Why This Matters

  • DHS EMPLOYS MORE THAN 240,000 PEOPLE

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security employs many security professionals, and the department has over 240,000 employees. DHS oversees agencies such as the Coast Guard, FEMA, and Customs and Border Protection.

  • ANOTHER 40,900 INFORMATION SECURITY ANALYSTS ARE NEEDED

    The field of information security is growing rapidly, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be another 40,900 information security analyst jobs by 2029. The bureau projects 171,900 jobs by then.

  • EARN OVER $99,000 PER YEAR

    Information security analysts command a median salary of $99,730, and some make even more. Analysts in the information, computer systems design, finance, and insurance industries usually make six figures.

Our Research

We reviewed many Master’s in Security degree programs, including online, traditional, and hybrid options. The programs included are Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degrees. Each has a slightly different focus, and you should choose whichever one best suits your interests and professional aspirations.

All of the listed programs are regionally accredited, and many have programmatic accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB), the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), or a similar body.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best Master’s in Security Degree program are affordable, respected, and flexible. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 65 hours to write this article
  • 202 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 385 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Security Degree Programs

Best Master's in Security Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Most homeland security positions require applicants to pass drug tests, background checks, and other screenings. A minor infraction might be overlooked, but major infractions often disqualify people from positions. If you have a felony conviction or other major infraction, you may want to pursue another career path.

You might qualify for a special program if you’re active-duty military or work for a federal, state, local, or tribal agency. Active military officers and employees of some agencies can enroll in the Naval Postgraduate School, and tuition is free for certain qualifying personnel.

Online programs can typically be completed remotely, but they may have a brief in-person requirement. For instance, programs might require that you attend an in-person orientation, seminar, or conference. Check for any such requirement, and make sure your schedule can accommodate it.

The homeland security field grew significantly when the Department of Homeland Security was founded in 2002. The field is still relatively young, and it has seen substantial changes in the past decades. Professionals who enter the field should prepare for a flexible career that may require them to adapt as the field continues to morph.

What’s Next?

As you evaluate master’s in security programs, consider these questions:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Some of these degree programs require a relevant undergraduate degree or experience in security, but other programs accept students with a simple bachelor’s degree in any field. Check a program’s specific eligibility requirements to see whether you qualify for that program.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most of these programs require between 30 and 36 credits, which normally can be completed in two years or less if you study full-time. A few programs are longer and may require an additional year.

Also give thought to how you’ll pay for your degree. Check each program’s website, or contact the school directly to learn the required application materials and deadlines.

For help covering the cost of a program, inquire about financial aid and scholarship opportunities offered by schools. You can also check with your employer to find out whether it provides tuition reimbursement.