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Graduates with an online homeland security degree keep US citizens safeAlthough homeland security is a booming professional field in high demand these days, many adults remember a time before it was even a part of the national conversation. An online homeland security degree is a new field of study, spurred by the attack of September 11, 2001. Since that day, the threat of foreign attack on American soil has come to be a recognized and persistent danger. In response, the U.S. government created the Department of Homeland Security with the goal of protecting America from different threats caused by man and nature. Colleges rapidly designed new online homeland security degree programs in an attempt to respond to the need for trained professionals in this new government career specialty. Homeland security covers many different bases, so your career options range from mission support to law enforcement to prevention and response.


Although its intention has been defined as a ‘concerted effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States and to reduce the country’s vulnerability to terrorism,’ less than two decades later and homeland security has grown to encompass a massive scope of responsibilities related to emergencies and disasters beyond terrorism. There are careers for those that are intrigued by technology and want to use their skills to help prevent digital crimes and security breaches, as well as those who love the environment and want to bring their perspective into the planning for natural disasters. 

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) gives an overview of some of the careers that are possible through homeland security:

  • Transportation Security Screening - These professionals are the ones that we all hold our breath around at the airport. They are responsible for keeping us safe during our travels, which means they are also the ones who have the pleasure of digging through our bags when we accidentally set off the security alerts. Transportation security is a great entry-level gateway into homeland security, since it doesn’t require any higher education. Even without strict qualification requirements, it pays nearly $40,000 on average. 
  • Emergency Management - Professionals that direct emergency management operations usually have a bachelor’s degree and a history in emergency response. They use their knowledge and experience to guide the necessary tasks before, during, and after emergency events. The availability of jobs for emergency management directors is expected to grow along the same rates as the rest of the nation, around 8% in the next few years, and they make more than $70,000 on average each year. 
  • Information Security Analysis - Professionals in this line of work typically plan and carry out whatever security measures are necessary to protect an agency’s computer networks, systems, and data. The time is ripe for careers as an information security analyst. The increasing number and intensity of international cyberattacks is causing an increased demand for highly skilled professionals to create innovative solutions to new threats—these types of jobs are anticipated to grow by nearly 28% in the coming decade. Information security analysts can typically get started with a bachelor’s degree and can anticipate making more than $92,000 each year on average.


Critical-thinking and decision-making are two must-haves for successful homeland security professionals, who must be able to anticipate threats and make timely decisions under stressful circumstances. The field requires clear communication about preparedness planning to various levels of government as well as the public, and the interpersonal skills to build relationships between agencies and communities.

Professionals in homeland security also demonstrate a level of ingenuity that allows them to anticipate risks and adapt accordingly. They have an eye for detail that can catch even the tiniest change or shift out of the ordinary. Certain careers in homeland security also involve leadership skills to motivate teams of professionals and organizational skills to navigate across types of networks. If you are using your unique interests and skills to defend the safety of the country, then you could start your career path in homeland security.


The vast majority of homeland security jobs are available through the U.S. government. As more and more qualified individuals are needed for homeland security work, some colleges and universities are receiving special funding through the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate. This helps ensure students are receiving the training and opportunities necessary for a successful career spent protecting America.

The homeland security degree major is now one of the most popular law enforcement specialties offered by distance learning programs. Expect an homeland security degree online to include core courses in corrections, the psychology and sociology of criminal behavior, constitutional law and crime scene analysis. Online degree and certificate programs may also include courses in security, hazardous materials, corrections, international law, emergency medicine, bio-terrorism, counter-terrorism, competitive intelligence, criminal psychology, forensics, cultural anthropology and evidence collection.

If you're already a seasoned criminal justice professional or military veteran, consider earning a master's degree in homeland security. You could explore specialized courses of study in public administration, leadership, information security or public health preparedness. Your new base of knowledge may open up higher level positions in homeland security.

Many programs will also offer coursework in specialized fields according to students’ professional goals and interests in subjects like immigration or emergency management. Certain programs may also offer hands-on learning and work experience through internships or similar opportunities. Professionals may be interested in obtaining a certification such as the Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) that is offered by the Global Society of Homeland and National Security Professionals (GSHNSP). Some specific certifications exams may be included in certain programs. Likewise, some employers may offer incentives or assistance to obtain certification.


An online homeland security degree—at the bachelor level—costs $50,000, on average. The most affordable programs will charge under $30,000 for tuition. The price of tuition, generally, does not include the additional funds needed for certification(s). Compare both the cost and the unique perks of each degree program you are considering to find the best choice.

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List of Accredited Online Degrees

Grand Canyon University

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security & Emergency Management

The Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree program highlights the application and understanding of preparation, leadership and communication in crisis contexts. The courses are structured to cultivate critical thinke...

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Southern New Hampshire University

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security & Counterterrorism

The bachelor’s in criminal justice degree covers a wide array of current, real-world topics. Courses in the homeland security degree online program will take you deep into the realms of psychology, American politics, criminal law and subjects ...

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Purdue University Global

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program at Purdue University Global combines professional skills training with courses designed to help you develop a solid foundation of criminal justice knowledge. In this program you will have an opportu...

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Saint Leo University

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security

Saint Leo’s B.S. Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Specialization trains you to divert the next terrorist attack, respond to natural disasters and keep America secure—in cyberspace, at our country’s borders, and by air, land and...

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American Public University System

Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security

The Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security degree program offers students a comprehensive education in the basics of terrorism, counterterrorism, hazard management, intelligence, and other components of national security. Graduates are prepared to: ...

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Florida Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security

Florida Institute of Technology's BA in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security combines a broad liberal arts education with career-specific criminal justice and homeland security courses. This program explores multiple ...

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Franklin University

Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Management & Leadership

The online Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Management & Leadership program is designed for students who want to begin or further careers as public safety leaders in their communities.  The curriculum builds on knowledge and experience ...

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Thomas Edison State University

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security & Emergency Management

The Bachelor of Science degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management was established to provide students with a broad view of homeland security and emergency management issues focusing on policy considerations and aligning with the five Natio...

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Concordia University - Portland

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security

Keeping the nation safe takes a wide variety of participants. Aside from the obvious first responders, there are maritime specialists, security for private industry, transportation security specialists, cyber defenders, intelligence analysts, technol...

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Southwestern College - Kansas

Bachelor of Science in Security Management

The online BS in Security Management degree program from Southwestern College - Kansas prepares students for careers enabling private and public organizations to strengthen existing security measures and develop policies and procedures to ensure a sa...

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American Intercontinental University - Online

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security & Crisis Management

The AIU Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) degree program combines the required General Education courses that can provide liberal arts foundation with specialized coursework designed to give students a professional education in the crimi...

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Liberty University

Bachelor of Science in Government / National Security

Liberty University’s online Bachelor of Science in Government – National Security program will train you in a wide range of national security specializations, including strategy, lawmaking, implementation, and enforcement. With classes ...

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Marian University

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security

The online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security program prepares students to defeat terrorism, help with public safety, and build resilient communities in the United States through careers in Emergency Management or a Federal Agency.  The ...

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National University

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security & Emergency Management

The online BS in Homeland Security & Emergency Management degree program prepares students for careers in the security, business continuity, and disaster management fields in the public sector (city, state, or federal governments), nonprofit ...

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New England College

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Criminal justice professionals maintain societal order in the face of evolving laws, technological innovation and social circumstances that can lead to incivility and chaos. The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program provides students with a co...

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Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Bachelor of Science in Unified Public Safety Administration

Northwestern State University of Louisiana is offering an online Bachelor of Science degree in Unified Public Safety Administration. This program provides a wide range in skills that graduates can apply to numerous career fields.  With ...

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Post University

Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management & Homeland Security

The online BS in Emergency Management & Homeland Security degree program from Post University focuses on the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Students develop skills to plan and prepare for ...

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Regent University

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is an online or on-campus degree that will help prepare you for a career in local, state, federal or international law enforcement organizations. This program emphasizes a Christian worldview, strong academ...

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Excelsior College

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security & Emergency Management


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Saint Louis University

Bachelor of Science in Security & Strategic Intelligence

The online BS in Security & Strategic Intelligence degree program from Saint Louis University provides students with the fundamental knowledge and skills in security, intelligence, and computer information systems necessary to pursue a career in...

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Salem University

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security

Salem’s Criminal Justice program provides critical education in areas such as criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law and criminal investigations while maintaining its focus on the latest needs and trends in the field.  These...

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Tiffin University

Bachelor of Criminal Justice / Homeland Security & Terrorism

The online BCJ in Homeland Security & Terrorism degree program from Tiffin University is designed to help students grasp the fundamental values and purposes of criminal justice in American society, and to prepare them for entry level ...

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Trident University International

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security

Trident University International offers the online BS in Homeland Security. Students will develop a firm foundation in the important field of homeland security. The degree will enable students to advance their career while making a significant ...

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University of Maryland-University College

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) offers the online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security. This degree develops the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for management and leadership in homeland security. The coursework is design...

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Walden University

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice / Homeland Security

Walden’s BS in Criminal Justice program offers a variety of concentrations to help you meet your personal and professional goals. In the wake of the events on 9/11, the field of homeland security has grown exponentially. Consider this ...

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