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The field of homeland security employs professionals with a singular mission: protecting the homeland from enemies and catastrophic events that could compromise our nation's security. Jobs are available for workers with various levels of education and experience in homeland security.

This resource highlights bachelor's in homeland security programs, including common admission requirements and courses learners take as they train for a career in homeland security. It also explores different homeland security career paths and resources that can assist degree-seekers at every stage of their educational journey.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 5:

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Rank School Location
1 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL
2 DeSales University Center Valley, PA
3 Mercer University Macon, GA
4 Marian University Fond Du Lac, WI
5 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX

Professionals with homeland security degrees can find employment in law enforcement and public service, as well as with government agencies, the military, and private firms. Earning a bachelor's in homeland security provides foundational knowledge and an opportunity for specialization in disciplines as diverse as border patrol, cybersecurity, and emergency planning. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) routinely hires agents with different levels of experience for various agencies. However, DHS is only one of many employers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects excellent job prospects for graduates from bachelor's in homeland security programs. For example, intelligence analysts earn a median salary of $83,610, and the BLS projects 14% job growth for this position from 2018-2028. This is almost three times the average projected growth rate for all occupations in the U.S.

Alternatively, border patrol agents earn an average salary of almost $60,000, according to PayScale. Other law enforcement jobs for graduates of these programs include CIA agent and FBI agent.

The BLS notes that emergency management directors — professionals who devise plans to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies — earned $74,420 in 2018. While the job growth for this occupation stands at 5% — an average growth rate — local and state agencies, hospitals, colleges, and other organizations across the nation can benefit from the planning skills of these workers.

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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Programs

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Rank School Location Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

Daytona Beach, FL Graduation Rate: 62%

Founded in 1925 and located in Daytona Beach, Florida, Embry-Riddle offers an online bachelor's in homeland security. Major-specific courses include foundations of information security, studies in intelligence, and two homeland security capstone courses. Capstone courses allow students to identify a real off-campus client and apply their knowledge and research abilities to solve a problem.

Students focus their degrees by choosing either two minors or one minor and one focused 15-credit block of courses. Motivated students may also begin master's-level courses during their bachelor's program, reducing the time to an advanced degree; students can earn a bachelor's and master's in five years.

Embry-Riddle is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
School Status: Private
Tuition: $250 per credit (active-duty military); $447 per credit (civilian)
Credit Requirements: 123 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

2

DeSales University

Center Valley, PA Graduation Rate: 70%

A Catholic university located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, DeSales offers students an opportunity to complete a bachelor's in homeland security entirely online. Course topics include an introduction to homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, digital forensics, and cybercrime and cyberterrorism. Students can reduce the program's length by transferring up to 75 eligible credits from other institutions. They may also qualify for credit based on prior learning assessments.

To complete the degree, students must participate in a senior seminar to demonstrate their knowledge. Motivated students can begin graduate-level courses during their undergraduate years to complete a bachelor's and a master's in five years.

DeSales is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security
School Status: Private
Tuition: $523 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: Not minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

3

Mercer University

Macon, GA Graduation Rate: 66%

Founded in 1833 and located in Macon, Georgia, Mercer offers an online bachelor's in homeland security and emergency management. Graduates may pursue careers as air marshals, border patrol agents, emergency management planners, and disaster services analysts.

Course topics include ethics and public safety, intelligence gathering and dissemination, and the effects of disaster on society. Two field mastery courses give students hands-on experience in approved settings with the supervision of faculty and mentors. Students can choose from five different start dates during the year, and courses last eight weeks.

Mercer is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $485 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.25 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

4

Marian University

Fond Du Lac, WI Graduation Rate: 53%

Based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Marian offers an online bachelor's in homeland security. Courses include an introduction to homeland security, an introduction to terrorism, and critical perspectives of disasters. The curriculum also offers field experience opportunities, including a homeland security capstone based on academic or practitioner methods.

Each course takes seven weeks to complete, and the school only requires students to enroll in one course per term. The curriculum adheres to guidance established by the Department of Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium Association. The school also offers transfer credits for prior military or related work experience.

Marion is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
School Status: Private
Tuition: $470 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

5

Angelo State University

San Angelo, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 34%

Based in San Angelo, Texas, ASU offers an online bachelor of security studies in border and homeland security. Students are taught by a community of experts, taking courses such as an introduction to cybersecurity, wildlife crimes, and critical communications infrastructure. The 120-credit program also covers current issues in modern security, immigration, and trafficking.

The university also offers an online bachelor of border security for students with an associate degree from the Community College of the Air Force or for learners who maintain active-duty status. ASU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Security Studies in Border and Homeland Security
School Status: Private
Tuition: $2,758 per semester (in-state); $8,893 per semester (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

6

Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, FL Graduation Rate: 65%

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser offers an online bachelor's in homeland security. Students learn the management-level skills needed to pursue successful careers in homeland security at the local, state, and federal levels.

Students take lower-division courses such as introduction to homeland security and constitutional law for the homeland security professional. Later, students advance to upper-level courses such as preparation and response for terrorism, issues in disaster response, and critical infrastructure protection. Students develop an understanding of management principles, emergency plans, and current threats facing the U.S.

Keiser is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security
School Status: Private
Tuition: $9,504 per semester
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

7

Campbell University

Buies Creek, NC Graduation Rate: 53%

Located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, Campbell offers an online bachelor's in homeland security. The program focuses on key areas like intelligence and warning, border and transportation security, domestic counterterrorism, and emergency preparedness and response.

Students take courses covering various modern security issues, including an introduction to cybersecurity, terrorism, and criminal infrastructure protection. While completing 124 credits, students gain competency in key areas of intelligence, emergency preparedness, and critical infrastructure. Military service members with at least one year of service may also apply for up to 12 transfer credits based on their military activities.

Campbell is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
School Status: Private
Tuition: $250 per credit (military); $450 per credit (non-military)
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

8

SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Canton, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

SUNY Canton offers an online bachelor of technology in homeland security. The program prepares students to respond to and defend against natural disasters and terrorism. Graduates can go on to pursue career opportunities with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. intelligence community.

Students learn to work in both the public and private sectors, mastering the fundamentals of pressing security issues. Courses include fundamentals of homeland security, threats to homeland security, and emerging issues in homeland security. Students can choose to take a culminating field experience course in criminal justice as part of the 122-credit program.

SUNY Canton is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Technology in Homeland Security
School Status: Public
Tuition: $295 per credit (in-state); $353 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 122 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

9

Excelsior College

Albany, NY Graduation Rate: 40%

Based in Albany, New York, Excelsior College offers an online bachelor's in homeland security and emergency management. The asynchronous program allows for flexible scheduling, which may appeal to busy learners.

Students learn to lead during natural disasters, domestic terrorism events, and other emergencies. Courses include emergency management, comparative national security analysis, and a capstone project designed to showcase student knowledge. Students work with advisors to develop an elective block in an area of emphasis; emphasis areas are based on a student's interests but require departmental approval.

The school allows students to transfer in up to 113 credits (the typical student has about 70 credits). Excelsior College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security
School Status: Private
Tuition: $510 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirement
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

10

National University

La Jolla, CA Graduation Rate: 36%

Based in La Jolla, California, NU offers an online bachelor's in homeland security and emergency management. Each class lasts just four weeks, allowing students to focus on one course at a time.

Course topics include domestic security management, crisis management, and network defense. The program also requires participants to complete a supervised senior project addressing a modern issue in security; students carry out their project over the course of two months. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.

NU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $370 per quarter credit
Credit Requirements: 180 quarter credits
Degree Completion Program: No
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Program Overview

Students who earn a bachelor's in homeland security gain foundational knowledge of the issues that impact the nation's security. Students also learn the skills needed for entry-level positions in the field. Participants often acquire training — from professionals with direct homeland security experience — in risk analysis, intelligence collection and analysis, critical infrastructure protection, and emergency management.

Most bachelor's tracks include general education courses that give learners a good footing in the liberal arts. Some programs may also dedicate courses to criminal justice — a field that seamlessly intersects with homeland security. Programs may offer concentrations or minors to give students specialized training in related subdisciplines, such as terrorism studies, cybersecurity, emergency management, and international relations.

While coursework provides sufficient entry-level training, internships and field placements at relevant agencies can give learners hands-on experience that employers value. Some learners use their academic and hands-on experience to pursue jobs right out of college, while others enroll in a master's program to pursue specialized training in a chosen specialty.

Common Bachelor's in Homeland Security Degree Courses

Criminal Procedure

Coursework in this class exposes students to the criminal justice system — especially principles that outline the rights of the government versus the rights of individuals. Students in homeland security programs learn about Constitutional amendments that govern issues such as stops and arrests, search and seizure, the use of force, and levels of criminal proceedings in the United States.

Homeland Security

This course surveys the field of homeland security, including inherent threats like terrorism, cyberattacks, weapons of mass destruction, and natural disasters. Students learn about the strategies that local and federal agencies use to respond to these threats. They also acquire training in risk assessment, crisis planning and response, infrastructure protection, and the role of the National Incident Management System.

Intelligence Analysis

Students learn about the critical role that intelligence plays in homeland security. They also learn about agencies and the laws and policies that govern them. Enrollees explore strategies used by the intelligence community, such as intelligence gathering, collection and analysis, counterintelligence, and covert actions.

Terrorism

This class explores terrorism as a weapon of power used by domestic and international individuals and groups. Students learn about the philosophies and motivations that drive this phenomenon, and the strategies and tactics used to detect and combat terrorist activities.

Emergency Management

Faculty survey the historical background of emergency management, including disaster events such as 9/11 that helped spur legislation and policies that shape the field today. Students study topics such as FEMA's role in all disasters; risk assessment at the local and federal levels; preparation, response, and recovery during disaster incidents; and integrated emergency management systems.

Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED Certificate

    Applicants must hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate in order to enroll in associate and baccalaureate programs. An exemption may apply to students who engage in dual enrollment, earning college credit while still in high school. College applicants need to provide official school or GED transcripts.

  • SAT or ACT Scores

    These exams demonstrate an applicant's readiness for college-level studies. The SAT covers reading, writing/language, and math. The ACT covers English, math, reading, and science reasoning. Most colleges accept scores for both tests, but students need to take only one.

  • ACCUPLACER

    The College Board's ACCUPLACER exam serves as an assessment tool for junior colleges. This standardized test covers reading, writing, and math. The ACCUPLACER is relevant for many students who begin their postsecondary education at a community college, with plans of transferring to a bachelor's in homeland security at a four-year college.

  • Minimum GPA

    Applicants interested in a bachelor's in homeland security likely need to hold a minimum high school GPA of 2.0-2.5, although this requirement varies depending on the program.

  • Transfer Credits

    While many programs do not require transfer credits, most accept credits from regionally accredited institutions. However, degree completion programs do require applicants to hold a certain number of transfer credits. Schools typically require a minimum 2.0-2.5 GPA for credits to be eligible for transfer.


Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Career Paths

Many graduates of bachelor's in homeland security programs go on to pursue entry-level jobs right out of college, finding positions in law enforcement, criminal justice, and homeland security. For instance, DHS hires recent college graduates and offers internships and fellowships that give students and recent graduates hands-on experience. A worker's upward mobility depends on their organization and the internal requirements for positions. Additionally, federal agencies require a security clearance for positions that involve access to sensitive information, and employees will have to pass that rigorous process.

Some students pursue a master's degree to acquire skills in a specialty, such as cybersecurity. Information security analysts may begin their postsecondary education by earning a bachelor's in homeland security with a concentration in a computer science-related field. However, they also need to acquire advanced training in computer science, information assurance, or programming to assume a position as a cybersecurity specialist.

An advanced degree and/or ample work experience often qualify workers for career advancement and supervisory positions. Professionals can also earn certifications in their field. Notably, the International Association of Emergency Managers offers associate emergency manager and certified emergency manager certifications. Cybersecurity professionals have their own certifications to complete.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a bachelor's in homeland security?

Graduates can pursue entry-level positions in the public or private sector right out of college. Learners may increase their marketability by completing internships or field experiences at a relevant agency. Many graduates of bachelor's in homeland security go on to earn a master's degree to pursue specialized training.

How long does it take to get a degree in homeland security?

Most bachelor's in homeland security programs require four years of full-time study, while part-time learners can expect to take longer. Students may accelerate degree completion by transferring credit from prior college experience.

What colleges offer a degree in homeland security?

Many colleges offer online degree programs in homeland security, and many more offer programs on campus. This page provides a list of the 25 best online bachelor's in homeland security programs in the nation.

What job can I get with a bachelor's in homeland security?

Many careers fall under the domain of homeland security and focus on different aspects of the field. For instance, students interested in a career as a border patrol agent follow a different career track than someone interested in emergency management, the intelligence service, or cybersecurity. However, all of these workers may begin their training by earning a degree in homeland security.

How many credits do I need for a bachelor's in homeland security?

Learners who enroll in a bachelor's in homeland security program as a first-year college student can expect to complete around 120 credits. Alternatively, degree completion programs may only include upper-level coursework, although students still need to earn a total of 120 credits to graduate.

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Additional Reading and Resources

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