Homeland security is an interdisciplinary field concerned with maximizing public safety and security throughout the United States. The term has been commonly used since 2002, when the Bush Administration created the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Homeland security encompasses a wide range of professions, including emergency management and logistics, law enforcement and criminal justice, fire protection, public health and information security.

An associate degree in homeland security will introduce students to the fundamental areas of this exciting, often challenging field. Coursework will delve into topics like terrorism, the justice system, disaster response, epidemiology and cybersecurity. Homeland security associate programs often include internships, which allow students to receive supervised onsite training from experienced professionals. A capstone research project may be required, as well. Many of today's students are choosing to earn their associate degree in homeland security online. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to the same number of job opportunities after graduation. The asynchronous (or self-paced) schedule and study-from-home format are also ideal for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other responsibilities that could possibly interfere with campus-based learning.

Learn more about what you can do with an online associate in homeland security and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

Choosing a Program

WILL AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

Associate in homeland security online degree programs prepare students for different disaster and emergency scenarios. Many programs are geared toward students with specific career pathways, such as law enforcement, information technology security or public health. Internships can also boost a student's skill set in key areas, and provide them with real-world working experience.

WILL AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Associate in homeland security online degree programs offer a flexible alternative to traditional higher education. Students are able download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors on their own schedule. Current educational technology also allows 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 ASSOCIATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY?

Job availability for homeland security associate degree recipients will largely depend on their career goals. A growing number of homeland security professionals work in tech-related roles, such as information security analysts, cybersecurity specialists and network administrators. Law enforcement is another popular career destination for homeland security degree recipients; jobs are widely available in local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Other graduates with an associate in homeland security go on to become logisticians, project coordinators or emergency management and response personnel.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly 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 associate in homeland security programs in the United States. If you are considering an online associate in homeland security, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

Accredited Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs

Rank School Location Description Toggle
1

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY

Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, offers distance education associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate programs. The university's four online associate degrees include an associate of arts in general studies with a homeland security concentration. Students can complete the fully online, asynchronous program in as little as two years. EKU's online homeland security program prepares learners to enter the field or continue their education by pursuing a four-year degree.

The 64-credit general studies associate degree requires 12 core, 39 general education, and nine free elective credits. Students also must complete a one- or three-credit student success seminar. EKU may waive this requirement for transfer students bringing in 30 or more credits from another regionally accredited university. The program accepts up to 49 transfer credits toward the degree, requiring students to complete at least 15 credits at EKU. Learners create an individualized graduation plan based on their academic interests and career goals.

Students with a homeland security specialization complete 24 credits (eight classes) focused on homeland security. Learners take courses like disaster preparedness and response, critical infrastructure protection, and modern natural disasters.

Benefits of earning the homeland security associate degree online at EKU include online tutoring and resources, flat tuition rates with no additional out-of-state costs, and eight-week terms. Active duty service members receive a substantial tuition discount. The same faculty members who work at EKU's brick-and-mortar campus also teach the online courses, guaranteeing the same quality and academic rigor in both programs. EKU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate Degree in General Studies
Available Concentrations: Homeland security
Tuition: $409/credit; $250/credit active-duty military
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (859) 622-7428
Email: steven.emmel@eku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

A private, nonprofit university founded in 1977 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University offers career-focused undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university serves more than 20,000 students and boasts brick-and-mortar campuses in 21 Florida communities. Keiser's Online Division offers dozens of online programs, including an associate of arts in homeland security with no in-person requirements.

Students earning a homeland security associate degree online from Keiser must complete 60 credits: 36 in general education and 24 in homeland security. The program features courses in organizing the war on terrorism, constitutional law for the homeland security professional, and bioterrorism: hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. The curriculum also explores the fundamentals of the Department of Homeland Security, responses to domestic and international terrorism, and effective written and verbal communication.

Students learn to identify and handle hazardous materials, work with multiple agencies, and understand homeland security laws and legislative actions. Keiser's homeland security program does not require learners to complete any prerequisites for major courses. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED.

Distance learners at Keiser can seek support from the Department of Student Services, including professional development workshops, resume help, interviewing skills coaching, and job postings from the school's online career center. Online students can join groups like Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society or Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society. Students also receive full access to Keiser's library resources and services, including full-text articles, databases, and e-books.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Homeland Security
Tuition: $440/semester
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT, or ACT

Contact
Phone: (888) 453-4737
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Trident Technical College

Charleston, SC

More than 15,000 students attend Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina. The college offers more than 150 programs in fields such as business, science, and engineering technology. Distance learners can earn a 60-credit homeland security associate degree online at TCC.

The Division of Public, Professional, and Legal Studies offers an associate of applied science in homeland security management which does not include any in-person requirements. The program emphasizes the protection of people, infrastructure, and property from manmade and natural disasters, and combines hands-on training with academic theory.

Students learn strategic security planning, program management and evaluation, and other leadership skills while gaining advanced knowledge of domestic and international terrorism. Graduates find work in roles like border patrol agent, program analyst, and transportation security officer. Distance learners must complete 15 general education and 36 homeland security credits. For the remaining nine credits, students choose electives from any fire service, EMT, or criminal justice track.

The curriculum explores the cultural, political, legal, and economic aspects of homeland security. Major courses include intelligence analysis and security management, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and critical incident management. As an interdisciplinary program, the curriculum draws from disciplines such as public health, emergency medical services, policing, and emergency management.

Each semester in the online homeland security program includes two seven-week terms, except summer semester, which lasts nine weeks. Distance learners receive access to the same support services available to on-campus students, including financial aid, tutoring from the school's learning center, and special assistance for military personnel. Admission requires proof of high school graduation or GED.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Homeland Security 
Tuition: $7,300/term
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or TTC

Contact
Phone: (843) 574-6111
Email: infocenter@tridenttech.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Central Wyoming College

Riverton, WY

Central Wyoming College offers five completely online associate programs, including an associate of applied science in homeland security. CWC's distance education degrees feature the same academic quality and student support as its on-campus programs. Online learners complete reading and writing assignments, follow a syllabus, and complete quizzes and exams. They may use email, phone, and discussion forums to communicate with instructors.

The homeland security program at CWC gives learners an advanced understanding of the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies and laws. The curriculum explores domestic, international, cyber, agricultural, and biological terrorism. Students learn to protect the U.S. by preventing, mitigating, and managing terrorist attacks.

The program offers courses such as politics and terrorism, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and ethnic conflict and genocide. CWC also requires students to complete general education credits in subjects like writing, mathematics, and American and Wyoming government.

A two-year college located in Riverton, Wyoming, CWC serves more than 2,000 students and offers 36 academic programs. The school is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Students who want to enroll in CWC's homeland security associate degree online program must hold a high school diploma or GED. Applicants must submit transcripts from all previously attended colleges. All newly admitted students attend CWC's new student orientation. Online learners get full access to CWC's library resources, including librarians who provide research assistance via phone and email.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Technical Studies
Available Concentrations: Homeland security
Tuition: $338/credit in-state; $676/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (307) 855-2000
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of Maine at Fort Kent

Fort Kent, ME

A public liberal arts institution, the University of Maine at Fort Kent sits near the U.S.-Canada border with New Brunswick and Quebec. UMFK boasts status as one of the most affordable U.S. public universities.

The online associate of arts in emergency management and homeland security from UMFK emphasizes public safety, public administration, and emergency management. The program prepares students to work in law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and public service. Graduates can pursue careers as customs inspectors and agents, police officers, and U.S. border patrol agents.

Learners pursuing the 60-credit homeland security associate degree online take courses such as GIS and GPS for public safety professionals, national incident management systems, and public administration and emergency management. The curriculum explores ethical and policy management, as well as financial aspects of emergency management and homeland security. Full-time learners can graduate in two years.

Online students at UMFK receive one-on-one support from faculty and staff. Most instructors in the emergency management and homeland security program work in law enforcement in roles such as emergency management director, police chief, and forensics specialist.

UMFK does not require an application fee. Prospective learners must submit official high school transcripts or a GED score report. The program also requires transcripts from any previously attended colleges and a minimum 2.0 GPA. The admissions committee considers letters of recommendation and each candidate's life experience.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Tuition: $239/credit in-state; $382/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (207) 834-7500
Email: umfkadm@maine.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

6

Barton Community College

Great Bend, KS

Located in Great Bend, Kansas, Barton Community College serves about 17,000 students. The regionally accredited college was founded in 1965. Barton began offering distance education courses in 1998, and online learners make up about 40% of the college's total enrollment. BARTonline, the college's virtual campus, offers courses and complete associate degrees online. Distance students choose from four-, six-, eight-, and 16-week distance education sessions and benefit from affordable, flat-rate tuition.

Online learners can earn a career-focused homeland security associate degree from BARTonline. The 64-credit associate of applied science in emergency management with an emphasis in homeland security provides practical training and foundational knowledge for students who want to enter the emergency management field.

Experienced professionals looking to gain additional skills to advance their careers may also pursue the degree. Individuals with relevant experience in areas like law enforcement and emergency medical services can receive academic credit toward the degree. Students may also get credit for other work experience, previous academic coursework, or military experience.

Notable courses include hazardous materials response operations; exercise design, management, and evaluation; and developing and managing volunteer resources. Students must earn 36 major credits and 10 major elective credits. Learners also complete general education courses such as English composition, public speaking, and database management.

The flexible, fully online degree does not require any in-person sessions. BARTonline offers extensive student services, including assistance with enrollment, financial aid, and degree planning. Resources for distance learners include counseling and disability services.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Management With an Emphasis in Homeland Security
Tuition: $150/credit
Credit Requirements: 64 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (620) 792-2701
Email: webinquiry@bartonccc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Pierce College

Puyallup, WA

Experienced professionals in the field teach the homeland security associate degree online program at Pierce College. Located in Puyallup, Washington, and founded in 1967, PC is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Students can complete Pierce's associate in technology in homeland security emergency management entirely online with no in-person requirements. The program prepares individuals to become policy and emergency management leaders. Graduates can work in any hazard emergency environment, field, or industry.

The curriculum also explores cultural diversity and socioeconomic issues related to emergency management and homeland security. Learners gain the skills and knowledge to prevent and mitigate manmade and natural disasters. The program offers six concentrations: criminal justice, management, occupational safety and health, Native American/Alaska Native studies, American Sign Language, and social and cultural recovery.

The associate degree requires 99-103 credits and takes two full-time years to finish. Students must complete 40 general education, 44-48 core major, and 15 major elective credits. The curriculum includes courses such as all hazards emergency planning, technology in emergency management, and exercise design and evaluation. Students can also apply up to five credits of work-based experience toward the degree. Learners must earn a minimum 2.0 in each course to graduate.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. Pierce recommends that potential students take a skills assessment through the school's testing center. Transfer students can receive a transfer credit evaluation by sending official transcripts from prior colleges to Pierce's evaluation office.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate in Technology -- Homeland Security Emergency Management
Tuition: $95/credit in-state; $108/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 99-103 credits
Program length: 21 months

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Contact
Phone: (253) 912-2399 ext. 5093
Email: districtadmissions@pierce.ctc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Georgia Military College

Milledgeville, GA

The Georgia General Assembly established Georgia Military College in 1879. A military-focused, liberal arts, two-year college in Milledgeville, Georgia, GMC serves more than 4,000 fully online students.

The college offers 19 associate degrees and three bachelor's degrees completely online with no on-campus requirements. The affordable programs do not include out-of-state tuition or fees. Distance courses incorporate lectures, tests, written assignments, and discussions, just like traditional on-campus classes. GMC Online offers its own advisory services, admissions, and financial aid staff to support students. Distance education instructors tailor their teaching strategies to take advantage of the online environment.

Distance learners who want to pursue an online homeland security associate degree can earn an associate of arts or associate of science in homeland security and emergency management from GMC. Students explore issues such as intelligence and counterintelligence, homeland security policy and law, and terrorism and counterterrorism. Learners can find employment immediately after graduating or continue their education in a four-year program. Graduates work in areas such as safety management, intelligence analysis, and law enforcement.

The AA requires 70-73 quarter credits, while students pursuing the AS must earn 65-69. Courses in either degree track include terrorism and international crime, as well as introduction to homeland security and emergency management.

GMC students do not need to be members of the military. The college's open admissions policy means that applicants need only a high school diploma or GED to qualify for admission. Distance learners qualify for the same types of financial aid as those studying on campus, and about 85% of all enrolled students receive some form of aid.


Program Overview
Program Name: AA or AS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Tuition: $144/credit
Credit Requirements: 90-98 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (478) 387-4900
Email: sakers@gmc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Peninsula College

Port Angeles, WA

Distance learners at Peninsula College can earn an online homeland security associate degree that explores the policy and operations issues of emergency management and homeland security. A public community college in Port Angeles, Washington, PC offers student-centered academic programs.

The associate of applied science in homeland security and emergency management prepares students to be policy and emergency management leaders who improve outcomes in natural and manmade disasters. The fully online program does not require students to come to campus.

The 98-credit degree teaches practical, hands-on skills using incident management technologies. The curriculum explores issues such as risk and vulnerability assessment, planning for diverse populations, and socioeconomic and cultural diversity issues. The two-year, six-quarter degree dives into specialty courses such as basic incident command system, all hazards emergency planning, and emergency response awareness to terrorism.

Near the end of the program, learners complete a five-credit, work-based learning experience. A homeland security and emergency management internship lets students make connections between theory and practice. Learners typically need to consent to a background check for internships and employment in this field. Some upper-level courses require prerequisites or program coordinator approval. Students must earn at least a 2.0 in all major courses.

The program prefers applicants with basic computer skills. Learners must complete college-level English and math before enrolling in some courses. Most students start the degree in the fall quarter, although the program may allow spring or winter admission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate in Technology Homeland Security Emergency Management
Tuition: $134/credit in-state
Credit Requirements: 98 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (360) 417-6242 
Email: tknight@pencol.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Tidewater Community College

Norfolk, VA

Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia, enrolls almost 33,000 students. Founded in 1968, TCC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The college offers ten online degree and certificate programs in areas like business, accounting, and social services. TCC's fully online homeland security associate degree does not require students to make any visits to campus. Full-time learners can complete the degree in two years or four semesters.

Online students may receive tuition assistance, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. TCC's Center for Military and Veterans Education offers specialized academic and financial help to military personnel, their spouses, and dependents. Other support for distance learners includes technical help, tutoring, and career resources. TCC's Career Services Center provides resume and cover letter help, internship and job listings, workshops, and on-campus recruitment events.

Students who earn the associate of applied science in criminal justice with a specialization in homeland security receive a foundational understanding of law enforcement. The program offers hands-on training and features core courses such as principles of criminal investigations, evidence and procedures, and introduction to corrections. Program instructors include current and former professional computer forensic specialists, police detectives, and FBI agents.

Homeland security concentration courses explore issues such as terrorism and counterterrorism, as well as homeland security and the law. Distance learners can also enroll in an 80-hour criminal justice and homeland security internship with their local court or police system. Graduates can also easily transfer into a bachelor's program in criminal justice at three Virginia universities: Virginia Wesleyan College, Old Dominion University, and Strayer University.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice With a Specialization in Homeland Security
Available Concentrations: Forensic science; homeland security; public law
Tuition: $185/credit
Credit Requirements: 61 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid 
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (757) 822-1111
Email: info@tcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Community College of Allegheny County

Pittsburgh, PA

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Community College of Allegheny County offers 16 degrees and 14 certificate and diploma programs completely online. The college boasts another three dozen programs with at least 50% online coursework. CCAC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Distance learners can pursue CCAC's homeland security associate degree completely online without ever setting foot on campus. Full-time learners can finish the degree in two years. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the homeland security field. The curriculum explores issues such as risk assessment, perspectives on terrorism, and ethical and political issues of homeland security. Students learn to create homeland security grant proposals, prepare continuity of operation plans, and understand federal homeland security procedures and policies.

Homeland security majors must earn 61-63 credits to graduate with the associate of science. The curriculum includes courses such as continuity of operation planning, emergency medical services and health services orientation, and principles of information security. Learners also must fulfill university general education requirements. CCAC may award credit towards the degree for police academy training, firefighting, and emergency medical technician training and professional experience.

Virtual classrooms at CCAC incorporate live chat sessions, email, audio and video, and teleconferencing. Students can access their online classes at their convenience, allowing them to work full time while completing their degrees. Support for distance learners includes tutoring, library services, information technology help, and access to an online bookstore. The program may require online students to make arrangements for proctored exams.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Homeland Security
Tuition: $116/credit in-state;, $348/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 61-63 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (412) 237-2525
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Campbell University

Buies Creek, NC

An inclusive, private Christian school in Buies Creek, North Carolina, Campbell University enrolls 6,800 students and offers more than 150 academic programs. Campbell is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university's Baptist heritage encourages learners to pursue meaningful service and leadership. Campbell offers more fully online programs than any other private university in North Carolina.

Distance learners who want to earn a homeland security associate degree online can enroll in Campbell's e-learning program. The major explores issues such as terrorism, emergency management, and intelligence. The Adult and Online Education Division offers the 62-credit degree, which requires 24 homeland security and 40 general education credits. Students take major courses in interagency operations, national and international security, and critical infrastructure protection. General education requirements include classes in writing, math, and science. Students need a minimum 2.0 GPA in the major and overall to graduate.

Learners in the homeland security AS program must complete at least 15.5 semester credits at Campbell, but can transfer in the rest of the required credits. Campbell accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and grants credit for exams. Students may also receive credit for military training. A military friendly school, Campbell offers help with using veteran benefits and discounted tuition through its Online Military Benefit program.

Support for distance learners includes technical help, library resources, counseling services, academic advising, tutoring, and disability services. Dedicated staff at Campbell's Department of Online Education can also answer questions and provide assistance.


Program Overview
Program Name: AS in Homeland Security
Tuition: $450/credit
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (910) 893-7899
Email: online@campbell.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

White Mountains Community College

Berlin, NH

One of seven colleges in New Hampshire's Community College System, White Mountains Community College offers affordable, career-focused associate degree and certificate programs. Located in Berlin, WMCC is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

WMCC offers an associate of science in criminal justice and homeland security as a hybrid in-person and online degree. Students attend 6-8 in-person sessions each semester and complete the rest of their coursework online. In-person classes take place at the Berlin, North Conway, and Littleton campuses. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. Both law enforcement professionals and individuals without experience in the field pursue the degree.

The program provides a foundational understanding of the control and causes of crime. It also explores the court system, correctional environment, and domestic and foreign crime, including terrorism. Graduates pursue further education at four-year colleges or find law enforcement careers in local, state, and federal government. Students can easily transfer to bachelor's in criminal justice or homeland security programs at Plymouth State University, Granite State College, and the University of New Hampshire - Manchester.

WMCC offers part-time and full-time options for the associate. The 62-credit associate degree takes two years to complete. Students complete classes such as juvenile justice administration, forensic science, and justice and the community. Learners also must take a criminal justice internship. Graduates of the police academy and state corrections academy receive credit for 5-6 required courses.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Science in Criminal Justice/Homeland Security
Tuition: $215/credit in-state; $490/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 62 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (603) 752-1113
Email: wmcc@ccsnh.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook

14

Guilford Technical Community College

Jamestown, NC

Established in 1958 in Jamestown, North Carolina, Guilford Technical Community College offers more than 80 affordable, career-focused academic programs. More than 35,000 students attend the college. GTCC's distance education associate of applied science in criminal justice technology includes a homeland security track.

The completely online degree takes two full-time years (four semesters) to earn and does not include any required campus visits. Distance learners qualify for the same types of financial aid as on-campus students. The program incorporates practical exercises, discussion of current events, instruction in relevant technologies, and scenario-based lessons. Students learn to improve security in numerous scenarios using communication, problem-solving, and technical skills.

Designed for individuals seeking careers serving their communities, the program prepares graduates to find employment in homeland security, law enforcement, and corrections. Prior students work for local, state, and federal government and private industry in positions such as Transportation Security Administration officer, crime scene investigator, and private security officer. Graduates can typically transfer the associate degree to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's in criminal justice or a related discipline.

The program requires 66-68 credits and includes courses such as threat assessment, organized crime, and underlying causes of terrorism. Learners can also participate in a work-based learning internship. All full-time and adjunct instructors in the online program possess professional experience working in homeland security, corrections, or law enforcement.


Program Overview
Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice Technology
Available Concentrations: Homeland security; law enforcement management; criminal justice foundations; intervention
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 66-68 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (336) 334-4822 ext. 50430
Email: wrraines@gtcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

What Else Can I Expect from an Online Homeland Security Associate Degree Program?

Timeline 18 months to 2 years
Program Costs $6,000 to $20,000 in annual tuition
Popular Minors and Dual Areas of Study Emergency Management, Information Security, Cybersecurity, Network Administration, Logistics, Management, Nonprofit Administration
Accreditation There is no formally recognized accreditor for associate degree programs in this field. Please defer to an individual school's regional or national accreditation status.

Employment Outlook for Associate in Homeland Security Graduates

Job Placement: Associate in Homeland Security

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that homeland security jobs are available through a wide range of agencies and organizations. More than 240,000 individuals are currently employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; this number has risen roughly 31% over the last decade. Other federal agencies that hire homeland security specialists include the U.S. Department of Labor, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. State and local government agencies often hire police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other homeland security personnel classified as 'first responders'. A growing number of homeland security jobs are available through private companies and nonprofit organizations, as well.

Due to the high demand for qualified security and safety specialists, the employment outlook for the homeland security sector is fairly strong. Using BLS data, the following table looks at the 10-year growth projections for four of the most common careers in homeland security.

Occupation Projected Industry Growth (2014-24) Number of Jobs
Emergency Management Directors 4% +33,100
Information Security Analysts 18% +14,800
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 8% +30,200
Financial Analysts 12% +32,300

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

As the table indicates, more than 110,000 new jobs will be created for these four occupations alone between 2014 and 2024.

Earning a Living

Due to the extensive number of job titles that fall within the field, salary expectations for homeland security professionals will often vary by an employee's area of specialization, as well as the agency or organization that employs them. The next table looks at career salary growth expectations for four leading employers of homeland security personnel.

Agency or Organization 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)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) $52,163 $75,648/td> $77,423 $117,095
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) $57,170 $75,500 $77,454 $89,962
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) $67,005 $76,467 $105,043 $92,984
U.S. Department of Health $45,951 $42,555 $50,022 $53,240

Source: PayScale

Of the four organizations listed on the table, employees of the Department of Homeland Security reported the highest rates of salary growth: a staggering 124.5% increase between the entry-level and late-career phases. FEMA employees placed second with 57.4% salary growth, followed by FBI employees with 38.8% growth.

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate with an associate in homeland security will be qualified for dozens of positions in different organizations and agencies, although individual eligibility will depend on additional factors like experience level and city/state of employment. Four popular career pathways in homeland security are outlined in the section below.

Police and Detectives: Although day-to-day duties will vary, police and detectives follow the same guiding objective: to protect people, property and natural resources from criminal threats and disasters. Police officers play a direct role by conducting patrols in their areas of jurisdiction, while detectives oversee the investigation process whenever a crime is committed. Postdegree training and certification is usually required for police and detectives; specific requirements vary by agency.

Project Coordinators: Project coordinators oversee the various administrative and logistical tasks associated with short- and long-term projects. These employees are found throughout the homeland security sector; their projects often concern emergency response, disaster relief and reconstruction efforts, as well as the development and evaluation of contingency plans.

Project Coordinators: Information security analysts design, develop, implement and evaluate different programs and tools used to safeguard networks and computer systems from outside threats. These threats may concern terrorism, hacking and other criminal activities, as well as information leaks, equipment malfunctions and other technical issues. Security analysts will conduct thorough investigations whenever their organization is attacked, and revise their security systems accordingly to prepare for future disruptions.

Logisticians: These professionals are responsible for coordinating various resources ― such as food, water, supplies, transportation and manpower ― that are required in emergency and disaster scenarios. Logisticians must keep a thorough inventory and perform regular checks to ensure their supply chain is up to date, and keep meticulous financial records for their company or organization.

Profession Median Annual Salary
Police and Detectives $60,270
Information Security Analysts $90,120
Project Coordinators $67,280
Logisticians $74,260

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to homeland security is crucial to your 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. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • 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.

Financing Your Online Associate 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.

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.