Top Online Homeland Security Degree Programs

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What is a Homeland Security degree online program?

An online homeland security degree may prepare you to help protect your country. Homeland security programs often focus on emergency management, crime prevention, and intelligence. There are many types of homeland security degrees online including certificates, Associates, Bachelors, and Masters.

Associate DegreesBachelor’s DegreesMaster’s Degrees
AA in Homeland SecurityBA in Homeland SecurityMA in Homeland Security
This program provides a broad understanding of national security threats.This program provides education in the basics of terrorism counterterrorism, hazard management, intelligence and other components of national security.This program offers an advanced understanding of homeland defense, intelligence methods, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and other advanced homeland security subjects.
  • Mind of a Terrorist
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Border and Coastal Security
  • Introduction to Homeland Security and Defense
  • Intelligence and Homeland Security
  • Homeland Security Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Privacy & Civil Liberties in Homeland Security
  • Domestic Terrorism and Extremist Groups
  • Resilience and Homeland security

Homeland Security Degree Online Programs

Homeland security studies grew after September 11 when the U.S. government created the Department of Homeland Security. Federal, state and local governments, as well as large companies, often hire people who have homeland security degrees.

Most programs have a range of studies such as weapons of mass destruction, counterterrorism, intelligence, emergency management, and border management.

While there are specific online homeland security degrees, other schools offer homeland security as an emphasis for degrees in Criminal Justice, Information Systems, or Public Administration.

Associate in Homeland Security

An associate degree in homeland security usually requires 60 credits and takes two years to complete. The purpose of this degree is to give basic homeland security knowledge. It also prepares the student to get a bachelor’s homeland security degree.

After finishing this program, you may be able to recognize challenges in homeland security and make plans for improvement.

Bachelor’s in Homeland Security

An online bachelor’s degree in homeland security typically takes 120 credits. These credits include classes in general education and homeland security topics. Usually, a full-time student may need 4 years to finish these requirements.

Most students who complete this program may be able to understand weapons of mass destruction and counterterrorism, create homeland security practices, and respond to security threats.

Those with a bachelor’s degree in homeland security often find jobs in homeland security, law enforcement, emergency management, information security, and other public or private security roles.

Master’s in Homeland Security

An online master’s degree often requires a bachelor’s degree plus another 36 credits of courses specific to the study of homeland security. This degree program may increase your leadership skills and improve your knowledge of national security and defense. When you complete these courses, you may be able to understand homeland security tasks, identify and analyze terrorist threats, and evaluate domestic security challenges.

Those with a Master’s in Homeland Security often find analyst or manager jobs in government agencies, the military, or similar organizations dedicated to protecting public safety.

What Do Homeland Security Degree Courses Look Like?

Homeland security courses include basic classes that give an understanding of the topic. They also include more advanced courses that give detailed instruction in specific aspects of homeland security. This is a sample of the types of courses you may take.



Homeland Security and Defense: This type of course provides an overview of key features of the United States’ homeland security program. This includes analyzing homeland security operational and policy concerns.

Emergency Planning: This type of course provides the learning necessary to survive natural and man-made disasters. Typical topics include threat assessment, risk analysis, emergency operations, and communications.

Intelligence and Homeland Security: This type of course examines intelligence community responses to threats to the U.S. homeland. Students study illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling, money laundering and other organized crime.

Border and Coastal Security: Typically, this course studies the federal, state and local organizations involved in border and coastal security. Students learn about policies and strategies used to measure security along the United States’ borders.

How Long Does It Take to earn a Degree in Homeland Security?

On average, a full-time student may need 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree in homeland security online. Students pursuing a master’s degree full-time may need about 2 years.

Homeland Security Degrees That Could be Completed in 48 Months

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
American Public University SystemBachelors120Multiple48
Columbia Southern UniversityBachelors120548
University of Management and TechnologyBachelors120Multiple48

The Cost of a Homeland Security Degree Program

The cost of an online homeland security degree depends on the college chosen and the number of credits required. Tuition may be lower if you qualify for in-state tuition or military discounts.

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
American Public University SystemBachelors120$270$32,400
Columbia Southern UniversityBachelors120$230$27,600
University of Management and TechnologyBachelors120$390$46,800

Top Schools that offer Homeland Security degree programs

According to the NCES, there were 939 schools that offer homeland security degrees or programs.  From those schools there were 4,834 homeland security degrees or programs awarded to students. 39.7_% of these programs were bachelor’s degrees.

School2016 Grads total/degrees awardedTuition (Out of State)
American Public University System919$6,480
Utica College225$19,486
Fayetteville Technical Community College216$8,576
Saint Leo University169$20,760
Columbia Southern University155$5,040
Grand Canyon University128$17,050
Capella University97$13,988

Choosing an Accredited Homeland Security Degree Program

Choosing an accredited homeland security degree program is important because it helps to show that the school meets quality standards. Employers often need applicants that have a degree from an accredited school or program.

Certification is not always a need for employment in homeland security, but it is available.

Certified Homeland Protection Associate (CHPA) designations are for current students or those who have graduated from an accredited college or university. They must have completed coursework in areas relating to homeland protection, take an online course, and pass the Homeland Protection Associate test.

The Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) certifies that individuals have the knowledge and skills required for Homeland Protection. Candidates for CHPP who have a bachelor’s degree also need 2 years of experience as a responder, security profession or emergency manager to qualify.

CHPA and CHPP must be recertified every three years.

What can you do with a Homeland Security degree?

In 2016, there were 1.08mm people working in protective services which includes homeland security. The number of graduates in the workforce has been growing by 7.86%. The majority of homeland security graduates are male (71.3%).

In 2018, 9,550 Emergency Management Directors were employed with a mean annual wage of $82,570.

Top Salaries by State for Emergency Management Director

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
New York680$99,960

Jobs with a Homeland Security Degree

Emergency Management Director 

Emergency management directors prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. They do tasks like organizing emergency response training programs and reviewing emergency plans. They also must apply for funding and meet with public officials to assess needs. Most work for local and state governments. 

Median Salary: $74,420 per year 

Job Growth Through 2026: 8% (As fast as average) 

Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree 

Intelligence Analyst 

Intelligence analysts collect and analyze data to identify and prevent threats – like terrorism. They may use surveillance, intelligence networks, geographic information systems, and more. These professionals need knowledge of public safety, security, law, communications, and technology. 

Median Salary: $81,920 per year 

Job Growth Through 2026: 5 to 9% (As fast as average) 

Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree 

Information Security Specialist 

Information security specialists, or analysts, implement cybersecurity measures. They take steps to protect organizations’ computer networks and systems. That includes monitoring for security breaches, plus installing firewalls and data encryption software. These professionals are needed across many industries. 

Median Salary: $98,350 per year 

Job Growth Through 2026: 28% (Much faster than average) 

Typical Entry-level Education: Bachelor’s degree 

© Education Connection 2019. All Rights Reserved.

EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.