Bachelor of Science

Online Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Degree

Prepare to Fight Cybercrime with a Cybersecurity Bachelor's Degree

Hackers and cybercriminals launch new, sophisticated computer viruses, malware, and scams every day that threaten the data our society relies on. XTU’s online degree in cybersecurity will help you be prepared to outsmart cybercriminals and be the front line of support for governments and top organizations.  This computer systems degree program provides a solid background in IT security principles such as:

  • Secure Systems Analysis & Design
  • Data Management
  • Web and Cloud Security
  • Hacking Countermeasures and Techniques
  • Digital Forensics and Incident Response

XTU’s online B.S. Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree program was designed with input from cybersecurity experts and leading IT employers to meet the most recent Department of cyber security.

Cybersecurity Courses

The bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity and information assurance was designed and is routinely updated, with input from the cybersecurity specialists on our Information Technology Program Council, ensuring you learn best practices in systems and services, networking and security, scripting and programming, data management, and the business of IT security. Your online cyber security degree is sure to boost your résumé and prepare you for an exciting future.

Earning this degree in cyber security, designed by industry experts, adds theoretical depth to the practical IT knowledge you already have. Our Information Technology Program is industry experts who know exactly what it takes for a tech graduate with an online degree in cyber security to be successful in their field.

This program consists of the following courses. Some may be waived through transfer from your previous college experience. The rest you typically will complete one at a time as you make your way through your degree program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you’ll pass the assessment, complete the course, and move on. This means you can finish as many courses as you’re able in a term at no additional cost.

Secure Systems Analysis & Design

This course lays the foundation for understanding terminology, principles, processes, and best practices of information security at local and global levels. It further provides an overview of basic security vulnerabilities and countermeasures for protecting information assets through planning and administrative controls within an organization. This course has no prerequisites.

This course lays the foundation for understanding terminology, principles, processes, and best practices of information security at local and global levels. It further provides an overview of basic security vulnerabilities and countermeasures for protecting information assets through planning and administrative controls within an organization. This course has no prerequisites.

Network and Security

Network and Security – Foundations introduces learners to the basic network systems and concepts related to networking technologies. Learners will gain skills in applying network security concepts for business continuity, data access, and confidentiality, and in identifying solutions for compliance with security guidance.

Network and Security – Applications prepares learners for the CompTIA Security+ certification exam. The course introduces learners to skills in identifying threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities to organizational security. The learner will also gain skills in designing security solutions for enterprise infrastructures and architectures, as well as in implementing security solutions across hardware, applications, and network services. Learners will be able to execute operations and incident response with tools, policies, forensics, and mitigation techniques, and to analyze information security controls, governance, risk, and compliance.

IT Fundamentals

Introduction to IT examines information technology as a discipline and the various roles and functions of the IT department as business support. Students are presented with various IT disciplines including systems and services, network and security, scripting and programming, data management, and business of IT, with a survey of technologies in every area and how they relate to each other and to the business.

IT Foundations provides learners with an understanding of personal computer components and their functions in a desktop system; a knowledge of computer data storage and retrieval; and skills in classifying, installing, configuring, optimizing, upgrading, and troubleshooting printers, laptops, portable devices, operating systems, networks, and system security. This course also gives learners the ability to recommend appropriate tools, diagnostic procedures, preventative maintenance, and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components in a desktop system; strategies for identifying, preventing, and reporting safety hazards and environmental or human accidents in technological environments; and effective communication skills for interacting with colleagues and clients, including job-related professional behavior. The course prepares learners for the CompTIA A+ Core 1 certification exam.

IT Applications introduces skills in identifying operating systems and their configurations and in implementing security principles across devices and networks. Learners will also gain skills in troubleshooting software, security, and malware issues, and in implementing basic operational procedures in documentation, change management, compliance, and communication. The course will introduce basic disaster recovery and business continuity procedures, scripting basics, and remote access technology solutions. The course prepares learners for the CompTIA A+ Core 2 certification exam.

Data Management

Data Management Foundations offers an introduction in creating conceptual, logical and physical data models.  Students gain skills in creating databases and tables in SQL-enabled database management systems, as well as skills in normalizing databases. No prerequisites are required for this course

Data Management – Applications covers conceptual data modeling and introduces MySQL. Students will learn how to create simple to complex SELECT queries, including subqueries and joins, and how to use SQL to update and delete data. Topics covered in this course include exposure to MySQL; creating and modifying databases, tables, views, foreign keys and primary keys (FKs and PKs), and indexes; populating tables; and developing simple Select-From-Where (SFW) queries to complex 3+ table join queries. The following course is a prerequisite: Data Management – Foundations.

Risk Management

This course expands on fundamentals of information security by providing an in-depth analysis of the relationship between an information security program and broader business goals and objectives. Students develop knowledge and experience in the development and management of an information security program essential to ongoing education, career progression, and value delivery to enterprises. Students apply best practices to develop an information security governance framework, analyze mitigation in the context of compliance requirements, align security programs with security strategies and best practices, and recommend procedures for managing security strategies that minimize risk to an organization.

Web and Cloud Security

Managing Cloud Security prepares learners to safeguard cloud data with identity and access management and to implement secure solutions in cloud service models. Learners will be introduced to skills in identifying security policies and procedures for cloud applications and in implementing operational capabilities, procedures, and training in relation to organizational needs. Learners will also gain skills in conducting risk analysis and risk management in alignment with disaster recovery and business continuity plans and in identifying legal, compliance, and ethical concerns.

Ethics & Cyber Law

Security information professionals have the role and responsibility for knowing and applying ethical and legal principles and processes that define specific needs and demands to assure data integrity within an organization. This course addresses the laws, regulations, authorities, and directives that inform the development of operational policies, best practices, and training to assure legal compliance and to minimize internal and external threats. Students analyze legal constraints and liability concerns that threaten information security within an organization and develop disaster recovery plans to assure business continuity.


Networks introduces skills in configuring networking components and a network infrastructure. Learners will gain skills in optimizing network operations for availability, performance, and security, and in troubleshooting network issues. The course prepares learners for the CompTIA Network+ certification exam. Network and Security – Foundations is a prerequisite for this course.

Wireless & Mobile Technologies

The continual evolution of technology means that cybersecurity professionals must be able to analyze and evaluate new technologies in information security such as wireless, mobile, and internet technologies. Students review the adoption process that prepares an organization for the risks and challenges of implementing new technologies. This course focuses on comparison of evolving technologies to address the security requirements of an organization. Students learn underlying principles critical to the operation of secure networks and adoption of new technologies.

Digital Forensics and Incident Response

Digital Forensics in Cyber Security examines the relationships between incident categories, evidence handling, and incident management. This course teaches students to identify consequences associated with cyber threats and security laws using a variety of tools to recognize and recover from unauthorized, malicious activities and how to seek evidence that reveals who, what, when, where, and how threats compromise information.

Business of IT

Business of IT – Applications examines Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) terminology, structure, policies, and concepts. Focusing on the management of information technology (IT) infrastructure, development, and operations, learners will explore the core principles of ITIL practices for service management to prepare them for careers as IT professionals, business managers, and business process owners. This course has no prerequisites.

In this course, students will build on industry standard concepts, techniques, and processes to develop a comprehensive foundation for project management activities. During a project’s life cycle, students will develop the critical skills necessary to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, and close a project. Students will apply best practices in areas such as scope management, resource allocation, project planning, project scheduling, quality control, risk management, performance measurement, and project reporting. This course prepares students for the following certification exam: CompTIA Project+.

Operating Systems

Linux Foundations prepares learners for the LPI Linux Essentials certification, and is an introduction to Linux as an operating system as well as an introduction to open-source concepts and the basics of the Linux command line. Learners will gain skills in identifying the fundamentals of open-source software and to develop resources for data access and security.

Information Assurance

Introduction to Cryptography introduces skills in applying cryptography principles in alignment with organizational and information security guidelines. Students will determine requirements and techniques for cryptanalysis. This course builds skills in implementing encryption methods with symmetric and asymmetric algorithms.

Scripting and Programming

Scripting and Programming – Foundations introduces programming basics such as variables, data types, flow control, and design concepts. The course is language-agnostic in nature, ending in a survey of languages, and introduces the distinction between interpreted and compiled languages. Learners will gain skills in identifying scripts for computer program requirements and in using fundamental programming elements as part of common computer programming tasks. Learners will also gain an understanding of the logic and outcome of simple algorithms.

Introduction to Programming in Python introduces skills in creating Python scripts with basic programming concepts. Learners will be able to create control flow with functions and loops, and to implement code with packages, modules, and libraries.

Hacking Countermeasures and Techniques

Traditional defenses—such as firewalls, security protocols, and encryption—sometimes fail to stop attackers determined to access and compromise data. This course provides the fundamental skills to handle and respond to computer security incidents in an information system. The course addresses various underlying principles and techniques for detecting and responding to current and emerging computer security threats. Students learn how to leverage intelligence and threat detection techniques; analyze and interpret data; identify and address vulnerabilities; suggest preventative measures; effectively respond to and recover from incidents; and handle various types of incidents, risk assessment methodologies, and various laws and policies related to incident handling. This course prepares students for the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) certification exam. The following courses are prerequisites: Networks and Network and Security – Applications.

General Education

Welcome to Composition: Successful Self-Expression! In this course, you will focus on four main topics: professional writing for a cross-cultural audience, narrowing research topics and questions, researching for content to support a topic, and referencing research sources. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the seven competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content. You will demonstrate competency through a performance assessment. There is no prerequisite for this course and there is no specific technical knowledge needed.

Health, Fitness, and Wellness focuses on the importance and foundations of good health and physical fitness—particularly for children and adolescents—addressing health, nutrition, fitness, and substance use and abuse.

American Politics and the U.S. Constitution examines the evolution of representative government in the United States and the changing interpretations of the civil rights and civil liberties protected by the Constitution. This course will give candidates an understanding of the powers of the branches of the federal government, the continual tensions inherent in a federal system, the shifting relationship between state and federal governments, and the interactions between elected officials and the ever-changing electorate. This course will focus on such topics as the role of a free press in a democracy, the impact of changing demographics on American politics, and the debates over and expansion of civil rights. Upon completion of the course, candidates should be able to explain the basic functions of the federal government, describe the forces that shape American policy and politics, and be better prepared to participate in America’s civic institutions. This course has no prerequisite.

Ethics in Technology examines the ethical considerations of technology use in the 21st century and introduces students to a decision-making process informed by ethical frameworks. Students will study specific cases related to important topics such as surveillance, social media, hacking, data manipulation, plagiarism and piracy, artificial intelligence, responsible innovation, and the digital divide. This course has no prerequisites.

Applied Probability and Statistics is designed to help students develop competence in the fundamental concepts of basic statistics including: introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and probability. Statistical data and probability are often used in everyday life, science, business, information technology, and educational settings to make informed decisions about the validity of studies and the effect of data on decisions. This course discusses what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, the content covers simple probability calculations, based on events that occur in the business and IT industries. No prerequisites are required for this course.

Introduction to Systems Thinking provides learners with the skills required to engage in a holistic systems-based approach to analyzing complex problems and solutions. This course introduces the foundational concepts and principles of systems thinking and provides opportunities to use a systems thinking approach to analyze and evaluate real-world case studies. The course will culminate with using systems thinking to develop a solution to an authentic complex problem. This course has no prerequisites, but general education math (C955 or C957) is preferred. Because the course is self-paced, learners may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as needed, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the five competencies covered in the final assessment. If learners have no prior knowledge of this material, they can expect to spend 30 to 40 hours on the course content.

Applied Algebra is designed to help you develop competence in working with functions, the algebra of functions, and using some applied properties of functions. You will start learning about how we can apply different kinds of functions to relevant, real-life examples. From there, the algebra of several families of functions will be explored, including linear, polynomial, exponential, and logistic functions. You will also learn about relevant, applicable mathematical properties of each family of functions, including rate of change, concavity, maximizing/minimizing, and asymptotes. These properties will be used to solve problems related to your major and make sense of everyday living problems. Students should complete Applied Probability and Statistics or its equivalent prior to engaging in Applied Algebra.

This course provides students an introduction to using the scientific method and engaging in scientific research to reach conclusions about the natural world. Students will design and carry out an experiment to investigate a hypothesis by gathering quantitative data. They will also research a specific ecosystem using academic sources and draw conclusions from their findings.

Welcome to Introduction to Communication: Connecting with Others! It may seem like common knowledge that communication skills are important, and that communicating with others is inescapable in our everyday lives. While this may appear simplistic, the study of communication is actually complex, dynamic, and multifaceted. Strong communication skills are invaluable to strengthening a multitude of aspects of life. Specifically, this course will focus on communication in the professional setting, and present material from multiple vantage points, including communicating with others in a variety of contexts, across situations, and with diverse populations. Upon completion, you will have a deeper understanding of both your own and others’ communication behaviors, and a toolbox of effective behaviors to enhance your experience in the workplace.

In this course you will learn key critical thinking concepts and how to apply them in the analysis and evaluation of reasons and evidence. The course examines the basic components of an argument, the credibility of evidence sources, the impact of bias, and how to construct an argument that provides good support for a claim. The course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the four competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.


The capstone project consists of a technical work proposal, the proposal’s implementation, and a post-implementation report that describes the graduate’s experience in developing and implementing the capstone project. The capstone project should be presented and approved by the course instructor in relation to the graduate’s technical emphasis.

Career Outlook

An IT Degree that Leads to an In-Demand Career

So much of modern life takes place online: social interactions, work, banking, shopping, and more which only increases the demand for experts who can protect sensitive information from cyberattacks. The knowledge, techniques, and certifications you’ll earn as you complete your cybersecurity and information assurance degree will prepare you to successfully fill the ever-growing demand for information security specialists.

Every industry and private citizen is counting on our cybersecurity and information assurance experts to detect system vulnerabilities and protect sensitive data. An online degree in cybersecurity from WGU allows you to become a key member of any security team, protecting reputable organizations and government agencies from attackers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Cybersecurity Degree Programs

XTU is one of the highest rated schools for cybersecurity, receiving top accreditation and awards for the program. This degree program also gives you the opportunity to earn top industry certifications as part of the degree program at no extra cost.

Absolutely. Research shows that 84 percent of cybersecurity job postings require at least a bachelor’s degree, while nearly a quarter require at least a master’s degree. So earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity is critical in helping you be trained and qualified for job opportunities. Cybersecurity degree programs don’t have to be expensive or time consuming, making them even more worth your time and money.

There are many kinds of degrees you can earn online including:

Software development
Cloud computing
IT management

Cybersecurity degrees tend to be challenging in their computing, coding, and scripting aspects. However, if you have a mind for that kind of work, cybersecurity can be exciting and extremely rewarding. Cybersecurity tends to be less labor intensive than lab-based work, but does take time.

An online bachelor’s degree in information systems security or cybersecurity can prepare students for career paths focused on network systems, application security, business continuity, and more. An online bachelor’s degree may also be ideal for students who are also working professionals.