Best Information Systems Security Colleges in the U.S.

Oct 20, 2021

Learn about information security programs and a few of the top schools that offer them. Find out more about degree levels below, and see what makes these schools stand out.

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Ten Best Information Systems Security Colleges

Information security programs are usually offered at the graduate level, but a few undergraduate academic opportunities are also available. These programs provide intensive training in information technology; they may also cover business and legal topics. In an information security program, students learn how to identify and eliminate the vulnerabilities present in a computer system. The eleven schools profiled here provide exemplary training for this career, and each school was nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2020. These schools may offer degrees like Bachelor of Technology Informatics and Security as well as other related programs.

Johns Hopkins University in MD

Johns Hopkins University offers a Master of Science in Security Informatics program. The program offers two tracks: 1) technology and research and 2) policy and management. A Ph.D. program is also available, with research areas in 1) cryptography and privacy and 2) health and medical security. Students can qualify for the Information Security Institute Fellowship or an Information Security Institute Fellowship for Veterans. The school was ranked #9 among all national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.

Nova Southeastern University in FL

Undergraduates interested in studying information security at Nova Southeastern can major in computer science or computer information systems. At the graduate level, a Master of Science in Information Security program is available online and on campus.

Classes in this program include:

  • Applied cryptography
  • Computer and network forensics
  • Database security
  • Information security governance

Graduate certificates are also available in information security, as well as Ph.D. programs. The school was nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.

DePaul University in Chicago, IL

DePaul University offers a B.S. in Cybersecurity program, which covers topics such as business operations, computer forensics, infrastructure design, and risk assessment. Through hands-on lab training, students gain experience with industry-standard hardware and software. At the graduate level, students can earn an M.S. in Cybersecurity with available concentrations in compliance, computer security, and network infrastructure. This program is available on campus and online. U.S. News & World Report included DePaul on its list of top national universities for 2020.

George Mason University in Fairfax, VA

George Mason University(GMU) offers a variety of bachelor's degree programs in fields related to information systems security. For example, if you attend GMU as an undergraduate, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology or Applied Computer Science. If you're interested in pursuing a graduate education in this field, GMU offers a Master of Science in Information Systems. These programs are available in-person but not online.

On top of the broad array of course options for students, the Center for Secure Information Systems was the first of its kind when established in 1990, so you will be studying at a university that made history in the information systems security field. U.S. News and World Report ranks George Mason University as the #143 overall university in the United States as of 2020.

Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa

Iowa State University makes for an excellent option as it allows students to study information systems security either online or in person. The institution offers undergraduate majors in computer science and management information systems, both of which will prepare you for advanced studies in information systems security. The school also offers a Master of Science in Information Systems program. This graduate degree program is available at the university's campus in Ames, Iowa, or it can be completed online.

The availability of online programming offers strong flexibility for students who are motivated learners and with excellent time management skills. In 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked Iowa State at #118 among national colleges and universities, meaning that you'll get a truly world-class education from one of the best colleges for information security.

Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA

If you're interested in keeping up to date on the latest advancements in information systems security, then you probably read the Information Security Education Journal (ISEJ). Interestingly enough, this journal is published by the Center for Information Security Education at Kennesaw State University. As a student at Kennesaw State, you can interact with the expert professionals responsible for generating this top-notch academic journal.

At Kennesaw State University, you can also earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems. This program will teach you how to apply information systems and security in a business-oriented fashion. The university was ranked among the top #298-#389 colleges and universities in the United States as of 2020.

University at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY

If you're interested in studying information systems security in Buffalo, NY, then you should consider applying to the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. This university offers undergraduate degree programs in information science, as well as master's and Ph.D. programs in computer science and information security. Studying at the University at Buffalo, you will also have access to the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Systems Assurance, Research, and Education (CEISARE@Buffalo), a prestigious institution hosted by the university. As of 2020, the University at Buffalo was ranked #88 among national colleges and universities in the United States.

University of Houston in Houston, TX

Transitioning from the northern part of the United States (Buffalo, NY), we will now consider a school in the southern state of Texas. The University of Houston offers an undergraduate major in computer information systems as well as a Master of Science in Management of Information Systems. On an exciting note, the university also hosts the Center for Information Security Research and Education (CiSRE), which would offer you the opportunity to learn from, and network with, some of the 21st century's cutting-edge scientists working on information systems security. U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Houston #176 among national universities, making it one of the best universities for information security.

University of Maryland in Adelphi, MD

The University of Maryland, which is one of the best overall universities in the United States, ranked #58 nationally by U.S. News and World Report in 2020. It also ranked #10 overall in information systems by U.S. News and World Report in the same year. As a result, this school is one of the top universities in the USA for MS in Information Security programs.

You can attend the University of Maryland at the graduate level and earn a Master of Science in Information Systems, or you can study information systems at the undergraduate level through the Robert H. Smith School of Business. This university also offers a ''plus 1'' program, which allows students to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in just five years.

University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California has consistently been recognized as one of the best schools for technology related fields, including information systems security. Additionally, in 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked this university #24 among all of the universities in the United States. In addition to numerous undergraduate degrees in computer science and related fields, the University of Southern California offers a Master of Science program with a focus on computer security. Professional engineers can also earn a Master of Cyber Security (MCBS) online through this university. Truly, this is one of the best information security college programs that exists.

Top Information Security Schools: At a Glance

The table below represents a summary of the key information about the schools described above. Read on to learn more about the school location and type and undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year.

School Name Location School Type* Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2020-2021)*
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private $54,160
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Private $33,430
DePaul University Chicago, IL 4-year, Private $41,202
George Mason University Fairfax, VA 4-year, Public $13,014 (in-state), $37,410 (out-of-state)
Iowa State University Ames, IA 4-year, Public $9,316 (in-state), $24,504 (out-of-state)
Kennesaw State Kennesaw, GA 4-year, Public $6,436 (in-state), $17,698 (out-of-state)
University at Buffalo (State University of New York) Buffalo, NY 4-year, Public $10,526 (in-state), $28,196 (out-of-state)
University of Houston Houston, TX 4-year, Public $9,457 (in-state), $21,673 (out-of-state)
University of Maryland (Global Campus) Adelphi, MD 4-year, Public $7,560 (in-state), $12,336 (out-of-state)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private $60,275

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I do with a degree in information systems security? Once you've completed your degree in information systems security, you'll be qualified to pursue a range of careers related to computer science and information system databases. For example, you could become a manager for an information security or storage system. You could also work with other computer scientists as a software developer or analyst, or, you could work as a computer systems administrator.


  • How do I choose a college where I can study information systems security? There are a variety of factors to consider when selecting a college, beginning with reflecting upon the programs your chosen school offers and whether they match your interests. Additionally, consider the cost of attendance to determine whether or not you can afford a particular college. Other factors to consider include campus life and the location of the school.


  • What classes will I take in order to earn my degree in information systems security? Depending on the college you choose to attend and the type of degree you pursue, you'll likely need to take about 40 classes to earn a degree in information systems security. Some of these classes will include prerequisite courses like introductory computer science and math. Additionally, you'll need to take field-specific classes like computer networking, database management, and system administration. You may also be able to take elective courses in fields that interest you, such as arts, foreign languages, or humanities.


  • Should I get my degree online or in person? The answer to this question will vary based on your interests and needs. Do you think you would prefer attending classes with other students and pursuing a structured curriculum? If so, you may benefit from in-person learning. Or, would you rather engage with a curriculum with more flexibility that allows you to study from home? If so, an online degree program may be the better option for you.

Students who want to learn how to protect computer systems against cybercrime can find relevant educational opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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