School and Ranking Information
The Richmond, VA, area only has a couple of schools that offer 4-year or advanced degrees in computer and IT security. The following school is a top pick for programs in IT security based on rankings, faculty-to-student ratio, and number of programs available.
- Winner: Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in computer science and a master's degree in computer and information systems security for people interested in pursuing a career in computer and IT security. The school is nationally ranked, with a low faculty-to-student ratio and plenty of options for undergraduate and graduate students alike.
School Info Chart
|Category||Virginia Commonwealth University|
|Rankings||Tied for #156 in National Universities (2015); tied for #84 in Top Public Schools (2015)*|
|School Type||4-year; public|
|Graduate Tuition & Fees (2013-2014)||$12,002 (in-state); $22,469 (out-of-state)**|
|Computer and Information Systems Security Degrees Offered||Master's|
|Computer and Information Systems Security Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2013||6**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class||57%**|
|Noteworthy||Within six months of graduating from the School of Engineering, which contains the computer degree programs, nearly 90% of alumni have either found jobs or continued on into higher-level academic programs***|
Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University
- Computer and information systems program is jointly offered by the business and engineering schools
- The certificate program is designed to help students prepare for a graduate program or help them professionally
- The School of Business opened a 135,000-square-foot, modern building in 2007
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) offers 64 baccalaureate degrees, 74 master's degrees and 40 doctoral degrees to its approximately 30,000 students. It has two campuses and five satellite locations, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Department of Computer Sciences in the School of Engineering and the Department of Information Systems in the School of Business at VCU work jointly to offer a post-baccalaureate certificate in computer science and a master's degree in computer and information systems security.
Students in the computer science certificate program must have completed a bachelor's degree with 30 credits in computer science and mathematics. It requires a student to complete 18 credits in computer science at specified levels. Topics covered in the program include computer organization, programming languages, C++ programming, discrete structures and operating systems.
The focus of the Master of Science in Computer and Information Systems Security program is on the design, management and implementation of security systems in business and industry. This 30-credit-hour program consists of three components, which are core courses, electives and a practice component that allows students to take a hands-on approach to learning. Courses include network and operating systems security, database and application security, cryptography and the practice of computer and information systems security.