Internet Security Degree Programs

Written by Laurie VanderWal
Laurie VanderWal, Specialized writer in insurance industry highlighting identity theft, data breach, cyber compliance, data security, data mining, cyber insurance and the regulatory environment.
Last reviewed January 23, 2023
School Program Admissions
Utica University Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
Specializations: Network Forensics and Incident Response, Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation, and Cyber Operations.
Maryville University Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
The online BS in Cybersecurity from Maryville University will teach you how to protect digital assets and information systems in various industries, from finance to healthcare. No SAT or ACT scores required.
Maryville University Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Earn your MS in Cybersecurity online from Maryville University in as few as 12 months.
University of California, Berkeley Master’s in Cybersecurity
Complete your degree in 20 months. Join the global UC Berkeley alumni network of technology, data science, privacy, and policy professionals.
University of West Florida Online Master's in Cybersecurity
Four concentrations — Data Security, National Security, Security Management or Software and System Security. UWF serves as the NSA Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE-C) Regional Hub for the Southeast.
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Click to see sponsored 100% online cybersecurity programs currently taking applicants for 2024.

Find the best internet security degree for you

There are three basic degree types for internet security, typically a cybersecurity degree with an internet security track or specialization: Associate of Cyber Security, Bachelor of Cyber Security and Master of Cyber Security. There are a few Doctor of Science in Cyber Security degrees available as well, though these are not yet nearly as prevalent as the other three degree types.

The internet is a powerful tool, and Internet security must powerful to offset a criminal element. The impact of cybercrime is felt by US citizens and business every day. According to the FBI's 2020 Internet Crime Report, our losses exceeded a staggering $4.2 billion.

As the popularity of the internet continues to expand, so does the need for internet and cybersecurity as a means of keeping professional and personal data safe and secure. In order to start a career dealing with any aspect of cybersecurity, an internet security degree must first be earned. The following will provide an in-depth look at what the internet security degree entails, as well as the possible careers for graduates with a cybersecurity degree.

Are there online internet security degree programs?

Somewhat - there are general online cyber security degrees. Degree programs range from an associate degree up to a master's or doctorate in cybersecurity. The current environment for college or university cybersecurity degrees continues to evolve. The opportunity for specializing in a specific component of cybersecurity like internet and network security is attainable.

Considering an internet security track for your cybersecurity degree

There are dozens of degree specialties, concentrations, designations and certifications to earn an accredited associate, bachelor or master's degree in the industry. The job market offers many different options. For, example, a network analyst may protect the company from fraudulent internet traffic. In contrast, a student interested in what happens after a data breach might choose a career in forensic analysis.

Differences between hybrid and online programs

Most higher education institutions offer classroom, online and hybrid program degrees. The education industry focus is shifting to an online experience. This makes it affordable for more people and expands the search for a degree. Colleges beyond the students' local community or state education institutions are within reach. Students enrolling in a cybersecurity degree program should review hardware and software program requirements.

Both hardware and software programs change rapidly as does the protocol for cybersecurity. The second component for enrollment online degrees is a strong Internet connection. Students without computer technology experience may want to consider testing their aptitude in this field before enrollment. Education institutions offer associate degree programs that allow a student to move into a bachelor's degree if they find this is the right academic path.

Top 5 universities with online internet security related programs, updated for 2023

Penn State University - multiple degrees

Penn State University is a top university with many cyber degree programs and concentrations. Prospective students will find a full course portfolio on cyber content at this university. This webpage offers highlights on the associate degree as reviewed by our cybersecurity experts. Online attendance options are available. All three-degree levels are available from Penn State. Students are not required to take their entire academic path at the university. A discussion with student services for credit transfer information is encouraged for professionals considering a change. Students can experience a cohesive long-term academic experience. A full commitment to all three-degree programs offers years of building relationships and networking. The long-term goal is a well-rounded cybersecurity education and a positive job outlook.

Students interested in a career at the Department of Homeland Security can enhance a resume mastering expertise and skills learned in the cybersecurity graduate program.

Associate Degree

Associate degree programs consist of 60 credit hours. The cost per credit hour is between $620 and $664. The degree is offered by the college of information sciences and technology. The associate degree is designed for professionals with little or no background in this field. Students develop a general knowledge of information systems in coursework. Students can choose from five industry options. A specialized focus prepares students for entry-level positions in the field of choice right away.

Concentration Focus

The associate degree program is an introductory way for students to explore a career path in cybersecurity. Previous experience is not required. Information security degree programs have general course requirements including Math. Students should consider their academic coursework goals and prior aptitude for mathematics. The integration of mathematics and cybersecurity is common for problem-solving.

Sample Courses

Utica University Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Specialization in Network Forensics and Incident Response

Utica University has both bachelor's and master's degree programs. The university has a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. Students choose a specialization in cyber operations, cyber-crime and fraud investigation or network forensics and incident response. The programs are available online and in an accelerated format. Utica University has a platform program called the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection. A research collaborative on a national scale. The agenda is identity management, information sharing and data protection.

Utica University has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). A Center for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence. A unique partnership with CipherTrace, a recognized cryptocurrency intelligence company, offers a certification that designates students as a CipherTrace Certified Examiner. Training is top-notch and used by regulators and law enforcement around the globe. Certified professionals will complete an active investigation at CipherTrace gaining real-world experience in the process. The university curriculum includes a program called RangeForce which is a cloud-based training platform. Students participate in real-world problem-solving. Data breaches, hacking simulations and security issues are simulated.

Curriculum Overview

A total of 120 credits are needed for graduation. Students have flexible transfer options which include 60-98 credits from 2 or 4-year institutions. A minimum of 30 hours must be completed at the university. The cost is $475 per credit hour. Transfer students reach out for specific details.

Multiple degree concentrations

The Network Forensics and Incident Response specialization bring science and forensics together in one platform. Forensics and digital investigation are critical to stopping cybercrime. Students learn about the collection of digital evidence and the process of preparing data for a legal case highlight the course specialty.

Sample Courses

The University of Maine

Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity-Information Assurance

It is the third largest public university in Maine. Voted Best Online Bachelor Programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2021. Residents of Maine have "zero tuition" options for the first year. A diverse university offering several cybersecurity degree options. The mission and goals of the cyber degree programs are based on recommendations from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity program-jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The university holds a CAE in Cyber Defense Education. Students will gain a Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity with focus options. Three specific areas are taught. Cyber forensics, Information Assurance and Network Security.

Curriculum Overview

Cost per tuition hour is $388 for resident and $1,108 for non-resident. The university has a tuition-free program for Maine residents. If eligible first-time freshman or transfer students may get all or part of their tuition paid. Students learn the tools to design information systems and networks. Identifying malicious malware attacks, recognizing errors in log analysis and implementing security migrations to thwart cyber attacks.

Sample Course Titles

Knowledge gained with A BS in Information Assurance gives students the knowledge to solve cybersecurity industry challenges and stay ahead of the complex and ever-changing cyber environment. The ethical dilemmas faced by IT and using sound judgment to resolve are critical in this environment. The financial incentive to commit cybercrime is significant. Coursework in ethics is a staple in all cyber-related degrees.

Bellevue University

Students will find both a bachelor's and master's available in information technology at Bellevue University. Learning information technology requires mastering the essentials of network systems. Both classroom, online, and an accelerated cohort-based option are available. Check eligibility requirements for the cohort option. The university offers a base of foundational knowledge and real-world experience. An IT project requirement highlights the last semester. The project may be designed as a research study to master IT concepts or an internship to improve communication skills and gain leadership skills.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Bellevue University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, (CAE-CDE).

The university offers the latest innovative technology to the ongoing threat of cybercrime. Industry leaders with experience at the DOD, USAF and NASA partner in teaching cybersecurity problem-solving skills.

Curriculum Overview

Students must have completed an accredited bachelor's degree program prior to admission to the master's degree. A GPS of 2.5 or better is required based on the last 60 credits of coursework. With the online option, students have the flexibility to complete courses day or night.

A total of 36credits are required to complete the master's program. The cost per credit hour is $630; the military receive a preferred cost per credit. There are additional fees like lab or proctoring costs. The cohort option allows students to register for classes once at enrollment. No need to create a new schedule each term.

Students acquire knowledge in fundamental principles surrounding maintenance and cybersecurity of cloud environments, networks, and servers. Admission to the university is relatively simple. Start with an admissions application showing you have finished high school, home school, or have a GED. Students transferring from another institution will need to provide transcripts for review and approval. Review the admissions process in detail with the university staff.

Sample Courses

Students must choose a minimum of 3 elective courses to complete the master's. Information warfare, cloud computing and white-collar crime are sample elective titles.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

Voted Most Innovative in the Best Colleges report by U.S. News & World Report in 2022-2023. We live in a data-driven world. Security professionals are essential in today's complex cyber environment. SNHU's cyber security programs are aligned with recognized standards. The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) recognized Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and Cyber Security Education Consortium (CSEC). Both and bachelor's and master's are offered. The scope of the bachelor's program focuses on two approaches to cybersecurity. Systems thinking and Adversarial thinking. Students learn to make informed decisions on computing practices based on legal and ethical decision-making. Two concentration choices within the degree are Data Analytic or Project Management Fundamentals.

Curriculum Overview

The credit per hour is $320. 120 total credits. Transfer up to 90 credits. Participate in National Cyber League competitions.
Students will engage in real-world cyber intrusion simulations preparing them for workforce positions. Students are not required to update hardware or software for the SNHU virtual platform experience. However, enrollees should check the requirements for hardware and software in the cybersecurity degree program. It can be found on SNHU webpage. The university provides virtual accessibility for all coursework. Developing a "Security Mindset" is an objective of the degree. Students will learn to build secure information systems, protect digital assets and manage all aspects of cyber risk by graduation.
One approach recognized by SNHU is Systems Thinking. The philosophy is a holistic view of complex systems. Students learn to influence, interact with and relate all types of data to produce deliverables. The second approach is Adversarial Thinking. Learn to think like a criminal and understand hackers' mentality. Develop to counter the attacks of entities like organized crime and hacktivists.

Sample Courses


School Program Admissions
Arizona State University Online Master of Computer Science - Cybersecurity Website
Utica University Online MS in Cybersecurity Website
Fairleigh Dickinson University Master of Science in Cyber and Homeland Security Website
Stevens Institute of Technology Master of Science in Computer Science Website
Utica University BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations Website
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Which degree should I look for and choose?

Each network security degree will focus on a number of core areas of study, such as cyber crime investigation and forensics, discrete mathematics, C++ programming and threat of terrorism and crime, among many more. Students will also learn about networks and network security. When it comes to cyber and internet security, potential employers will think much better of a resume that has received either a Bachelor or Master in Cyber Security. An Associate’s degree is applicable in situations wherein you have already spent a number of years working in a professional environment and are looking to have a career change, as well as simply building towards a Bachelor’s degree. A Doctor in Internet Security will allow students that graduate with this degree to focus on more managerial positions. Like most other degree types, Associate degrees for internet security require around 60-68 credits or two years of coursework. A Bachelor’s degree adds another two years, while a Master’s will add two additional years to that.

Bachelor’s in Internet Security Degrees

Students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree for cybersecurity will take classes and be presented with a curriculum that centers around such topics as risk management, wireless technology, system administration and computer networks.

There are times when degrees will be focused on two different, though related, areas of interest. For instance, a degree at a business school could be described as Business Administration with a concentration in International Business. When it comes to degrees for internet or cybersecurity, the cybersecurity aspect of the degree is commonly referred to as the concentration for a major in Computer Science or Information Technology, though there are times when it is the other way around. This is standard in many universities and colleges with technology degrees. Though your degree might be in cybersecurity, the concentration basically refers to a second set of core classes revolving around either computer science or information technology.

Master’s in Internet Security Degrees

A Masters degree with a concentration in cybersecurity will include courses devoted to security procedures and situations, database security, how to properly conduct digital investigations and forensics, cryptography and analyzing behaviors of hackers. Intrusion detection will also be covered in practically all cybersecurity degrees, as will basic information about VPN’s and firewalls.

Top 10 Network Security courses found at programs in the US

Change is the only constant in cybersecurity, creating a complicated decision tree for IT. It keeps educators on their toes updating course material. Curricula with a cybersecurity focus carry similar course titles and content descriptions across degrees. Internet security is a broadly used phrase in the industry. Cybersecurity courses focus on external and internal protection of all types of data. Students find introductory classes cover a broad spectrum of learning objectives. The course curriculum is updated frequently. Students study coursework designed and in use for security by industry experts. Companies like Microsoft and CISCO provide technical knowledge gained from real-world experience. In turn, that knowledge is passed to educators and students. Educational institution course titles and descriptions give students insight into the program details. Discussion on course content with a professor is a secondary option.

Cyber Defense Studio

Basic cybersecurity course teachers cyber defense industry standards. Learn the techniques in penetration testing, network intrusion detection tools, and firewall configuration. All IT tools for basic internet security defense.

Threat of Terrorism and Crime

The threat of Internet terrorism is a serious consideration for all IT professionals. An overview of historical data offers a broad perspective on the future outlook in cybersecurity warfare. Understanding past internet vulnerabilities create a new perspective on the future of terrorism and the pre-emptive structure IT professionals will build in the future to thwart cybercrime and cyber terrorism.

The Principles of Cybersecurity

Foundational courses provide students with industry principles on cybersecurity. General industry standards are taught on technical strategy associated with cybersecurity data protection. Coursework will include basic security assessments including technical, physical and administrative security features. Students learn to respond with industry mitigation plans when faced with internal, external, or even third-party security failure.

Internet Security

The complexities of cyber security today create the need for multiple levels of coursework in internet and network security. The threat environment is always changing and criminals are looking to exploit vulnerabilities. A foundational class highlighting internet safety protocol and leading network security infrastructure industry standards. Security networks like Local Area Network (LAN), Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) are explored.

Network security protocols and Risk Management

IT professionals are tasked with setting protocols and presenting to leadership all preventative measures deployed against cyber-attacks. Assessing risk and understanding the organization’s vulnerabilities are key components of the course material. IT departments build protocols according to industry standards. The industry standards set in the past, offer insight into our growing vulnerabilities today and the same will be true 10 years from now.

Introduction to Compilers

Program languages, both high-end and machine languages are learned. This translater technique is used to assist programs in fixing errors. A forensic analyst may solve a data breach with expertise in program language. The purpose of a compiler is to change code in one language without changing the meaning of the program. Students are introduced to basic industry language and concepts.

Programming for the Web

Learning to create web-based content, security structures to protect traffic and the architecture of applications are a part of programming and the internet. Internet security is discussed in a variety of industries and security levels.

Applied Cryptography

This course teaches secure communication techniques. Keys in cryptography like secret key or public key are mastered. File hashing, digital signatures, and encryption techniques are covered in this course. The application between public and private entities is defined along with the best practices for implementation.

White Collar Crime

Real-world criminals don’t always fit the perception of the public. White-collar cybercrime is commonplace. This course teaches techniques to support fraud prevention.

The course teaches how to recognize anti-money laundering crimes. Students unravel breach scenarios and demonstrate detection methods and response techniques learned in the classroom.

Data Policy & Decision Making

The ability to protect critical information is of the utmost importance to the government, the legal system, and the regulatory environment at all levels. Data governance is a trending topic. Students explore content and learn how data analysts confront privacy and security in compliance policy and procedure digital platforms.

Computer Science and IT Related Coursework

If the major you’re enrolled in is internet security with a concentration in computer science or information technology, your primary courses will revolve around internet security, while a number of your other core courses will focus on the subject of the concentration. The primary differences between information technology and computer science is that computer science focuses on the study of computers, which includes everything from their basic design to their many different uses, while information technology commonly involves the usage and maintenance of these computers. It’s a small difference, but one that drastically changes the type of classes you take.

Internet Security Careers

In addition to crime, the inadvertent or accidental loss of confidential information are components included in FBI loss statistics. The counterattack by education is robust cybersecurity education degrees. Universities, colleges and technical schools offer a portfolio of internet security tools. Protecting the internet and all the information flowing throughout it continues to be a common goal of the Information Technology (IT) community. Internet security was strengthened to protect against threats perpetrated on companies in the 1990’s. Historically, internet security described the actions, policies and procedures Information Technology (IT) professionals took against the threat of internet crime. Protecting the internet itself was the main objection. The IT industry thought, if we could protect the internet, we could keep consumer and business confidential information safe.

The world wide web grew and the opportunity for financial crimes piqued the interest of organized crime, experienced hackers and criminals. The increased online crime forced Information Technology (IT) and the education industry to broaden the scope of security. What we called internet security, is now one component of cybersecurity. The long-term goal of securing information is a global challenge.

Education opportunities in the cybersecurity field are plentiful. The bigger question today–What is the student looking to do as a job in the workforce? There are many facets of internet security and cybersecurity. The job market for Information Security Analysts is expected to grow 35% over the next ten years. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics, notes, a 6-figure income is attainable in the field of cybersecurity. The minimum education level to achieve that financial goal is a bachelor’s degree. Students looking for a career in internet security focus the academic path on a 4-year degree.

Students that graduate with a degree in cyber or internet security have a wide range of possible careers to choose from, all depending on the type of degree that is chosen. Students with an Associate’s degree can become a security technician, security specialist or security administrator. Students that decide to further their education and earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in cybersecurity will be able to seek a career as a security analyst, network engineer or information security manager.