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Best Information Assurance Schools: The Top Colleges and Universities for Information Assurance Programs

Norma Ceferina Camba-Sasaki - June 19, 2022


The best schools for information assurance provide a balanced education of technological, analytical, and practical skills highly sought-after in the information technology field. The different information assurance degrees equip students with information protection knowledge and the best cyber security techniques .

The best information assurance universities enhance leadership and business management skills to promote cyber security professionals who aspire to leadership positions. Many programs offer the flexibility of an online degree. Some cyber security programs provide internship opportunities with partner programs to graduate and undergraduate students.

This article discusses the best information assurance schools. You’ll learn about the different associate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs, including tips for choosing the best information assurance colleges. We also list the highest-paying information assurance jobs.

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Best Information Assurance College and University Rankings: Top 10 Information Assurance Schools at a Glance

School State Formats Available US News Ranking
Arizona State University AR In-person
Online
117
Florida Institute of Technology FL In-person
Online
202
George Mason University VA In-person
Online
148
Kennesaw State University GA In-person
Online
Hybrid
299-391
Nova Southeastern University FL In-person
Online
213
Pennsylvania State University PA In-person
Online
63
Purdue University IN In-person
Online
49
Sam Houston State University TX In-person
Online
249
University of Maryland MD In-person
Online
59
Wilmington University DE In-person
Online
299-391

Information Assurance School Rankings: Best Information Assurance Colleges and Universities

Prospective students should research the school they plan on attending, including the cyber security programs in their school search. Most schools require a good GPA score, letters of recommendation, and an application fee to apply. This section provides details on the best schools for information assurance.

1

Arizona State University

Graduation Rate: 66%

Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the largest public universities , with 135,729 students. ASU has one of the top 10 best online bachelor’s programs, according to the US News & World Report. The school provides over 400 undergraduate degrees and around 590 graduate degree programs and certificates.

ASU also offers accelerated programs, which allow senior undergraduate full-time students to earn their master's degrees a year after getting their bachelor's degrees. The faculty includes a Nobel laureate, National Academy of Sciences members, and published researchers.

Arizona State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Accreditation:
    • Higher Learning Commission
    • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Undergraduate certificate, Master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 117
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 132

Best Arizona State University Information Assurance Programs

  • Certificate in Informatics . The certificate program in informatics has 21 credit hours broken down into 15 credits for required courses and six credits for elective courses. One of the two concentration electives you can choose is information assurance. The program runs for one term.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business (BAB) - Information Security. The BAB with a concentration in information security is a four-year online program that combines business management with information management and cyber security skills. Online students will take 40 classes, each class worth three credit hours.
  • Master of Computer Science (MCS) in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance and Security concentration. The MCS specializing in information assurance and security is an online and on-campus one-year advanced degree program. The curriculum includes 30 credit hours and a portfolio.
  • PhD in Computer Science - Cybersecurity . The two-and-a-half-year PhD program in computer science focuses on cyber security and information assurance. You can complete the 84 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, a prospectus, and dissertation requirements to earn this degree either online or on campus.

Arizona State University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

ASU offers top-class, accredited cyber security programs. Cyber security has a zero percent unemployment rate and a high-paying median salary.

2

Florida Institute of Technology

Graduation Rate: 66%

The Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) is a research university . The institute has a wide variety of asynchronous undergraduate and graduate degrees that allow students to work on their coursework in a schedule that fits them. FIT ranks highly on US News & World Report’s best online graduate computer information technology programs for veterans list.

As one of the best information assurance colleges, it provides scholarship opportunities and discounts to active duty service members, National Guard members, select Reservists, honorably discharged veterans, and spouses.

Florida Institute of Technology Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Accreditation:
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
    • National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Graduate Certificate
  • US News Ranking: 202
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 801-1000

Best Florida Institute of Technology Information Assurance Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems . This bachelor's degree program has elective concentrations in information assurance and security. The curriculum requires 121 credit hours and on-campus attendance.
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity . This is a 33-credit master's degree program completed online or on the main campus in Melbourne. The school offers flexible learning for working professionals with an up-to-date curriculum.
  • Master of Science in Information Technology - Cybersecurity . The MS program requires 33 credit hours and takes two years to complete. Students must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security, mathematics, science, or engineering.
  • Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate . The graduate certificate includes 12 credits and is offered in person on the main campus in Melbourne. To earn the certificate, students must complete four graduate-level courses in information assurance and cyber security with a minimum grade of C.

Florida Institute of Technology Information Assurance Key Takeaway

FIT is an established institution recognized for excellence. As a top-tier university, FIT's information assurance programs are accredited and designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research.

3

George Mason University

Graduation Rate: 70%

George Mason University (GMU) is a public institution and Virginia's most prominent and diverse research university. GMU's undergraduate and graduate programs consistently rank in various US News & World Report lists. Currently, it has 39,000 enrolled students in its 213 programs.

George Mason University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  • Accreditation:
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
    • Council for Higher Education Accreditation
    • Higher Learning Commission
    • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    • New England Commission of Higher Education
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    • WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Graduate Certificate
  • US News Ranking: 148
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 251-300

Best George Mason University Information Assurance Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science/Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance. This accelerated program allows highly-qualified students to complete a bachelor’s and master's in five years. Students need at least 60 out of the 120 required undergraduate credits with a 3.3 overall GPA to apply for the program.
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance. This five-year program combines a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and a Master's Degree in Information Security and Assurance. Students start taking graduate courses after completing 75 undergraduate credits and completing the computer systems and programming subject.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology/Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance. This accelerated program combines a Bachelor's Degree in IT and a Master's Degree in Information Security and Assurance. Students can earn this dual degree in five years by fulfilling the bachelor's requirements in the first four years and completing the master's requisites in the fifth year.
  • Information Security and Assurance Graduate Certificate. This 12-credit graduate certificate program deepens students' knowledge of information security and assurance methods and applications. Students may take this certificate program with any graduate programs in the Volgenau School. They can opt for a full-time or part-time study basis.
  • Master's Degree in Information Security and Assurance. All the class schedules for this 30-credit program are in the late afternoon and early evening to accommodate employed students. It has two concentration options, Applied Cyber Security and Network and System Security. On average, full-time students finish this master's degree within two years.

George Mason University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

GMU's cyber security programs combine the theoretical teachings of data security and integrity methodologies with the hands-on technical application of information security. It emphasizes information security's continuously advancing technical and management aspects and methods to secure information processing systems.

4

Kennesaw State University

Graduation Rate: 49%

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a public school with nearly 43,000 students in its 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses. It offers 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees . The school has a vibrant campus culture and a diverse student population. KSU is part of an elite group of only six percent of US colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. It is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution.

Kennesaw State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Accreditation:
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
    • National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional Certifications
  • US News Ranking: 299-391
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: None

Best Kennesaw State University Information Assurance Programs

  • Ethical Hacker Certificate . You can complete this online self-paced certificate program in six months.  Anybody can attend the program as there are no educational requirements. It is, however, better to have a strong background in core IT concepts before undertaking this course.
  • PC Security Introduction Certificate . Information assurance includes securing physical information assets such as computers, hard drives, and wire connections. This online certificate teaches the fundamentals of PC and network security. This program has a self-paced option.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Security and Assurance . This bachelor's program has 120 credits with an option for online or hybrid learning. Students become technologically proficient, business-savvy information security professionals. The program covers business and cyber security policies, technology protection of information assets, and risk management.
  • Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) . MSIT is a master's program with four concentrations, including IT security and assurance. It is a one to two-year program with a 30-credit-hour requirement. Students can choose in-person or online classes. This program improves students' career options in managing, performing, and integrating information technology systems for current and future IT professionals.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity. This is a purely online one-year master's degree program with a 30-credit-hour requirement. The curriculum balances managerial and technical subjects of cyber security. It takes a unique approach in teaching students cyber security, cyber forensics, incident response, and infrastructure security.
  • Information Systems Security Professional Certificate . Students can earn this professional certificate in three months by attending hybrid or online classes. The program familiarizes students with the domains of the CISSP® Common Body of Knowledge in securing information systems. It prepares students for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam, one of the most highly regarded information security industry certifications.

Kennesaw State University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

Kennesaw State University has many cyber security degree and certificate program options where you can learn to protect and defend information on the Internet.

5

Nova Southeastern University

Graduation Rate: 61%

Nova Southeastern University (NSU or Nova) is a dynamic private research university in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The university has more than 20,000 enrolled students. The school offers over 150 high-quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in its 18 centers, colleges, and schools. It has specialized accreditations for its colleges and programs.

Nova Southeastern University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Accreditation:
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
    • National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education
  • Degrees offered: Master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: 213
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 301-350

Best Nova Southeastern University Information Assurance Programs

  • Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity . This program requirement of 33 credit hours concentrates on risk management procedures and cyber security policies. Students can choose a thesis option and take the courses online or on campus.
  • Master of Science in Computer Science (MS). The MS degree program has six concentrations, including information assurance and cyber security. It requires 30 credits and will take just over four months to complete. Students can attend online or in-person at the Fort Lauderdale or Davie campus.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management. As many industries face cyber threats, the demand for cyber security specialists increases. This online or in-person master’s program teaches students to minimize the impact of an attack on businesses. The courses equip students to manage cyber threats and expect and respond to cyber attacks.
  • Master of Science in Information Systems. This Master's Degree in Information Systems has an information assurance and cyber security management concentration. The curriculum has 30 credits. Students can opt for a fully online or in-person class.
  • Master of Science in Information Technology . There are three concentration options available for the information technology master's degree. They include information assurance and cyber security management, application development, and data analytics. Students need to complete 30 credits either online or on-campus.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Cybersecurity Management. The PhD program has a blend of on-campus and online courses and activities. Students can choose a fully online course option or the on-campus classes held at the Fort Lauderdale campus.

Nova Southeastern University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

The NSU's cyber security curriculum is certified to have exceeded the cyber security education's requirements and standards.

6

Pennsylvania State University

Graduation Rate: 72%

Pennsylvania State University and its World Campus online education extension are pioneers in online learning. The school offers more than 175 degree and certificate programs in business, technology, and health care. Penn State University degree programs rank in 13 different US News & World Report lists.

Pennsylvania State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Accreditation:
    • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    • National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Graduate Certificate, Professional Certificate
  • US News Ranking: 63
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 119

Best Pennsylvania State University Information Assurance Programs

  • National Security Agency (NSA) Certificate . The NSA certificate is a 28-credit on-campus program. It indicates that students have completed cyber defense and security courses specified by the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Security and Risk Analysis Certificate. This on-campus certificate program provides an introductory curriculum with 15 credits. It covers information systems, digital and physical information assurance, and intelligence analysis.
  • Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis -Information and Cyber Security Option. The 120-credit online bachelor's program concentrates on the technologies, methodologies, and information and asset protection policies. It trains students in secure systems design and development, security analysis, systems analysis, and risk analysis to ensure and maintain privacy security levels.
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Cybersecurity . The online graduate certificate equips information technology professionals in all industry sectors. It teaches skills and knowledge in information security and management. This 15-credit graduate-level certificate program covers information systems security analysis, risk management, digital forensics, knowledge management, cyber security, and crisis and disaster management.
  • Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Homeland Security-Information Security and Forensics option. This 33-credit online master's program builds an understanding of network security theories, skills, and technologies. Coursework covers cyber threat defense and forensics, intelligence analysis, risk assessment, security policy development, and privacy protection and assurance.

Pennsylvania State University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

The NSA and the DHS designated Penn State World Campus as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. This designation showcases the school’s dedication to educational excellence in its information security and assurance programs.

7

Purdue University

Graduation Rate: 83%

Purdue University , including its global online extension, is one of the top public universities , ranking fifth in the Top Public Schools list of the US News & World Report. It has over 31,500 enrolled students in 175 undergraduate, graduate degrees, and certificate programs. The university offers work-study programs and campus jobs to its students.

Purdue University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Accreditation:
    • Higher Learning Commission
    • Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET
  • Degrees offered: Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s
  • US News Ranking: 49
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 105

Best Purdue University Information Assurance Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology -Cybersecurity. This online IT associate degree has five concentration options. The cyber security option is a 90-credit two-year degree. The program provides fundamental technical training in software applications creation, database management systems analysis, website development, network installation and maintenance, and hardware and software troubleshooting.
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. This online bachelor’s requires 180 credit hours over four years. Students can fast-track their studies under the self-paced option. The program rigorously trains students to master the cyber security fundamentals and best practices and identify IT security threats and products.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology-Information Security and Assurance concentration. You can take this 180-credit program over four years or a self-paced option in ten-week terms. It trains students with cyber security technical knowledge, analytical thinking, and communication skills needed in a modern workplace.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management. This online master’s degree program has four concentration options. Students need to complete 60 credits over two years of full-time study. There is a self-paced option for students who need flexible learning schedules.
  • Master of Science in Information Technology-Cybersecurity. The online master’s in information technology has six concentration options, including cyber security. The curriculum requires 60 credits over two years or a more flexible self-paced option. Working professionals develop marketable technical, creative, and managerial skills in IT, communications, and business in this program.

Purdue University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

Experienced industry experts regularly review Purdue's information assurance and cyber security curriculum to ensure academic excellence. All faculty have advanced degrees, 36 percent with PhDs. Over 90 percent of graduates were employed or continued their education within 18 months of graduation.

8

Sam Houston State University

Graduation Rate: 57%

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is Texas' third oldest public university . The school has over 20,000 students enrolled in 90 bachelor's degree programs, 50 master's programs, and ten doctoral programs. SHSU is the first school to offer a PhD in Forensic Science.

Sam Houston State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional Certificate
  • US News Ranking: 249
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: None

Best Sam Houston State University Information Assurance Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity . The on-campus BS cyber security program requires 121 credits. It teaches students techniques to collect, preserve, analyze, and report digital evidence. This is in preparation for professional work in business, IT, government, and law enforcement industries.
  • Graduate Certificate in Digital Investigation. This is a 15-credit digital investigation certificate for graduate students. It equips information assurance professionals with concentrated training in conducting digital investigations.
  • Graduate Certificate in Data Assurance. Data assurance is an important task as an information assurance professional. The 15-credit data assurance certificate provides in-depth exposure to database administration, mining, and security crises management.
  • Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security. The cyber security certificate boosts professional skills and provides in-depth exposure to critical infrastructure security concerns. Students must complete 15 credits in network and cyber security to earn this certificate.
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity . The online 30-credit program equips students with in-demand skills for the job market. Coursework covers investigation lab establishment and operation, risk analysis, vulnerability identification, digital and physical asset security, and digital evidence processing.

Sam Houston State University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

Sam Houston State University dedicates itself to developing digital forensics and cyber security training for law enforcement personnel. The school offers various research opportunities and ensures the educational merit of its cyber security programs.

9

University of Maryland

Graduation Rate: 88%

The University of Maryland Global Campus provides the educational needs of working adults and military students worldwide. It offers associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees, and undergraduate and graduate certificates. The school's online classes provide flexibility and convenience for students to study at their own pace.

University of Maryland Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees offered: Master’s, Graduate Certificate
  • US News Ranking: 59
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 93

Best University of Maryland Information Assurance Programs

  • Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance. The 15-credit curriculum, developed with top employers, builds hands-on experience through interactions with organizations to learn job-relevant skills from case studies. Students gain a practical understanding of data protection, cyber security, and computer forensics principles.
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Technology. Students need 18 credits to earn this online graduate certificate. The program provides current knowledge and technical skills in critical cyber infrastructure and assets protection. Students learn different concepts, hands-on applications, and practical techniques in emerging trends in the cyber security field.
  • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Management and Policy. Students gain broad analytical thinking for risk assessment and solving cyber security problems in this 18-credit course. The curriculum covers governmental and organizational responses to cyber security threats, technical assessment, detecting and preventing intrusions, and cyber security policy creation.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management and Policy. This 36-credit master’s degree program provides students with the proper cyber security tools and management skills. It teaches the establishment, development, and implementation of organizational cyber security structure and management.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Technology. The 36-credits online master’s program offers an expansive perspective of the cyber security field. It provides an understanding of cyber security technology while balancing the use of people, policy, and technology. The program teaches different cyber security strategies using interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance . This online master's degree requirement is 36 credit hours. All courses are accessible online, with select courses available in a hybrid learning format. This program is ideal for mid-level professionals and provides training in the principles of data protection, cyber security, and computer forensics.

University of Maryland Information Assurance Key Takeaway

The University of Maryland's information assurance and cyber security programs adopt the latest industry knowledge, cutting-edge technical skills, and real-world expertise needed to specialize in cyber security.

10

Wilmington University

Graduation Rate: 23%

Wilmington University is a private university with almost 10,000 undergraduate students . It is known as one of the least selective universities. The private school offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs.

Wilmington University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: Open admission policy
  • Accreditation:
    • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    • National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • Degrees offered: Master’s, Undergraduate Certificate, Graduate Certificate
  • US News Ranking: 299-391
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: None

Best Wilmington University Information Assurance Programs

  • Undergraduate Certificates in Digital Evidence Discovery and Digital Evidence Investigation. These two certificates go hand-in-hand. They provide training in the practice of digital forensics, data discovery and disaster recovery, and digital evidence analysis. The programs are available online and on-campus.
  • Graduate Certificate in SCADA Cybersecurity. This graduate certificate trains students in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Students learn how to monitor and control critical infrastructure, and processes and how to respond to cyber attacks using SCADA. They can opt for online or on-campus classes.
  • Master of Science in Information Systems Technology -Information Assurance concentration. The online academic programs combine IT advanced study with managerial concepts and business skills. Graduate students need to complete 36 credits, including integration or capstone projects. They must also complete 15 credits of core courses and three credits of internship.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity. The online master's program trains students in cyber terrorism trends and techniques. The 36-credit program includes subjects on cyber intelligence, cyber crime investigative principles, forensics, preservation of critical infrastructures, counter sabotage, and espionage.

Wilmington University Information Assurance Key Takeaway

Wilmington's cyber security programs have been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity by the NSA and the DHS since 2011.

Best Bachelor’s Degree Programs

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The Best Schools for Information Assurance: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered

Information assurance is an interdisciplinary field requiring knowledge of accounting, business, systems and security engineering, information science, fraud, and criminology. Many schools offer college degrees and university programs, such as community college certificates, associate degrees , bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, graduate certificates, and doctorates.

1

Information Assurance Community College Certificate

Successful completion of certificate programs allows students to apply software patches to operating systems and applications. They learn to use appropriate resources for computer systems analysis and uncover security vulnerabilities. Students will also be able to detect attempted security breaches and implement computer network security defenses.

2

Information Assurance Associate Degree

A typical associate degree lasts two to three years. An Associate in Information Assurance degree provides students with knowledge and tools for understanding how networks, operating systems, and programs function.

This degree emphasizes developing the theoretical and practical skills needed to maintain mission-critical data and systems security. It also prepares students for internationally-recognized IT certifications. Coursework equips students for high demands in industry, business, and government.

3

Information Assurance Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor's Degree in Information Assurance takes about four years to finish. Courses include an introduction to cyber security , cyber defense and countermeasures, cyber attacks and ethical hacking, computer forensics, and network security principles.

This degree teaches students to take preventative measures against data breaches. Students also gain a wide range of skills to keep data secure. Most schools allow students to get practical hands-on experience by finishing several projects and work experience in a real-world setting.

4

Information Assurance Master’s Degree

A Master's Degree in Information Assurance provides a core foundation of knowledge and applied expertise in cyber security trends , information security controls, and information risk management. Major courses include applied cryptography, network security, data security, and privacy, information security planning, application security, and advanced computer forensics.

This degree gives an understanding of balancing defenses and risks for securing the integrity of information in storage. Students learn to ensure information accessibility to authorized personnel and inaccessibility to unauthorized personnel.

It usually takes students around a year and a half to two years to complete a master's degree. Some schools offer this degree as a five-year undergraduate/graduate combined program. Students can choose to complete the degree on-campus, online, or in a hybrid format.

5

Information Assurance Graduate Certificate

A Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance offers an academic supplement to increase and showcase knowledge in the field. Many graduate certificate programs take less than a year, and students can apply the credits to a related master's degree program.

Required courses include policy and administration, tools and techniques in defensive security, information assurance management, and practical cryptography and trusted systems.

6

Information Assurance Doctorate

A Doctorate in Information Assurance specializes in protecting digital information from human error, malfunction, and malicious attacks. The PhD allows students to learn foundational knowledge of information security. This knowledge includes data security, network security, computer forensics, cryptography, and software security.

Standard core coursework includes theoretical computer science, operating systems, programming languages, software engineering, and computer organization. The completion of this degree can take from three to five years.

Comparing Popular Degree Options

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Best Information Assurance Schools: Other Information Assurance University Rankings

The best information assurance schools can help prospective students find the right fit for their goals and interests. Researching the information assurance university rankings can assure you of quality education. The best information assurance universities will equip and prepare you with valuable business intelligence knowledge and inter-organization operations.

Best Online Information Assurance Schools

  1. Lewis University . This university designed its online program options specifically for adults who work full-time or part-time. The NSA and the DHS recognized the school’s information security program as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
  2. Stevens Institute of Technology. This institute holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has a graduation rate of 87 percent. The program ranks highly for value, rigor, affordability, and career goals.
  3. The University of Dallas. Besides holding regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the cyber security program of the University of Dallas also has official recognition from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Best Community Colleges for Information Assurance

  1. Anne Arundel Community College . It is the first community college certified by the NSA and the first designated by the Defense Cyber Crime Center as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. also accredited its information assurance and cyber security program.
  2. Honolulu Community College. The NSA and DHS recognized this college as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. The college offers credit programs, non-credit programs, special programs, cyber events, and competitions.
  3. Northwest Vista College. This community college offers many certificates related to the information assurance field. Focusing on practical experience, this college provides knowledge on routing, wireless, switching, troubleshooting, the essentials of the Linux operating system, and configuring, designing, and managing Microsoft servers.

Best Undergraduate Schools for Information Assurance

  1. Carnegie Mellon University . Carnegie Mellon University is a highly ranked institution in its undergraduate level studies in information assurance. The bachelor’s degree is open to all undergraduates studying computer science.
  2. Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Tech’s cyber security program ranks second in the US News & World report. Students can choose any application for in-depth study, including social media, election systems, web security, cyber warfare, and hardware security.
  3. The University of Southern California. Ranked in the top 25 nationally by US News & World Report, this university offers innovation in education and veteran services. Its computer systems security faculty feature professional experts and nationally-recognized academics emphasizing practical and hands-on learning.

Best Graduate Schools for Information Assurance

  1. Iowa State University . Home to the first-ever electronic digital computer in the world, Iowa State University offers high-resolution virtual experiences in its virtual reality lab. The university’s information assurance department leads research and training through partnerships with citizens, government, industry, and experts.
  2. Sam Houston State University. Sam Houston State University is the 12th largest university in Texas. Emphasizing excellence in academics and student success, the online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security gives students knowledge and practical skills in security analysis.
  3. Western Governors University. This university provides a positive experience for each student by ensuring they get personalized attention from faculty. Aside from ranking number 12 on US News & World Report’s Most Innovative Schools list, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities also accredited this university.

Best Information Assurance Schools With Dual Degree Programs

  1. Carnegie Mellon University | Master of Science in Information Security Policy and Management-Juris Doctor. This dual degree program gives students a deep understanding of privacy, security, and policy concerns and how they relate to the law. Students learn to tackle various legal gray areas facing private citizens, organizations, and governments in the digital world.
  2. Johns Hopkins University | Master of Science in Security Informatics and Master of Science in Engineering in Computer Science. This dual degree program allows students to access a platform for a distinctive graduate educational experience. It will enable both breadth and depth, suitable preparation for research.
  3. The University of Michigan | Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Science & Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. This program teaches students to approach some of the most dynamic challenges of an interconnected world. Students must enter the information systems concentration and the cyber security and privacy or digital forensics focus of the relevant bachelor’s programs.

Best Schools With Accelerated Information Assurance Programs

  1. George Mason University | Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science and Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance. Highly-qualified students can finish this accelerated program in five years. Graduate courses are accessible for students who complete seventy-five undergraduate degree credits and the computer systems and programming subject.
  2. Roosevelt University | Cyber Security & Information Assurance, Bachelor of Science/Master of Science Accelerated Program. Students can obtain both a graduate degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security & Information Assurance through this program. Graduate courses are available for students in the second year of the accelerated program, and the entire program will take five years to complete.
  3. Southern Connecticut State University | Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Master of Science in Cybersecurity. This five-year accelerated program gives students a solid foundation in information assurance strategies and best practices. It is ideal for students seeking an advanced degree and a career in cyber security, ethical hacking, consultation, network administration, and a PhD.

Easy Colleges to Get Into

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Is Graduate School for Information Assurance Worth It?

Yes, graduate school for information assurance is worth it if you want to become a professional in a notable career. Global cyber crimes are increasing, and there is a lack of highly-educated and qualified workers to meet the demand. Earning an information assurance graduate degree could be the best investment since companies pay top dollar for top talent.

Many of the best information assurance universities and colleges offer in-person and online graduate program options. Some schools have an open enrollment policy, while others have particular admission requirements. These requirements include school transcripts, a high GPA score, a high school diploma, and an application fee.

What Jobs Can You Do With an Information Assurance Degree?

Jobs you can do with an information assurance degree are information security analyst, network and computer systems administrator, computer systems analyst, computer and information systems manager, database administrator, and computer user support specialist. Information assurance positions are one of the most demanding computer specialties.

How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Information Assurance?

You can earn between $51,000 and $155,000 per year with a degree in information assurance, according to PayScale. An associate degree graduate can earn about $52,000 a year. Information security officers earn between $60,000 to $139,000 depending on tenure and experience, while a network security analyst earns a median salary of $75,887 annually.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree can get jobs with an average annual salary of $79,000. The average annual wage of an information security manager is $119,505, while an information security specialist earns $76,524 per year.

The average job salary for a master’s degree graduate is about $97,000 annually . A chief information officer can earn an annual average pay of $168,712, while cyber security analysts make about $77,235 annually. An information assurance engineer earns $97,383, while a security manager averages $72,063 per year.

Highest-Paying Information Assurance Careers

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary
Computer and Information Systems Manager Bachelor’s degree $159,010
Computer and Information Research Scientist Master’s degree $131,490
Computer Network Architect Bachelor’s degree $120,520
Quality Assurance Analyst Bachelor’s degree $110,140
Information Security Analyst Bachelor’s degree $102,600
Computer Systems Analyst Bachelor’s degree $99,270
Database Administrator Bachelor’s degree $98,860
Computer Programmer Bachelor’s degree $93,000
Network and Computer Systems Administrator Bachelor’s degree $80,600
Computer Network Support Specialist Associate degree $71,350

Best Jobs With an Information Assurance Degree

The best jobs with an information assurance degree are computer and information systems manager, computer and information research scientist, computer network architect, quality assurance analyst, information security analyst, and computer systems analyst. Availability of jobs depends on the degree level as listed below.

Best

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Information Assurance Associate Degree

Jobs

The best information assurance associate degree jobs are network administrator, information technology specialist, and computer network support specialist. These jobs only require an associate degree in specific skillsets in specialized areas of study.

These jobs plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization's computer networks and systems. Although an associate degree is enough to land a career, a bachelor's degree offers more career opportunities and a higher salary.

Top Information Assurance Careers With an Associate Degree

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3

Information Assurance Bachelor’s Degree

Jobs

The best information assurance bachelor’s degree jobs include computer and information systems managers, computer network architects, and quality assurance analysts.

These jobs take care of company computer systems, manage the networks, and conduct tests to identify and troubleshoot any issues. A bachelor's degree provides knowledge and a wide range of skills needed to protect individuals and businesses from cyber security attacks.

Top Information Assurance Careers With a Bachelor’s Degree

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Information Assurance Master’s Degree

Jobs

The best information assurance master’s degree jobs are computer and information research scientists, information security managers, and cyber security analysts. A master’s degree equips professionals with computer security and systems knowledge to manage an organization's computer network system.

Top Information Assurance Careers With a Master’s Degree

Best

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Information Assurance Doctorate

Jobs

The best information assurance doctorate jobs are postsecondary teachers, information technology consultants, and cyber security engineers. These professionals advise clients on using information technology. PhD graduates also conduct research and publish scholarly papers.

Top Information Assurance Careers With a PhD

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Best Internships for Information Assurance Students

Some of the best internships for information assurance students are through government organizations. It is best to apply for internships before the season starts as they vary in individual companies. Applicants must fill out an application form and add their resumé with a cover letter. Some companies also require interviews.

Top Information Assurance Internships

How Can I Pay for Information Assurance School?

You can pay for information assurance school by applying for financial aid, scholarships, state grants, tuition assistance or reimbursement, or an emergency relief fund. Students have access to various financial aid opportunities.

  • Financial aid. Students can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form through the student aid website or by downloading the app. After submission, the student must complete entrance counseling and sign the Master Promissory Note. Some schools may require the completion of additional documentation before awarding the financial aid.
  • Scholarships. Scholarships are available through the generosity of various corporations, foundations, and several individuals. Each school offers different scholarships, and the process may differ from one school to another.
  • State grants. State grant programs have strict application deadlines for funding eligibility. Since state grants differ for each state, it is best to contact the school and visit the state websites for further information and assistance.
  • Tuition assistance or reimbursement. Tuition reimbursement policies vary for each company. Some add it to the student’s paycheck amount, while others give it back in stock shares. Most companies reimburse the tuition costs after completing course credits or earning a degree.
  • Emergency relief fund. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is federal funding disbursed as student emergency aid grants. Students must meet the criteria of exceptional financial need to be eligible for the said fund.

How to Pay for Your Chosen School Education Path

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Choosing the Best Information Assurance School for You

When choosing the best information assurance school for you, you should consider accreditation, faculty credentials, graduation rate, cost, and student career counseling services. With numerous schools offering information assurance, the following information can help students make the right choice.

Accreditation

An accreditation from notable authorities on education ensures the school meets the standards to teach students the offered programs. A formal recognition says a lot about the school’s level of academic quality. Accreditation provides eligibility for federal financial aid and scholarships.

Faculty Credentials

Certified, productive, and efficient faculty members can better carry out the school’s mission. Faculty credentials refer not only to academic credentials but to overall qualifications. Accreditors consider these during accreditation visits. Faculty credentials are also necessary for publicity, sharing faculty expertise, grant proposals, student recruitment, recognition, evaluation, and promotion.

Graduation Rate

A high graduation rate highlights the faculty members’ commitment to education, students’ hard work, and the availability of support systems. Students get insight into the number of students who finish their degree by checking the school’s graduation rate.

Cost

Most students do not want to create a financial burden for themselves or their families. With education costs increasing, it is crucial to check available financial aids and support programs when choosing a school. Students should consider the tuition fee and the cost of living during the course. Research where you can get the same education level for a lower price.

Student Services

Student services are one factor that affects the quality of a student’s learning experience and academic success. University dropout rate and campus diversity are also affected. Student services include everything from admissions and career services to alcohol and drug education programs and campus ministries.

How to Get Into the Right School for Your Profession

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Does It Matter What College I Go to for Information Assurance?

Yes, it does matter what college you go to for information assurance. As mentioned above, there are various factors to consider when choosing a school. Not all schools offer the same benefits and provide similar services. Selecting a school while considering the factors above will ensure good quality education and provide a satisfactory academic experience.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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Information Assurance University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Information Assurance

We ranked the best information assurance schools by consulting the university rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our information assurance university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of information assurance degree program offerings.

Additional Reading About Information Assurance

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Best Information Assurance Schools FAQ

What is information assurance?

Information assurance is essentially protecting information and information systems. The five pillars of information assurance have many applications. These pillars are integrity, availability, confidentiality, authentication, and non-repudiation.


What is the difference between information assurance and information security?

The difference between information assurance and information security is that information assurance is a broader discipline. It is more concerned with addressing the overall risk to an organization’s information. Information security focuses on dealing with individual, exterior threats. It is a more hands-on discipline, prioritizing the development of tools, technologies, and other countermeasures.


How long do you go to school for information assurance?

You will go to school for around four years if you want to earn a full-time Bachelor’s Degree in Information Assurance . Community college certificates and associate degrees take about two years to complete. You can complete a master’s degree in 18 months to two years, but combined undergraduate/graduate programs allow students to finish in five years.


What can you do with an information assurance degree?

An information assurance degree allows graduates to land a career in cyber security, information security, and network security. Some of the top jobs include quality assurance analysts, computer network architects, computer and information systems managers, and computer and information research scientists.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Norma Ceferina Camba-Sasaki

About the author: Norma is an SEO writer and analyst who holds tech certificates from Udemy, Analytics University, and WFM Academy. She uses her analytical background to inform the Career Karma blog and help readers learn more about tech. a content writer from the Philippines. She holds a BFA in Advertising from Philippine Women's University and enjoys reading, writing, and painting, and she also plays multiple musical instruments.

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