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Network Defense Graduate Certificate

School of Business and Technology

Detect Threats. Respond to Security Breaches.

Get ready to be the first line of defense for organizations as you learn to protect information systems from cyberattacks. Capella’s online Graduate Certificate in Network Defense can help IT professionals like you hone skills to secure company information assets and enterprise IT infrastructures.

Our graduate certificate teaches you to examine the technical and managerial controls critical to the success of network defense, including network and security controls and testing, telecommunications, cryptography, penetrations testing visualization, risk management, and information security regulations standards.  

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 5 Core Courses

Classes Start April 8th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 Application Fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

What You’ll Learn

Develop Security Measures

Learn to design secure architecture and identify potential vulnerabilities.  

Know Digital Communication Systems

Examine architecture and issues associated with analog communication systems, as well as protocols and methodologies.

Exploit Vulnerabilities

Demonstrate ways to identify risks that may allow access to a system through penetration testing and network forensics techniques.

Solve Cyber Security Problems

Apply abstract data types to security problems related to network design and engineering.

Create Scripts & Programs

Learn to program and test secure network management tools.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Apply Credits to Your Master’s

Your graduate certificate credits can be applied to Capella’s MS-IAS in Network Defense program when you’re ready to take the next step.

A Certificate Plus

With a CISSP, earn the certificate and MS-IAS in Network Defense by taking just two additional courses.

Gain Practical, Hands-On Knowledge

Our virtual lab employs leading industry tools, including Metasploit, allowing you to explore real-world penetration-testing techniques.

Be Exam-Ready 

A Network Defense graduate certificate provides the foundational knowledge required to sit for the Certified Ethical Hacker and Certified Network Defense Architect exams.

Stay Ahead in IT: Upskill with Skillsoft

Students will have unlimited access to Skillsoft, a comprehensive eLearning resource to help develop IT and business knowledge and skills.

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$13,640 estimated tuition*
$682 per credit, 20 total quarter credits, 0 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Scholarships for New Students

Non-need-based scholarships are available to qualifying students and never have to be repaid.

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn credits by demonstrating your knowledge and/or industry certifications through our Prior Learning Assessment process.

Low-Cost Gen Ed Courses

Our learning partner, Sophia Learning, offers a low-cost way to earn gen-ed credits.

Accredited & Recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample Courses

The online network defense certificate coursework will prepare you to assess, develop, and implement solutions to safeguard the information assets and enterprise IT infrastructures of an organization.

Show course with description
Programming for Security Professionals

Learners in this course create scripts and programs to automate and perform simple operations, including basic security practices. Learners develop and demonstrate the skills necessary to program low level languages, perform low level operations, and develop complex, low level software, typically in the C or assembly programming language. Learners apply these skills by programming and testing assembly-based, stand-alone, secure network management tools.

4 quarter credits
Network Architecture and Cyberoperations

Learners in this course study common security architectures to help identify potential vulnerabilities in architectures, and learn to design secure architectures. Learners identify issues related to the design and implementation of operating system concepts, components and interfaces, and design and implement significant architectural changes to an existing operating system. Learners also examine the authorities, roles, and steps associated with cyber operations, and develop a working knowledge regarding the security issues associated with building complex systems out of third-party components of unknown origin.

4 quarter credits
Data Communications

Learners examine architecture and issues associated with analog communication systems, as well as the protocols and methodologies used in modern digital communication systems. Learners also develop a working knowledge of the hardware, communications, management, and programming environments associated with mobile technologies, as well as a basic understanding of radio frequency communications.

4 quarter credits
Network Security Controls and Testing

Learners study cryptographic algorithms, protocols, and how they protect information in various states. Learners apply methodology to detect, analyze, and mitigate vulnerabilities and threats within a network environment, and examine the latest network technologies and security issues involved in network communications. Finally, learners identify and demonstrate ways of exploiting vulnerabilities to gain access to a system through penetration testing and network forensics techniques.

4 quarter credits
Secure Network Design and Engineering

Learners study abstract data types and how to apply them in solving cybersecurity problems related to network design and engineering. Learners also acquire knowledge of the processes and regulations associated with the analysis and evaluation of operational systems, and identify the authorities and processes needed for the approval of their operation. Finally, learners articulate how virtualization is implemented, deployed, and used, and describe the implications that interfaces between major components of virtualized systems have on security.

4 quarter credits

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They're here to help find a program fit and set up for success.

Financial Aid Counselors

First they listen. Then they act—for you. Running the numbers, exploring ways to save, and making the financing of your education simpler.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.

Writing Support

Sharpen your writing skills with our free tutoring services and other resources.

Relevant Blog Posts

Information Security Career Central

A Capella-powered blog dedicated to information security trends, news, career information, and more.

7 Must-Read Blogs for Information Security Professionals

Keep on top of the latest InfoSec news with these seven blogs.

3 Non-Degree Credential Opportunities

Assess options for advanced learning that accompany a degree—from digital badges to industry certifications.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals. 

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.