Best Schools to Learn Network Security

Find out what you should look for when selecting a school with a strong program in network security. Read about three schools with nationally ranked computer science programs, and review the network security degree programs each school offers. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Select a Top Network Security Program

If you're looking for a top network security school, check out those offering special study abroad and internship opportunities. Some of the best schools also host interdisciplinary cybersecurity research centers. Look for those that allow you to participate in research projects with your faculty and peers. Some programs even offer online study. The following schools have been designated National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency (

What Are Three of the Best Schools for Network Security?

Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta

In 2019, the school's graduate computer science program tied for eighth best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Of the eight concentrations, or threads, within the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program, the theory, platform and information internetworks threads include coursework in network security. The information internetworks thread contains the most instruction in this area, with courses in systems, network and information security. You could also complete a paid internship overseas or present research in an annual undergraduate symposium.

If you're a student in the information security master's degree program, you can learn about cryptography, network security and security strategies. You could also participate in a cooperative internship experience as well. A doctoral degree program is also available with an information security emphasis. All students can participate in research projects, seminars and hacking competitions through Georgia Tech's Information Security Center (GTISC). These degrees are available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Information Security
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

In 2019, Purdue's graduate computer science program tied for 20th in U.S. News & World Report rankings. Undergraduate opportunities for information technology and computer science majors include study abroad in Asia or Europe. As a graduate student pursuing an information security specialization, you can take advantage of Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). This interdisciplinary center's faculty members come from over 20 departments and conduct research in areas such as risk management, cryptology and rights management. CERIAS also offers a Security Teaching Lab. You could earn the following degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Information Security
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Information Security

University of Maryland at College Park

UM tied for 16th among U.S. News & World Report's 2019 rankings of graduate computer science programs. You can enhance your undergraduate computer engineering or computer science major by completing a concentration in cybersecurity. You could also conduct cybersecurity research as part of a 6-person team through the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. You can augment your education by participating in cybersecuirty seminars, guest lectures and research projects offered through the Maryland Cybersecurity Center.

If you're an electrical and computer engineering master's degree candidate, Lockheed Martin sponsors a paid assistantship program that allows you to conduct information assurance research. Additionally, UM's University College began offering online cybersecurity bachelor's and master's degree programs in 2010. The following degrees are available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering

10 More Top Schools for Computer Science

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition (2018-2019)*
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4-year, Private Cambridge, MA$55,000
Stanford University 4-year, Private Stanford, CA$51,000
Harvard University 4-year, Private Cambridge, MA$47,000
University of California - Berkeley 4-year, Public Berkeley, CA$14,000
University of Texas - Austin 4-year, Public Austin, TX$12,000
Princeton University 4-year, Private Princeton, NJ$51,000
University of California - San Diego 4-year, Public La Jolla, CA$13,500
University of California - Los Angeles 4-year, Public Los Angeles, CA$13,000
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, Private Pittsburgh, PA$45,000
University of Southern California 4-year, Private Los Angeles, CA$45,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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