Homeland Security Degree Online

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What is an Online Homeland Security degree 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 intel. There are many types of online degrees in this field. There are also certificates.

In today’s ever changing political climate, these pros are key 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 commitments while you prep to change or advance your career.

There are a wide range of careers in the DHS for those who want to serve and protect their country, like roles in mission support, law enforcement, and cyber security. These are offered through many gov’t agencies that fall under the DHS umbrella. Roles include Emergency Management and Customs and Border Protection. Emergency management is a common work area, which deals with emergency planning in the event of large natural or terrorist threats. Another area is how to gather intel, which may involve work in the field, and how to analyze intel, which may involve a lot of technical skill. In addition to these kinds of jobs, the DHS also employs a large number of contractors for other types of roles.



AA in Homeland Security

This AA program give you a broad knowledge of national security threats.

Course Examples:

  • Mind of a Terrorist
  • Emergency Prep
  • Border Security

BA in Homeland Security

This BA program gives you a knowledge in the basics of hazard management, intelligence and other parts of security.

Course Examples:

  • Intro to Homeland Sec
  • Intelligence
  • Legal and Ethical Issues

Master of Arts in Homeland Security (MA)

This MA program offers an advanced knowledge in homeland defense, intel methods, weapons of mass destruction and other advanced subjects.

Course Examples:

  • Privacy & Civil Liberties
  • Terrorism and Extremist Groups
  • Resilience

Homeland Security Degree Online Programs

Homeland sec studies grew after Sept. 11 when the U.S. gov’t made 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.

Homeland sec degree programs aim to provide you with a strong knowledge and skill in the areas of emergency management, intel, and border security, among others. You will gain knowledge of the modern issues of security, terror groups, and cyber war fare through a mix of theory and application. By the end of the program, grads will know how to look for and neutralize domestic and int’l threats and how to perform these types of investigations. And, those in grad level programs will learn the manager skills needed to lead teams helping to deal with threats to US security.

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

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

Associate in Homeland Sec

This degree may require 60 credits and takes two years to complete. The purpose of this degree is to give basic homeland sec 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 the field and make plans for improvement.

Bachelor’s in Homeland Sec

This degree can take 120 credits. These credits have classes in gen ed topics and topics on the field. 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 sec practices, and respond to security threats.

Those with a bachelor’s degree often find jobs in homeland sec, 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 sec tasks, identify and analyze 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 that deal with how to protect public safety.

What Do Homeland Security Degree Courses Look Like?

This degree program may have basic classes that give a basic knowledge of the topic. They also have more advanced courses that give details of the many parts of the field.

Some courses may be:



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.

Intel 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 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 an Online Homeland Security Degree?

An Associate’s in Homeland Sec programs call for 60 to 65 credits of course work. They can be earned in under three years.

If you are going for your bachelor’s degree, you can choose to go for either your B.A. or B.S. A Bachelor’s in this field may be earned in about 4 years. They often require 120 to 125 credits. You can also start with your associate’s degree and choose to add on with a bachelor’s degree later down the line. If you choose to do this, you will add on to the credits you earned from your associate’s degree and can rest easy knowing you won’t have to start all over.

If you want to earn your Master’s degree, you will need to earn about 30 credits hours after you complete your bachelor’s degree. Many choose to work in the field while they earn their master’s degree. Master’s in Homeland Sec programs can take two to three years of study. PhD programs may take from two to five 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 field 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 129 schools that offer these degrees or programs.  From those schools there were 2,248 homeland sec degrees or programs given to students.

School2021 Grads total/degrees awarded2023/24 Tuition (Out of State unless *)
American Public University System897$8,400*
SUNY at Albnay233$28,998
Arizona State University Digital Immersion158$13,625
National University103$13,320*
Columbia Southern University242$5,808*
Eastern Kentucky University61$20,820

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 grads that have a degree from an accredited school or program.

A cert 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 are grads of an accredited school. They must complete course work in areas related to homeland sec, take an online course, and pass a test.

The Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) says that you have the knowledge and skills required for Homeland Sec. Those that go for CHPP who have a bachelor’s degree also need two years of experience as a responder, or in a 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 2021, there were 1.16 million people that worked in protective services which includes homeland sec. The number of grads in the work force has been growing by 4.77%. Most of the grads are male (67.7%).

In 2022, 11,800 Emergency Management Directors were employed with a mean yearly wage of $79,180.

Top Salaries by State for Emergency Management Director

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
District of Columbia140$167,680

Jobs with a Homeland Security Degree

As homeland sec is a diverse and new field, there is little centralized data on salaries and projections for these types of jobs.

Emergency Management Director

These professionals prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. They organize emergency response training programs, review emergency plans, and seek funding by meeting with public officials to assess needs. Most of them are employed by local and state governments.

According to 2023 BLS Data:

Median Salary: $83,960 per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 3% (As fast as average)

Common Entry level Edu: Bachelor’s degree

Intelligence Analyst

Intel analysts gather and analyze data to identify and prevent potential threats. They utilize various tools such as surveillance, intelligence networks, geographical information systems, and more. These professionals require expertise in public safety, security, law, and technology.

According to 2023 O*NET Data:

Median Salary: $86,280 per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 2% to 4% (Average)

Common Entry level Edu: Bachelor’s degree

Info Security Specialist

Information security specialists implement cybersecurity measures to safeguard computer networks and systems. They oversee security protocols, including monitoring for potential breaches, installing firewalls, and implementing data encryption software. Their expertise is highly sought after across various industries.

According to 2023 BLS Data:

Median Salary: $120,360 per year

Job Growth Through 2032: 32% (Much faster than average)

Common Entry level Edu: Bachelor’s degree

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

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