Best Online Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degrees 2022

| ComputerScience.org Staff Modified on March 21, 2022

Best Online Cybersecurity Bachelor’s Degrees 2022
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A bachelor's in cybersecurity is a specialized undergraduate computer science degree. These programs teach students to recognize and respond to cyberthreats targeting digital assets. The best bachelor degrees in cybersecurity also introduce learners to legal, ethical, and compliance-related issues in the cybersecurity industry.

According to a 2021 analysis, the global cybersecurity industry is projected to grow from $217.9 billion in 2021 to $345.4 billion in 2026. This signals strong opportunity for computer science professionals with cybersecurity skills.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) agrees. According to BLS projections, information security analysts could see employment growth of 33% from 2020-2030.

The best online cybersecurity degrees combine robust education with flexible scheduling. This guide examines the top online cybersecurity degrees at U.S. schools for 2022.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Program

The best online cybersecurity degrees share similarities with on-campus courses. Both curriculums cover essential skills, strategies, and technological tools. Learners in both program formats emerge prepared to meet the real-world challenges posed by hackers and cybercriminals.

However, students who pursue cybersecurity degrees online may notice several major differences. Explore these differences below.

How Is an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Different From an On-Campus Program?

Campus-based and online cybersecurity degrees differ in multiple ways. Technology requirements are a key example. In traditional programs, students can access technology resources through campus-based computer labs.

However, learners in online programs must ensure their personal computers and software meet the necessary standards. In some cases, they must purchase or license additional applications. Buying or renting extra equipment and software can erode some of the saving opportunities associated with online learning.

Another important difference is group work. Cybersecurity programs often include major projects that prompt students to respond to a simulated cyberattack. Instructors often ask students to work on these projects together.

The virtual learning environment can create group work challenges that do not apply to campus-based learners. For instance, online learners may have vastly different schedules or live in different time zones. Failing to find workable solutions can negatively impact the group's academic performance.

Comparing Online and On-Campus Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Degrees
Online Program On-Campus Program
Average Cost Per Academic Year $9,624 (public institution, in-state) | $13,546 (public institution, out-of-state) | $15,148 (private institution) $9,349 (public institution, in-state) | $27,023 (public institution, out-of-state) | $32,769 (private institution)
Course Load About 120 credits (40 courses) About 120 credits (40 courses)
Scheduling Asynchronous and synchronous options available Class meetings occur at set days and times
Program Length About 4 years (full-time) About 4 years (full-time)
Course Delivery 100% online or hybrid In-person
Source: NCES, Education Data Initiative

Tuition averages reflect data from the 2019-20 academic year. These numbers suggest the financial benefits of online learning mainly help those attending private institutions. Out-of-state learners at public institutions also see significant savings.

How Is an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Different From a Bootcamp?

Cybersecurity bootcamps deliver intensive, career-oriented education on compact schedules. They are particularly popular with career-changers and learners seeking to quickly train for new technology careers.

Bootcamps give learners the fundamental skills needed to succeed in entry-level professional roles. However, their short timeframes and fast-paced schedules mean that computer science newbies must bridge knowledge gaps rapidly.

Online cybersecurity degrees move through material at a slower, more conventional pace. Cybersecurity degrees online can lead to credentials used for pursuing advanced education. If you are new to computer science, you may find a traditional degree program a better match.

Delivery Formats for Online Cybersecurity Degrees

Online programs cover the same material as their campus-based counterparts. Students should expect similar assignments, which often include individual and group projects simulating real-life cyberattacks.

Delivery formats differ. Some programs offer their degrees 100% online, with asynchronous or synchronous classes. Some follow a hybrid format. Fully online programs require no campus visits. Hybrid programs call for some in-person attendance. Programs that are 100% online may save learners on living and travel expenses.

Asynchronous courses feature pre-recorded lectures, allowing students to engage at the most convenient time. Synchronous online courses occur on set days at set times, just like regular campus-based classes. Asynchronous models enhance scheduling flexibility, but synchronous courses facilitate real-time interpersonal interactions.

Accreditation for Online Cybersecurity Degrees

Degree programs at the top online cybersecurity schools all feature national or regional accreditation. Accreditation indicates that a school meets firm standards of educational quality. Regional accreditation guidelines generally hold schools to higher standards than national accreditation.

Many of the best online cybersecurity degrees also hold optional programmatic endorsements from specialized accreditors. ABET accreditation is a leading example. This credential signals that a program conforms to an elite set of globally recognized, skills-based standards.

In the United States, some of the best bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity are recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. These programs hold special status as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C). Schools with NCAE-C credentials meet elevated career preparation standards for protecting important technological infrastructure.

How Much Will an Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Cost?

An August 2021 review by the Education Data Initiative looked at the average costs of online bachelor's degrees in the United States. It considered tuition costs for both in-state and out-of-state students at public universities and private institutions.

Education Data reported the following average tuition rates for online four-year bachelor's degrees:


  • $38,496 for in-state students at public universities
  • $54,183 for out-of-state students at public universities
  • $60,593 for students at private institutions

These online degree costs are often lower than the general costs of academic programs tracked by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES examines nationwide averages across all classroom delivery formats. Its statistics provide a window into what learners enrolling in campus-based programs can expect to pay.

The following tuition rates estimate NCES averages for four-year bachelor's degrees:


  • $37,396 for in-state students at public universities
  • $108,092 for out-of-state students at public universities
  • $131,076 for students at private institutions

Based on these figures, online cybersecurity degrees are especially cost effective for out-of-state students. However, online learners may incur costs related to technology upgrades, software subscriptions, and licensing fees.

Based on these figures, online cybersecurity degrees are especially cost effective for out-of-state students.

Online students attending accredited degree programs may qualify for federal student loans. Before considering federal or private loans, seek forms of aid that do not require repayment. These include scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

Why Get Your Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Online?

The best online cybersecurity degrees deliver an in-depth education that opens doors to careers with growth potential. Online learning also demonstrates strong self-motivation and time management skills. Employers value professionals with these attributes.

Online education prepares students for remote working arrangements, which have become more common. Virtual learning environments prompt students to develop strong abilities to communicate and collaborate over the internet. Applying these skills to professional environments can improve productivity and connection among remote team members.

Online education does not match every student's learning style. Some prefer the real-time, face-to-face interactivity of the physical classroom. Others thrive in the more structured environments of traditional campus-based programs.

Consider the following pros and cons as you evaluate your suitability for online education:

Increased scheduling flexibility Potential savings Learners can easily review recorded lectures, which may improve their ability to grasp new skills Increased exposure to virtual collaborative environments Fewer opportunities for interpersonal interaction with instructors and peers Self-directed learning may not match every student's needs Limited opportunity to participate in traditional extracurricular activities

Selecting Your Online Cybersecurity Program

Prospective students should consider all relevant factors when selecting a degree program. Curriculum content, cost, and location are key considerations. However, learners should not overlook other school and program features that could impact their experience.

Depending on your priorities, these may include:

If you have a strong preference for 100% online or hybrid learning, you can seek matching opportunities. This also extends to asynchronous and synchronous course delivery formats. In-field job placement data among program graduates gives a strong indication of a program's standing among employers. Cybersecurity is already a specialized field within computer science. However, some programs offer concentrated learning in specific areas such as penetration testing and data loss prevention. Students can seek out opportunities that best match their interests. Some students prefer to attend programs that hold voluntary endorsements from respected technology education organizations.

Education experts recommend that candidates apply to multiple programs, even if they have a strong preference for a particular school. Common App can help learners manage this process.

Explore Related Programs

Top Five Online Bachelor's in Cybersecurity Programs 2022

The outlook for cybersecurity professionals is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 33% job growth for Information security specialists from 2020-2030. This far outpaces the 8% average growth rate for all other professions. Our ranking lists some of the best online cybersecurity programs to help prepare you for this field.

Charter Oak State College

Charter Oak State University develops programs for adult learners. The school offers online programs in business and cybersecurity. Students can transfer credit from other institutions and earn credit for past work or military experience.

BS in Cyber Security

The BS in cyber security offers a fully online curriculum. The asynchronous program enrolls students with an aptitude for information technology and familiarity with computers. The degree's 120 credits include general education coursework. The major explores the fundamentals of information systems and network security.

Students learn how to manage IT risks. A course provides systems forensics, investigations, and response training. All participants learn the tools and techniques used by hackers. Students complete a capstone project that demonstrates their skills.

Transfer students with 90 credits can finish their bachelor's in cybersecurity in 1-2 years. Six start dates provide enrollment flexibility. Charter Oak offers affordable tuition for Connecticut residents and out-of-state students.

Applying to Charter Oak

Admission requires a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Applicants must submit college transcripts, test scores, plus military or other training for review.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $319/credit (in state); $419/credit (out of state)
  • Program Length: 1-4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 39%
Liberty University

Located in Virginia, Liberty University is one of the nation's top Christian colleges. LU operates a virtual college offering about 450 online programs. Students enjoy affordable tuition and a generous credit transfer system.

BS in Cybersecurity

Students can earn a BS in cybersecurity from a college recognized for cyber defense education. LU is designated as a Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Enrollees complete 121 credits online in an average of 3.5 years. The asynchronous degree requires general education in various disciplines.

All enrollees complete coursework on Christian values and the biblical worldview. The major provides an introduction to system administration, network architecture, and programming languages. Students receive training in modern cryptography and advanced programming using C++.

Students showcase their skills during a two-part capstone. LU's undergraduates receive free electronic textbooks to lower the cost of their cybersecurity education.

Applying to LU

Admission to this cybersecurity degree requires a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Transfer students must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $390/credit (full time); $455/credit (part time)
  • Program Length: 3.5 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 57%
Purdue University Global

Purdue Global offers affordable and accessible programs for working professionals, military students, and those returning to school. Degree-seekers choose from 175 online programs. Online students receive faculty mentoring and support like no-cost math and science tutoring.

BS in Cybersecurity

The BS in cybersecurity provides rigorous training in traditional and ExcelTrack pathways. The degree requires 120 semester credits. Students complete the online curriculum asynchronously in 1-4 years. The competency-based ExcelTrack allows students to complete the degree faster by bypassing subjects they already know. The traditional track offer six concentrations:

  • CISSP certification preparation
  • Cloud computing
  • Data management
  • Game development
  • Programming and analytics
  • Supply chain management and logistics

The ExcelTrack track does not offer game development or supply chain management and logistics. An optional internship provides experience at a local cybersecurity firm. Enrollees can transfer up to 90 credits into this BS in cybersecurity.

The college is recognized as a Center for Cyber Defense Education Excellence by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

Applying to Purdue Global

Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate for first-year students, and college transcripts for transfer students.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of ABET
  • Tuition: $371/credit
  • Program Length: 1-4 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 48%
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

Established in 1998, Penn State World Campus administers 175 programs online. The school designs degrees in high-demand fields such as business and technology. Graduates can join one of the largest alumni associations in the world.

BS in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations

Penn State World Campus partners with the college of information sciences and technology to offer this program. The online BS in cybersecurity analytics and operations requires 126 credits. Students complete general education courses in various subjects. The major builds on prerequisite computer systems literacy and application development coursework.

Students study network security, application development design, and computer and cyber forensics. A required cyber-defense studio teaches penetration testing tools and techniques. Another studio provides training in cybersecurity analytics. Cybersecurity students apply their skills in a focus area:

  • Application development
  • Law and policy
  • Economics
  • Healthcare
  • Custom application focus

Participants receive valuable workplace experience during an internship in their local area.

Applying to Penn State World Campus

Admission requires a high school diploma or a GED certificate and prerequisite coursework. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA for transfer credits.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $590-$632/credit
  • Program Length: 4 years or fewer
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: N/A
University of Arizona

The University of Arizona enrolls about 47,000 students and offers 300 majors. UArizona Online offers rigorous programs students can afford. Online learners join an active and supportive learning community. Support services include online tutoring, library services, and leadership development programs.

BAS in Cyber Operations

UArizona offers one of the nation's 24 National Security Agency-designated cybersecurity programs. This BAS in cyber operations provides a degree completion program for students with an AAS or significant college credit.

The program blends lectures and hands-on exercises in offensive and defensive cybersecurity. All enrollees study the fundamentals of cybersecurity and mathematics for applied technology. A cyber defense course allows students to practice defense methodologies in labs.

Students choose one of three emphasis areas.

  • Engineering
  • Defense and forensics
  • Cyber law and policy

The curriculum differs for each emphasis. Students complete a senior capstone course. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency status.

Applying to UArizona

Admission to the BAS in cyber operations requires at least 60 credits, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and prerequisite coursework from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must also submit a resume and goal statement.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Institutional: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $500/credit
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 36%

Questions About Online Cybersecurity Programs

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity online?

true Bachelor's degrees usually entail 120 credits. Full-time students typically complete graduation requirements in the equivalent of about four academic years. Part-time learners may need five years or more, depending on their course loads.

Which bachelor degree is best for cybersecurity?

true Cybersecurity bachelor's degrees typically lead to one of two common designations. Some schools offer them as a bachelor of science in computer science with a cybersecurity specialization. Others present them as a bachelor of science in cybersecurity. Employers typically recognize both, making little if any distinction between the two.

How much is an online degree in cybersecurity?

According to 2021 averages, in-state students at public institutions pay $38,496 for an online bachelor's. Total tuition costs for out-of-state students average $54,184. Private-school students paid an average of $60,592 in tuition, according to the Education Data Initiative.

Is a cybersecurity degree worth it?

The global cybersecurity industry is growing at a rapid rate. Cybersecurity professionals have a 0% unemployment rate. The field also pays well, positioning cybersecurity degrees to generate positive long-term returns on investment.

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