Your browser does not support JavaScript! or JavaScript is currently disabled.
Save Program


Capella University’s Master’s in Network Defense program prepares information security professionals to assess, develop, and implement solutions to safeguard the information assets and enterprise IT infrastructures of an organization. You’ll also gain hands-on experience managing real-time responses to security breaches using Nessus® to perform vulnerability assessments, including system sanitizing and hardening, in Capella’s virtual lab environment.

The core curriculum in this program includes the domains of knowledge represented in several leading security certifications, including CISSP®.

The Master’s in Network Defense program is designed around industry standards and provides students with the foundational information that contributes to the knowledge required to sit for the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA) exams.

Capella University has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD) for academic years 2014–2021.

To learn more about this program, request more information and we will match you with an enrollment counselor who specializes in your area of study.

Earn-as-you-go certificate and badge options

In addition to offering a Network Defense Graduate Certificate as you progress, Capella has partnered with digital badging leader Acclaim to provide NSA Focus Area badges. These digital badges validate the information security knowledge gained and allow you to share this with potential employers, peers, and others by posting the digital badges on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media networks. Students can receive NSA Focus Area badges in the following areas: 

  • Network Security Administration
  • Network Security Engineering
  • System Security Engineering

Hands-On Learning Through Virtual Lab Environment

Students in this specialization will explore penetration testing techniques in our virtual lab environment using leading industry tools, including BackTrack and Metasploit. In addition, students will learn to manage real-time responses to security breaches using Nessus® to perform vulnerability assessments, including system sanitizing and hardening.

Earn Credit for What You Already Know

Your previous learning, work experience, and industry certifications may help you earn your degree in less time. To learn more, contact an enrollment counselor or visit our Prior Learning Assessment page.

Degree Outcomes

With your master’s in Network Defense, you’ll prepare to lead or consult in the practice of investigating incidents involving information technology assets and data in a variety of professional settings. Discover specifically what you'll learn — and how you can apply it.

View full learning and career outcomes report for this program at

People with Master's degrees in IT from Capella earn an average of $38,000 more per year than people who only hold a Bachelor's degree.

GE Salary Project Update

Career Outcomes

Common jobs with an online master’s in Network Defense include network security analyst, internet security analyst, exploitation analyst, network intelligence analyst, information security analyst, security management specialist, computer systems analyst, network and computer systems administrator, auditor, security manager, intelligence analyst, cyber security engineer, consultant (cyber security), chief security officer, or chief information security officer.

To learn more, call 866.613.3681, or email us. When you connect with Capella, we will immediately put you in touch with an enrollment counselor trained to assist you with specific questions and needs for your area of interest.