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A bachelor of science in cybersecurity provides a foundation in information technology (IT), computing, and information security theory and strategies. Cybersecurity bachelor's degree programs prepare students for careers like information security analyst, chief information security officer, and security engineer.

As cyberattacks increase, organizations continue to need skilled professionals to improve information security. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 33% job growth rate for information security analysts between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average growth projection for all occupations.

This page includes a list of best cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs. We also cover what to expect from a typical cybersecurity program, potential jobs for graduates, and how to choose the right school.

Why Get a Bachelor's Degree in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs prepare students for well-paying careers in computers and IT. Below, we discuss potential benefits of getting a cybersecurity bachelor’s, including the opportunity to develop technical skills, make a comfortable salary, and enjoy job security.

  • Gain Technical Skills: Cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs provide training that helps students develop in-demand technical skills to mitigate and respond to cyberattacks. They learn programming languages, risk-management strategies, and how to identify security risks.
  • High-Paying Field: Bachelor’s in cybersecurity jobs typically offer competitive wages. The BLS reports that as of May 2021, information security analysts earn a median annual salary of $103,590, significantly higher than the median annual wage for all workers ($41,950).
  • Job Security: The demand for IT professionals in general, and cybersecurity specialists in particular, continues to grow. As organizations conduct more of their operations online, they need information security experts to help protect their data.

What to Expect From a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity bachelor’s degree programs develop fundamental IT and computer skills, while emphasizing information security, risk mitigation, and data analytics.

A bachelor of science (BS) in cybersecurity requires around 120 credits, which full-time learners can complete in four years. Some cybersecurity schools offer accelerated options that take less time.

The cost of a cybersecurity degree varies by school, but the National Center for Education Statistics reports that public four-year universities charged their in-state students an average of $9,349 in tuition and fees for the 2019-20 academic year.

The cybersecurity field offers a variety of degree types. Examples include a BS in cybersecurity, BS in IT with a cybersecurity concentration, BS in information assurance, and BS in computer science with an IT concentration.

Though similar, these degrees often emphasize different skills and areas of knowledge. Students should pick the degree type that most closely aligns with their career goals.

Some of the best colleges for cybersecurity offer concentrations in areas like mobile application development and data analytics. The specific courses cybersecurity majors take varies by program, but a curriculum includes topics like digital forensics, legal issues in cybersecurity, and ethical hacking.

BS in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for cybersecurity schools vary by program. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED certificate, a minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA, and satisfactory SAT/ACT scores.

The application process requires prospective students to fill out an online application, pay a small fee, and submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Those with an associate degree in cybersecurity or a cybersecurity certificate may boost their acceptance chances.

Many universities use Common App, which lets students apply to many schools at once. Some schools require applicants using CommonApp to submit supplemental materials like letters of recommendation, resumes, or written essays.

Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degree and Concentration Options

Students can choose from a variety of bachelor’s programs that focus on cybersecurity. Below, we compare different types of cybersecurity bachelor’s degrees.

  • BS in Cybersecurity: A bachelor of science in cybersecurity provides a foundation in information security. Students learn to evaluate network vulnerabilities, protect information from cyberattacks, and understand the legal issues of information security. Potential careers for those with a BS in cybersecurity include information security analyst, chief information security officer, and security administrator.
  • BS in Information Technology With a Cybersecurity Concentration: A BS in IT with a cybersecurity concentration emphasizes networking and security. Graduates qualify for jobs like IT manager or web developer.
  • BS in Computer Science With a Cybersecurity Concentration: A BS in computer science with a cybersecurity concentration develops skills in programming, data science, and software engineering. Graduates pursue jobs like computer and information systems manager, information security analyst, and chief information security officer.
  • BS in Information Assurance: The curriculum of a typical BS in information assurance mirrors that of a BS in cybersecurity, with graduates pursuing similar careers.
  • BA in Computer Science with Concentration in Cybersecurity: The general outline of this degree is an applied computing program that involves a liberal arts core (approximately 48-49 hours) with a cybersecurity concentration (about 66 hours). In addition to critical thinking and technology ethics, students can expect to learn computer forensics, cyber defense, and principles of cybersecurity.

Popular Courses at Colleges With Cybersecurity Majors

Many of the best universities for cybersecurity focus on issues like risk management, information systems security, and programming. Typical bachelor’s programs require core, elective/concentration, and general education courses. Some also require a practicum, capstone, or internship.

  • Foundations of Information Security: This class introduces the fundamentals of information security practice and theory. Topics include network vulnerabilities, security of physical media, and mitigation techniques. Cybersecurity majors learn best practices for information security procedures and policies.
  • Digital Forensics: This course provides a foundation in digital forensics, exploring topics like incident management, evidence handling, and incident categories. Students learn how to locate digital evidence to solve cybercrimes and use tools to respond to malicious activities. The class also covers security laws and legal issues of cyberthreats.
  • Ethical Hacking: Cybersecurity majors learn to think like a hacker and gain skills necessary to respond to cyberattacks in an information system. The class investigates how measures like security protocols, firewalls, and encryption can sometimes fail. Learners gain experience with risk assessment methodologies, incident response, and threat detection techniques.
  • Legal Issues in Information Security: This course focuses on legal and ethical principles related to securing data. Students explore the regulations, laws, and authorities that cybersecurity professionals need to understand to mitigate and respond to both external and internal threats.
  • Managing Information Security: This course emphasizes the foundations of information security, focusing on the relationship between information security and an organization’s larger goals. Topics include creation and management of an information security program, information security best practices, and mitigation strategies.

How Much Do Cybersecurity Bachelor's Programs Cost?

Several factors impact the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. The prestige of the university matters, as renowned Ivy league schools tend to be expensive. Public institutions are often cheaper than their private for-profit or private nonprofit counterparts.

The cost of living in the cybersecurity program’s city dictates students’ expenses. Online programs are often much cheaper. It is difficult to pinpoint how much a cybersecurity degree costs. However, a bachelor of science in cybersecurity often begins at about $19,000.

To reduce the cost of a cybersecurity program, students should take advantage of available scholarships and financial aid.

Jobs for Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Graduates

Cybersecurity school prepares graduates for lucrative computer and information technology careers. Most bachelor’s in cybersecurity jobs offer significantly higher pay than the median salary for all occupations.

Many graduates pursue careers as information security analysts, a position with a median annual salary of $102,600. On the higher end, chief information security officers earn an average annual salary of $170,271.

We detail a handful of cybersecurity jobs below, including typical duties, job outlook, required education, and typical annual salaries.

Chief Information Security Officer


This person is responsible for overseeing an organization’s IT security. CISOs develop contingency plans, standards, and procedures to protect system infrastructure and deal with security breaches. Their duties include assembling and managing a team of cybersecurity staff.

Required Education: At least a bachelor’s degree.

Job Outlook (2020-30): Not available

Average Annual Salary, July 2022: $170,271 per year

Information Security Analysts


An information security analyst designs and implements the security measures necessary to protect IT systems and networks. These duties include developing security best practices and monitoring the organization's network for breaches and vulnerabilities.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +33%

Median Annual Salary, 2021: $102,600 per year

Security Architect


Security architects maintain an organization's network and computer security. They combine an understanding of hardware and software to plan and design cybersecurity functionality. To identify the strengths and weaknesses of an IT environment, they often perform penetration tests.

Required Education: A bachelor’s degree.

Job Outlook (2020-30): Not available

Average Annual Salary, June 2022: $129,369

Security Auditor


A security auditor creates and conducts audits to assess the safety and efficiency of an organization’s cybersecurity readiness. People in this role must understand networks, databases, and applicable government regulations.

Required Education: Associate or bachelor’s degree.

Job Outlook (2020-30): Not available

Average Annual Salary, July 2022: $84,039

Security Consultant


Security consultants collaborate with organizations to ensure they adhere to the steps for adequate cybersecurity protection. They need the flexibility to adapt to each industry they serve. In addition to understanding cybersecurity threats, they are often versed in networking, computing, and systems analysis.

Required Education: Bachelor’s degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): Not available

Average Annual Salary, July 2022: $87,336

Choosing the Best Cybersecurity Degree Program For You

Our rankings list of the best bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity is a great place to start your search for a school, but choosing a program still takes time and research.

The best cybersecurity degree for one person is not necessarily right for someone else. Below, we explain additional considerations for selecting a cybersecurity bachelor's degree program.

  • Accreditation: Attending an institutionally accredited school increases your chances of receiving financial aid, qualifying for graduate school and professional certifications, and transferring credit to another school. Institutional accreditation also signals that your college meets minimum standards of quality.
  • School Size: Do you want to attend a large university to take advantage of the academic, career, and cultural opportunities? Or do you seek a small college where you can build close relationships more easily?
  • Cost: Create a budget before looking at programs. Students often get the best price by paying in-state tuition at a public university.
  • Career Services: Many universities offer career development assistance, including resume help, mock job interviews, and networking events. Learners can often find internship and job opportunities through their school’s career services office.
  • Prestige and reputation: Degrees from Ivy League and top-notch institutions tend to attract more interest and higher compensation from employers. However, admissions processes for prestigious programs are more competitive.

Should You Get Your Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degree Online?

Going to cybersecurity school online lets you learn anywhere and anytime. Distance education works especially well for students with family responsibilities and full-time jobs, but online learning increasingly draws people of all kinds.

The past stigma attached to online degrees rarely presents problems for job-hunters, as companies today generally understand that distance learning can provide the same quality education as on-campus options.

Most online bachelor of cybersecurity programs offer asynchronous instruction, giving students the flexibility to log on to a virtual classroom to participate in discussions, watch lectures, and submit assignments on their own time.

In some cases, online learning may be more affordable than an in-person program. Online programs may offer tuition discounts, fee waivers, and free textbooks. And students can graduate with less debt by continuing to work while in school.

Other factors when considering an online cybersecurity degree include your learning style, schedule, and the importance of student services and extracurricular activities to you.

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Top Bachelors in Cybersecurity Programs

Graduates of our top-ranked cybersecurity schools earn some of the highest salaries in the field. The following five schools offer the best bachelor's in cybersecurity degrees in 2022, according to our unique ranking methodology.

#1

United States Air Force Academy

School Information
Location USAF Academy, Colorado
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 85%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

USAF Academy-based United States Air Force Academy is a public school. The institution delivers a high-quality bachelor's in cyber science. Bachelor's programs help learners gain the knowledge and skills they need to secure roles in their field. Students complete foundational coursework in areas such as math. Major coursework then builds on the foundational knowledge from general education classes. Graduates with a minor are often more competitive for specialized, high-paying roles in their field.

In addition to coursework, degree-seekers can receive credit for completing service-learning experiences. The institution's website provides details about how to earn credit for experiential learning. The school offers support services, including tutoring for online and on-campus students. Student organizations provide degree-seekers with professional development and networking opportunities.

The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

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#2

Taylor University

School Information
Location Upland, Indiana
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 77%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A degree from Taylor University leads to new career opportunities and increased responsibilities. Students at the school can enroll in the bachelor of science in computer science — cybersecurity. Degree-seekers gain the knowledge and skills they need to secure roles in their field. The institution requires undergraduate students to take general education classes in areas such as the liberal arts. After completing general education classes, learners take major classes relevant to their field of study. Adding a minor to their bachelor's degree can improve graduates' competitiveness for specialized positions.

Learners may receive credit for service-learning opportunities. The school’s website provides details about hands-on learning opportunities. Degree-seekers at the institution can access support services such as tutoring and career counseling. Networking events can help learners connect with peers and professionals in their field.

To fund their education, 99% of the institution's learners obtain financial aid and 42% take out loans. Students can apply for grants and scholarships to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. The institution accepts 68% of applicants.

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#3

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida State University provides a comprehensive catalog of 272 online and on-campus programs. The institution requires students in the undergraduate BS in cyber criminology to take general education classes in areas such as English and mathematics. Bachelor's-level curricula help learners gain the transferable knowledge and skills that employers value. During major classes, learners gain specialized knowledge in their chosen field. Bachelor's degree-seekers can add a minor to customize their undergraduate curriculum.

As an accredited institution, the school can disburse federal financial aid. The school delivers in-person and virtual student support services. Peer and professional tutoring help learners excel academically.

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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#4

Point Loma Nazarene University

School Information
Location San Diego, California
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 75%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

San Diego-based Point Loma Nazarene University is a private institution. The computer science: cyber security BS requires both major and general education coursework. While completing their bachelor's program, degree-seekers gain the knowledge and skills necessary to impress employers. Major courses build on foundational knowledge and cover advanced field-specific topics. Online learners can specialize their curriculum by pursuing a minor.

As an accredited institution, the school delivers programs that prepare students for professional roles and graduate studies. Bachelor's degree-seekers who study full time typically complete their program in four years. Students with transfer credits may be able to complete the bachelor's program earlier. The school can provide federal financial aid as an accredited institution. The school delivers in-person and virtual student support services. Students can access tutoring, for example, to improve their academic performance.

Point Loma Nazarene University has received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission, an independent accrediting agency.

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#5

The University of West Florida

School Information
Location Pensacola, Florida
Admission Rate 31%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of West Florida administers 93 on-campus and online programs. Prospective students can pursue a cyber security bachelor's. General education requirements for bachelor's degree-seekers include classes in areas such as English and mathematics. Bachelor's-level curricula emphasize the knowledge and skills that employers value. While earning major credits, students learn about subjects relevant to their field. Students can typically pursue a minor.

The school's accredited programs prepare learners to succeed in professional positions or master's programs. Bachelor's programs typically require four years to complete. If the school accepts transfer credits, students may be able to complete the program faster. Students may receive credit for service-learning opportunities. The school’s website provides details about how to earn credit for experiential learning. The school provides student support services, such as tutoring and career counseling, for online and on-campus learners. Degree-seekers can join student organizations to access professional development and network with peers.

The University of West Florida has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cybersecurity Colleges


How long do you go to school as a cybersecurity major?

The amount of time it takes to finish cybersecurity school varies depending on what type of degree you earn. A BS in cybersecurity usually takes full-time students four years to complete.

What can you do with a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity?

Potential bachelor’s in cybersecurity jobs include information security analyst, penetration tester, and chief information security officer. Other opportunities include security administrator and security engineer. Cybersecurity bachelor’s-holders can also apply to graduate programs.

Are bachelor's degree programs in cybersecurity worth it?

Earning a BS in cybersecurity takes time and money, but the degree prepares students for lucrative computer and IT jobs. As of May 2021, information security analysts earned a median annual salary of $102,600, significantly more than the median annual salary for all jobs.

Is cybersecurity a good career?

The cybersecurity field offers exciting, well-paying, and stable job opportunities. Demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to grow as more organizations put their information online.

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