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Best cybersecurity schools and programs

Explore the best cybersecurity schools and programs that outrank the competition with acceptance rates, graduation rate performance, and graduation and retention rates.
Written by Tanika Johnson, Contributor
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Shutterstock / Dragon Images

As cyber attacks become more prevalent, cybersecurity is growing faster than many other computer careers. Plus, the average salary for a cybersecurity professional is $102,600 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If earning that salary and protecting data security sounds good to you, the right undergraduate cybersecurity school may make that dream a reality. Career-focused professionals searching for the best cybersecurity program, this page is for you.

We know searching for the right undergraduate education is stressful, but don't get overwhelmed. We've done exhaustive research to narrow down your top cybersecurity schools and programs. Our picks offer affordable tuition and impressive academic reputations.

How should I choose a cybersecurity school?

Consider college and program-specific grants, scholarships, and work-study jobs as well as education awards and other financial aid resources.

When choosing the best program for you, research each school's accreditation, recruitment and enrollment efforts, and full-time and part-time graduation and retention rates. 

If you want to learn online, research what online degrees the schools offer and what kind of support online students receive.

READ THIS: Best online bachelor's degrees

Best cybersecurity schools and programs

The data for this list was collected from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard datasets.

While several schools achieved high rankings, the following list draws from a subset of top-rated, regionally accredited schools and historically Black colleges and universities. Rankings were based on many factors such as available computer science scholarships, online cybersecurity degree options, and affordable tuition and fees.

The data is accurate as of time of publication. 

Prior to enrollment, prospective students are encouraged to check the school's websites and terms and conditions.

1.  Bentley University

Bentley University's cybersecurity risk management certificate offers students and working professionals experience in information security. 

Prospective students can earn a CompTIA, ISACA, Cloud Security Alliance, or (ISC)2 certification. Students pay $9,900 for the certificate program and prepare for certification exams. The university offers extensive career services and promotes diversity-related initiatives.

2.  Bowie State University

Bowie State University offers a graduate certificate, bachelor's, and advanced computer science degrees with a cybersecurity specialization. Students may earn a computer technology bachelor's degree in alpha and beta testing, cloud computing, and other related specializations. 

The university is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. It's also a historically Black university.

3.  Butler University

Butler University offers students and working professionals a four-module cyber risk management certificate. This self-paced program is $1,995 and may be completed in three to 10 hours. 

Students will gain program-specific experience in understanding pure risk and cyber risk, identifying third party errors and omissions, and interpreting cyber risk insurance policies along with other relevant industry skills.

4. Carroll College 

Carroll College offers a free, online three-stage cyber fast track program in cybersecurity in which students gain in-depth, foundational knowledge of cybersecurity. Once mastered, students proceed with master forensics, intrusion detection, and security operations along with system and network penetration testing and application testing. 

The college awards three Women in Cybersecurity Scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students.

5.  Champlain College Online

Champlain College offers students an online cybersecurity bachelor's degree. The program is 120 credit hours and entirely online. Students commit 10 to 17 hours of course study. 

The university is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The college has ranked among the most affordable online cybersecurity bachelor's degrees.

6.  Howard University 

Howard University offers a 15 credit hour cybersecurity graduate certificate. This program includes both computer science and engineering coursework. Students complete a year-long cybersecurity course, two technical courses, and a capstone project.

Students may select database systems and security, wireless network security, or advanced operating systems and security to satisfy technical courses.

7.  Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University offers online cybersecurity bachelor's and master's degrees. The 30-credit cybersecurity master's program can be completed within a year. 

This program is suitable for both career changers and working professionals seeking career advancement. Undergraduate students may apply to the school's Double Owl pathway, which allows them to apply credits earned during their bachelor's degree to a future master's in cybersecurity or software engineering.

8.  North Carolina A&T State University 

North Carolina A&T offers an online, 12-credit hour post-baccalaureate cybersecurity certificate. Prospective students are required to take information privacy and security or advanced security applications along with a computer system security or network security course. 

For technical courses, students may choose from software security testing, principles of computer networking, and related computer science and technology courses.

9. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a three course certificate in cybersecurity. Prospective students may compete in an approved cybersecurity competition, serve as an undergraduate researcher, or participate in the Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program to meet the extracurricular requirement. 

While completing the certificate program, students attend an Information Trust Institute certificate program meeting.

10.  Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech offers an online, 12-week cyber bootcamp. Prospective students may enroll in the computer engineering bachelor's program with a cyber operations track, cybersecurity management and analytics business degree, or computer engineering major in networks and cybersecurity program. 

The university offers a Cybercorps Scholarship for Service and master's programs with cybersecurity tracks. 

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