Western Governor's University is a nonprofit, private, online college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors, the school uses a competency-based learning model that allows students to complete their studies online. Western Governor's University is named one of the world's 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company, and CNN acknowledges that the college is "a school without boundaries."
Western Governor's University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The school also received many International Distance Learning Awards by the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) for best practices in distance learning, and several professors received the same award for outstanding leadership within their respective industries.
General admission application requirements include:
- Completed application for admission
- Submission of an official transcript documenting an earned bachelor's degree
- Submission of official transcripts for all completed prior college academic work
- Interview with a WGU Enrollment Counselor to determine whether the student "fits" with the school's expectations
To qualify for the Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program, applicants must also demonstrate IT security experience. Applicants for the Master of Science in IT Management Program must demonstrate IT networking experience, and those wishing to qualify for the MBA Information Technology Management Program must demonstrate at least three years of significant professional experience.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition rates vary depending on the online master's degree pursued. A full-time course load consists of eight competency units per term. Since the school allows you to complete additional courses at no extra cost, students may consider increasing the value of their degree programs by dedicating extra time to their education. Students can expect to pay a $145 resource fee per six-month term and $2,890 in tuition per six-month term.
At Western Governor's University, students pay the same low, flat-rate tuition every six months, regardless of the number of courses completed. If students choose to accelerate their degree programs, they'll pay less for a degree. A hypothetical student pursuing an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance can expect to pay $8,670 if completed in 18 months, and a student pursuing the same degree can expect to pay $14,450 if completed in 30 months.
Financial aid is available for qualified students, and the school acknowledges that if students accept federal student aid, it typically covers most, if not all, of their direct education expenses. The school participates in the following federal loan and grant programs:
- Iraqi and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Direct Loan Program
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH)
Online Degrees Available
Western Governor's University offers three online master's degree programs in information technology: Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, MBA Information Technology Management from the College of Business, and an Master of Science in Information Technology Management. Students can expect to spend approximately 20 hours or more per week on their students, and each online master's degree in information technology is highly respected, namely because the programs were developed by employers for the industry's specific needs. Students who graduate from Western Governor's University will have the knowledge and skills the workplace demands.
The school takes a competency-based approach to education, an ideal match for experienced IT professionals who already have extensive real-world experience. If students already demonstrate knowledge and skills in subject areas through a series of assessments, they will be eligible to complete their degrees quicker.
Students entering the Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree program can expect to develop their skills in deterring, exposing, and predicting potential cyber-threats, allowing them to build more secure solutions and systems to prevent security issues. To earn this degree, students are required to complete a capstone course, project-based courses, and supporting courses, all focused around core competencies including disaster recovery, computer forensics, ethical hacking, cyberlaw, secure network and software design, and risk management.
Upon completion of the degree, students will be able to understand levels of mitigation and risk strategies, explore the current and future states of cyber-related threats, capabilities, and emerging technologies, and learn to expose and prevent vulnerabilities. Students will also develop the skills to create plans that implement comprehensive initiatives for information assurance management throughout entire organizations. Upon completion, students are eligible to sit for and receive two certifications: EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator and EC-Council Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures.
Students entering the Master of Science in Information Technology Management degree program will develop the leadership and management skills needed to oversee complex IT networks. The Master of Science in IT Management gives students the flexibility and competency to create and maintain a competitive edge in today's highly competitive and rapidly changing IT environment. This program requires 30 competency units, the school's equivalent to the traditional credit hour.
Students can expect to take courses in technological globalization, information technology management, advanced networking technology, risk management, project management, and technical writing. Disaster recovery planning, prevention, and response is also covered, as well as cyberlaw, regulations, and compliance. Upon completion, students are eligible to sit for and receive the PMI Certified Association in Project Management (CAPM) certification.
Students entering the MBA Information Technology Management degree program will develop the knowledge and skills to hold mid- to upper-level positions in IT management in a number of settings. This path is designed for experienced IT professionals looking to move into management positions or students with "real world" experience who seek in-depth skills and knowledge in IT management and business strategy.
The program was developed with significant input from business leaders and experts who serve on the school's Business Program Council. Key subject areas include IT strategic solutions, data-driven decision-making, financial management, ethical leadership, accounting for decision-makers, global economics for managers, marketing, managing human capital, IT project management, and managing organizations and leading people.
In addition, each of the online master's degree tracks requires the successful completion of a capstone project. Students are expected to take what they've learned over the course of their education and apply it to a real-world situation, proposing a solution to an issued faced in the place of business.
Regardless of the online master's degree path chosen from Western Governor's University, each path will give students the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a career in information technology and management.
Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Master's in Information Technology