Why This Matters

  • WORK IN ONE OF 14 HOMELAND SECURITY AREAS

    The U.S Department of Homeland Security is the largest employer of homeland security professionals in agencies like the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the Secret Service, and more.

  • THE TSA RECEIVED REAUTHORIZATION IN 2018

    The Transportation Security Administration, which is critical to ensuring safe traveling conditions within the U.S. and abroad, will continue expanding in the future, thanks to recent Congressional reauthorization.

  • CYBERSECURITY JOBS TO INCREASE 32% BY 2028

    As cyberattacks become more frequent, the demand for trained professionals who can track threats and prevent attacks is increasing at a faster than average pace. Individuals focusing on cybersecurity will have an edge in this area.

Our Research

There are a few types of degrees one can earn in homeland security. At the bachelor’s level, programs are usually either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA). For master’s programs, most are either Master of Science (MS) or Master of Professional Studies (MPS). We reviewed a variety of programs so you could select the one that best fits your educational status and career goals.

All of the programs are offered online, although some can be completed in person or in a hybrid format.

The programs on our list are all offered by schools with regional accreditation, which is a guarantee that they meet high standards for quality education.

Once we refined our list of programs, we evaluated their coursework, cost, reputation, flexibility, and faculty, and then we calculated an Intelligent Score for each on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 56 hours to write this article
  • 116 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 291 education programs we compared

The Top 62 Online Homeland Security Degree Programs

Best Online Homeland Security Degree Programs
01
Best Scholarships
Jacksonville State University
01
Best for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Kansas Wesleyan University
01
Best Corporate Partnerships
Central Penn College
01
Best Public University
Angelo State University
01
Most Convenient
SUNY Canton
01
Best Bachelor's Degree
Mississippi College
01
Best Electives
Sam Houston State University
01
Best Honors Program
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
01
Best Global Campus
University of Maryland Global Campus
01
Best Catholic University
Anna Maria College
01
Best for Dual Enrollment
Vincennes University
01
Best For-Profit University
Trident University International
01
Best for Transfer Students
Liberty University
01
Best for Veterans
Campbell University
01
Good Value
American Military University
01
Flexible Completion Time
Utica College
01
Best Cohort-Based Program
Bellevue University
01
Best Career Services
North Carolina Central University
01
Best Doctorate Program
Northcentral University
01
Best Student Support Services
American Intercontinental University
01
Most Transfer-Friendly
Franklin University
01
Best Criminal Justice Focus
Monmouth University
01
Best Strategic Intelligent Focus
Saint Louis University
01
Best Master's Degree
Salve Regina University
01
Best Certificate Program
Bush School - Texas A&M University
01
Best in the Southeast
Virginia Commonwealth University
01
Best Private Research School
Northeastern University
01
Best for Adult Learners
Purdue University Global
01
Best Research-Focused Program
Towson University
01
Best Minor Program
Park University
01
Best in the Midwest
Southern Illinois University
01
Best Online University
Southern New Hampshire University
01
Best Private University
George Washington University
01
Most Experienced Faculty
Pace University
01
Best for Accelerated Classes
National University
01
FBI National Academy Partner
Saint Leo University
01
Best in the West
Colorado Technical University
01
Best State University
California University of Pennsylvania
01
Risk-Preparedness Focus
Saint Joseph's University
01
Most Affordable
Keiser University
01
Most Military Friendly School
Endicott College
01
Best for Multiple Certificate Options
Pennsylvania State University
01
Best Experiential Learning Emphasis
Wilmington University
01
Best in the South
Eastern Kentucky University
01
Student Recommended
Thomas Edison State University
01
Congressionally-Designated
Long Island University
01
Best in the Southwest
Arizona State University
01
Best for Accelerated Classes
University of Arizona Global Campus
01
Year-Round Courses
LeTourneau University
01
Best for Multiple Start Dates
Tiffin University
01
Best Counterterrorism Focus
Herzing University
01
Disaster Management Focus
Touro University Worldwide
01
Best Blended Program
Tulane University
01
Christian Perspective
Regent University
01
Best Military Friendly School
Excelsior University
01
Best for Multiple Start Dates
Mercer University
01
Most Flexible
University of New Haven
01
Best Student Support
Strayer University
01
Fastest Completion Time
ECPI University
01
Multiple Campus Locations
Mercy College
01
Highly Flexible
Medaille College
01
Most Credits for Experience
Marian University
01
Simple Enrollment Process
New England College

What You Should Know About This Degree

Homeland security as we know it is a relatively new field. Although some agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, like the Coast Guard and the Secret Service, have existed for years, the DHS itself was not created until 2002, after the 9/11 terror attacks. Therefore, many homeland security degree programs are new as well.

As the field continues to develop, so do the skills and training needed to work in homeland security. Degree programs continually update their curriculums to reflect these changes, and individuals going into this field should be adaptable as well.

Homeland security encompasses law enforcement, border patrol, cybersecurity, military operations, emergency response, immigration services, and more. As there is no clearly defined path to a career in homeland security, you should give some consideration to your career goals and the specific role you see yourself playing within homeland security. This can help guide you towards a program that teaches a broad range of skills, or offers a chance to specialize.

If you are a federal, state, local, tribal or territorial employee, or an active U.S. military officer, you can attend the Naval Postgraduate School’s homeland security master’s program. The U.S. government offers free tuition to individuals who work in certain government agencies.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Homeland Security programs:

  • How are online courses delivered? Online courses are usually delivered synchronously or asynchronously. In asynchronous courses, students can access course materials and lectures and complete assignments at any time. Synchronous courses are less flexible, as they require students to attend classes remotely on a fixed schedule. Find out how the courses in your program are delivered, and find the best fit for your schedule.
  • Can I pass a background check? Due to the sensitive nature of homeland security jobs, passing a background check is typically a prerequisite for hiring. While having incidents or infractions on your record won’t preclude you from earning a degree in homeland security, it can affect your job prospects post-graduation. Talk to an advisor prior to enrolling in a program if you are concerned about your background check.

In addition to researching the program’s curriculum, be sure to explore the application process and financial aid options. This information is available on the school’s website. You can also contact their admissions and financial aid department directly if you have any questions. Financial aid options include loans, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition assistance from your employer.