15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Degrees 2021
| CyberDegrees.org Staff
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Graduates of information technology (IT) programs can pursue many lucrative careers, as nearly every type of organization requires qualified IT professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% job growth from 2019-2029 for computer and IT occupations, common options for graduates with information systems security degrees.
Employers favor candidates with expertise in computer systems security. Many graduates of bachelor’s in information systems security degrees pursue careers as information security analysts, who earned a median annual wage of nearly $100,000 as of 2019. These analysts can expect an occupational growth of more than 30% from 2019-2029, according to the BLS.
What Is Information Systems Security?
Information systems security professionals protect information and computerized information systems from unauthorized access. People often use the two terms interchangeably; however, information systems security relates to protecting data and information, while cybersecurity refers to protecting data specifically from cyberattacks.
As methods of communication, commerce, and education become increasingly virtual, so have the threats to digital information and computerized systems. Industry Week reported a 350% increase in ransomware attacks in 2018. However, the field of cybersecurity also currently experiences a shortage of qualified experts, according to the New York Times.
The evolving IT landscape of the early 1970s called for cybersecurity as a countermeasure against the world’s first computer worm. The late 1980s saw more firsts in cyberattacks, first with a denial-of-service attack in 1988, followed by the first ransomware attack a year later. The launch of Microsoft Windows 98 ushered in a new era of built-in malware protection.
The formation of the Department of Homeland Security after Sept. 11, with a division devoted to cybersecurity, marked the most prominent development in the field. Since then, schools have increasingly offered highly specialized programs in information systems security and cybersecurity for IT professionals.
Why Get an Online Information Security Bachelor’s?
A bachelor’s in information systems security meets the entry-level education requirements for most IT jobs. Job-seekers with information systems security degrees may work as computer network architects, who earn a median annual salary exceeding $112,000. A bachelor’s in information systems security can also prepare graduates for diverse IT management careers.
High Earning Potential
IT jobs offer generous salaries. However, information systems and cybersecurity experts enjoy especially high earning potential, as the threat of cyberattacks continues to increase in the United States.
Job Growth and Sustainability
Information security programs prepare students for fulfilling and in-demand positions. Occupations for computer network architects, for example, are projected to grow at a rate far outpacing the national average for all occupations from 2019-29.
Adaptable Career Skills
A bachelor’s in information systems security imparts acute skills in network security, information assurance, and cyberethics. The degree also provides foundational abilities in IT business and management. Graduates suit IT careers that require soft skills in problem-solving and attention to detail.
Top Online Programs
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
What the Best Information Systems Security Programs Have in Common
Though each school offers a distinct college experience, many institutions with top information security programs share common traits. Our ranking of the best bachelor’s in information systems security applies the following criteria:
They are accredited.
Schools must hold accreditation, meaning they meet strict standards set by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Students should only consider schools that hold national or regional accreditation; the latter is generally more prestigious. Some schools receive additional programmatic accreditation through organizations like the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), or ABET. All of our ranked schools hold regional accreditation from one of the following agencies:
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
New England Commission of Higher Education
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
They represent academic excellence.
To earn a place in our rankings, a school must demonstrate a high performance record over time. We consider graduation rates, student retention figures, the number of full-time faculty members, and student-to-faculty ratios. For example, our second-place school, Penn State World Campus, boasts a 92% one-year retention rate among students at its University Park location.
They are reputable.
We include only the most reputable schools in our rankings, measured by figures such as admission rate and significant average alumni earnings six years after graduation. Our top-ranking school, Colorado State University Global Campus, boasts above-average earnings for undergraduate alumni one year following graduation.
They are affordable.
We understand the need for affordable programs among college-bound students, so affordability plays a major role in our rankings. Our list accounts for each school’s net price, the average amount of aid awarded, loan default rate, and percentage of students receiving scholarships or federal aid. Our third-place school, Maryville University, recently distributed $53 million in financial aid, and 93% of the school’s full-time students receive some form of aid.
What To Expect From Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Programs
Most schools do not offer standalone information systems security degrees. Instead, many IT programs offer specializations in information systems security or cybersecurity. Some bachelor’s in business administration (BBA) programs also offer concentrations in cybersecurity, information systems, or IT security management.
Most students take four years to complete bachelor’s in information systems security degrees, but some online programs offer accelerated paths to graduation. Additionally, learners with prior experience in life, work, or academia may apply transfer credits toward early graduation. Programs often reward online enrollees with set or in-state tuition costs for full-time enrollment.
An online information security program typically culminates in a capstone course. While final projects vary among schools, most capstones require students to propose and implement an original IT security concept. Programs do not always require internships, but advisors strongly recommend field experience.
Many bachelor’s in information systems security prepare students for certified information security systems professional (CISSP) certification. Most programs require roughly 120 credits and may offer traditional or online enrollment. Some schools use synchronous course delivery, with classes occurring at set times. Others offer coursework asynchronously, with learners viewing recorded lectures at their leisure.
Many IT programs, including bachelor’s in information security degrees, share common admission requirements. Most bachelor’s in information systems security programs require a candidate to have completed some prior college coursework, an IT certificate, or an associate degree. Candidates can use the application tool Common App to submit their materials to multiple schools at once.
Many schools require each IT bachelor’s applicant to hold an associate degree, which satisfies prerequisites in subjects like computer programming, statistics, and basic software applications. Though not always required, work experience helps to bolster applications for bachelor’s in information systems security degrees.
Most bachelor’s degrees in IT require a minimum GPA of at least 2.5 in prior college coursework. Schools may require SAT or ACT scores for recent high school graduates or GED certificate-holders, along with resumes, personal statements, and letters of recommendation.
Comparing Degree Types
Schools offer several information systems security degrees through IT, math, and engineering pathways. Most online bachelor’s in information systems appear as bachelor of science (BS) degrees, though some schools offer bachelor of arts (BA) and BBA programs. Some schools offer cybersecurity and information systems security degrees interchangeably.
Aspiring students also encounter information security programs as concentrations of BS degrees in computer science, IT, and information assurance. Others feature more specialized majors under the purview of computer engineering, such as a bachelor of engineering in cybersecurity or mathematics. Most BBA programs only offer general IT or IT management specializations.
Engineering-based information security programs emphasize computer programming and technical skills. Math programs specializing in cybersecurity feature unique coursework in subjects like cryptography and statistical theory. Though uncommon, BAs in information systems security or cybersecurity develop soft skills like communication and problem-solving, ideal for students with prior liberal arts experience.
Popular Information Security Courses
The best information systems security degrees merge critical core requirements with elective coursework before culminating in comprehensive capstone projects. Some programs prepare enrollees to take industry certification exams.
Students dissect computer networks to learn their components and communication methods. This course covers WANs, LANs, and VPNs. Learners also explore the basic principles of security to identify vulnerabilities and employ mitigation techniques. Coursework may prepare students for the CompTIA Security+ certification exam.
Coursework explores the basics of firewalls and writing encryption code. Students learn to detect threats, identify vulnerabilities, and leverage intelligence to counteract malicious hacking and security breaches. The course prepares students for the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst exam.
This course introduces students to cryptography — the art of writing and solving codes. Coursework develops a comprehensive understanding of cryptographic algorithms, along with their application to secure user information.
As a core requirement of information systems security degrees, ethics and cyberlaw coursework emphasizes the importance of maintaining data integrity within an organization. Students explore the laws, regulations, agencies, and authorities that govern legal issues in information security.
Schools vary in their final project requirements for bachelor’s in information systems security degrees. Many programs require a written project, typically involving the proposal, implementation, and post-project assessment of an original idea in the student’s desired specialization.
How Much Will a Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Cost?
Several factors affect the cost of a bachelor’s in information systems security. Aside from their preferred type of school, applicants must consider their location and eligibility for financial aid. For the 2017-2018 academic year, NCES estimated undergraduate tuition and fees (including room and board) at $17,797 for public institutions, $46,014 for private nonprofit institutions, and $26,261 for private for-profit institutions.
College costs differ depending on public or private status, reputation, and in-state vs. out-of-state tuition rates. For example, an Ivy League university or a school featuring high-profile IT professors may raise tuition rates for its trademark programs. Generally, students pay more to attend private, nonprofit institutions.
Most students seek financial aid. The Department of Education distributes federal financial aid, including grants, to qualified candidates. Additionally, schools offer financial aid through sources like scholarships and fellowships, work-study programs, and employer-reimbursement programs. Online students may encounter additional benefits, such as locked tuition rates, accelerated programs, and virtual resources.
Applicants typically receive financial aid as scholarships, grants, and loans. Most schools require students to complete FAFSA to determine their financial aid eligibility. Degree-seekers should prioritize forms of aid that do not require repayment, like scholarships and grants, before pursuing loans, which do require repayment.
Jobs for Bachelor’s in Information Security Graduates
Information systems security degrees can lead to specialized careers with high salary potential. Prospects are especially favorable for CISSPs, and information systems security officers who hold bachelor’s degrees can pursue their choice of entry-level opportunities. BLS data indicates an impressive 31% projected employment growth for information security analysts from 2019-2029, with computer network architects earning upwards of $112,000 per year.
The following jobs require only a bachelor’s degree but may lead to a career change or advancement for students with CISSP certification, work experience, or a graduate degree.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts operate on the frontlines of protection against cyberattacks. These professionals develop and employ recovery protocols for IT emergencies resulting from data or security breaches. They monitor networks for unauthorized access and test potential restoration methods for effectiveness. Many employers prefer candidates who possess professional experience in addition to bachelor’s degrees.
Network architects build infrastructures for digital communication between organizations. These professionals may specialize in small infrastructures or large, cloud-based networks serving multiple clients. They typically hold bachelor’s degrees in information systems, computer science, or engineering.
Also known as systems architects, these professionals analyze existing computer systems and recommend adjustments to help improve performance and efficiency. This unique position suits professionals with technical and IT management skills. Most computer systems analysts possess degrees in computer science, information systems, or business, with concentrations in IT systems or management.
These professionals install hardware and software upgrades, update user access on networks, and train users on network equipment. Most employers require candidates with bachelor’s degrees in computer science or information systems.
DBAs employ special software to gather and organize digital data. DBAs can specialize in general or specialized applications and services for financial, manufacturing, or medical data. Some DBAs focus their expertise on database systems for transportation, retail, or healthcare fields. These professionals commonly hold bachelor’s degrees in information systems or computer science.
Choosing the Right Information Systems Security Program
Students should only pursue accredited online information security programs. Schools may hold regional or national accreditation, with optional programmatic accreditation from agencies like ABET. Regional accreditation typically holds more prestige than national. Candidates should consider the following factors when researching their ideal school:
While some learners prefer intimate settings, others may prefer a larger community with increased opportunities for networking.
Enrollees may study on campus or complete their online information systems security degree from any location.
Many online students enjoy set, in-state tuition rates. Researching available financial aid can help lower the burden of debt upon graduation.
Schools may offer information security as a specialization of IT, mathematics, or engineering degrees.
Online information systems security degrees typically yield high salaries and a favorable ROI.
Schools with high-profile alumni in IT often attract students in this major. Connecting with alumni can pave the way for employment after graduation.
Many schools boast national reputations as their primary selling point, especially in IT, which can appear favorable to employers.
Competitiveness/Difficulty/Cost of Admission
The more competitive a program, the higher the potential tuition costs.
Required Admission Material/Test Scores
Most schools prefer applicants who possess associate degrees and work experience.
Many programs cater to IT students through innovative computing/science/engineering projects.
Some students prefer personalized attention, while others do not require it. A lower student-to-teacher ratio makes for closer interactions with faculty.
Online information systems security degrees commonly offer shorter completion times through accelerated schedules.
Why You Should Get Your Degree Online
Information technology programs, including information systems security degrees, continue to grow in popularity. A bachelor’s in information systems security uses the latest virtual learning platforms to develop sought-after career skills in a digital environment.
Online programs typically offer faster paths to graduation than traditional degrees. Many schools extend more flexible course options to online students through accelerated schedules and part-time or full-time enrollment schedules. An online bachelor’s in information systems meets the entry-level education requirement for employment as an information security analyst, for example.
Earning an information systems security degree online automatically builds technology skills. Learning online requires enrollees to use self-motivation and time management to build expertise in computer programming, network communication, and cybersecurity techniques.
2021’s Top Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Degrees
Our top-ranked information systems security programs produce some of the highest-paid workers in the tech sector. According to our ranking methodology, the following schools offer 2021’s 15 best information systems security degrees. Visit the link below for more information on how we rank our programs.
Launched in 2007, CSU-Global is the nation's first nonprofit, online state university. CSU-Global enrolls roughly 18,000 students in programs offered through its School of Professional Studies and School of Management and Innovation.
CSU-Global's bachelor's in cybersecurity prepares students for careers in digital security management and network security. The 120-credit program comprises general education, core, and elective coursework. Learners can choose from 25 optional specializations, including organizational leadership, project management, and healthcare management.
The program culminates in a cybersecurity capstone project. Enrollees prepare for popular professional certifications, including CompTIA Security+ and certified cloud security professional. Students with experience can transfer up to 90 university or 64 community college credits toward their degrees. Enrollees enjoy monthly start dates, accelerated courses, and asynchronous learning online.
Applying to CSU-Global
CSU-Global does not require applicants to possess technical experience for the bachelor's in cybersecurity. Each first-year undergraduate candidate must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate, plus a resume demonstrating two years of work experience. Applicants must submit official academic transcripts for general, conditional, or provisional admission consideration.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $350/credit Required Credits: 120 credits Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous)
Penn State World Campus is the second-largest entity in the 24-campus Penn State University System. Launched in 1998, the online segment of Penn State now enrolls more than 20,000 students and offers roughly 200 graduate, undergraduate, and certificate distance programs.
Penn State World Campus offers its online bachelor's in information systems security through the College of Information Sciences and Technology (CIST). The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security recognize Penn State as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. CIST employs faculty with expertise in computer science, engineering, and artificial intelligence.
The BS in security risk analysis features an information and cybersecurity option. An enrollee must complete an internship, general education classes, and electives. The degree culminates in an information sciences and technology integration course or a capstone in security and risk analysis.
Applying to Penn State World Campus
Each applicant must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and complete at least 3.5 units in any combination of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, or other college-level math courses. Students must submit high school and college transcripts.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $6,994/program (59 or fewer credits); $7,549/program (60 or more credits) Required Credits: 120 credits Delivery Format: Online with in-person requirements
Founded in 1972, Maryville is one of the oldest private universities in the Midwest. The university enrolls nearly 11,000 students in more than 120 graduate and undergraduate programs, with more than 7,000 degree-seekers learning online.
Maryville offers its bachelor's in cybersecurity through the John E. Simon School of Business with accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students can choose from three tracks: general cybersecurity, offensive cybersecurity, or defensive cybersecurity. Each enrollee must complete a business policies capstone.
The online BS in cybersecurity cites real-world case studies in topics like cyberlaw, database design, and digital forensics. Learners can test software and run ethical hacking experiments in Maryville's own Virtual Lab. Through Maryville's Early Access program, students can start earning credits toward master's degrees in cybersecurity while completing their bachelor's degrees.
Applying to Maryville
Each candidate must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit official high school transcripts. Students with cumulative GPAs below 2.5 may qualify for provisional admission. Maryville does not require SAT or ACT scores.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $622/credit Required Credits: 128 credits Program Length: As little as 2.5 years
Point Park, the only university in downtown Pittsburgh, enrolls approximately 3,600 students on campus and online. Learners can choose from more than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs across five academic schools.
Point Park's BS in applied computer science features an optional concentration in networking and security. Courses specific to this concentration include networking, digital security, and supplemental IT electives. The program also requires courses in university life, business success, and understanding people.
The bachelor's in information systems security offers multiple start dates each year. Online courses take eight weeks to complete. Students with experience can transfer up to 90 credits toward the BS. Point Park participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and belongs to the Online Learning Consortium.
Applying to Point Park
Applicants must submit high school or college transcripts deemed satisfactory by Point Park admissions staff. A transfer student must complete at least 12 college credits or six months of training and hold a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Point Park may request supplemental materials or a personal interview.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $499/credit Required Credits: 121 credits Program Length: 2-4 years
Founded in 1971, Liberty occupies a 7,000-acre campus in Lynchburg, Virginia, and a substantial online division. The university enrolls more than 100,000 students and offers over 700 programs — all in the Christian tradition.
Liberty's unique BS in information systems (IS) and information assurance (IA) explores the management of people and business processes, as well as technology. IS course topics include programming, IS project management, and web architecture. IA explores topics like digital forensics, cybersecurity, and network security.
Additional requirements include courses in instructional technology for online learning, Christian life and biblical worldview, and survey of Old and New Testaments. The information systems security degree culminates in an information systems capstone. Liberty delivers courses asynchronously online, with each course lasting eight weeks. Students can choose from eight start dates per year.
Applying to Liberty
Candidates must hold cumulative GPAs of at least 2.0. Each applicant submits college transcripts, a high school self-certification form, an application fee, and proof of English proficiency.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: SACSCOC; ACBSP Tuition: $390/credit Required Credits: 120 credits Program Length: 4 years
KSU offers its bachelor of business administration in information security and assurance (BBA-ISA) through the Coles College of Business and the Department of Information Systems. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security recognize KSU as a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance.
The program emphasizes business core and ISA course modules. Coursework covers operations management, principles of information security, and network security, culminating in a strategic management capstone project. The BBA-ISA includes embedded certificates in security policy development and compliance and systems security administration.
Applying to KSU
KSU accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. Each applicant must submit high school and college transcripts and demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA. KSU currently does not require SAT or ACT scores for undergraduate admissions.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $185/credit Required Credits: 120 credits Delivery Format: Online
This bachelor's in information systems security stresses core computer science skills. The program trains students to apply problem-solving skills in business, science, and public service careers. Fundamental courses cover security assessment, design and implementation of secure systems, and computer security ethics.
The information systems security degree culminates in a systems security and information assurance capstone course. UIS requires all undergraduate students to complete its signature Engaged Citizenship Common Experience. Prerequisites include computer programming, discrete math, and applied statistics coursework.
Applying to UIS
Each applicant must demonstrate a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.0 and submit a statement of purpose. UIS also requires two semesters of Java programming experience and one semester each of discrete or finite math, calculus, and statistics. Students may complete prerequisites at UIS.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $362/credit Required Credits: 120 credits Delivery Format: Online
Founded by the California Southern Baptist Convention, CBU enrolls more than 11,000 students online and at campuses in San Bernardino and Riverside. Learners can choose from more than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs.
CBU's bachelor's in cybersecurity follows the curricular standards set by the Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education, a conglomeration of professional computing societies. The program emphasizes high-demand career skills, including security design, defensive and offensive security, and computer forensics.
All coursework incorporates a Christian worldview. The degree culminates in a cybersecurity capstone. CBU offers eight-week classes online or through hybrid study. Students can enroll in accelerated classes offered year-round over three semesters.
Applying to CBU
CBU prefers applicants with a minimum of 24 transferable college credits. However, a candidate with high school diplomas or GED certificates may still receive admission. Additionally, CBU requires a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: WSCUC Tuition: $613/credit Required Credits: 48 credits Program Length: 16 months
Established in 1887, Campbell enrolls approximately 6,000 students online and at four campuses across North Carolina. The university offers dozens of graduate and undergraduate programs in the Christian tradition across eight colleges and schools.
Campbell offers 100% online bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity and IT security. Both offer multiple start dates throughout the year and eight-week courses. The cybersecurity program requires core, concentration, and elective courses, culminating in an internship and a senior project.
IT security majors must also complete general education, concentration, and elective coursework, in subjects like programming, internet applications, and database management. The IT security concentration does not include an internship and concludes with a senior project.
A student with experience can transfer up to 64 credits from a regionally accredited institution, but they must complete at least 31 credits, including 12 in the major, at Campbell.
Applying to Campbell
Applicants must hold minimum cumulative GPAs of 2.0 and submit official high school and college transcripts. Campbell evaluates students holistically based on standardized test results, high school performance, and work experience.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $450/credit Required Credits: 124 credits Program Length: 4 years
As Michigan's largest nonprofit college, Baker enrolls more than 43,000 students. Learners can choose from dozens of graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs, with more than 40 available online.
Baker's BS in IT and security offers a concentration in information assurance and cybersecurity. The curriculum emphasizes network, platform, and operating system security theory and practices. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security recognize Baker as a Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity Education.
The information systems security degree combines general education, core, and concentration course requirements. Topics include ethical hacking, computer forensics, and network defense. Each enrollee must complete a 150-hour work experience and a senior project in information security.
Applying to Baker
Applicants must arrange to submit official high school or college transcripts directly from their previous school to Baker. The college upholds a test-optional admission policy regarding SAT and ACT scores.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $415/credit Required Credits: 120 credits Program Length: 4 years
ISU's BS in cybercriminology and security studies explores 21st-century crime. The curriculum combines core coursework in criminology and criminal justice with a concentration in cybercrime. Course subjects include information systems security, cybersecurity, and cyberwarfare. Students choose electives in criminal profiling, terrorism, and white-collar crime.
Each enrollee must complete an internship in criminology and a directed study project. Learners can choose to pursue additional internships or independent study projects to satisfy elective requirements. Cybercriminology graduates qualify for cyber, corporate, and national security positions in business and law enforcement.
Applying to ISU
An applicant must reside in the U.S. or Canada and meet the Indiana Core 40 high school curriculum requirements, or non-Indiana equivalent, with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Indiana high school graduates must also pass the math and English sections of the ISTEP exam.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Public Accreditation: HLC Tuition: $5,971/semester Required Credits: 121 credits Program Length: 4 years
Founded in 1845 as the first women's college in South Carolina, Limestone now enrolls more than 3,000 students in coeducational programs. In addition to its main campus in Gaffney, Limestone maintains five other learning sites and an online division.
Limestone's information systems security degree builds a foundation in computer science, network security, and information systems design and analysis. The curriculum also stresses career skills in project management, basic internet concepts, and telecommunications. Each enrollee concludes the program with a capstone project.
The information systems security degree requires a signature competency and general education module. Courses in this sequence explore literary comprehension, fine arts, and a first-year critical thinking requirement. Students qualify to pursue professional certifications such as the certified information systems security professional and CompTIA security designations.
Applying to Limestone
Each candidate must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and provide official transcripts. Limestone also requires SAT or ACT scores, though applicants 21 years or older or currently in the military may waive this requirement.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: SACSCOC Tuition: $1,323/course Required Credits: 120 credits Program Length: 4 years
WilmU's BS in computer and network security offers customization opportunities depending on each student's individual career goals. Learners may select a concentration, such as digital forensics, and pursue an internship or cooperative education experience. Additionally, WilmU offers an accelerated BS with an embedded graduate certificate in cybersecurity.
The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designate WilmU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The BS in computer and network security prepares graduates to pursue professional certifications including CISSP (certified information systems security professional) and CompTIA Security+.
Applying to WilmU
WilmU accepts applications on a rolling basis and offers multiple start dates throughout the year. Applicants should submit official transcripts from all schools attended. WilmU maintains a test-optional policy for SAT or ACT scores for this program.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $1,143/course Required Credits: 120 credits Delivery Format: 100% online (asynchronous) or on campus
Formed in 1997, WGU has since expanded to include a national entity and eight interstate locations. WGU enrolls more than 13,600 students and offers dozens of online programs in business, health, IT, and education.
WGU follows a competency-based learning model, which enables students to dictate their own schedules by completing courses at their own pace. WGU simply requires learners to complete at least 12 competency units (credits) per six-month term.
The curriculum emphasizes core career skills, including communication, economics, and organizational behavior. The BSBA also includes core "micro-credentials" in business essentials, applied business skills, HR management, and management. Each enrollee must compile a business/IT management portfolio and complete capstones in business core and business/IT management.
Applying to WGU
WGU offers multiple start dates per year for its online programs. Each applicant must submit official transcripts from all previous schools attended and complete an intake interview. Candidates must also complete FAFSA forms if they intend to pursue financial aid.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: NWCCU; ACBSP Tuition: $3,225/term Required Credits: 120 credits Program Length: 36 months
Located in Philadelphia, Peirce enrolls approximately 2,000 students at its urban campus and online. Peirce offers dozens of graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs, including more than 30 available 100% online.
Peirce's BSIT offers an optional concentration in networking, administration, and information security. The curriculum stresses career skills in the design, implementation, and integration of security hardware and software for the IT industry. Students can concurrently prepare for one or more popular IT industry certifications through the BSIT.
Learners choose from electives to meet requirements in humanities/history, science, social science, and general education. Peirce's information systems security degree explores Linux administration, ethical hacking, and programming concepts. The program culminates in a capstone in networking, administration, and information security.
Applying to Peirce
Each applicant must submit official transcripts from previous colleges attended and a high school diploma or GED certificate. Students must also demonstrate a minimum "C" grade in college-level English and mathematics or take a placement exam through Peirce and enroll in a student success seminar course.
Program at a Glance
School Type: Private Accreditation: MSCHE Tuition: $600/credit Required Credits: 121 credits Delivery Format: 100% online or hybrid
Frequently Asked Questions
Information systems security vs. cybersecurity — what's the difference?
Information security refers to the protection of data (digital and non-digital), while cybersecurity involves protecting data from an electronic security breach. Though there are differences, some programs use the terms interchangeably.
How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in information systems security?
Most bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete, though many online programs offer accelerated pathways for quicker completion times. Students with prior experience can also transfer credits toward graduation in under four years.
What can I do with a degree in information systems security?
Jobs that require attention to detail and problem-solving skills best suit graduates of information systems security programs. Popular careers in the field include information systems analyst, computer systems analyst, and network administrator.
What is CISSP?
CISSP stands for certified information systems security professional. Students with at least five years of experience can pursue professional CISSP certification, which employers in the IT industry commonly seek.
What does an information systems security officer do?
Information systems security officers protect an organization’s IT infrastructure, including its databases and networks. They monitor vulnerabilities within clients’ IT systems and develop plans for identifying and neutralizing security threats.