. in Cyber Security
AlabamaHuntsvilleThe University of Alabama in HuntsvilleMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
ArizonaTempeArizona State UniversityM.S. in Computer Science – Cybersecurity
ArizonaTempeUniversity of Advancing TechnologyMaster of Science in Cyber Security
ArizonaTucsonUniversity of ArizonaAZSecure Cybersecurity Fellowship Program (MS-MIS)
CaliforniaPomonaCalifornia State Polytechnic University – PomonaMaster of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Security Career Focus
CaliforniaCarsonCalifornia State University – Dominguez HillsMaster of Science in Cyber Security (MSCY)
CaliforniaSan BernardinoCalifornia State University – San BernardinoMaster of Science – National Cyber Security Studies
CaliforniaSan BernardinoCalifornia State University – San BernardinoMaster of Public Administration – Cybersecurity Concentration
CaliforniaSan BernardinoCalifornia State University – San BernardinoMaster of Business Administration – Cybersecurity Focus
CaliforniaSan JoseSan Jose State UniversityMaster of Science in Software Engineering – Cybersecurity Concentration
CaliforniaSan DiegoUniversity of San DiegoMaster of Science in Cyber Security Engineering
CaliforniaStocktonUniversity of the PacificMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
ColoradoBoulderUniversity of Colorado BoulderMaster of Science in Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy
ColoradoDenverUniversity of DenverMS Cybersecurity
ConnecticutFairfieldSacred Heart UniversityMS – Cybersecurity
ConnecticutBridgeportUniversity of BridgeportM.S. in Technology Management – Information and Cyber Security Management Concentration
ConnecticutWest HavenUniversity of New HavenMaster of Science in Cybersecurity and Networks
FloridaDaytona BeachEmbry – Riddle Aeronautical UniversityMaster of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering
FloridaTallahasseeFlorida State UniversityMaster of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Major
GeorgiaColumbusColumbus State UniversityM.S. Degree in Cybersecurity Management
GeorgiaAtlantaGeorgia Tech Institute for Information Security & PrivacyMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
IllinoisChicagoIllinois Institute of TechnologyMaster’s in Cyber Forensics and Security Program
IllinoisChampaignThe University of Illinois at Urbana – ChampaignMaster of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering – Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program
IndianaValparaisoValparaiso UniversityMaster’s Degree in Cybersecurity
KansasWichitaFriends UniversityMaster of Management Information Systems
KansasLawrenceUniversity of KansasMaster of Science in Information Technology – Cyber Security Focus
MarylandFrederickHood CollegeMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
MarylandBaltimoreMorgan State UniversityMaster of Engineering in Cyber Engineering
MarylandBaltimoreUniversity of Maryland – Baltimore CountyMaster’s in Forensic Science- Cyber Investigations
MarylandCollege ParkUniversity of Maryland – College ParkMaster of Engineering in Cybersecurity
MassachusettsChestnut HillBoston CollegeMaster of Science in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance
MassachusettsBostonBoston UniversityMS in Criminal Justice, Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity Concentration
MassachusettsBostonBoston UniversityMS in Computer Science with Specialization in Cyber Security
MassachusettsBostonNortheastern UniversityMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
MichiganHoughtonMichigan Technological UniversityMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
MichiganRochester HillsOakland UniversityMaster of Science in Cyber Security
MichiganDetroitUniversity of Detroit MercyMaster of Science in Information Assurance Major in Cybersecurity
Mississippi MississippiMississippi State UniversityM.S. in Cyber Security and Operations
MissouriSpringfieldMissouri State University – SpringfieldMaster’s in Cybersecurity
MissouriWarrensburgUniversity of Central MissouriMaster of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
MissouriSaint LouisUniversity of Missouri-Saint LouisMaster of Science (M.S) in Cybersecurity
MissouriSaint LouisWashington University in St LouisMaster’s in Cyber Security Management
MissouriSaint LouisWebster UniversityMaster of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity
NebraskaOmahaThe University of Nebraska at OmahaMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
New JerseyNewarkNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyMaster of Science in Cyber Security and Privacy (MS CSP)
New JerseyMadisonFairleigh Dickinson UniversityM.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
New JerseyNew BrunswickRutgers UniversityMaster of Business & Science – Cybersecurity Concentration
New JerseyJersey CitySaint Peter’s UniversityMasters of Science in Cyber Security
New YorkNew YorkCUNY John Jay College of Criminal JusticeMaster of Science in Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity
New YorkNYC and WestchesterPace UniversityMaster of Science in Cyber Security
New YorkSt. BonaventureSt. Bonaventure UniversityMS in Early Assurance Cybersecurity
New YorkNew YorkYeshiva UniversityMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
North CarolinaGreensboroNorth Carolina A&T State UniversityMaster of Science in Computer Science – Cyber Security
OhioWright-Patterson AFBAir Force Institute of TechnologyMaster of Science degree with a major in Cyber Operations
OhioCelinaWright State UniversityMaster of Science in Cyber Security
OklahomaTulsaUniversity of TulsaMaster of Science in Cyber Security
OklahomaEdmondOklahoma Christian UniversityMSCS in Cybersecurity
PennsylvaniaHarrisburgHarrisburg University of Science and TechnologyMaster of Science in Computer Information Sciences
PennsylvaniaUniversity ParkPennsylvania State University-Main CampusMS in Information Systems and Technology – Cybersecurity Focus
PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaTemple UniversityProfessional Science Master’s in Cyber Defense and Information Assurance
Rhode IslandProvidenceBrown UniversityExecutive Master in Cybersecurity (EMCS)
Rhode IslandNewportSalve Regina UniversityM.S. in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security – Cybersecurity and Intelligence Concentration
South CarolinaCharlestonCitadel Military College of South CarolinaMaster of Science in Computer and Information Sciences – Cybersecurity Specialization
South CarolinaClemsonClemson UniversityMaster of Science in Computer Engineering – Cybersecurity
South Carolina CharlestonCollege of CharlestonMaster of Science in Computer and Information Sciences – Cybersecurity Specialization
TennesseeKnoxvilleThe University of TennesseeMaster of Science in Computer Engineering – Cybersecurity
TennesseeKnoxvilleThe University of TennesseeMaster of Science in Computer Science – Cybersecurity
TexasSan AntonioSt. Mary’s UniversityMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
TexasCollege StationTexas A&M University – College StationMaster of Engineering in Engineering – Cybersecurity specialization
TexasSan AntonioThe University of Texas at San AntonioMaster of Science Degree in Information Technology – Cyber Security Concentration
TexasDentonUniversity of North TexasMaster’s degree in Cybersecurity
UtahOremUtah Valley UniversityMaster of Science in Cybersecurity
VirginiaArlingtonMarymount UniversityMaster of Science in Information Technology – Cybersecurity Concentration
VirginiaBlacksburgVirginia TechMS in Computer Science with Cybersecurity Track
VirginiaBlacksburgVirginia TechMEng, MS, in Computer Engineering with Cybersecurity Track
WashingtonBothellUniversity of Washington – Bothell CampusMaster of Science in Cyber Security Engineering
WashingtonTacomaUniversity of Washington – Tacoma CampusMaster’s in Cybersecurity and Leadership (MCL)
Washington
DC
Washington, District Of ColumbiaGeorge Washington UniversityMS in Cybersecurity in Computer Science
Washington
DC
Washington, District Of ColumbiaGeorge Washington UniversityMaster of Science in Cybersecurity in Computer Science
WisconsinMilwaukeeMarquette UniversityMaster of Science in Computing: Information Assurance and Cyber Defense

Admission Process/Requirements for Cybersecurity Master’s Degree in the United States

The admission process for a Master’s program in Cybersecurity in the United States can vary from one university to another, but there are some common steps and requirements that you should be aware of. Here is a general overview of the admission process:

Research and Choose Programs

  • Start by researching universities and programs that offer a Cybersecurity Master’s degree. Look for programs that align with your interests and career goals.

Meet Eligibility Requirements

  • Most cybersecurity master’s programs will have specific eligibility requirements, including a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA.
  • Most colleges require a minimum GPA of 3.0 for entry, but this varies by university and college. While many colleges and universities need students to get a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or computer science or cybersecurity.
  • Some programs may also require relevant work experience or prerequisite coursework in computer science or a related field.

Prepare Application Materials

  • Gather the necessary application materials, which typically include:
  • Completed online application form (through the university’s website)
  • Transcripts from all previous academic institutions attended
  • Letters of recommendation (usually 2-3)
  • Statement of purpose (SOP) or personal statement
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE or GMAT) – Some programs may waive this requirement
  • English language proficiency test scores (e.g., TOEFL or IELTS) for international students
  • Application fee

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

  • Write a compelling SOP that explains your academic and career goals, why you’re interested in cybersecurity, and why you’re applying to that particular program.
  • Highlight any relevant experiences or skills.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Request letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or individuals who can speak to your qualifications and potential for success in a cybersecurity program.

Standardized Tests

  • If required by the program, prepare for and take standardized tests like the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).

English Language Proficiency

  • If you are an international student and English is not your native language, you may need to take an English language proficiency test (e.g., TOEFL or IELTS) and meet the minimum score requirements.

Submit Application

  • Complete the online application and submit all required materials by the application deadline. Be sure to pay the application fee if required.

Interviews (if applicable)

  • Some programs may require an interview as part of the admission process. Prepare for the interview by researching the program and being ready to discuss your qualifications and goals.

Admission Decision

  • Once your application is complete, the admissions committee will review your materials and make an admission decision.
  • You will be notified of the decision typically via email or through an online portal.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • If you need financial assistance, explore scholarship opportunities, assistantships, or fellowships offered by the university or external organizations.

Acceptance and Enrollment

  • If you are accepted, follow the instructions provided by the university for accepting the offer of admission and enrolling in the program. This may include submitting a deposit and registering for classes.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements and deadlines can vary from one university to another, so it’s important to carefully review the admission information provided by the individual programs you are interested in.

Additionally, because cybersecurity is a rapidly evolving field, having a strong background in computer science or a related field and relevant work experience can be a significant advantage in the admissions process.

Tuition Fee for Procuring Cybersecurity Master’s Degree

The expense of a cybersecurity master’s degree will differ greatly depending on a variety of factors.

There are cybersecurity master’s degree programs available online, on-site, and in a blended format. Some campus-based programs can be more costly in terms of tuition and other related expenses.

Still, they may also include benefits such as job services or different types of counseling and mentoring, which are significant factors to consider when weighing the cost-benefit of a graduate degree.

According to the United States News and World Report, the standard master’s degree in cybersecurity takes 30 to 36 credit hours and costs between $575 and $1,975.

This implies that the average cost of a cybersecurity master’s degree could vary between $17,500 and $70,500.

Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Programs in Distance Learning    

The Master of Science(or, MSc [abbv.]) is an academic degree conferred upon anyone who completes approximately two years of rigorous research on a specific subject. Many MSc programs combine classroom and research-based instruction.

Computers are used regularly by governments, corporations, and private individuals alike. Cyber protection operates to protect operating networks and shared data against misuse or destruction by those of malicious intent.

Security is an ongoing concern when technology evolves, and offenders find new ways to circumvent established safeguards.

Although distance learning classes have deadlines that must be met, there is a great deal of flexibility in completing assignments while training at a distance.

With the online alternative, you may leave the discussion group to return to work and then rejoin after work if necessary. One may pursue distance learning of Cybersecurity from any location with Internet access.

If you need a breather, you may complete lessons from the Internet lounge in every hotel worldwide.

American universities are financed by “tuition” fees paid by students and are often very large, even going into thousands of dollars a year.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity?

The expansion of the cybersecurity sector expands not only the number of openings but also the variety.

When selecting a cybersecurity career course, a master’s degree offers you the most versatility, demonstrating the willingness to master both the intellectual and organizational maturity expected at senior, managerial, and executive levels.

Chief Information Security Officer (or CISO): This c-suite management role chooses, manages, and leads all programs about an organization’s overall security. CISOs used to need an MBA with a specialty in IT.

Still, with specialist master’s degrees in cybersecurity, these specialists can get an advanced degree tailored to their occupations.

Senior-Level Penetration Tester: A penetration tester, also known as an ethical hacker, targets operating device vulnerabilities.

Although entry-level penetration testers do not need an advanced degree, career qualifications for mid-level practitioners are increasing, requiring at least a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or, ideally, a master’s degree.

Security Consultant: This role develops and integrates the right security options based on the needs of a particular enterprise.

From communicating with partners and designing budgets to supervising teams and performing security assessments, this position is perfect for someone with a master’s degree in cybersecurity who has honed both technological and communications skills.

Technology Engineer: Identifies IT risks and technological bugs, develops and checks security infrastructure, and acts as the security policy and procedure point individual.

Because of the highly technical nature of this position, employers choose applicants with a master’s degree in cybersecurity over those with only a bachelor’s degree.

Security Architects: These senior-level staff plan, develop, and manage an organization’s network and computer security development.

You will also be in charge of providing technical advice, evaluating costs and threats, and developing security policies and procedures.

Since security architects must balance technological and managerial roles, a master’s degree in cybersecurity is the perfect education to train you for this position.

Salary For Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Holders

Though cybersecurity jobs have a high median salary, information security analysts earn $98,355 per year.

A master’s degree prepares you for leadership positions in a field where the top 10% of cybersecurity practitioners receive $156,683 per year.

The pay for a cybersecurity master’s degree is very strong. Salary demands for a master’s degree in cybersecurity begin high and rise with experience and progression.

According to the dependable Bureau of Labor Statistics, the estimated annual wage for Information Security Analysts is more than $95,000. The top 10%, on the other hand, earn more than $153,000.

The yearly salary of those in management is an astounding $139,000, with the top executives earning well over $200,000.

Approximate salaries for job positions that require a Master’s Degree in CyberSecurity

  • Incident analyst: $69,550
  • Cyber security specialist: $81,270
  • IT auditor: $83,090
  • Cybercrime analyst: $84,360
  • Cyber security analyst: $85,490
  • Cyber security consultant: $101,100
  • Penetration and vulnerability tester: $101,030
  • Cyber security engineer: $105,009
  • Cyber security manager: $111,073
  • Cyber security architect: $120,310

Finally, the paycheck you receive is heavily influenced by your work ethic and ambition. When you enroll in a cybersecurity graduate program, you will also gain useful new contacts who could refer you to better positions in the IT sector.

Master’s in Cybersecurity: Career Outlook

According to the mighty U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job demand for information security analysts is rising at a rate of 31.3%, which the BLS describes as “much higher than (the) average” for other occupations.

While there are many opportunities and work vacancies in the cybersecurity sector, the qualification level required to land these positions can be large.

According to CyberSeek, a graduate degree was expected or chosen by 25.6% of employers recruiting for a cybersecurity architect role (23.1 percent for a cybersecurity engineer; 21.12 percent for a penetration tester).

However, for those with the necessary qualifications and expertise, the prospects are enormous, with job openings in virtually every state and industry.

The Key Takeaways

The global cybercrime crisis has prompted a global push to strengthen cybersecurity at organizations in all industry sectors.

According to CybersecurityVentures.com, the international expense of cybercrime is expected to reach $6.2 trillion a year by 2021, with hackers operating around the clock to attack high-profile targets such as Target, Uber, Equifax, and the FBI, and many others, making it an ever-increasing danger.

According to ISC2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium), there is a worldwide shortfall of 2.93 million Cybersecurity experts, making it an excellent career option for science graduates.

If you have a talent for computer programming and want to excel in your career in the cybersecurity field then having a Master’s in Cybersecurity degree is the best option for you.

FAQs

Is a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity worth it?

Yes, a Master’s in Cybersecurity is worth it for those seeking a career in the field. It provides specialized knowledge, advanced skills, and a competitive edge, where demand for experts continues to grow due to increasing cyber threats and data breaches.
This advanced degree can lead to higher earning potential, job security, and opportunities for leadership roles in both public and private sectors, making it a valuable investment in your future.

Which Master’s Degree is Best for Cybersecurity?

A Master of Science in Cybersecurity (MSCS) is the best choice for a career in cybersecurity. This program provides specialized training in areas like network security, cryptography, ethical hacking, and risk management. It equips students with the technical skills and knowledge needed to protect digital systems and data from cyber threats.
Additionally, certifications like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) can complement your MSCS degree. Ultimately, the MSCS program offers a well-rounded education and prepares graduates for a wide range of cybersecurity roles in both the public and private sectors.

Kevin James

Kevin James

I'm Kevin James, and I'm passionate about writing on Security and cybersecurity topics. Here, I'd like to share a bit more about myself.I hold a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity from Utica College, New York, which has been the foundation of my career in cybersecurity.As a writer, I have the privilege of sharing my insights and knowledge on a wide range of cybersecurity topics. You'll find my articles here at Cybersecurityforme.com, covering the latest trends, threats, and solutions in the field.