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Best Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 11/24/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Average Tuition: $24,083
Alumni Salary: $46,310

Online homeland security degrees are available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. They provide students with opportunities to pursue careers working against terrorism as well as man-made and natural disasters. The schools on our best online colleges ranking are particularly good options for prospective students to explore. Schools were ranked based on tuition rates as well as alumni salaries provided by PayScale.

There is no specific programmatic accreditation for homeland security degrees. However, prospective students should make sure that the institutions they choose to attend have received institutional accreditation. In addition to institutional academic accreditation, students should look for interdisciplinary programs that include coursework in risk management, technological issues, public policy, and general planning and management concepts.

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2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Homeland Security Degrees

2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Homeland Security Badge

Ranked based on affordability and earning potential, these 25 schools offer the best online bachelor's degrees in homeland security. At #1, DeSales University charges $15,240 per year for their Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security. Thomas Edison State University offers distance learners a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management for $9,856 per year. Alumni reported a mid-career salary of $88,000.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 DeSales University $15,240 $100,800
# 2 #2 Thomas Edison State University $9,856 $88,000
# 3 #3 Mercy College $18,934 $90,400
# 4 #4 Excelsior College $15,300 $84,300
# 5 #5 Norwich University $11,250 $80,700
# 6 #6 University of New Haven $20,150 $81,100
# 8 #8 SUNY Empire State College $10,943 $76,500
# 9 #9 University of Alaska Fairbanks $10,140 $75,800
# 10 #10 Arizona State University $15,900 $77,600
# 11 #11 University of Maryland Global Campus $14,970 $77,200
# 12 #12 Wichita State University $6,708 $67,200
# 13 #13 Saint Leo University Online $11,100 $65,600
# 14 #14 National University $16,650 $66,500
# 15 #15 Saint Louis University-Main Campus $19,500 $67,200
# 16 #16 Park University $12,450 $63,700
# 17 #17 Sam Houston State University $12,963 $63,800
# 18 #18 Campbell University $13,950 $63,800
# 19 #19 Middle Tennessee State University $13,500 $63,100
# 20 #20 Eastern Kentucky University $12,270 $61,800
# 21 #21 Liberty University $11,700 $59,000
# 22 #22 Keiser University $19,808 $58,900
# 23 #23 Mercer University $14,250 $54,700
# 24 #24 Bellevue University $13,175 $54,000
# 25 #25 Tiffin University $14,260 $40,300
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Homeland Security Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 DeSales University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,240
  • Median Salary: $100,800
  • Locations: Center Valley (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

DeSales University, a private Catholic university in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a track in intelligence. In this accelerated degree program, students gain a comprehensive understanding of how to collect, analyze, and effectively use intelligence information. Additionally, an accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security is offered, where students learn about disaster preparedness and response, infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, intelligence analysis, and counter-terrorism. A total of 120 credits are required to complete these degrees, and up to 75 credits can be transferred. Both are available as fully online programs. Coursework is delivered via the Blackboard Learn online learning management system. They are part of the university’s ACCESS program, designed especially for busy adult learners who have family and professional responsibilities. Nine start dates are available throughout the year, and, if needed, students can stop their studies for a time and then restart when it is convenient. Those who wish can also attend some classes on campus, day or evening, and students can log on and join live courses at the university as well. Many student services are available to distance learners at DU. These include professional and peer tutoring, writing center, career development center, library services, online workshops, and more. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, and recommendations from a teacher and counselor. There is no fee to apply to DU. Although not a requirement, it is recommended that applicants have a strong background in English, math, foreign language, and science.

#2 Thomas Edison State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,856
  • Median Salary: $88,000
  • Locations: Trenton (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Thomas Edison University offers a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The curriculum covers a wide range of issues connected with homeland security, public safety, and emergency management. Students study both theory and practical application in the five main areas of homeland security: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The degree requires 120-semester credits for completion, and students can transfer up to 90 credits toward the program. Additionally, students can earn credits by passing a final exam without taking the course, and credits may be awarded if a student, via a portfolio, can demonstrate knowledge equivalent to that taught in college courses. Asynchronous learning and a flexible format mean that students can study at their own pace; the length of time to finish the program depends on how many credits are transferred and how much time students can devote to studying. New terms start every month, so undergraduates can enroll and begin their degree when it is most convenient for them. This degree can also be completed fully online. Students at TESU can make an appointment with an advisor to discuss their education at the university. Extensive access to the New Jersey State Library is provided, and materials from a wide range of subjects can be viewed and downloaded. Those applying to TESU must have a high school diploma, secondary home school diploma, or GED. Applicants must be at least 20 years old, but waivers are possible under certain conditions. Applicants who are 18 and active members of the US military may apply.

#3 Mercy College

  • Annual Tuition: $18,934
  • Median Salary: $90,400
  • Locations: Dobbs Ferry (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Mercy College, located in Dobbs Ferry, New York, offers an online Bachelor of Science in Corporate and Homeland Security through the college’s School of Business. This unique program incorporates knowledge and skillsets needed to provide security to both the public and private sectors, and graduates can pursue careers in both government and business. Course material is delivered via the Blackboard online learning management system and is available 24/7. Up to 75 credits can be transferred from a two-year college, and up to 90 from a four-year institution. Full-time students who are starting the degree from the beginning (no credit transfer) can complete the program in four years. Coursework is delivered via the Blackboard online learning management system and includes the receiving and submitting of assignments, quizzes, tests, audio and video materials, discussion boards, and other interaction with fellow students and instructors. Learning is asynchronous, so students can design their study schedule around family and professional responsibilities. First-time students at Mercy College must submit their high school transcripts that include all grades, class rank, and date of graduation. Applicants must also submit a resume, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Mercy College has a test-optional admissions policy for most applicants; student-athletes and international students are required to submit test scores. Students whose native language isn’t English must demonstrate their English proficiency in order to be accepted into the program.

#4 Excelsior College

  • Annual Tuition: $15,300
  • Median Salary: $84,300
  • Locations: Albany (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Programs at Excelsior College are designed for working adults with family responsibilities. They allow students to study whenever and wherever it is convenient, maximum credit transfer from previous college work is awarded, and academic credit is given for military service and job experience. The institution offers several online bachelor’s degrees related to homeland security. Options include a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in homeland security. A Bachelor of Science in National Security is also offered as a general degree or with one of two concentrations: intelligence and security analysis, and topics in national security. Each of these degrees requires 120 credits to graduate, and a maximum of 113 can be transferred from prior college experience and coursework. Online courses at Excelsior are broken into learning modules, which can take from one week to several weeks to complete. Curricula include discussions, assignments, quizzes, exams, and journals. Coursework is delivered via the Blackboard online learning management system. Student services at Excelsior College include academic advising, 24/7 access to the university’s bookstore, career center, online library services, accessibility services, veterans’ center, writing lab, and orientation to the online classroom environment. Transfer students applying to an undergraduate program at Excelsior College must submit official transcripts from previous coursework, and they may also be required to submit course descriptions and syllabi from those courses.

#5 Norwich University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Median Salary: $80,700
  • Locations: Northfield (VT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Norwich University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in strategic studies as well as an online Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies. Applicants to these completion degrees are required to have a minimum of 30 credits, and up to 90 credits can be transferred from previous coursework. Students with fewer than 60 credits are required to take elective courses. Several start dates throughout the year mean that students can begin their degree when it is most convenient for them. Study is self-paced, with students taking an average of 18 months to complete each degree. Both degrees include a capstone project, and the BS in National Security Studies incorporates field studies into the curriculum. Online courses at Norwich University are designed so students complete one class at a time, which is ideal for working adults whose family and professional responsibilities limit the time they can devote to coursework. Online students at NU have access to academic advising, library support, a writing center, veterans’ services, help with credit transfers and financial aid, and more. Applicants to Norwich University must provide high school transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. Although it is not required, students may also submit a 300-500-word essay and letters of recommendation from mentors, coaches, employers, teachers, and/or counselors. SAT/ACT scores are not required for transfer for students who have earned at least 12 credits in college coursework. There is no minimum GPA requirement, but transfer students are encouraged to enroll with at least a 2.5 GPA.

#6 University of New Haven

  • Annual Tuition: $20,150
  • Median Salary: $81,100
  • Locations: West Haven (CT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management at the University of New Haven can concentrate their studies in one of two tracks to best suit their career goals. The Homeland Security concentration instructs students in the fundamentals of safeguarding the security of the country’s borders, infrastructure, and citizens, while students in the Emergency Management track learn to address risks and respond to natural and man-made disasters. The curriculum of the degree program includes an internship, providing students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill in the discipline alongside professionals in the field. The university offers two start dates in both the summer and fall, and students must complete 121 credit hours to graduate. Applicants must submit official copies of all academic transcripts and, if applicable, an official ACT or SAT score report. Students transferring from another college or university and those who have not attended high school in the last five years are exempt from the test score requirement. Students pursuing the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Degree online are required to meet assigned deadlines, but there are no set log in times, and coursework can be completed whenever and wherever is most convenient for the student.

#8 SUNY Empire State College

  • Annual Tuition: $10,943
  • Median Salary: $76,500
  • Locations: Saratoga Springs (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

SUNY Empire State College features three degrees in Public Affairs and Homeland Security: a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS). The programs stress public service and professional competencies to protect the public and manage emergencies. The BA degree has more general education requirements than the BS. The BPS is more management and career-oriented. Online learning at ESC includes traditional books and textbooks, eTextbooks, audio and video materials, online discussion forums, and more. Online student resources at ESC include bookstore services, career services, student services teams, a student information center, library services, student clubs, and more. Applicants for an undergraduate degree at SUNY ESC must provide proof of high school completion, official transcripts, and an essay that shows they can complete college-level work. The admissions process must be completed within one year of applying. The assessment of prior experience for credit is generous.

#9 University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Annual Tuition: $10,140
  • Median Salary: $75,800
  • Locations: Fairbanks (AK) (and 1 other)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a Bachelor of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (BESM). The degree is offered through the School of Management, and its focus is on merging business administration skills with security and emergency concerns. The intent is to produce business managers for the field. The program is designed for working professionals in areas such as EMT, fire, policing, and military. Others may apply. Students must choose a concentration such as Fire Management or Public Safety Management. UAF also has an online MA in the same field that may interest students in the BESM program. Distance learners have access to library materials through the mail and online, tutoring and eCoaching, and disability services. Those interested in applying for this program must submit a UAF application, pay the application fee, and submit official transcripts and test scores. Applicants must have a high school diploma and a minimum GPA of 2.5 to be considered. Transfer students with more than 30 university credits need to provide college transcripts showing a minimum 2.0 GPA and have left their previous school in good standing.

#10 Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,900
  • Median Salary: $77,600
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Arizona State University features a Bachelor of Science in Public Service and Public Policy with a concentration in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The focus is on developing professional skills to respond to and mitigate disasters and to coordinate among response teams. Terms last 7.5 weeks. Among the courses are American Government and Politics, Public Service and Policy in the 21st Century, and Public Service Ethics. ASU has one of the largest and best regarded online programs in the country. Students complete an online orientation that gets them acquainted with the virtual classroom. Tech support is available 24/7, as are other campus services like academic advising and career resources. First-year applicants must be in the top 25% of their graduating high school class, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, or meet a minimum ACT/SAT score requirement. Transfers should have a 2.5 GPA. Those that don't meet the requirements may gain admission through the Earned Admission Track. Prospective students must submit an online application with their transcript and test scores.

#11 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Median Salary: $77,200
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The University of Maryland Global Campus has a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security. The curriculum emphasizes infrastructure protection, evaluation and planning, terrorism, and other threats. Among the courses for the major are Public Safety Administration Ethics, Public Safety Leadership, and Infrastructure in Homeland Security. Using the digital classroom LEO (Learning Experience Online), the asynchronous courses can be accessed via smartphone, computer, or tablet. Each class is eight weeks long, and most offer no-cost eResources as source material. Those enrolled in the program have access to career services, tutoring and mentoring programs, an office of accessibility services, specialized services for military and veterans, online student clubs, and a writing center. Students interested in applying should complete the online application (fee required) and provide a transcript and/or military service information. Transfer students should have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Up to 90 credits may be transferred into the 120 credit program. UMCU has generous policies about assessing prior experience and workplace learning for credit.

#12 Wichita State University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,708
  • Median Salary: $67,200
  • Locations: Wichita (KS)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Wichita State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security that is designed to provide students a foundational education in the discipline and opportunities to advance their knowledge through practical learning. Students are instructed in a curriculum covering a number of fundamental topics in homeland security, including risk management, border security, and cybersecurity. Applied learning or research experience is required of all students in the program, which may include analyzing and presenting information on modern concepts and practices acquired through interviewing local, regional, or federal professionals in the field. Students enrolled in the Homeland Security Degree online access and complete all class assignments through the university’s learning management platform. Courses may be facilitated through webcam instruction, recorded video lectures, or PowerPoint presentations. 24/7 tech support is accessible to all online students, in addition to virtual advising and tutoring. Freshman applicants must submit an official copy of their high school transcript and an official ACT or SAT score report. Transfer students are required to submit official transcripts demonstrating all college-level coursework completed and must have earned a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered for admission.

#13 Saint Leo University Online

  • Annual Tuition: $11,100
  • Median Salary: $65,600
  • Locations: St. Leo (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security at Saint Leo University are afforded the opportunity to begin or advance a career in the field with an FBI National Academy Associates-approved educational partner. The 120-credit hour curriculum includes coursework in homeland defense, counterterrorism, border security, immigration, and cybersecurity. There are no required field experiences or internships, but students lacking prior, hands-on experience in the field are encouraged to participate in a field placement course during their senior year. Each academic term lasts eight weeks and admitted students may begin their studies on one of six start dates throughout the year. Applicants interested in admission to the bachelor's degree program must submit a transcript from each prior academic institution attended, including high school, college, or university. Professional training documentation may also be submitted for possible academic credit substitution. Online students have access to free, online tutoring, technical support available 24/7, and access to the library website, Ask-a-Librarian, LibAnswers, and the reference desk for research and writing support.

#14 National University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,650
  • Median Salary: $66,500
  • Locations: La Jolla (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

National University offers a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The program focuses on a foundation in security issues and coping with and recovering from emergencies. Terms last four weeks, with one class per term. Among the courses in the curriculum are Domestic Security Management, Interviewing and Interrogation, and Disaster Management. A 6-credit Emergency Medical Technician Certificate is available to enhance the degree. National University’s online degrees are designed to be flexible and accessible. Coursework is delivered asynchronously, with assigned readings, recorded lectures, and participation in web-based discussion boards. National University is recognized as a Yellow Ribbon school for its programs and services directed to military students. All online students may use campus services available online, including a live chat feature that allows students and faculty to engage with one another in real-time. An orientation course is available online to introduce students to the technological requirements. Virtual tutoring, veterans' services, career services, and academic advisement are also available to online learners. The library provides online resources and a 24/7 online reference assistant. Admission requires transcripts and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer student admission is holistic.

#15 Saint Louis University-Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $19,500
  • Median Salary: $67,200
  • Locations: St. Louis (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students at Saint Louis University-Main Campus have a number of options in pursuing an education in homeland security, including Bachelor’s Degrees in Security and Strategic Intelligence and Emergency Management. Students in the Security and Strategic Intelligence program, too, can choose to focus their studies in Business Continuity, Global Corporate Security, or Strategic Intelligence. The university offers six start dates and accelerated eight-week semesters, and students in both programs are required to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Applicants must be at least 22 years old and have at least three years of work experience to be considered for admission. Official high school and, if applicable, college transcripts are required, and transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 to apply. Prospective students are also required to attend a virtual meeting with an academic coach. Students pursuing the homeland security degree online can access online tutoring and tech support 24/7 in addition to library resources and assistance from research librarians. Students with an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.5 in major coursework may participate in an accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s in Strategic Intelligence, allowing them to complete 12 graduate credit hours while pursuing their undergraduate degree.

#16 Park University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,450
  • Median Salary: $63,700
  • Locations: Parkville (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Park University hosts an online Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) with a concentration in Homeland Security. The overall BPA degree is oriented to public service, and the Homeland Security emphasis focuses on threat assessment and preparedness. Courses in the program include Geography of Terrorism, The Modern Middle East, and Emergency Management. The school is very military friendly and is located in Parkville, Missouri. Park University's online programs are recognized by Quality Matters, an organizational leader in online education quality assurance. Online learners use the Canvas Learning Management System to access their classroom materials. Students have two technology help desks for support and may utilize additional support services, including disability services, academic advising, tutoring, and writing assistance. Admission requires a diploma or GED, and transfers need a 2.0 GPA. Park has generous policies regarding transfer credit and credit for experience. For example, the completion of basic training converts to four credits.

#17 Sam Houston State University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,963
  • Median Salary: $63,800
  • Locations: Huntsville (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students in the Homeland Security Studies program at Sam Houston State University can choose to concentrate their studies in a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree. Both programs are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skill in preventing, responding to, and protecting the country’s infrastructure and citizens from natural disasters and internal and external terrorist threats. Prospective students are required to submit official high school transcripts and, if applicable, college transcripts. 120 credit hours of coursework are required for graduation, and work experience may substitute for credits at the discretion of the department or university. The arts and science curricula are similar and may include border security, intelligence analysis, public health, and cybersecurity. Course content is delivered entirely online and includes audio and visual presentations, webcam interaction, discussion boards, and lectures. Online students can contact the SHSU Online Help Desk for any technical issues 24/7. Graduates of the Homeland Security Bachelor’s Degree can begin or advance careers in law enforcement, customs and border protection, and a number of government agencies.

#18 Campbell University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,950
  • Median Salary: $63,800
  • Locations: Buies Creek (NC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Campbell University offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Homeland Security and a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security for students interested in pursuing a career in border, infrastructure, and citizen security. Both programs require the completion of 124 credit hours and typically take four years to finish. Students in the BS and BAS are instructed in similar curricula, including the fundamentals of homeland security, state and local government, national and international security, and cyberterrorism. The BS curriculum includes an internship in an organization or agency in the field, providing students real-world experience in the role and responsibilities of a professional in homeland security. With the exception of the internship required in the BS program, all coursework is completed through the university’s online learning management platform, Blackboard. Online classes are delivered asynchronously, meaning students are not required to log in at specific times and can complete coursework and other assignments by the posted deadlines at their own pace and convenience. Students can download the Blackboard mobile app to access assignments, notifications, and grades in addition to 24/7 tech support. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts for admission consideration, and there are no application fees.

#19 Middle Tennessee State University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Median Salary: $63,100
  • Locations: Murfreesboro (TN)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Students in the online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Degree program at Middle Tennessee State University can choose to concentrate their studies in Homeland Security. The 120-credit hour curriculum includes coursework in concepts of terrorism, criminal justice, security in the private and industrial sectors, organized crime, and analyzing intelligence. Freshman applicants are required to submit official transcripts and an ACT or SAT score report for admission consideration. Students transferring from another college or university must have 24 or more credits completed with a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Work experience may be substituted for up to 60 credit hours at the discretion of the department or university. All course content in the online Homeland Security Bachelor's Degree concentration is completed online, though optional on-campus meetings are available to students. Students are supported with a number of services and resources, including online counseling, writing support, and library assistance, and free tutoring available 24/7.

#20 Eastern Kentucky University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,270
  • Median Salary: $61,800
  • Locations: Richmond (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Eastern Kentucky University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security. The program is based on three pillars: Disaster Management, Intelligence Studies and Security Operations and Management. The curriculum focus is on understanding, assessing and planning for man-made and natural threats. There are two 8-week terms per semester, with two classes per term. Courses include Counterintelligence, Cyber and Physical Security, and Homeland Security Technology. Students have the option of adding a minor or certificate to their degree. EKU's Homeland Security program was one of the first, and is still one of the largest. Admission requires a diploma, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and test scores. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Up to 90 credits may be transferred. Classes begin six times a year, and the program is available entirely online. Distance learning is asynchronous so students can complete coursework at their convenience. Online students have access to personal advisors, as well as online tutoring and career services.

#21 Liberty University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Median Salary: $59,000
  • Locations: Lynchburg (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Liberty University features a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Homeland Security and a Bachelor of Science in Government: Homeland Security. Both degrees are 120 total credits and, on average, are completed in 3.5 years. Admission requires a diploma or GED, and transfers should have a 2.0 GPA. Credit transfer and evaluation of experience for credit are generous. Liberty's stated goal is to merge Christian perspectives and career skills. The government program focuses on public service, as well as identifying, assessing, and implementing protection strategies. The criminal justice program focuses on security, disaster preparedness, counter-terrorism, and intelligence. Program courses include Resilient Nations, Strategic Intelligence, and Behavioral Dimensions of Disaster. Online students at Liberty have access to a variety of services and resources, including academic advising, counseling services, the online writing center, and more. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA or higher and submit school transcripts with their online application (the fee is charged only on admission).

#22 Keiser University

  • Annual Tuition: $19,808
  • Median Salary: $58,900
  • Locations: Daytona Beach (FL) (and 15 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security at Keiser University provides students an education in securing and protecting the country’s borders, infrastructure, and citizens from external and internal threats and natural disasters. The 120-credit hour curriculum includes coursework in analyzing intelligence reports, security technology, criminal justice management, and preparing for, preventing, and responding to terrorist threats or activity. All classes are delivered online through “Keiser Live,” a learning platform designed to allow students to participate in lectures in real-time. Lectures are also recorded and made available on the platform for students to view at the student’s convenience. Classroom discussions are facilitated in a message board forum, and students can also download the Blackboard app on most mobile devices to receive course notifications and grades. Online students have access to a number of virtual resources and support services, including help centers and writing labs. Students applying to the online bachelor's degree must submit official academic transcripts, but there are no prerequisites for any coursework in the major.

#23 Mercer University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,250
  • Median Salary: $54,700
  • Locations: Macon (GA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Mercer University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The program focuses on developing communication and leadership skills in high-risk situations, and on planning for potential crises. It's offered through Mercer's Penfield College, which administers the school's online programs. Terms last eight weeks and courses include The Effects of Disaster on Society, Forensic Behavior, and Ethics and Public Safety Leadership. Mercer historically is associated with the Baptist church but is now interdenominational. The program has five start dates a year in January, March, May, August, and October. Admission is holistic, based on GPA, class rank, the strength of curriculum, and other materials. Transfer students need a 2.0 GPA and may transfer in up to 96 credits. Once enrolled, students have access to a virtual platform connecting them with employers nationwide for internship and job opportunities in addition to several online job search and recruitment tools.

#24 Bellevue University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,175
  • Median Salary: $54,000
  • Locations: Bellevue (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Students at Bellevue University can choose from three degree programs in pursuing an education in homeland security, including Bachelor’s Degrees in Intelligence and Security Studies and Security Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Intelligence and Security Studies. The curricula of the three programs center on securing the country’s borders, infrastructure, and the safety of citizens from terrorist threats and natural disasters. Coursework includes intelligence and counterintelligence, political extremism, national security, risk management, and emergency planning. Instruction takes place in the university online learning platform and students are provided access to virtual tutoring and writing and study skill support, and library resources. To most effectively support the learning of online students, faculty are required to participate in a six-week online coursework delivery program. Applicants to the online bachelor’s degree are required to submit an official high school transcript and, if applicable, any college transcripts with a cumulative GPA included.

#25 Tiffin University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,260
  • Median Salary: $40,300
  • Locations: Tiffin (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Tiffin University offers an online Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ) in Homeland Security and Terrorism. The program considers all aspects of terrorism; it focuses on identifying and assessing threats and response planning. There are two 7-week terms per semester, with start dates in January, March, May, July, August, and October. Among the courses in the program are Psychology of Terrorism, Global Infrastructure Protection, and Criminal Procedures. Learning is delivered asynchronously through the Moodle platform, allowing students to balance their coursework around other responsibilities. Online coursework includes many collaborative elements, such as discussion boards, chat rooms, and email. Support services for distance learners include access to the library, tutoring, and a writing center. Admission for freshmen requires a diploma with a minimum 2.25 GPA or the GED. Transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.0. Policies on credit transfer and credit for experience are generous. Military members receive a 30% discount on tuition.

Overview of Online Homeland Security

Individuals interested in pursuing an online degree in homeland security can find options at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. There are also certificate programs available. At the associate level, students will spend two years studying general education courses as well as specialized classes that cover the basics needed to start a career in the field. Graduates of an associate degree can find entry-level work in such areas as law enforcement and security, or go on to earn a bachelor's. At the bachelor's level, students will gain the skills and knowledge that they need in order to address a variety of security threats, such as how to prepare for and respond to disasters, protect infrastructure, and address terrorism. Upon completion of a bachelor's program, graduates will be able to find work in a variety of settings, from the government to private security.

Master's degree programs are also available for those who wish to seek additional education in order to advance their careers and gain higher leadership positions within the field. A master's degree program will usually take two years to complete. Students in the program may be able to focus their studies in a particular area, such as information security, food defense, or geospatial intelligence. Doctoral degrees are another advanced educational option, and may be a good choice for those who wish to teach at the university level or who want to work in research or as a consultant. A doctoral degree will take anywhere from four to seven years to finish and will require writing a dissertation.

Lastly, there are also certificate programs available in the field of homeland security. These programs may be an appropriate option for someone who is not ready to commit to a full master's degree, but who still wants to earn additional education to advance their career. These certificate programs are commonly offered at the graduate level, meaning applicants must already have a bachelor's degree. Certificate programs are usually intended for professionals with experience in the field.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Homeland Security

An online bachelor's degree in homeland security provides a solid foundation in safety and security issues, focusing on vital components of the homeland security field such as critical infrastructure protection, disaster preparedness and response, and intelligence sharing and analysis, in order to address concerns ranging from terrorism to natural and man-made disasters. Bachelor's degrees are offered by colleges and universities, usually taking four years to complete the required 120 credit hours. With an associate degree, 60 credits are covered and two additional years are sufficient to complete the bachelor's degree. Applicants need at least a high school degree or GED to apply for a bachelor's degree program and must have achieved minimum GPA standards. A bachelor's degree in homeland security covers general education courses, writing and seminar classes, electives, and a final capstone project, depending on the program. Homeland security coursework includes classes on risk analysis, mitigation & disaster recovery, government security, border & immigration control, transportation security, and more. Job security upon graduation is very high, with graduates landing careers in government positions, in the military and Coast Guard, law enforcement, and public and private security.

The Importance of an Accredited Online Homeland Security Degree

In the United States, over 3,000 regionally accredited institutions of higher education educate nearly 17 million students. Seven regional accrediting agencies are responsible for setting quality standards for certificates and degree programs offered by these schools. The primary goal of accrediting commissions is to ensure that students get the learning resources they need to build professional skills in their fields of study. Regional accrediting agencies conduct annual reviews of each institution to ensure that it maintains quality standards on a school-wide and regional basis. Regional agencies also share information so that quality standards for schools have a level of consistency on a nationwide basis. There are no rules or regulations in the homeland security field that require professionals to hold degrees from a regionally accredited school. However, a credential from a regionally accredited institution can offer an edge in the job market because employers can feel assured that applicants from these schools have an excellent academic preparation for current demands in the field.

Careers in Homeland Security

Jobs in homeland security provide high job security, performance-based increases, flexible hours, and a wide variety of promotion opportunities. Students and graduates can work for the Department of Homeland Security, the military, law enforcement, government, security consulting companies, and private insurance companies. For government jobs in homeland security, veterans are considered preferential hirees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, military career job growth is expected to remain stable through 2024. Day-to-day responsibilities differ depending on the career, but individuals can expect variance in their schedule and a combination of interpersonal and technical duties.


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