Earn Your AS in Cyber Security Online:
- $320/credit (60 total credits)
- Transfer up to 45 credits (including credits for certifications like CompTIA A+)
- Participate in National Cyber League competitions
- Get hands-on experience with online cyber labs
- Save time and money with open-source software and course materials
- Transfer all 60 credits into SNHU's BS in Cyber Security
Associate Degree in Cyber Security Program Overview
Start your cybersecurity career with Southern New Hampshire University’s Associate of Science (AS) in Cyber Security online program.
The AS in Cyber Security degree combines the hands-on experiences, networking opportunities and expert instruction you need to break into a growing field.
Whether you've finished some college or you're just getting started, this 60-credit program offers a perfect pathway to launch your cybersecurity career.
You'll engage with a number of industry-standard operating systems, security software, computer networking devices, simulation tools and programming and scripting languages.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation – and save even more by transferring up to 45 credits for previous experience, including industry credentials like the CompTia A+ certification.
Our curriculum is built to position you for success in the industry. The AS in Cyber Security aligns with recognized standards such as NIST's NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and CSEC Cyber Security Education Consortium.
Learn how to:
- Apply security principles and practices to all components of a system
- Design, implement and evaluate computer-based solutions
- Identify and define the computing requirements to solve problems
- Communicate technical information effectively with a range of audiences
Looking to earn your bachelor's in cyber security? Upon finishing your associate degree, you can transfer all 60 credits toward your BS in Cyber Security degree online – halfway to your bachelor's degree. That could mean 2 degrees in as few as 4 years – both of which can help you enter (or advance in) the cybersecurity profession.
"It's a continuation of a degree program that will help build upon a strong cybersecurity foundation," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, academic partner at SNHU. "As is true with anything, becoming adept at a skill set takes practice." He added that it's also appropriate for those who want to prepare for career advancement.
Interested in exploring some of our other technology degree options? Check out our IT associate degree, associate in computer science or a number of other associate and bachelor's technology programs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a high demand for cybersecurity jobs in the coming years. Prospects for information security analysts are set to soar 35% through 2031 – far faster than the national average for all occupations.1
While many of these jobs do require a bachelor's at the entry level, those who earn an associate degree could still qualify for various roles.
Upon earning your associate degree in cybersecurity, you may qualify for the following entry level occupations:
- Cybersecurity specialist
- Cybersecurity technician
- Cybersecurity analyst
For those looking to progress to a bachelor's degree, our AS in Cyber Security also provides a seamless path for continued advancement. All 60 credits can be transferred to our BS in Cyber Security, which means you'll satisfy half of the required credits you need to earn your bachelor's degree.
Higher degree attainment could open up new opportunities, and even lead to higher earning potential. According to the BLS, those with an associate's degree made $963 in median weekly earnings in 20211 – that's 19% more than those with only a high school diploma. Meanwhile, if you choose to move beyond an associate degree with a bachelor's, the median weekly earnings jump about 38% to $1,334.1
"There is limitless potential when it comes to job opportunities within the cybersecurity career field," said Terry Winn, an adjunct instructor at SNHU.
"As technology continues to evolve, the need for the protection of the systems/information comes into focus. From being a cybersecurity analyst to an IT security auditor to penetration tester to cybersecurity engineer and to a chief information security officer there are entry-level through senior management opportunities available in the cybersecurity career field."
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Cyber Security Degree
Why SNHU for Your Cyber Security Degree
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
As part of our mission to make higher education more accessible, we’re committed to keeping our tuition rates low. In fact, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
Prior coursework could also help you save time and money. SNHU’s transfer policy allows you to transfer up to 90 credits toward your bachelor's degree and 45 credits for an associate degree from your previous institutions—that means you could save up to 75% off the cost of tuition. You could also save time and money by getting college credit for previous work experience, or by taking advantage of military discounts and employer tuition assistance if available to you.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 160,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- U.S. News & World Report named SNHU the 2021 Most Innovative University in the North and one of the nation's "Best Regional Universities"
- Awarded the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology by The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 300,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
93.6% of online students would recommend SNHU (according to a 2022 survey with 17,000+ respondents). Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Opportunities to prepare you for your career:
- Technology competitions: Outside the classroom, participate in National Cyber League (NCL) competitions to demonstrate cyber expertise valued by employers. SNHU students and teams have multiple Top 10 finishes and fielded the first all-female team.
- Cyber Security Center of Excellence: Through our Cyber Security Center of Excellence, SNHU proudly supports cyber security students across the globe. To learn more about our contributions to the field, and connect with our academic leaders, visit our Cyber Security Center of Excellence page.
Expanding access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials:
- Completed free undergraduate application
- Prior transcripts, which we can retrieve at no cost to you
- Test scores are not required as part of your application
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
If you’re ready to apply, follow these simple steps to get the process going:
- Complete a free undergraduate application
- Submit any additional documents required
- Work with an admission counselor to explore financial options and walk through the application process
If you have questions or need help filling out your application, call 1.888.387.0861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courses & Curriculum
Our AS in Cyber Security program is built to help prepare you for entry-level roles in cybersecurity. That means learning the skills and industry tools you need to get your foot in the door.
"The curriculum works well in the online environment because of the strong focus on skill development," said Jonathan Kamyck, associate dean of cyber security programs at SNHU. "Students will use online labs and explore simulated operating environments."
You'll use a number of industry-standard tools and platforms, including:
- Popular operating systems like Windows and Linux
- Computer networking devices and simulation tools, such as Cisco Packet Tracer and pfSense
- Programming and scripting languages like Python, Java, Linux shells and Microsoft PowerShell
- Security software such as OpenVAS, Snort, Kali Linux, Metasploit and more
"Students of the program will quickly recognize the caliber of instruction to be at a higher level than other classes experienced in the past," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, an academic partner at SNHU, on the AS program. "One reason the experience is different is students must learn through hands-on practice. The lab environment will allow students to learn a practical approach to various scenarios typically found in the industry today."For example, Backherms said, in one lab, you'd be asked to secure multiple networks and network segments using firewalls and other devices. Another experience would have you reconfigure and migrate existing systems into another because of acquiring an organization with fundamentally different computer systems and network structures.
To complete the program, you'll earn 21 credits for general education courses, 18 credits for computer core courses, 18 credits for major courses and 3 credits for 1 elective course.
Major courses include:
- Cybersecurity Foundations. Explore foundational cybersecurity concepts and terms. Learn the difference between adversarial and environmental threats and analyze how security practitioners respond to each. Identify legal and human factors and examine how they can influence the development of organizational security strategies.
- Computer Networking. Learn the basics of computer networking, including different network architectures and approaches to network design. Gain practical experience by performing common network implementation and administration tasks.
- Operating System Security. Learn the techniques and strategies used to protect modern operating systems. Employ best practices to securely provision operating system components and services. Troubleshoot insecure settings to reduce the risk of system compromise.
- Application Security. Explore the fundamental principles and practices of application security. Identify common software vulnerabilities and develop strategies to reduce their potential impact. Analyze and assess the security posture of multi-tiered web applications.
- Legal and Human Factors of Cybersecurity. Examine security concerns associated with humans and their interactions with information systems. Learn about social engineering and how to protect against human-focused cyber-attacks. Examine the legal and ethical aspects of individual privacy, acceptable use and other social concerns.
- Cyber Defense. Explore common strategies and tactics employed by security practitioners to protect networks, systems, applications and data. Learn the principles of cryptography and examine the critical role it plays in protecting information. Analyze the impact of emerging technologies and evolving social trends on the field of cybersecurity.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
- General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
- Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
- Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment. For additional information, or to register for a Pathways to Math Success assessment, contact your admission counselor or academic advisor today.
- Transfer credits for tech credentials: Earn transfer credits for popular industry certifications you already have, including CompTIA A+, Network+ and Linux+.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|AS in Cybersecurity|
|Courses May Include|
|AS in Cyber Security|
|CYB 200||Cybersecurity Foundations||Gain familiarity with foundational cybersecurity concepts and terms. Learn the difference between adversarial and environmental threats and analyze how security practitioners respond to each. Explore legal and human factors and examine how they influence the development of organizational security strategies.|
|CYB 210||Computer Networking||Learn the basics of computer networking. Examine different network architectures and approaches to network design. Gain practical experience by performing common network implementation and administration tasks.|
|CYB 230||Operating System Security||Learn the techniques and strategies used to protect modern operating systems. Employ best practices to securely provision operating system components and services. Troubleshoot insecure settings to reduce the risk of system compromise.|
|CYB 240||Application Security||Explore the fundamental principles and practices of application security. Identify common software vulnerabilities and develop strategies to reduce their potential impact. Analyze and assess the security posture of multi-tiered web applications.|
|CYB 250||Cyber Defense||Explore common strategies and tactics employed by security practitioners to protect networks, systems, applications, and data. Learn the principles of cryptography and examine the critical role it plays in protecting information assets. Analyze the impact of emerging technologies and evolving social trends on the field of cybersecurity.|
|CYB 260||Legal and Human Factors of Cybersecurity||Examine security concerns associated with humans and their interactions with information systems. Learn about social engineering and how to combat human-focused cyber attacks. Examine the legal and ethical aspects of individual privacy, acceptable use, and other social concerns.|
|Total Credits: 60|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Tuition & Fees
As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
|Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*||$675||$225||$6,750|
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get a job with an associate in cyber security?
The short answer is, yes. While many employers do seek candidates with a bachelor's degree, an associate can help put you on track to pursue some entry-level roles. You may, for example, qualify for positions such as:
- Cybersecurity specialist
- Cybersecurity technician
- Cybersecurity analyst
And at Southern New Hampshire University, the "approach in instruction and hands-on industry practicum prepares students with an excellent cybersecurity skills foundation and the confidence required to apply for various positions within the cybersecurity industry," said Dr. Dennis Backherms, an academic partner at SNHU.
What can I do with an associate degree in cyber security?
This all depends on the degree. At SNHU, our curriculum is industry-aligned and features practical application throughout. That means you'll build the skills you need to succeed in a number of different industries.
“The classes are 100% online but [also include some] hands-on labs where you learn how to use industry-standard tools and techniques," said Dr. Denise Kinsey, technical program facilitator of cyber security programs at SNHU.
An associate degree in cybersecurity presents opportunities to use technology in a meaningful way. For this reason, those interested in areas like psychology and criminal justice may be well-suited for this career track.
"Cybersecurity touches every aspect of our lives, from the physical locks on our doors, to our financial and medical records, our ability to communicate and share information, and essentially function in today’s world," Kinsey said. "The skills you learn in [these courses] will provide the basis for protecting that information."
How much can you make with an associate in cyber security?
Earning your associate degree is just one factor. The amount you make will also vary depending on years of experience, location, past credentials and job title. That said, the BLS does note promising earning potential for cybersecurity professionals – even for those entering the field.
- Information security analysts, an occupation the BLS predicts will grow 35% through 2031, earned an annual median salary of $102,600 in May 2021.1 It should be noted that typical entry-level education for these roles is a bachelor's.1 However, this is a highly desired field that could be a strong option for those looking to build their skills and continue their education in cybersecurity.
- Computer support specialists earned an annual median salary of $57,910 in May 2021.1 While some in the field have attained a bachelor's degree, not all employees require it – making these jobs particularly attractive for those with an associate degree.1
- Network and computer system administrators, on the other hand, reportedly earned a median annual salary of $80,600 in May 2021.1 The BLS notes that, while most employers seek bachelor's level attainment, a postsecondary certificate or associate degree could be a sufficient entryway for some.1
- Computer systems analysts are also paid well above the national average for all occupations.1 In May 2021, computer systems analysts reported earning a median salary of $99,270.1 While many in the field have a bachelor's, it's worth noting that even the lowest 10% earners made about $60,680 that year.1
It's important to note, too, that further degree attainment may result in higher earning potential and lower unemployment rates – even outside of cybersecurity.
According to the BLS, associate degree holders earned a median weekly salary of $963 in May 2021.1 By comparison, those with a bachelor's earned a median $1,334 weekly.1 That's a 38% increase in pay. And those with a master's could earn even more.11
That's why at SNHU we also offer a seamless transfer from your AS in Cyber Security to a BS in Cyber Security. We even offer an online master's in cyber security, if you want to keep going.
How long does it take to get an associate degree in cyber security?
Generally, for a part-time student (one class per term) with no transfer credits, an associate degree in as few as 2 years. But at SNHU, we offer pathways to fast-track your goals, too.
First, we accept up to 45 transfer credits for all associate-level programs. Of these credits, 21 are for general education courses. That means, even if you have previous college credits that aren't necessarily in the field of cybersecurity, you could still position yourself to earn a degree faster.
Next, our online class schedules can give you the flexibility you need to graduate sooner. Full-time students take 2 courses per term. Even without transfer credits under your belt, that could mean finishing your degree in a little over 1.5 years instead of 2.
Finally, with six 8-week terms per year, you progress from one class to the next, without ever losing momentum.
And if, for whatever reason, you need to take a term off, you'll have the ability to do that, too.
How much does it cost to get an associate degree in cyber security?
The price of your associate degree in cyber security depends on multiple factors – such as cost of tuition, credits to complete, number of transfer credits and more. At SNHU, we're proud to say we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation – and we've kept them that way for about a decade.
As a university built for people, not for profit, our mission is to make education as affordable as possible.
That's why the cost per credit for our AS in Cyber Security is $320. With 60 credits required to complete the program, that means a total tuition cost of $19,200.
If you have previous education credits, you could transfer them to lower the cost of your degree even more.
You may also be eligible for one of our merit-based scholarships, grants and tuition discounts. U.S. Active Duty, National Guard and Selected Reserve and the spouses of those on active duty, for example, may be eligible for up to 30% tuition discounts.
Curious about more ways to save? Talk to one of our financial advisors to learn more.
How do I get into cyber security?
Everybody's pathway is different, but there are 2 major advantages that can help you land a role in the industry: education and networking.
The AS in Cyber Security is affordable, fast and aligned with industry standards – making it a great place to start. We also offer some exciting networking opportunities as part of the program.
National Cyber League (NCL). If you're looking for hands-on experience, the National Cyber League is a fun and engaging way to enter the arena.
Terry Winn, an adjunct instructor at SNHU, describes NCL as a “capture-the-flag” style competition. "With a small out-of-pocket cost, [you're given] a training platform and compete in various events to further hone [your] cybersecurity skills," he said. "You'll get hands-on experience with many of the cybersecurity tools being used in the field today."
SNHU students and teams have had multiple Top 10 finishes over the years – and even fielded the first-ever all-female team. Not only that, but NCL can also help prepare you to sit for formal certification examinations.
Technology conferences. At SNHU, we recognize how challenging it can be for women to break into technology professions – especially women of color and those within LGBTQ+ communities.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
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Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm#tab-1 (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-1 (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm#tab-1 (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm#tab-1 (Oct. 27, 2022)
- https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.