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Best Information Security Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

David Munyaka - June 27, 2022


The best information security master’s degrees can help students excel in the rapidly-growing cyber security industry. One of the best ways to land senior or managerial positions in this field is to gain one of the best Master’s Degrees in Information Security.

Master’s Degrees in Information Security cover essential concepts like network security, database design, and information systems analysis. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about the best information security master’s degree programs, as well as information about relevant job opportunities, job outlooks, and salaries.

What Is Information Security?

Information security is the practice of keeping data secure from unauthorized or unwanted access during storage or transmission from one machine or user to another. It involves a set of practices to ensure data remains in the hands of a few people only. Confidentiality, integrity, and availability are a few key principles of this discipline.

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Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

Some colleges where you can get a Master’s Degree in Information Security include Carnegie Mellon University, The George Washington University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Johns Hopkins University.

What Schools Offer the Best Information Security Master’s Degrees?

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • The George Washington University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Drexel University

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

Common Master’s in Information Security requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a related field, some professional experience, and a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. These requirements will vary from program to program. Other admission requirements for a Master’s in Information Security may include GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose.

Information Security Master’s Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • GRE scores (if required)
  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • 1 – 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose

How to Get a Master’s Degree in Information Security

You can get a Master’s in Information Security by completing all the required credits and keeping your GPA up. Some information security master’s programs require students to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. You also may need to complete a thesis or capstone project.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

You need 30 to 40 credits for a Master’s Degree in Information Security. This takes most students around three to four semesters. You may be able to complete your information security master’s degree in less time if you enroll in an accelerated program.

Information Security Degree Requirements

  • GPA of 3.0
  • Completion of a capstone project
  • 15 – 20 core credits
  • 10 – 15 elective credits
  • 10 – 15 concentration credits

Best Information Security Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Carnegie Mellon University Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Drexel University Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Florida Institute of Technology Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
George Mason University Master of Science in Information Systems Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
The George Washington University Master’s of Cybersecurity Strategy & Information Management Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Iowa State University Master of Science in Cyber Security or Master of Engineering in Cyber Security Higher Learning Commission
Johns Hopkins University Master of Science in Information Systems Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Saint Peter’s University Master of Science in Cyber Security Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Stevens Institute of Technology Master of Science in Cybersecurity Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Houston Master of Science in Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Schools for Information Security: Top Information Security Master’s Degree Programs

The best information security master’s programs cover advanced skills that can help you further your tech career. Below are detailed descriptions of some of the best schools for a Master’s Degree in Information Security to help you get started on your school search.

1

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university that was founded in 1900. With a host of tech companies setting up shop in Steel City, Pittsburgh is on its way to becoming a tech hub. This graduate degree program is delivered on campus in Pittsburgh to allow prospective students in the area to launch a variety of careers in the field of cyber security.

Master of Science in Information Security

Apart from the rich cultural experience, enrolling in this master’s degree program means that you'll pick up technical skills and knowledge in several disciplines including networking, business policy, and ethical penetration testing. The curriculum includes two certificate options if you are looking for a deeper concentration in information security.

Master of Science in Information Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $52,100/academic year
  • Required Credits: 72 units
  • Program Length: 3 - 4 semesters
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 93%

Master of Science in Information Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores (temporarily suspended)
  • Application Fee: $100
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, proof of English proficiency, short essay questions, resume

Applying to Carnegie Mellon University

  1. Fill out the online application on the school’s website.
  2. Provide the application fee.
  3. The school looks for students with a technical background or academic exposure to relevant technical concepts. You will also need strong programming skills.
  4. Provide all the required application documentation.
  5. Wait for the school to contact you with its decision.
2

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University is a private research institution that was founded in 1891. Its most popular programs are in the mechanical engineering, computer science, and accounting and finance fields. Drexel University has a total student enrollment of over 23,500.

Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity

This program from Drexel University equips students with academic and practical skills to enable them to provide value in the field of cyber security. This interdisciplinary program is ideal for students familiar with computer engineering, telecommunications engineering, cryptography, electrical engineering, and computer science.

You’ll learn fundamental aspects of cyber security theory including software development, data mining, database management, information forensics, information architecture, and information assurance. The coursework also features thesis projects, studies on research rotations, and independent research.

Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,396/credit
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years (full-time), 3 - 4 years (part-time)
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in a STEM field
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to Drexel University

  1. Review the requirements for your chosen program.
  2. Fill out the online application.
  3. Provide all the required application documentation.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.
3

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL

Florida Institute of Technology is a private research institution with four academic colleges. Florida Tech was founded in 1958 and has over 6,700 enrolled students. It offers a range of in-person and remote undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

This program was designed to equip prospective students with the skills necessary to protect corporations, military institutions, and government agencies from security risks such as intellectual property theft, illegal hacking, and access to personal information.

Some of the key aspects that you’ll learn during this program include security strategies, data mining, machine learning, security protocols, public cloud security, public policy, analysis techniques, and project management.

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $23,184/year
  • Required Credits: 33 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 60%

Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE test
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Background in computer programming and statistics, transcripts, resume, statement of objectives

Applying to Florida Institute of Technology

  1. Review the academic requirements for your chosen program.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Submit all the required documentation.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.
4

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

George Mason University is a public research school that was originally established in 1949. It offers 132 graduate degree programs and over 100 graduate-level certificates. George Mason University has a total student enrollment of over 38,500.

Master of Science in Information Systems

George Mason University designed this program to give its students hands-on experience combined with theoretical knowledge to promote the effective use of information systems. This program is ideal for students who have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field.

Key topics covered in this course include big data, engineering, and information security assurance. Career options include data administrator, information architect, information engineer, chief security officer, developer, and chief information officer.

Master of Science in Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition\: $663/credit (in state); $1,431/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: Must be completed in under 6 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 72%

Master of Science in Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: 4-year undergraduate degree
  • Other Requirements: Statement of goals, resume

Applying to George Mason University

  1. Review the admission requirements for your chosen program and ensure you have the proper academic background.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Provide the required application materials.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.
5

The George Washington University

Washington DC

The George Washington University is a federally chartered research university with around 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers over 230 graduate-level programs and has 14 schools and colleges.

Master's of Cybersecurity Strategy & Information Management

The George Washington University designed this program with the help of key government and law enforcement agencies to ensure professional exposure to issues of law, leadership, and information policies.

This program takes an interdisciplinary approach as it covers fundamental aspects of cyber security management, cyber investigation, digital forensics, network security, compliance and legal issues, security models, incident response, IP security, and VPN technology.

Master's of Cybersecurity Strategy & Information Management Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,205/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 16 months
  • Learning Format: In person, online, hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 85%

Master's of Cybersecurity Strategy & Information Management Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $80
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: 2 years of professional experience in the field, transcripts, resume, statement of purpose, 2 recommendation letters

Applying to The George Washington University

  1. Review the requirements for your chosen program and ensure you meet the criteria.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Provide the application fee.
  4. Submit all the required documentation.
  5. Wait for a decision from the school.
6

Iowa State University

Ames, IA

Iowa State University is a public school with an extension office in every county in the state. It was founded in 1858 and offers 100 majors and a wide range of graduate fields of study. Many of these programs are available remotely.

Master of Science in Cyber Security

This is a multi-disciplinary program meant to help security professionals obtain advanced training in practices and policies used to safeguard data. Additionally, it is ideal for students with undergraduate degrees in computer engineering, computer science, or a related field. The coursework features studies in forensics, information warfare, information technology policy, and international relations.

Master of Science in Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $5,070/academic year (in state); $12,842/academic year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 42 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: $75

Master of Science in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores (currently optional)
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: 3 letters of recommendation, statement of goals, resume

Applying to Iowa State University

  1. Complete the pre-application on the school's website.
  2. If you are approved, provide additional application documents.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Wait for the school to inform you of its decision.
7

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University is a private research university that was founded in 1876. It has nine academic divisions and more than 400 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Johns Hopkins University has over 28,800 enrolled students.

Master of Science in Information Systems

This program from John Hopkins University is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to advance their careers in IT as it combines hands-on experiences with theoretical and technical knowledge.

The curriculum covers key aspects of information security such as data networks, network security, data science, business intelligence, security policies, managing complex projects, and applied information security architecture. This master’s degree takes about one year for full-time students to complete. Students are required to complete 36 credits to graduate.

Master of Science in Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $79,800/year
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 94%

Master of Science in Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT (optional)
  • Application Fee: $100
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, 2 essays, resume, letter of recommendation

Applying to Johns Hopkins University

  1. Determine the specific requirements for your chosen program.
  2. Fill out an online application on the school’s website.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Provide all the required application materials.
  5. Wait for a decision from the school.
8

Saint Peter’s University

Jersey City, NJ

Saint Peter's University is a private Jesuit university that was founded in 1872 by the Society of Jesus. It offers over 60 graduate and undergraduate programs, five different colleges, and has over 3,000 students.

Master of Science in Cyber Security

This is a 30-credit program that takes about one and a half years to complete. The university also offers a five-year program that features both an undergraduate and master’s degree. Saint Peter’s University delivers this course in person at the Jersey City Campus.

Master of Science in Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $1,177/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 55%

Master of Science in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: No application fee
  • Minimum Education: Baccalaureate degree
  • Other Requirements: Undergraduate transcripts, resume, 2 letters of recommendation, personal statement

Applying to Saint Peter’s University

  1. Look into the requirements for your chosen program.
  2. Fill out an online or in-person application.
  3. Provide all the required documentation.
  4. An interview may be requested.
  5. Await a decision from the school’s admissions team.
9

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ

Stevens Institute of Technology is a private research school that was founded in 1870, making it one of the first technological universities in the country. It has an acceptance rate of 53 percent and offers 35 undergraduate majors, 58 master’s degree programs, and 20 PhD programs.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

You should consider this program if you are a security professional and are looking to gain advanced knowledge in information security. The program was designed in conjunction with the US National Security Agency. In addition, due to the school’s location near Manhattan, you’ll gain exposure to top companies in cyber security.

Key aspects of this program include optional flexible learning through online programs, rigorous and fast-paced education covering the foundations of security and privacy, and a hands-on approach to state-of-the-art cyber security tools. Students have the option of studying part-time or full-time.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $19,038/semester
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: Must be completed within 6 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 88%

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT (not required for part-time students)
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: College transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to Stevens Institute of Technology

  1. Visit the website of your chosen program to confirm the specific application requirements.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Provide the required documentation.
  5. Await a response from the school.
10

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston is a public research university that was founded in 1927. It has over 47,000 students and 36 research centers. University of Houston offers 255 undergraduate programs, 111 master’s degree programs, and 51 doctoral and professional degree programs.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

This cyber security master’s degree covers key aspects of information security to allow students to pursue leadership positions like chief information security officer. Students will acquire technical and leadership skills to assume managerial roles that involve the implementation and maintenance of security solutions.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $641/credit (in state); $1,149/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 62%

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE scores
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree in a technology discipline
  • Other Requirements: 3 letters of recommendation, personal statement

Applying to University of Houston

  1. Look at the requirements for your chosen program and ensure you meet the academic criteria.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Fill out an online application.
  4. Provide the required documentation.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.

Best Online Information Security Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Bellevue University Master’s in Cybersecurity Degree Online Higher Learning Commission
Boston University Metropolitan College Master of Science in Computer Information Systems – Security Concentration New England Commission of Higher Education
Champlain College Online Master’s in Information Security New England Commission of Higher Education
EC Council University Master of Science in Cyber Security Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Georgia Institute of Technology Master of Science in Cybersecurity Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Purdue University Master’s Degree in Information Security Computing Accreditation Commission
SANS Technology Institute Master of Science in Information Security Engineering Middle States Commission on Higher Education
The University of Arizona Master’s in Cybersecurity Higher Learning Commission
University of California, Berkeley Master of Information and Cybersecurity: MICS Western Association of Schools and Colleges
University of Maryland Global Campus Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Technology Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Best Colleges for Information Security: Top Online Information Security Master’s Degree Programs

Most graduate students are working professionals. To accommodate them, universities offer online master’s degree programs so that they can pursue their studies without disruption to their professional lives.

An online graduate program in information security shares the same coursework as in-person degree programs but might take slightly longer to complete. Here are the best online options for master’s degree programs in information security.

1

Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE

Bellevue University is a private university with an emphasis on adult education. It is known for offering high-quality degree programs. According to the school’s official webpage, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have recognized Bellevue University as an academic center for cyber defense education.

Master's in Cybersecurity Degree

The curriculum of this program is designed to build a strong foundation in computer forensics, risk management, ethical hacking, key cryptography, malicious code, and information security management. Upon completion, you will be eligible to pursue cyber security careers such as network architect, incident responder, network security analyst, and security architect.

Master's in Cybersecurity Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $630/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: N/A
  • Learning Format: Online or in person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 23%

Master's in Cybersecurity Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $100
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to Bellevue University

  1. Contact the admissions department for more information about your chosen program.
  2. Fill out the online application.
  3. Provide your official transcripts.
  4. Look into your financial aid options.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.
2

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston University was originally established in 1839 and has two primary campuses. This private research school offers a wide range of educational programs, including over 350 graduate programs.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems - Security Concentration

This online master’s program is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in various IT leadership positions in a wide variety of industries. It takes about 18 to 24 months to complete. During this time, you’ll gain technical skills in business data communications, database design, encryption, network security, IT strategy, management, and security risks.

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems - Security Concentration Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $520/credit (part-time); $30,525/semester (full-time)
  • Required Credits: 40 credits
  • Program Length: 12 - 20 months
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 89%

Master of Science in Computer Information Systems - Security Concentration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, personal statement, resume

Applying to Boston University

  1. Review the application deadlines on the school’s website.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Provide all the required documentation.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.
3

Champlain College

Burlington, VT

Champlain College is a private institution that was founded in 1878. It offers a wide range of online undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees in over 80 subject areas. Champlain College has a total student body of over 4,100.

Master’s in Information Security

This online program from Champlain College requires 30 to 33 credit hours to complete, with students committing to 15 to 20 hours per course each week. The National Center of Academic Excellence recognizes Champlain College as a cyber defense education center.

You’ll learn fundamental aspects of information security such as cyber warfare, malware analysis, network security, intelligence, and automation. Graduates from this program become security engineers, vulnerability assessors, incident responders, assurance consultants, and security consultants.

Master’s in Information Security Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $795/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 - 33 credits
  • Program Length: 1 - 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 66%

Master’s in Information Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: No application fee
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Essay questions, transcripts, resume

Applying to Champlain College

  1. Look into the requirements for your chosen program. You may be accepted for a master’s program without a bachelor’s degree if you have relevant work experience.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Provide the required documentation.
  4. Wait for a response from the school.
4

EC Council University

Albuquerque, NM

EC Council University offers online education in cyber security technologies. The school has several scholarship options to keep its programs accessible. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Cyber Security.

Master of Science in Cyber Security

This online master’s degree program takes about two years to complete. The curriculum covers computer security management, threat assessment, incident response, and organizational management. You’ll need to complete 12 courses to graduate. This equates to 36 credit hours.

Master of Science in Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Tuition: $540/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: N/A

Master of Science in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to EC Council University

  1. Fill out an online application.
  2. Provide proof of your bachelor’s degree.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Wait for a response from the school.
5

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

Georgia Institute of Technology is a technology-focused public institution that was founded in 1885. It has an acceptance rate of 21 percent and over 39,700 enrolled graduate and undergraduate students.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Georgia Institute of Technology offers an online degree program that focuses on the impact of network security risks and privacy concerns. Like the on-campus program, the curriculum for the online version covers energy systems, information security, and public policies.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $310/credit
  • Required Credits: 32 credits
  • Program Length: 2 - 3 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 91%

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Computer Engineering
  • Other Requirements: Knowledge in discrete mathematics, programming and coding experience, transcripts, letters of recommendation

Applying to Georgia Institute of Technology

  1. Review the requirements for your chosen program on the school’s website.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Pay the tuition fee.
  4. Provide the required application materials.
  5. Wait for a response from the school’s admissions team.
6

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University is a public institution named after businessman John Purdue. It was established in 1869 and has a total student body of over 46,600. Students have access to a wide range of doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees .

Master’s Degree in Information Security

Purdue University offers graduate program options that are delivered both online and in person. The Master’s Degree in Information Security covers the foundations of information security, data security, network security, cryptography, security analysts, and software security, as well as social-economic and legal issues.

Master’s Degree in Information Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Computing Accreditation Commission
  • Tuition: $850/credit (in state); $1,000/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 3 semesters
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 83%

Master’s Degree in Information Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, transcripts, 3 professional letters of recommendation, statement of purpose

Applying to Purdue University

  1. Ensure you meet the criteria for your chosen program.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Pay the application fee.
  4. Submit any additional application materials.
  5. Wait for a decision from the school.
7

SANS Technology Institute

North Bethesda, MD

SANS Technology Institute is a private, for-profit school that was founded in 1989. It offers cutting-edge bachelor’s and master’s degree and certificate programs in the cyber security field. SANS Technology Institute has around 560 enrolled students.

Master of Science in Information Security Engineering

This online program takes about three to four years to complete. The 36-credit-hour curriculum covers fundamental aspects of information security such as security essentials, hacker techniques, IT security planning, and leadership. You’ll also work on a capstone project as part of your coursework.

Master of Science in Information Security Engineering Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $49,500/total program cost
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 3 - 5 years
  • Learning Format: Online or in person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: N/A

Master of Science in Information Security Engineering Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.8
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $100
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: 1 year of professional experience in information security or information technology, official transcripts, resume, letter of recommendation, video presentation, short essay

Applying to SANS Technology Institution

  1. Create an account and fill out the online application.
  2. Take the online aptitude assessment.
  3. Send in your official transcripts.
  4. Gather the required application materials.
  5. Send in your application and pay the application fee.
8

The University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

The University of Arizona is a public research university that was established in 1885. The school has a total of around 45,600 enrolled students and 20 colleges, each offering a range of graduate and undergraduate programs.

Master’s in Cybersecurity

The University of Arizona offers a 33-credit program designed for professionals with experience in IT engineering. This program is ideal for professionals looking to gain advanced knowledge to boost their skills and have access to more career opportunities. It has two concentration options.

Master’s in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $13,400/academic year (in state); $33,600/academic year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 33 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 65%

Master’s in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $90
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Knowledge of Python, probability, and statistics, transcripts, resume, statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation

Applying to The University of Arizona

  1. Create an account and fill out an online application.
  2. Choose your program and concentration and provide the required application materials.
  3. Complete the Python and statistics skills assessment.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.
9

University of California-Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

University of California, Berkeley is a well-respected public research university. It was the first campus of the University of California system. Berkeley was established in 1868 and has over 42,300 enrolled students.

Master of Information and Cybersecurity

The University of California, Berkeley offers an online accredited master’s degree program that prepares students for leadership positions in different sectors, including government and military organizations. The curriculum has a holistic approach to cyber security theory. Key topics include cryptography, cyber risk, privacy engineering, operating system security, and secure coding.

Master of Information and Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition: $5,721/semester
  • Required Credits: 27 credits
  • Program Length: 20 months
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 92%

Master of Information and Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT scores (optional)
  • Application Fee: $120
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts, statement of purpose, 2 professional letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to University of California-Berkeley

  1. Review the requirements for your chosen program and ensure you fit the academic criteria.
  2. Fill out an online application.
  3. Submit all the application materials.
  4. Pay the application fee.
  5. Wait for a response from the school.
10

University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland Global Campus is the online campus of the University of Maryland public university system founded in 1947. It offers over 90 certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs aimed at working adults.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Technology

This 36-credit program from the University of Maryland Global Campus develops cyber security and leadership skills. The core coursework features practical lessons on ethical hacking, vulnerability testing, protocol analyzers, project management, network mapping, and encryption tools.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $694/credit
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: Must be completed within 5 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 18%

Master of Science in Cybersecurity Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirements
  • Standardized Tests: No requirements
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Transcripts

Applying to University of Maryland Global Campus

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your official transcripts.
  4. Attend a JumpStart webinar.
  5. Wait for the school to contact you with further instructions.

What Is an Information Security Master’s Degree?

A Master’s Degree in Information Security provides advanced training and exposure in computer-based security. It helps students gain the skills and techniques necessary to protect an enterprise’s database assets from disclosure, modification, duplication, destruction, or inspection.

An information security master’s degree will give you access to plenty of jobs in the cyber security field. After earning your master’s degree, you can pursue a variety of careers such as forensic computer analyst, information security specialist, IT security analyst, or malware analyst.

How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

A Master’s Degree in Information Security is important if you want to progress to higher-level or managerial roles. An information security master’s degree will allow you to gain more specialized learning than an undergraduate degree. It will also help you negotiate a higher salary and is an important step if you want to go on to earn a doctoral degree .

What Types of Master’s Degree Can You Get in Information Security?

You can get the following types of Master’s Degrees for Information Security:

  • Master of Science
  • Master of Engineering

The best type of information security master’s degree is a Master of Science because it tends to be more research-oriented. A Master of Engineering may be the best choice for you if you want a program that prioritizes coursework and technical skills.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Engineering or a Master of Science in Information Security?

It is better to get a Master of Science in Information Security if you are looking for a research-oriented program that can set you up for a doctoral degree. A Master of Science is also a much more common program. A Master of Engineering might be the right choice if you want to focus on coursework and applying new skills.

What Is the Difference Between an Information Security Master’s Degree and an Information Security Certificate?

The difference between an information security master’s degree and a certificate in information security is that a certificate program requires fewer credit hours. Graduate-level certificate programs are often used to help professionals master a new skill or change careers.

It is better to get a Master’s Degree in Information Security if you have the time and resources because it will ensure you gain a wider range of specialized knowledge. A degree will also be more useful in helping you land a high-level job. If you are deciding between an information security certificate vs master’s degree, consider your long-term goals and how long you want to dedicate to studying.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

A Master’s Degree in Information Security costs around $19,792 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. If you choose to attend a public institution, you will pay nearly $12,410 a year, whereas if you opt for a private school your tuition fees will rise up to almost $26,597. You can sometimes lower your information security master’s degree cost by attending an in-state school.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Information Security Master’s Degree?

It takes around two years to get a Master’s Degree in Information Security. Most students need to complete between 30 and 40 credits and you may need to finish a capstone project or a thesis. Your Master’s in Information Security length will depend on how many credits you take every semester.

How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

An information security master’s degree is hard to get because it requires extensive analytical skills and many programs look for students with at least one year of experience in the field. Getting an information security master’s degree is hard, but you may find it worth it if you want to progress in the security field.

Why Should You Get an Information Security Master’s Degree?

You should get an information security master’s degree if you want to learn advanced and specialized technical skills for a role in the cyber security industry. One of the benefits of a Master’s in Information Security is that it will help you negotiate a higher salary. It can also set you up to continue your education with a doctoral degree.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Information Security?

Master’s in Information Security courses cover important concepts including risk analysis, database systems, and computer forensics. Your Master’s Degree in Information Security course list will also include a range of electives. Below are descriptions of some popular courses you might experience in your program.

Risk Analysis

A risk analysis course will cover cyber security design, security architecture, security system implementation, and diagnostic testing. You may use workshops and case studies to develop your practical skills.

Database Systems

Database management is an essential skill for advanced cyber security professionals. This course will go over data modeling, database design, database architecture, and programming languages like SQL.

Computer Forensics

A master’s-level computer forensics course will cover investigative methods and tools. The curriculum will likely cover how to process crime and incident scenes, recover information, and the legal and ethical issues involved.

Cryptography

Cryptography courses in information security study the ways in which information can be hidden. This may include watermarking, steganography, and encryption. You will learn ways to maintain privacy and protect essential data.

Incident Response

An incident response course will cover strategies to deal with data breaches, advanced malware, and targeted attacks. You will also learn how to detect and respond to new trends in computer security.

Continuing Education Paths for Information Security Master’s Degree Graduates

The best continuing education path to take with an information security master’s degree is to get a PhD in Cyber Security. A PhD will be useful if you want to perform research in the field. Alternatively, you can gain industry certifications to further cement your skills and improve your resume.

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What to Look For in the Best Information Security Master’s Degree Programs

The best information security master’s degree programs provide students with advanced technical skills. There are many programs to choose from, so if you are wondering what to look for in a college for a Master’s Degree in Information Security, read through our list of potential criteria below.

Accreditation

It is important that you attend an accredited school for your information security master’s degree. Accreditation will prove to potential employers that you accessed a high-quality education.

Flexibility/Format

Consider what learning format best fits your schedule and educational preferences. You can enroll in a part-time or full-time program and attend classes either in-person or online. Choose a school that offers scheduling options that best fit your needs.

Cost

Gaining a Master’s degree in Information Security can be an expensive endeavor. Make sure you look into all your financing options and consider whether you want to attend a private or public school. In most cases, attending a public school is a more affordable option.

Curricular Content

Carefully read through all the core and elective courses offered by the programs you are considering and make sure they cover all the skills you want to learn. You should also look into concentration options and choose a school that will prepare you for your chosen career.

Barriers to Admission

Some schools that offer information security master’s degrees require applicants to have a certain bachelor’s degree or a few years of work experience. Carefully read through the application requirements and make sure you meet all the criteria.

What Is the Most Affordable Information Security Master’s Degree?

The most affordable Master’s Degree in Information Security on our list is offered by Georgia Institute of Technology, where each credit costs $310. Other affordable information security master’s programs are offered by Iowa State University, Boston University, and Bellevue University.

Salary and Job Outlook for Information Security Master’s Degree Graduates

Man sitting at a desk with an open laptop in front of a window.
Information security master’s degrees prepare students for managerial roles in the industry.

Getting a master’s degree can help you access advanced roles in your industry. Below, we will describe some of the best information security master’s degree jobs. We also provide information on the Master’s in Information Security salary, job outlook, and highest-paying states.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With an Information Security Master’s Degree?

It is not hard to get a job with an information security master’s degree. A master’s degree will provide you with specialized knowledge that can help you stand out from the crowd on the job market. Most roles in the cyber security industry come with a very impressive job outlook.

What’s the Average Information Security Master’s Degree Salary?

The average salary for a Master’s Degree in Information Security is $95,000, according to PayScale. However, the annual salary will vary depending on the specific job, location, and size of the hiring company.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With an Information Security Master’s Degree?

The types of jobs you can get with an information security master’s degree include managerial and other upper-level roles. Some of the highest paying information security jobs for master’s degree holders include chief information security officer and computer network architect.

Information Security Degree Jobs

  • Chief information security officer
  • Computer network architect
  • Penetration and vulnerability tester
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Cyber information assurance analyst

Potential Careers With an Information Security Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

You can make between $68,000 and $168,000 with a Master’s Degree in Information Security. In general, professionals in the information security industry make above-average wages. Your exact salary will depend on your work experience, location, job title, and other factors.

Highest-Paying Information Security Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Information Security Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Chief Information Security Officer $168,687
Computer Network Architect $121,164
Penetration and Vulnerability Tester $88,376
Senior IT Auditor $87,537
Computer and Information Systems Manager $85,621
Cyber Information Assurance Analyst $77,177
Database Administrator $74,348
Information Security Analyst $73,464
Computer Systems Analyst $72,277
Incident Analyst/ Responder $68,868

Best Jobs for Information Security Master’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for a Master’s Degree in Information Security student come with a high salary and impressive benefits. Below we provide detailed information about some of the best jobs for information security master’s degree grads.

1

Chief Information Security Officer

Average Salary: $168,687

The chief information security officer or CISO is a C-level executive who oversees all the activities related to information and data security. These professionals use their skills in cyber risk, security architecture, and security operations to prevent real-time threats, data loss, and data infringement.

A Master’s Degree in Information Security can help you become a CISO as most related graduate program options equip students with leadership and technical skills to prepare them for such leadership positions.

2

Computer Network Architect

Average Salary: $121,164

Network architects plan, design, and build network infrastructure including LANs and WANs. Most companies prefer hiring job seekers with more than five years of professional experience. Earning a master’s degree is an excellent way to increase one’s chances of finding a job in a top company.

3

Penetration and Vulnerability Tester

Average Salary: $88,376

Penetration testers use their skills to look for vulnerabilities or weak points in a given network or system. These professionals are proficient in the best programming languages such as Python, Go, Assembly, Java, and C++.

You can learn the programming languages you need to become a vulnerability tester in a coding bootcamp. However, for managerial positions in big companies, you should consider a Master’s Degree in Information Security or a related discipline.

4

Senior IT Auditor

Average Salary: $87,537

A senior IT auditor works in the IT department as a team leader to ensure compliance with policies and regulations. They also plan and oversee the execution of corporate IT audit projects using their skills and understanding of complex information systems.

5

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Average Salary: $85,621

Computer and information system managers are senior leaders who work in IT departments. Some common examples of information systems managers include chief information officers, chief technology officers, IT directors, and security managers.

Most of their work revolves around planning and directing computer or network-related activities. They also ensure the security of the network, cloud, and related assets.

6

Cyber Information Assurance Analyst

Average Salary: $77,177

A cyber information assurance analyst constantly performs tests on a company’s networks and systems to determine the optimum use of cyber security programs and strategies. Entry-level positions require students to have a working knowledge of programming languages and security programs. A master’s degree will help you land leadership positions and provide room for career advancement opportunities.

7

Database Administrator

Average Salary: $74,348

Database administrators create, organize, or maintain systems used to store data for different uses. To become a database administrator , you normally need a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Information Technology. However, for senior positions, hiring managers prefer candidates with a Master’s in Information Security.

8

Information Security Analyst

Average Salary: $73,464

Information security analysts use their skills to protect organizations from threats that would compromise their networks and data systems. Employers looking for professionals in this position prefer hiring candidates with a Master’s Degree in Information Systems.

9

Computer Systems Analyst

Average Salary: $72,277

Computer system analysts evaluate an organization’s existing computer systems and policies to develop strategies that favor efficient and effective computer operations. A degree in computer science or information technology is ideal for entry-level positions, but a master’s degree with a concentration in cyber security or information systems can help you land senior or executive positions.

10

Incident Analyst/Responder

Average Salary: $68,868

As an incident analyst or responder, your main job is to prevent threats and vulnerabilities from escalating and causing further damage. You also provide reports to security teams, organize training for staff members, and use tools to limit the effects of a security breach.

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Information Security Bootcamp vs Information Security Master’s Degree: Which Is Better?

An information security master’s degree is better than an information security bootcamp if you are hoping to land advanced roles or gain expert knowledge. An information security bootcamp teaches in-demand skills to prepare students for entry-level roles. If you are deciding between an information security degree vs bootcamp, consider your career goals.

Benefits of an Information Security Master’s Degree

  • Preparation for leadership roles. Most Master’s Degrees in Information Security have leadership and management as part of the coursework.
  • Advanced skills training. A Master’s Degree in Information Security features advanced training and courses designed to help professionals take their skills to the next level.
  • Opportunities for career advancement. With a master’s degree in this field, you will have numerous career opportunities as this educational credential is highly valued and respected by hiring managers.
  • A competitive edge in the job market. The job market is highly competitive and earning a master’s degree will significantly increase your chances of landing good jobs with reputable firms.
  • Preparation for certification exams. Most master’s degrees in related disciplines will help you prepare for important industry certifications.

Benefits of an Information Security Bootcamp

  • Preparation for entry-level positions. Bootcamps offer training to help students start their careers in information security or related fields.
  • Short duration. Bootcamps offering training programs in cyber security and information security can be completed in just a few weeks or months.
  • Affordable tuition. A bootcamp program is much cheaper than an academic degree. You should consider a cyber security or information security bootcamp if you are on a budget and are looking to pick up related skills.
  • Valuable career services. The best cyber security bootcamps offer a range of career services that are especially helpful when looking for employment after the successful completion of the program. Such services include resume building, interview preparation, and job placement.

Is a Master’s Degree in Information Security Worth It?

Yes, a Master’s Degree in Information Security is worth it if you are a professional with a bachelor’s degree looking to take your cyber security skills to the next level. There are many on-campus and online accredited programs that will prepare you for leadership positions in the cyber security industry.

As a holder of an information security advanced degree, you’ll have access to high-paying jobs and enjoy great job security. You will also find a Master’s in Information Security worth it if you hope to go on to earn a doctorate degree eventually.

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Information Security Master’s Degree FAQ

What can I do with a Master’s Degree in Information Security?

A Master’s Degree in Information Security will prepare you for leadership positions in the information security or cyber security industry. You can become a cyber operations analyst, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), security compliance manager, IT risk manager, chief privacy officer, and network security manager.

Does a Master of Science in Information Security require coding?

No, not all Master of Science in Information Security programs require coding. However, these programs often require students to have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science , Information Technology, or a related field. The coursework in these programs usually features programming languages, coding, and cryptography.

What does a Master’s in Information Security entail?

A Master’s Degree in Information Security equips students with advanced knowledge in network and systems protection practices. By the end of this program, you will be able to protect systems, computers, and networks from potential threats or attacks. You will also receive training on leadership and management practices.

Do I need a master’s degree to become an information security analyst?

No, most information security analyst positions require job seekers to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Security , Computer Science, Information Technology, or related disciplines. However, most executive or leadership positions will require graduate degrees.

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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David Munyaka

About the author: David, a certified Executive Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is a business researcher, developer, and consultant. His writing has appeared online in various human resource and finance publications. David has over a decade of experience writing about career-related topics, and he also has a background in web development languages like HTML. He holds a Bachelor of Business in Commerce and Finance from Kenyatta University.

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