American Public University System Launches Accelerated Bachelor of Science Degree in Cybersecurity as Part of “College in 3” Initiative


Students Will Be Able to Enroll in 3-Year Degree Starting in April 2024

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va., Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As overall college tuition costs continue to climb, American Public University System (APUS) today announced it will offer an accelerated Bachelor of Science Degree in Cybersecurity, in connection with the College in 3 Exchange. Students can register for the three-year bachelor’s degree starting in April 2024.

American Public University System (PRNewsfoto/American Public University Syst)

APUS, designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) by the National Security Agency (NSA), is one of only 13 U.S.-based higher education institutions participating in the College in 3 Exchange. The Exchange is a national effort which encourages universities to reimagine the traditional four-year bachelor’s curriculum.

“We are excited to be among the first universities to offer a 90-credit bachelor’s degree under this innovative approach with the College in 3 Exchange,” said Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, APUS Provost. “We know that time and money are the biggest barriers to students completing their degrees, and simply put, our accelerated cybersecurity degree will reduce both by 25 percent.”

The accelerated degree has been approved by both the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

“We are rethinking and redesigning this curriculum to fit the needs of our students and of the world,” said Dr. Daniel Welsch, Dean of the APUS School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM). “Cybersecurity is a dynamic field with an unmet demand. This accelerated program can help graduates begin working in the field sooner, or begin their master’s, while earning the same high-quality degree received as part of a traditional bachelor’s program.”

Under the accelerated program, students will take the same required cybersecurity courses they would in a traditional program – with the same program outcomes. Only electives have been eliminated from the three-year, 90-credit program.  

APUS offers a strong cyber-defense focused curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels through American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU). With online courses in cybercrime, intrusion and incident handling, cyber defense of critical infrastructure, IT security, and digital forensics, APUS cybersecurity programs integrate multiple disciplines to ensure students gain the critical skills and management practices often needed to help them effectively lead missions in both government and businesses.

For more info on our cybersecurity programs, visit here. 

APUS has been planning and developing the program over the past two years as part of the College in 3 Exchange, which is led by Dr. Robert Zemsky of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Lori Carrell of the University of Minnesota at Rochester.

About American Public University System

American Public University System (APUS) delivers affordable, high-quality, workforce-relevant higher education. With a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive 32-year history, and over 135,000 alumni from more than 100 countries, APUS is recognized for its innovative approach to online learning1. APUS is in the top 11% for students’ return on educational investment, compared to 4,500 colleges and universities nationwide, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (2022)2.

APUS, which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. APUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Public Education, Inc. (Nasdaq: APEI). For more information, visit

 1APUS has been honored with the online Learning Consortium’s Gomory Award for Quality Online Education, and is a five-time recipient of the consortium’s Effective Practice Award

2Ranking based on 20-year net present value (NPV)


Frank Tutalo

Director, Public Relations, APUS

[email protected] 

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SOURCE American Public University System

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