Top Online Homeland Security Degree Programs

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What is a Homeland Security degree online program?

An online homeland sec degree may get you ready to help protect your country. These programs often look at how to manage an emergency, prevent a crime, and use intelligence. There are many types of online degrees in this field. There are also certificates.

In today’s ever changing political climate, these pros are crucial in keeping people safe. Grads with a bachelor’s degree can begin their careers in key roles. There are many areas for recent grads of online homeland sec degree programs.

Earning an online degree in this field will give you the chance to balance your obligations and commitments while you prepare to change or advance your career.

AA in Homeland SecurityBA in Homeland SecurityMA in Homeland Security
This AA program give you a broad knowledge of national security threats.This BA program gives you a knowledge in the basics of terrorism, hazard management, intelligence and other parts of security.This MA program offers an advanced knowledge in homeland defense, intelligence methods, weapons of mass destruction and other advanced subjects.
  • Mind of a Terrorist
  • Emergency Prep
  • Border Security
  • Intro to Homeland Sec
  • Intelligence
  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Privacy & Civil Liberties
  • Terrorism and Extremist Groups
  • Resilience

Homeland Security Degree Online Programs

Homeland security studies grew after September 11 when the U.S. gov’t created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Federal, state and local gov’ts, as well as large companies, often hire people who have these kinds of degrees.

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

While there are certain online degrees in the field, other schools offer homeland security as a focus for degrees in Criminal Justice, Info Systems, or Public Admin.

Associate in Homeland Security

This degree may require 60 credits and takes two years to complete. The purpose of this degree is to give basic homeland security knowledge. It also preps you to get a bachelor’s degree in this field.

After you finish this program, you may be able to deal with issues in homeland security and make plans for improvement.

Bachelor’s in Homeland Security

This degree can take 120 credits. These credits have classes in gen ed and homeland security topics. Often, a full time student may need four  years to finish this.

Most of those who complete this program will have knowledge in weapons of mass destruction, as well as how to create homeland security practices, and respond to security threats.

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

Master’s in Homeland Security

An online master’s degree often requires a bachelor’s degree as well as another 36 credits of courses in the study of the field. 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 issues.

Those with a Master’s often find analyst or manager jobs in gov’t agencies, the military, or similar places dedicated to protecting public safety.

What Do Homeland Security Degree Courses Look Like?

Courses in this degree program have basic classes that give a general knowledge of the topic. They also have more advanced courses that give detailed instruction in certain parts of homeland security.

Some courses may include:



Homeland Security and Defense: A course like this provides an overview of key parts of the U.S homeland security program. This includes how to analyze homeland security operational and policy concerns.

Emergency Planning: This type of course teaches what is needed to survive natural and man made disasters. Topics include threat assessment, risk analysis, emergency operations, and communications.

Intelligence and Homeland Security: This type of course looks at intel community responses to threats to the U.S. You may learn about illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling, money laundering and other organized crime.

Border and Coastal Security: Often, this course looks at the federal, state and local agencies involved in border and coastal security. You may learn about policies and strategies used to measure security along the U.S. borders.

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

On average, a full time student may need four years to earn a bachelor’s degree in this field online. Those going for their master’s degree full time may need about two years.


Homeland Security Degree Program Examples

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
American Public U SystemBachelors120Multiple48
Columbia Southern UBachelors120548
U of Management and TechnologyBachelors120Multiple48

The Cost of a Homeland Security Degree Program

The cost of an online degree in this major depends on the school chosen and the number of credits needed. Costs may be lower if you qualify for in state tuition or military discounts.

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
American Public U SystemBachelors120$270$32,400
Columbia Southern UBachelors120$230$27,600
U of Management and TechnologyBachelors120$390$46,800

Top Schools that offer Homeland Security degree programs

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

School2016 Grads total/degrees awardedTuition (Out of State)
American Public U System919$6,480
Utica College225$19,486
Fayetteville Technical Community College216$8,576
Saint Leo U169$20,760
Columbia Southern U155$5,040
Grand Canyon U128$17,050
Capella U97$13,988

Choosing an Accredited Homeland Security Degree Program

Choosing an accredited degree program is key because it helps to show that the school meets certain standards. Employers often need students that have a degree from an accredited school or program.

Certification is not always a need for employment in this field, but it is an option.

Certified Homeland Protection Associate (CHPA) certs are for current students or those who have graduated from an accredited school. They must have completed course work in areas related to homeland protection, take an online course, and pass a test.

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

CHPA and CHPP must be renewed every three years.

What can you do with a Homeland Security degree?

In 2016, there were 1.08 million people that worked in protective services which includes homeland security. The number of grads in the work force has been growing by 7.86%. Most of the grads are male (71.3%).

In 2018, 9,550 Emergency Management Directors were employed with a mean yearly 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

These pros prep for natural disasters and other emergencies. They do tasks like organize emergency response training programs and review emergency plans. They also must apply for funding and meet with public officials to assess needs. Most work for local and state gov’ts.

Median Salary: $74,420 per year

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

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence analysts collect and analyze data to identify and prevent threats. They may use surveillance, intelligence networks, geo info systems, and more. These pros need knowledge of public safety, security, law, and tech.

Median Salary: $81,920 per year

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

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

Information Security Specialist

Info sec specialists implement cyber security measures. They take steps to protect computer networks and systems. Like how to monitor for security breaches, plus how to install firewalls and data encryption software. These pros are in need across many industries.

Median Salary: $98,350 per year

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

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

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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.