"Homeland security" is a broad term encompassing a country's coordinated efforts to mitigate terrorism, natural disasters, and other substantial threats to human life, property, and natural resources. The term originated in 2002 when the Bush Administration created the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Since then, the department has grown to more than 240,000 employees, and homeland security-related jobs continue to emerge across the country.
In response, many colleges and universities created bachelor's degree programs in homeland security. Other schools feature programs in related fields, such as emergency management and information security, with options for homeland security concentrations or minors. Homeland security programs often include internship opportunities as part of the curriculum, allowing students to receive supervised training from experienced professionals.
Today, many students choose to earn their bachelor's degree in homeland security online. Many web-based programs follow the same curriculum as traditional brick-and-mortar options, and the asynchronous (or self-paced) format of most online homeland security degree programs proves convenient for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties, and other important commitments that may interfere with campus-based education.
Read on to learn more subject matter in a homeland security program and the types of career opportunities waiting for you after graduation.
Choosing a Program
WILL AN ONLINE HOMELAND SECURITY DEGREE PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
Online homeland security programs prepare students for a variety of roles in the industry. The diverse course load covers fundamental aspects of national safety and security, including emergency planning, management, and recovery; terrorism prevention and response; cybersecurity; border and immigration control; infrastructure protection; intelligence analysis; business continuity; and law enforcement.
Courses help students develop vital skills such as critical thinking and analysis, logistical planning, leadership, communication, and problem-solving. Many programs enlist homeland security experts to instruct courses, giving students the chance to glean real-world insight from experienced individuals and establish a professional network.
WILL AN ONLINE HOMELAND SECURITY DEGREE PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?
Online bachelor's in homeland security programs offer a flexible alternative to classroom-based education. Students can access course lectures and readings, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with their professors on their own schedule. Current educational technology also enables them to study away from their home computer using a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other Wi-Fi-compatible devices.
WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY HOMELAND SECURITY BACHELOR'S DEGREE?
Due to the number of jobs in the field, students with an online bachelor's degree in homeland security can choose from a range of professional roles. Emergency managers and coordinators develop contingency plans for national emergencies and manage logistics in times of disaster. Information analysts and network security specialists monitor online traffic for signs of suspicious activity. Other jobs involve securing and protecting borders, airports, waterways, and other areas that experience significant international traffic. Most entry-level positions in homeland security are attainable with a bachelor's degree.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE HOMELAND SECURITY BACHELOR'S PROGRAMS?
Choosing a program is a very personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school's strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online homeland security programs in the United States. If you want to pursue a homeland security degree and you value the opportunity to study online, read on to learn more about the top online homeland security programs in the country.
Accredited Online Homeland Security Programs
|1||Liberty University Lynchburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
With nearly 100,000 distance learners logging on from throughout the world, Liberty, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, is the largest private, nonprofit institution in America. Students seeking an online homeland security degree are often drawn to the BS in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Homeland Security. This program is appealing to those with prior experience, as the school offers both an emergency response personnel discount and life experience credit hours for those who previously served in law enforcement or the military. Graduates are qualified for careers in counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and transportation security. The program requires 120 hours for completion and offers a range of minors to complement the degree. 30 hours must be taken through Liberty. The program includes classes in criminal law, biblical studies, and criminal justice. Transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher from an accredited institution.
|2||Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Arizona State University offers a fully online bachelor’s in public service and public policy with a concentration in emergency management and homeland security. Graduates are equipped to prevent and respond to man-made and natural disasters. The online homeland security degree program requires 120 credit hours, including courses in public service ethics, violence in America, and police accountability.
Each course lasts seven and a half weeks, and ASU offers multiple start dates per year. Transfer students can apply up to 90 previous hours toward the degree, but students must earn at least 30 hours through ASU. Students must maintain minimum 2.0 major and cumulative GPAs and must complete at least 45 upper-division credit hours.
|3||Touro University Worldwide Los Alamitos, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 78%||
Based in Los Alamitos, California, Touro University Worldwide is a Jewish-sponsored, nonprofit institution. TUW offers a bachelor's of business administration with a concentration in homeland security. The fully online program includes no on-campus requirements. Full-time students typically earn the degree in three and a half years, and part-time students who take six credits per semester graduate in seven years.
Students earning the homeland security degree online complete 120 credits: 45 general education credits, 39 core credits, 24 elective credits, and 12 credits in the homeland security concentration. Students can specialize their homeland security knowledge by selecting electives in the area. Each course lasts eight weeks, and distance learners benefit from small classes and faculty members with relevant professional experience. All online students pay the same flat tuition rate, regardless of state residency.
|4||Excelsior College Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Based in Albany, New York, Excelsior offers a BS in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security. The online homeland security degree is designed for current law enforcement professionals and students with a military background. Excelsior’s BS in criminal justice is offered with a concentration in homeland security. The curriculum covers topics including counterterrorism, threat assessment, domestic terrorism, and incident response and management.
Students in the online criminal justice program complete 120 credits, including 60 general education credits and at least 33 major credits. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in major coursework and must complete at least 18 upper-division credits. Required courses include criminology, research methods in criminal justice, and a capstone course. Excelsior awards credit for professional experience, academy training, and military experience.
|5||LeTourneau University Longview, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
Based in Longview, Texas, LeTourneau is a private, interdenominational Christian university that enrolls more than 26,000 undergraduate students. LeTourneau offers two homeland security bachelor's degree programs: a 126-credit BS in criminal justice and a 124-credit bachelor’s of criminal justice. Both degrees are available fully online and require no campus visits.
The criminal justice bachelor’s programs focus on restorative justice and conflict resolution. The hands-on curricula improve students' understanding of criminal psychology. Available courses explore topics such as emergency management, cybercrime, domestic human trafficking, and information security. LeTourneau awards credit for military experience and police academy training. LeTourneau accepts transfer credit from regionally accredited institutions.
|6||Brandman University Irvine, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Based in Irvine, California, Brandman offers a bachelor’s of arts in criminal justice with a homeland security concentration. The fully online program prepares students for careers in law, social work, and law enforcement. Students earning the homeland security degree online improve their communication and problem solving skills. Learners complete at least 12 credits in homeland security, including courses in domestic terrorism, counterterrorism, and applied criminology.
Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and at least 12 transferable credits from a regionally accredited college or university. Brandman may admit active military members without previous college credit based on their transcripts from the Community College of the Air Force, JST, AARTS, or SMART.
|7||Mississippi College Clinton, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Located in Clinton, Mississippi College offers a homeland security bachelor’s degree designed for students planning to pursue careers in anti-terrorism. The BS in homeland security provides a foundation in justice and includes a variety of homeland security electives. The online program is ideal for working professionals with busy schedules and includes no in-person requirements.
Students complete 36 hours within the major, including courses in grant writing for homeland security, legal aspects of homeland security, and nonverbal communication. Many graduates work in security, law enforcement, intelligence analysis, and emergency management.
Applicants with fewer than 24 transferable hours must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants, who have earned at least 24 hours from a regionally accredited institution, must have at least a 2.0 GPA.
|8||Thomas Edison State University Trenton, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Thomas Edison State University, a public school located in Trenton, New Jersey, offers an online bachelor’s degree in homeland security and emergency management. The BS provides an overview of the fundamentals of homeland security and emergency management. The policy-based program focuses on the National Preparedness System's mission areas, which include mitigation, prevention, protection, response, and recovery.
The fully online program requires 120 credits: 60 general education credits, 33 major credits, 15 credits within their area of study, and 27 elective credits. Major courses cover topics including terrorism, response and recovery, and research methods in the social sciences. The program culminates in a capstone course. Graduates can apply to TESU's master’s of science in homeland security program.
|9||National University La Jolla, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
National University in La Jolla, California has been building world-class education programs since its 1971 founding. Citing the need for flexible, accredited, and career-oriented degree options for students outside its home-base, NU began offering a range of online programs to meet their needs. The BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management gives students an overview of everything they may come in contact with in their careers, ranging from security issues and cultures of terrorism to emergency preparedness and navigating the politics of keeping our nation secure. The program requires students to earn 180 credits to earn a degree. Learners looking to complete their degrees quickly can take accelerated one-month terms, allowing them to start at different times throughout the year and to focus intently on a single topic. Students are expected to take part in a supervised and comprehensive senior project lasting approximately two months and comprised of extensive research and writing requirements.
|10||Anderson University Anderson, SC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
With a commitment to liberal arts education, Anderson University in South Carolina is consistently ranked amongst the best and most affordable private, nonprofit institutions in the country. The online homeland security program from Anderson is available as a concentration to those working toward their bachelor's in criminal justice. Curriculum is designed for students without much experience or academic background in criminal justice. The program is 123 credit hours and delivered through eight week blocks, allowing students to complete their degrees at an accelerated pace. Courses include studies in terrorism, strategic planning for homeland safety, vulnerability and risk assessment, and incident management. Graduating seniors must complete a senior seminar, including a research project demonstrating academic growth over the course of their studies. Students must maintain a “C” average in all major coursework. Full-time students can complete the program in eight semesters. Online coursework is completed through Canvas.
|11||University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 25%||
Operating as part of the larger University of Alaska system, the Fairbanks campus was the first to be established in 1922 and continues to be the central point of operations for both local and online learning initiatives. Students gain the experience needed for jobs in cyber security, emergency management, and homeland defense through the Homeland Security and Emergency Management bachelor’s program. This military friendly program allows students to transfer in credits from associate/technical degrees they have already earned and maximize these credits towards the 120 credits required for graduation. Learners have the option to choose from concentrations in cyber security management, emergency management, public safety (law enforcement), emergency medical management, fire administration, or homeland security. Online students pay the same tuition costs as residents of Alaska, saving them more than $500 per credit as compared to the cost for non-resident students. UAF has minor options available to complement the degree; Minors include Emergency Management and Military Security Studies. A graduate degree in security and disaster management is also available through UAF and this program is closely aligned with their Center for the Study of Security, Hazards, Response and Preparedness (C-SSHRP) where students can apply their knowledge with a capstone experience as part of the program.
|12||Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Eastern Kentucky University offers a bachelor’s of science in homeland security. Although the degree is available fully online, learners are welcome to visit EKU's Richmond campus. The 120-hour online homeland security degree includes coursework in disaster preparedness and response, critical problem analysis, and hazardous materials. Students complete 39 core hours, 36 hours of supporting courses, 29 elective hours, and 16 general education hours.
EKU designed the online program for working professionals, and eight-week classes allow students to earn the bachelor’s degree at an accelerated pace. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. EKU accepts up to 90 transfer hours from regionally accredited institutions. Students must earn at least 30 hours through EKU.
|13||Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
In 1889, Saint Leo University was founded as a Catholic liberal arts college in Tampa, Florida. The institution is a diverse, innovative learning community that values the free exchange of ideas from students coming from all over the world. SLU’s BA in Criminal Justice includes the option to specialize in Homeland Security. The online program is 120 credit hours. Courses in the cover the modern middle east, legal issues in counter-terrorism, and exploitable weaknesses in terrorist organizations. Students without professional experience can complete a field placement with the DEA, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. customs to gain real-world experience. During field placements, students earn a police standard certificate. Learners have the opportunity to join Alpha Phi Sigma, a nationally-recognized honor society for criminal justice students. Graduates are prepared to study at a higher level; Graduate-level online degrees in criminal justice are offered by the university.
|14||Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 25%||
Based in University Park, Penn State offers one of the most comprehensive homeland security online degrees available. Students can complete the bachelor’s of science in criminal justice with a minor in homeland security entirely online.
The 120-credit program requires 18 credits within the homeland security minor, including courses such as critical infrastructure protection, homeland security intelligence, and border security. The curriculum includes nine elective credits and provides an overview of homeland security issues facing the United States. Students learn how to prepare for, prevent, and respond to man-made and natural disasters. Criminal justice coursework covers topics including criminology, ethics, alternatives to incarceration, the juvenile justice system, and policing.
Applicants to the homeland security minor must have completed 60 credits or be in their fifth semester of undergraduate study at Penn State. Students must earn a grade of C or better in all minor courses.
|15||Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Keiser University was expressly created to provide quality education to adult students looking for career-focused degree programs. The university serves more than 20,000 students annually from its 18 Florida-based campuses and distance education offerings. The online homeland security bachelor degree prepares students for managerial roles within the field by teaching the skills they’ll need to work in homeland security at the local, state, or federal level. The program covers cultural management, emergency management planning, and protection of critical infrastructures. The 120 credit hour program doesn’t require a field placement, but it’s still an option for students; administrators can help students find a suitable site in their area. General education is structured to assist students in future pursuits, including the Computer in Criminal Justice and Sociology of the Urban Community classes. Graduates will be able to form emergency plans for multiple agencies and have an understanding of current issues threatening American society.
|15||Clayton State University Morrow, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
Clayton State University’s bachelor’s of applied science in homeland security and emergency management is available entirely online. The bachelor's degree in homeland security includes courses in emergency and disaster planning, terrorism, and counterterrorism.
BAS students must earn a grade of C or better in all required upper-division courses. Students must earn at least 30 hours, including 21 upper-division hours, through CSU. Full-time students who enter the program with an associate degree can graduate in four semesters.
Applicants must have an associate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or at least 38 transferable credit hours and a minimum 2.0 GPA.
|17||Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tulane offers an online bachelor’s of arts in homeland security studies. The homeland security degree covers topics including emergency management, counterterrorism, and border protection. The program requires 120 credits and offers courses such as intelligence research, method, and analysis, maritime and border security, and cyberthreats and cybersecurity.
The program is ideal for both experienced professionals and individuals entering the field of homeland security. Students can complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis. Applicants should have a high school diploma or GED. Tulane accepts up to 60 transfer credits earned with a grade of C- or better from regionally accredited institutions. Graduates often work as special agents, counter-terrorism analysts, and emergency response coordinators.
|18||North Carolina Central University Durham, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
The bachelor’s of science in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security from North Carolina Central University provides skills in security and emergency management. The degree is ideal for current homeland security professionals, such as military members or EMTs. However, the program is also open to those with no previous experience in the field. Students can earn the BS on a full-time or part-time basis.
Students pursuing the online degree in homeland security take courses in critical infrastructure protection, border security, and counterterrorism. Students complete 120 credit hours, and graduates often pursue positions in infrastructure management, cybersecurity, and emergency management.
|19||Mercer University Macon, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Based in Macon, Georgia, Mercer offers a bachelor’s of science in homeland security and emergency management. The fully online program focuses on current issues in public safety and improves students’ communication and leadership skills. Students learn to plan for, respond to, and mitigate man-made and natural disasters.
Each class lasts eight weeks and includes service-learning components. The program requires 120 hours and includes major courses in digital forensics, cybercrime, and applied research methods. Students complete 42 major hours, 39 general education hours, and 39 elective hours. The program requires a field experience and a senior seminar. Graduates often secure positions such as border patrol agent, ICE agent, CIA analyst, and emergency medical technician. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA.
|20||California University of Pennsylvania California, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Located in California, Pennsylvania, Cal U offers a fully online degree in homeland security. Designed for working professionals, the bachelor’s of science in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland and international security prepares students for careers related to the justice system. The program also prepares students for graduate studies.
The program provides foundational knowledge of the criminal justice system and explores current issues in homeland and international security. The curriculum covers topics such as the role of the Department of Homeland Security, preventing terrorism in the United States, and global terrorism.
Full-time students can complete the asynchronous online program in as few as 16 months. Each instructor has professional experience in the field. Applicants must have either an associate degree or at least 50 college credits.
|21||Angelo State University San Angelo, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, offers a bachelor’s of security studies in border and homeland security. The fully online program requires no campus visits. The curriculum explores current issues in border security, within the context of homeland security. Students improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills while gaining an understanding of legal issues related to homeland security, emergency management, and law enforcement.
Required courses include intelligence and democracy, critical infrastructure protection, and disaster preparedness and emergency planning. Students complete a capstone seminar course, which addresses a variety of homeland security issues. Students must complete at least least 30 of the 120 required hours through ASU, including 24 hours of upper-division coursework.
|22||Philadelphia University Philadelphia, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Philadelphia University’s BS in law enforcement leadership is ideal for students planning to pursue careers as police detectives, fraud investigators, and sheriffs. Most students complete the 120-credit online homeland security degree in two to three years. The program comprises eight-week classes and offers multiple start dates per year.
Students complete 24 general education credits, 30 lower-division elective credits, 18 general education credits, 21 professional education credits, 12 upper-division elective credits, and 15 concentration credits. Courses cover topics such as contemporary law enforcement strategy, police administration and management, and leadership theory. Students complete a capstone project in law enforcement leadership.
Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, and transfer applicants must submit official transcripts.
|23||Utica College Utica, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Founded by Syracuse University in 1946, Utica College is a private school in New York that offers a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a specialization in homeland security. Applicants to the homeland security bachelor’s degree completion program must have either an associate degree or at least 57 previous credits from an accredited four-year college or university.
Students learn to prevent, apprehend, and rehabilitate criminals. The homeland security concentration explores topics such as the emergency management response cycle, the Incident Command System, FEMA, and the National Incident Management System. Students learn skills related to disaster recovery, risk assessment, and emergency management. The International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts recognizes Utica’s BS in criminal justice for excellence.
|24||University of Maryland - University College Adelphi, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 10%||
UMUC offers a fully online homeland security degree; the bachelor’s of science in homeland security requires no campus visits, although some courses are available in a hybrid format. The program prepares students for leadership roles in homeland security. Each instructor has years of professional experience in the field.
The program requires 120 credits and includes coursework in intelligence operations, strategic planning, domestic terrorism, international relations, and infrastructure protection. Major courses available online include public safety leadership, public safety administration ethics, and strategic planning in homeland security. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and must complete at least 30 credits, including 15 upper-division credits, through UMUC.
|25||Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
Mercy’s BS in Corporate and Homeland Security is designed for future professionals who want to protect America’s infrastructure from attacks launched both domestically and abroad. Provided by the school of business, this 120 credit hour program prepares graduates for roles in the public and private sectors in managerial positions. Graduates will be prepared for roles in public safety, criminal justice, emergency management, and federal law enforcement. The coursework, built around the National Incident Management System, places strong emphasis on producing students who know how to work in dynamic team environments; this goal is further augmented by a range of internship opportunities. One of the central tenets of Mercy’s academic approach is providing hands-on experience to understand how theoretical concepts apply to real-world occurrences. Mercy is based in Dobbs Ferry, New York and has more than 67 years of experience in educating future leaders.
What Else Can I Expect from an Online Homeland Security Degree Program?
While specific courses vary by program, most online homeland security degrees address key national security and public safety issues, including emergency management, disaster preparedness and response, risk assessment, domestic and international terrorism, immigration control, and cybersecurity. This section gives you an idea of what to expect from a homeland security degree.
Curriculum for an Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security
- Principles and Practices of Homeland Security: This introduction for all students entering the field covers the emerging role of homeland security and its relation to public safety and national security. The course focuses on the administrative, legislative, and operational elements of homeland security programs. Subject matter includes federal and regional legislation and policies, incident management, emergency response, and risk assessment.
- Disaster Preparedness and Response: Designed for students interested in careers in emergency management and planning, this course uses case studies and enactments of disaster scenarios to examine principles and approaches to disaster preparedness and response. Students learn to evaluate and establish strategic plans to respond to disasters, conduct threat assessments, and consider environmental impacts.
- Risk Analysis, Assessment, and Management: This course examines the principles of risk management for students planning to enter careers as emergency managers, disaster recovery specialists, and intelligence and information security analysts. Students explore vulnerability and risk assessment techniques applied to threats posed by international and domestic terrorism, natural disasters, and dangerous events caused by negligent or deliberate human actions.
- Terrorism and Counterterrorism: This course examines several contemporary examples of international and domestic terrorism, including narco-terrorism, environmental terrorism, and threats to critical infrastructure. Students analyze extremist groups and their ideologies, radicalization, past and current attacks, and new approaches for the response and prevention to these attacks. Those entering positions in law enforcement, government agencies, and the military commonly enroll.
- Immigration Law and Border Control: Designed for students interested in immigration law, or those considering law enforcement or immigration and border security careers, this course critically examines the enforcement of federal immigration laws and regulations. Topics include federal initiatives to protect border security and the Immigration and Nationality Act, as well as Fourth Amendment search and seizure cases.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security?
A degree in homeland security earned online or on campus requires approximately 120 credits, including 30-40 credits in the major. Graduation requirements, which differ from school to school, and the number of courses completed each term affect the length of time needed to earn an undergraduate degree. Many programs require four years to complete, while some accelerated programs may finish in 18-24 months with full-time, continuous enrollment. Students handling work or family responsibilities may choose to take one or two courses each term, prolonging the time needed to graduate.
The course delivery format will also affect the length of time needed to complete an online degree. Many schools offer self-paced programs based on asynchronously delivered courses, allowing students the flexibility to progress through the program at their convenience. Several schools have adopted a cohort model, which places each new class of students into groups. These cohorts take each course together at fixed times and dates in sequence throughout the entire program.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Degrees
Before enrolling in an online degree in homeland security, make sure you confirm that your intended school holds either regional or national accreditation. Accreditation means that colleges and universities have received approval from independent agencies that validate overall academic integrity. Vocational, technical, and career-focused, for-profit schools typically hold national accreditation.
The more popular regional accreditation, usually awarded to four-year degree-granting schools, requires stricter admissions and academic standards. Both types of accreditation provide reliable indicators of overall educational quality, but students planning on transferring credits or applying for federal financial aid should choose schools holding regional accreditation. Many employers and graduate schools look for applicants from regionally accredited schools.
In addition to regional or national accreditation, some programs obtain specialized accreditation recognizing their academic standards. For example, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences awards programmatic accreditation to a small group of criminal justice programs, but no separate programmatic accreditation currently exists for specific bachelor's programs in homeland security.
Schools receive regional and national accreditation from independent accreditation agencies that provide a regulatory function for higher education institutions across the U.S. These agencies receive recognition from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), which establishes national educational policy and administers federal financial aid programs; and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which coordinates postsecondary accreditation.
The accreditation process considers many variables, including curriculum quality, faculty reputation, student services, and financial stability. Accreditation directly impacts eligibility for student loans and grants, credit transferability, graduate school admissions, and employment prospects. Prospective students considering homeland security programs should always confirm a school's accreditation status by checking the ED and CHEA directories online.
Employment Outlook for Homeland Security Graduates
Bachelor's in Homeland Security Salary
|Industry||Annual Mean Wage|
|Federal Executive Branch||$149,710|
|Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services||$114,450|
|Scientific Research and Development Services||$113,100|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises||$109,550|
|Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution||$109,530|
Bachelor's in Homeland Security Careers
A strong commitment to the protection of national security motivates students to pursue undergraduate homeland security degrees. Career opportunities for graduates continue to expand in a variety of fields, including emergency management, intelligence analysis, and immigration enforcement. The skills required for homeland security positions differ based on occupation. Some careers require strong research, computer, and managerial skills, while other positions, specifically those in law enforcement and government agencies, may require weapons training and physical fitness qualifications.
Emergency Management Directors: These directors develop plans for responding to disasters and emergencies in order to minimize the risk to people and property. They work with public safety officers and government agencies to coordinate readiness and response, in addition to analyzing damage assessments after emergency and disaster situations. Most positions require a bachelor's degree and some employers look for specialized certifications in emergency management or disaster recovery.
Information Security Analysts: Information security analysts develop and implement security measures to protect computer networks and systems in the public and private sectors. They must monitor threats, research the latest information security technology applications, and conduct penetration testing to search for vulnerabilities. Most positions require a bachelor's degree with specialized training in computer science, cybersecurity, information assurance, and related fields.
Immigration Officers: These officers work with government agencies to administer immigration regulations and procedures. They coordinate with law enforcement officials to apprehend individuals suspected of violating immigration laws and assist state and federal authorities to prevent national security threats. As their job responsibilities require research and analytical skills, most immigrant officers hold a bachelor's degree or specialized work experience.
|Position||Median Annual Salary||Projected Growth Rate|
|Emergency Management Directors||$72,760||8%|
|Information Security Analysts||$95,510||28%|
Making connections and learning as much as you can about homeland security is crucial to your professional success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you'll find three of the country's most prominent organizations established for homeland security professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online training, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.
National Homeland Security Association: The NHSA sponsors a national homeland security personnel conference, first held in 2005. The association's website also features an extensive blog network, career tools, and archived transcripts from the most recent conferences.
International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals: The IACSP's mission centers around two overarching goals: the development and dissemination of tools and resources used to minimize the threat of terrorism, and promotion of legal and ethical behavior within counterterrorism. Member benefits include online journal and newsletter subscriptions, discounts on entrance fees to IACSP events, and access to additional resources on the organization's website.
SEARCH: SEARCH is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to connect and improve communication between various state, local, and tribal law enforcement and public safety agencies. SEARCH's website offers a compendium of resources. Visitors will find information about cybercrime, data analysis, public safety, and other subfields of law enforcement and homeland security, along with podcasts, blog posts, and other multimedia resources.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Program
Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the FAFSA is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you will find for campus-based learning, but that has not always been the case. Learn about changes in aid, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We've curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.
Online college programs offer a flexible, affordable option for single parents interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We have compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online Homeland Security Programs of 2017
Rank School Location 1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA 2 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL 3 Anderson University Anderson, SC 4 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL 5 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK 6 Concordia University-Portland Portland, OR 7 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 8 National University La Jolla, CA 9 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY 10 Campbell University Buies Creek, NC
- Best Online Homeland Security Programs of 2016
Rank School Location 1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA 2 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL 3 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 4 National University La Jolla, CA 5 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK 6 Tiffin University Tiffin, OH 7 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY 8 Kesier University - Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL 9 Franklin University Columbus, OH 10 Angela State University San Angelo, TX