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University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class, unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlight the best programs for cybersecurity.

Compare Popular Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity

Are you looking for the best possible school from which to earn your education? If you’re looking to earn a degree in cyber security, these are some of your best options. Whether you want something that’s accredited by ABET or as a Center of Academic Excellence, somewhere that will offer you a 100% online cyber security degree experience, or just the least expensive school offering the degree you’re most interested in. We’ve got all the information you need to choose the best school for you.

The rankings are weighted to allow you to find schools that are located all over the country (in case you’re looking for a more hands-on, in-classroom experience), across a spectrum of prices, and with as many available programs as possible. All of the information we’ve used has been presented with each school so you can make your choice based on what is most important to you. We’ve ranked them, but only you can make this most important of decisions.

In the rapidly advancing field of cyber security, having a solid educational background is crucial to a successful career. The right cybersecurity college program can set the foundation for your expertise in protecting digital information from cyber threats. As you navigate the multitude of options in cybersecurity education, consider programs that focus not just on theoretical knowledge, but also on practical, hands-on experience.

Top-ranked cyber security school programs offer a curriculum that balances core areas such as programming, information systems management, networking, and data communications with specialized coursework in fields like cryptography and computer ethics. Seeking out cyber security colleges that are recognized for their strong cybersecurity programs can fast-track your entry into the industry.

As you evaluate potential cyber security schools, pay close attention to their industry connections, the relevance of their coursework to current cybersecurity challenges, and their overall commitment to producing skilled professionals. With the right program, you can step confidently into the world of cyber security, backed by an education that prepares you to tackle evolving cyber threats head-on.

Evaluating Cybersecurity College Programs

When choosing a cybersecurity college program, it's essential to consider factors such as accreditation, the depth of the curriculum, and the opportunities for research and practical learning.

Accreditation and Reputation

Your first step should be to check whether a program holds the necessary accreditation. Accredited programs have met rigorous standards set by a recognized accrediting body, ensuring quality and facilitating the transfer of credits. Additionally, consider the reputation of the institution and its cyber security program. Rankings by reputable sources like US News & World Report can offer insights into a program's standing in the academic and professional communities.

Curriculum and Specializations

Examine the curriculum closely to ensure a comprehensive coverage of cybersecurity. Core areas should include cyber defense, ethical hacking, and digital forensics. Look for programs that offer a well-rounded cybersecurity major with a mix of theoretical and hands-on learning experiences. Specializations or concentrations allow you to tailor your education to your career goals, be it network security, information assurance, or another niche within cybersecurity.

Faculty and Research Opportunities

Investigate the faculty and their expertise; experienced instructors can impart real-world knowledge and guide your professional development. Research opportunities also play a crucial role in your education. Engaging in research can help you deepen your understanding of complex cybersecurity issues and work on the cutting edge of technology. Look for programs that encourage student participation in research projects and partnerships with industry.

Top 25 Best Campus Cybersecurity Colleges


1
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $62,484
    • Out-of-State: $62,484
  • Net Price: $18,279
  • Acceptance Rate: 4%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,283
  • Undergrad Students: 8,049
  • Graduate Students: 10,234
  • Grads Salary: $116,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 5:1
  • Stanford University
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2
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $11,764
    • Out-of-State: $32,876
  • Net Price: $17,402
  • Acceptance Rate: 17%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 93%
  • Total Enrollment: 45,296
  • Undergrad Students: 18,415
  • Graduate Students: 26,881
  • Grads Salary: $95,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
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3
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $63,829
    • Out-of-State: $63,829
  • Net Price: $33,499
  • Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Total Enrollment: 16,002
  • Undergrad Students: 7,059
  • Graduate Students: 8,943
  • Grads Salary: $108,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 5:1
  • Carnegie Mellon University
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4
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $63,340
    • Out-of-State: $63,340
  • Net Price: $24,034
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Total Enrollment: 31,275
  • Undergrad Students: 6,044
  • Graduate Students: 25,231
  • Grads Salary: $94,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 6:1
  • Johns Hopkins University
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5
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $66,104
    • Out-of-State: $66,104
  • Net Price: $26,123
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Total Enrollment: 28,201
  • Undergrad Students: 11,250
  • Graduate Students: 16,951
  • Grads Salary: $94,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 8:1
  • University of Pennsylvania
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6
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $65,997
    • Out-of-State: $65,997
  • Net Price: $22,095
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Retention Rate: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 97%
  • Total Enrollment: 23,161
  • Undergrad Students: 8,993
  • Graduate Students: 14,168
  • Grads Salary: $89,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 6:1
  • Northwestern University
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7

Brown University

Score: 82.93

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $68,230
    • Out-of-State: $68,230
  • Net Price: $26,723
  • Acceptance Rate: 5%
  • Retention Rate: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Total Enrollment: 11,189
  • Undergrad Students: 7,639
  • Graduate Students: 3,550
  • Grads Salary: $93,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 6:1
  • Brown University
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8

Cornell University

Score: 82.71

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $66,014
    • Out-of-State: $66,014
  • Net Price: $26,060
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Total Enrollment: 25,898
  • Undergrad Students: 15,735
  • Graduate Students: 10,163
  • Grads Salary: $93,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 9:1
  • Cornell University
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9
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $62,982
    • Out-of-State: $62,982
  • Net Price: $23,432
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Retention Rate: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Total Enrollment: 17,012
  • Undergrad Students: 8,132
  • Graduate Students: 8,880
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 7:1
  • Washington University in St. Louis
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10
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $11,678
    • Out-of-State: $42,778
  • Net Price: $17,434
  • Acceptance Rate: 31%
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 88%
  • Total Enrollment: 52,384
  • Undergrad Students: 41,309
  • Graduate Students: 11,075
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • The University of Texas at Austin
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11
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $11,505
    • Out-of-State: $40,306
  • Net Price: $16,210
  • Acceptance Rate: 45%
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 40,792
  • Undergrad Students: 30,353
  • Graduate Students: 10,439
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • University of Maryland
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12
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $11,205
    • Out-of-State: $40,603
  • Net Price: $13,376
  • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  • Retention Rate: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 48,956
  • Undergrad Students: 36,306
  • Graduate Students: 12,650
  • Grads Salary: $80,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
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13
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $10,363
    • Out-of-State: $29,453
  • Net Price: $19,535
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Retention Rate: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,312
  • Undergrad Students: 14,402
  • Graduate Students: 3,910
  • Grads Salary: $90,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • Binghamton University
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14
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $68,237
    • Out-of-State: $68,237
  • Net Price: $36,808
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Total Enrollment: 48,945
  • Undergrad Students: 20,699
  • Graduate Students: 28,246
  • Grads Salary: $92,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 9:1
  • University of Southern California
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15
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $8,895
    • Out-of-State: $31,767
  • Net Price: $14,852
  • Acceptance Rate: 47%
  • Retention Rate: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 85%
  • Total Enrollment: 36,700
  • Undergrad Students: 26,254
  • Graduate Students: 10,446
  • Grads Salary: $82,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh
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16

Purdue University

Score: 77.36

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $9,992
    • Out-of-State: $28,794
  • Net Price: $12,576
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 51,528
  • Undergrad Students: 38,593
  • Graduate Students: 12,935
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Purdue University
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17
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $64,701
    • Out-of-State: $64,701
  • Net Price: $34,837
  • Acceptance Rate: 23%
  • Retention Rate: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Total Enrollment: 10,383
  • Undergrad Students: 6,989
  • Graduate Students: 3,394
  • Grads Salary: $91,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 10:1
  • Villanova University
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18

Boston University

Score: 77.05

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $65,168
    • Out-of-State: $65,168
  • Net Price: $27,829
  • Acceptance Rate: 14%
  • Retention Rate: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 36,714
  • Undergrad Students: 18,459
  • Graduate Students: 18,255
  • Grads Salary: $85,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Boston University
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19
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $60,438
    • Out-of-State: $60,438
  • Net Price: $29,499
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
  • Total Enrollment: 59,144
  • Undergrad Students: 29,401
  • Graduate Students: 29,743
  • Grads Salary: $87,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 8:1
  • New York University
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20
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $63,141
    • Out-of-State: $63,141
  • Net Price: $35,827
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Total Enrollment: 30,013
  • Undergrad Students: 16,302
  • Graduate Students: 13,711
  • Grads Salary: $87,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Northeastern University
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21
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $60,952
    • Out-of-State: $60,952
  • Net Price: $41,689
  • Acceptance Rate: 46%
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 88%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,314
  • Undergrad Students: 4,070
  • Graduate Students: 5,244
  • Grads Salary: $101,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
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22
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $5,656
    • Out-of-State: $18,786
  • Net Price: $14,003
  • Acceptance Rate: 25%
  • Retention Rate: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 85%
  • Total Enrollment: 44,161
  • Undergrad Students: 32,936
  • Graduate Students: 11,225
  • Grads Salary: $71,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • Florida State University
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23
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $6,496
    • Out-of-State: $6,496
  • Net Price: $13,521
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 79%
  • Total Enrollment: 34,464
  • Undergrad Students: 31,411
  • Graduate Students: 3,053
  • Grads Salary: $83,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 21:1
  • Brigham Young University
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24
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $17,239
    • Out-of-State: $36,001
  • Net Price: $17,535
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Total Enrollment: 50,637
  • Undergrad Students: 36,344
  • Graduate Students: 14,293
  • Grads Salary: $81,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick
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25
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $27,318
    • Out-of-State: $27,318
  • Net Price: $25,445
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 823
  • Undergrad Students: 301
  • Graduate Students: 522
  • Grads Salary: $114,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 9:1
  • Capitol Technology University
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Understanding Degree Options and Educational Requirements


When you're exploring cyber security education, it's crucial to understand the various degree options available to you. These include bachelor's programs, advanced degrees, and certificate courses that can be pursued online and on-campus to align with your career goals.

Bachelor's Degree in Cybersecurity

A Bachelor's Degree in Cybersecurity is a foundational step in your career path. It typically requires around 120 credits, which you can complete in four years if attending full-time. Courses cover IT fundamentals, information security, risk management, and data analytics. With a bachelor's in cyber security, you position yourself for entry-level roles within the field.

Master's Programs and Beyond

After obtaining your bachelor's degree, you might consider Master's Programs and Beyond for specialized knowledge or leadership roles. Master's degrees go deeper into topics such as cyber defense, digital forensics, and governance policies. Some may pursue a Doctorate for academic or high-level industry positions.

Certificates and Online Learning

You have the option of Certificates and Online Learning, which offer flexibility and can often be completed more quickly than degree programs. Online degrees are increasingly recognized by employers, and many institutions provide online cybersecurity degrees that cater to working professionals. Certificates are ideal for gaining specific skills or updating your knowledge in the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity.

By evaluating these options, you can determine which educational pathway aligns best with your career aspirations and current lifestyle.

Industry Certifications

While your degree is paramount, certifications play a vital role in the cyber security jobs market. Consider obtaining certifications such as:

  • CompTIA Security+

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

These certifications not only bolster your resume but also signal a strong commitment to the field and can be a prerequisite for certain advanced cybersecurity positions.

Internship and Experiential Learning

An internship is an invaluable step in your career journey, offering hands-on experience and networking opportunities. Benefits include:

  • Practical Experience: Working on real-world projects that complement your academic learning.

  • Professional Networking: Building relationships that can lead to entry-level positions post-graduation.

Cyber security programs that prioritize internships and experiential learning significantly enhance your employability and practical understanding of the field.

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Financial Considerations for Cybersecurity Students

When considering a cybersecurity degree, it's crucial to understand the various financial aspects. You will need to plan for tuition, seek out scholarships, and prepare for additional costs that are part of your educational journey.

Tuition and Fees

Cyber security programs can vary widely in cost, with tuition ranging from $16,000 to $62,000 for a 120-credit bachelor's program. On average, tuition and fees can be estimated as follows:

  • Low-end programs: $16,000 total

  • High-end programs: More than $62,000 total

Remember, these costs can differ based on factors like the type of institution (public vs. private) and whether you qualify for in-state tuition discounts.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarships and financial aid can significantly reduce your financial burden. Look for:

  • Scholarships: Offered based on merit, need, or specific criteria such as demographic or field of study.

  • Financial Aid: FAFSA and grants which are need-based and loans that must be repaid.

Many cybersecurity programs also offer special designations that come with specific scholarships or financial aid options, such as the CAE-CD (Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense) designation.

Budgeting for Additional Costs

Beyond tuition, include these expenses in your budget:

  • Textbooks: May cost up to $1,200 per year.

  • Technology: A reliable computer and software licenses.

  • Certifications: Payment for certification exams, which can improve your earning potential upon graduation.

Maintaining a detailed budget helps you avoid unexpected debt and stay focused on your goal of earning a degree in cybersecurity.

Choosing the Right Cyber Security Program

When you're evaluating cyber security programs, pay close attention to the admission requirements, the delivery format that best suits your lifestyle, and the available career support services to maximize your educational investment.

Admission Requirements

Before applying, check the admission requirements closely. They typically include transcripts, standardized test scores, and often proof of technical proficiency. Look for programs where the requirements align with your academic background and experience.

Program Flexibility and Delivery

Balancing life commitments with education is crucial. Seek programs that offer online cybersecurity degree options or hybrid formats. Confirm the total credits required and assess if the program offers small class sizes, which can impact your learning experience.

Support Services and Career Development

Ensuring your program offers career services is critical for post-graduation success. Investigate if they provide internship opportunities, job placement services, and networking events. Access to such services can significantly influence your professional advancement in the cybersecurity field.

Frequently Asked Questions


When exploring cybersecurity college programs, you likely have questions regarding program ranking, online education options, and worldwide leading institutions. Accreditation and factors influencing your university selection are also crucial to consider. If you're searching for distinguished programs in your vicinity, understanding these elements will guide your decision-making process.

How do I identify an accredited cyber security college program?

An accredited cybersecurity college program will be recognized by national or regional accrediting agencies, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Verifying accreditation ensures the program meets high educational standards.

What factors should be considered when selecting a cyber security university?

You should consider factors such as the program's curriculum, faculty expertise, industry connections, employment rates, and hands-on learning opportunities. Additionally, certifications like CompTIA Security+ and further industry-recognized credentials should be part of your consideration.

Which colleges are recognized for their excellence in cyber security education near me?

To find colleges recognized for their cybersecurity education near you, check for schools that have earned designations such as the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Local community colleges like Cypress College also offer specialized programs that prepare students for entry into the cybersecurity field.

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