The Best Online Homeland Security Degree Programs

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'Homeland security' is a broad term that encompasses a country's coordinated efforts to minimize, address, and respond to terrorism, natural disasters, and other large-scale threats to human life, property, and natural resources. The term originated in 2002, when the Bush Administration created the 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 can be found 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 informations security ― with homeland security concentrations or minor options. Homeland security programs often include internship opportunities as part of the curriculum, allowing students to receive supervised training from experienced professionals.

Today, many students are choosing to earn their bachelor's degree in homeland security online. Web-based programs follow the same curriculum as traditional brick-and-mortar options. The asynchronous (or self-paced) format of most online homeland security degree programs is also 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 about what you will learn in a homeland security program, and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to upon graduation.

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. These include: 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 key skills like 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 to 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 homeland security, 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 when disaster response is required. 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.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Location Description
1 Liberty University RANKING SCORE 71.06 COST Graduation Rate 51% LOCATION Lynchburg, VA

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.

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2 Arizona State University - Tempe RANKING SCORE 70.56 COST Graduation Rate 67% LOCATION Tempe, AZ

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.

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3 Touro University Worldwide RANKING SCORE 70.22 COST Graduation Rate 78% LOCATION Los Alamitos, CA

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.

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4 Excelsior College RANKING SCORE 69.89 COST Graduation Rate 45% LOCATION Albany, NY

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.

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5 LeTourneau University RANKING SCORE 68.17 COST Graduation Rate 53% LOCATION Longview, TX

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.

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6 Brandman University RANKING SCORE 67.56 COST Graduation Rate 45% LOCATION Irvine, CA

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.

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7 Mississippi College RANKING SCORE 66.94 COST Graduation Rate 59% LOCATION Clinton, MS

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.

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8 Thomas Edison State University RANKING SCORE 64.39 COST Graduation Rate 45% LOCATION Trenton, NJ

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.

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9 National University RANKING SCORE 64.28 COST Graduation Rate 38% LOCATION La Jolla, CA

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.

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10 Anderson University RANKING SCORE 61.11 COST Graduation Rate 53% LOCATION Anderson, SC

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.

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11 University of Alaska Fairbanks RANKING SCORE 60.28 COST Graduation Rate 25% LOCATION Fairbanks, AK

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.

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12 Eastern Kentucky University RANKING SCORE 59.94 COST Graduation Rate 41% LOCATION Richmond, KY

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.

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13 Saint Leo University RANKING SCORE 59.28 COST Graduation Rate 40% LOCATION Saint Leo, FL

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.

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14 Pennsylvania State University RANKING SCORE 58.78 COST Graduation Rate 25% LOCATION University Park, PA

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.

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15 Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale RANKING SCORE 58.39 COST Graduation Rate 67% LOCATION Fort Lauderdale, FL

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.

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15 Clayton State University RANKING SCORE 58.39 COST Graduation Rate 32% LOCATION Morrow, GA

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.

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17 Tulane University of Louisiana RANKING SCORE 58.00 COST Graduation Rate 83% LOCATION New Orleans, LA

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.

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18 North Carolina Central University RANKING SCORE 57.67 COST Graduation Rate 43% LOCATION Durham, NC

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.

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19 Mercer University RANKING SCORE 57.39 COST Graduation Rate 66% LOCATION Macon, GA

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.

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20 California University of Pennsylvania RANKING SCORE 53.83 COST Graduation Rate 50% LOCATION California, PA

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.

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21 Angelo State University RANKING SCORE 53.50 COST Graduation Rate 36% LOCATION San Angelo, TX

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.

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22 Philadelphia University RANKING SCORE 53.17 COST Graduation Rate 58% LOCATION Philadelphia, PA

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.

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23 Utica College RANKING SCORE 52.50 COST Graduation Rate 45% LOCATION Utica, NY

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.

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24 University of Maryland - University College RANKING SCORE 52.06 COST Graduation Rate 10% LOCATION Adelphi, MD

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.

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25 Mercy College RANKING SCORE 52.00 COST Graduation Rate 39% LOCATION Dobbs Ferry, NY

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.

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Timeline
4 to 5 years. Accelerated online options are also available, which allow students to complete their degree requirements within two years or less.
Program Costs
$10,000 to $25,000 in annual tuition
Popular Minors and Dual Areas of Study
Emergency Management, Information Security, Network Administration, Logistics, Management, Nonprofit Administration
Accreditation
There is no programmatic accreditation for this major field of study at the undergraduate level. Students should defer to the regional/national accreditation of their four-year college or university.

Job Placement

Due to the high and constant demand for qualified security and protection professionals, homeland security is considered a recession-proof industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects average to above-average growth for different jobs in the industry over the next decade. Using data from the BLS, the following table highlights job growth projections for some of the most common positions in homeland security.

Occupation Projected Industry Growth (2014-24) Number of Jobs
Emergency Management Directors 6% +700
Information Security Analysts 18% +14,800
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 8% +30,200
Financial Analysts 12% +32,300

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Because 'homeland security' is a multidisciplinary sector, unemployment rates for different homeland security personnel vary by their professional field. According to September 2016 data from the BLS, employees in information professions face a 5.2% unemployment rate. The rates are lower for employees in financial activities (3.0%) and education and health services (3.7%).

Earning a Living

Like job growth and unemployment rates, your salary in homeland security will depend on your individual job title and experience level. The following table examines career salary expectations for five of the most common career pathways for homeland security bachelor's degree recipients.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Emergency Management Specialist $50,000 $59,000/td> $65,000 $70,000
Emergency Response Coordinator $42,000 $56,000 $59,000 $62,000
Disaster Recovery Coordinator $57,000 $73,000 $102,000 $105,000
Intelligence Analyst $58,000 $72,000 $82,000 $93,000
Logistics Manager $50,000 $63,000 $69,000 $76,000

Source: PayScale

As the table shows, all five professions exhibit career salary growth of at least 40%. Disaster recovery coordinators saw the highest growth: a salary increase of roughly 84% between the entry-level and late-career marks. Intelligence analysts ranked second; on average, their salaries rise by 60.3% after 20 years in the workforce.

PayScale also publishes salary estimates for employees working in the Department of Homeland Security. According to current data, top-earning positions at the DHS include intelligence officers, management and program analysts, personnel security specialists, and supervisory special agents.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate from online bachelor's in homeland security degree programs will be qualified for most entry-level positions, as well as some managerial roles normally reserved for candidates who have received a formal college education. Below, we've covered four common professions graduates from homeland security programs.

Emergency Management Directors: These directors manage teams that coordinate emergency response and relief efforts. In order to safely and efficiently respond to large-scale disasters, they must often work with elected officials, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other outside parties. According to the BLS, roughly 64% of the nation's emergency management directors work for local or state government agencies.

Project Coordinators: These professionals specialize in handling administrative and logistical tasks over the course of short- and long-term projects. In homeland security, projects are often tied to emergency response, relief, and reconstruction efforts. They may also work to develop contingency plans or improve communication lines between different agencies or organizations.

Information Security Analysts: Information security analysts develop programs and tools used to protect organizational networks and computer systems from hacking, cyber-terrorism, and other ongoing threats. They also conduct investigations when their organization is compromised, and regularly evaluate and revise response procedures in order to efficiently respond to future attacks.

Logisticians: Logisticians coordinate supplies, transportation, human support, and other resources used in emergency response procedures. They conduct thorough inventory checks and work to improve the supply chain of their agency or organization in order to prepare for time-sensitive emergency scenarios.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Emergency Management Directors $67,330
Information Security Analysts $90,120
Project Coordinators $39,980
Logisticians $74,260

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in homeland security eventually pursue a master's degree. For more information about opportunities for grad students, please visit our Guide to Online Emergency Management Master's Programs. You can also read more about a similar undergraduate field in our Guide to Online Cybersecurity Bachelor's Programs.

Professional Organizations

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 trainings, 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, which was 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 is centered 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 is a compendium of resources: visitors will find information about cyber-crime, data analysis, public safety, and other subfields of law enforcement and homeland security, along with podcasts, blog posts, and other multimedia resources.

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.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

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.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (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 COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

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.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

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.

Rankings Archive

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