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Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security Programs for 2017

Are you searching for a dynamic, challenging career that contributes to public and national safety? Natural disasters, global security threats, and cybersecurity risks are inevitable, and public security depends on leaders who identify risks and create effective plans to maintain public safety. An online degree in homeland security introduces the necessary skills for careers in emergency management, information security, public safety, and criminal justice.

Those with a homeland security degree enter a growing job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in homeland security careers will continue to rise faster than the average for all occupations. Continue reading for more information about how a homeland security bachelor’s degree program prepares you for this exciting and rewarding field.


Emergency preparedness, information security, public health, and law enforcement fall into the broad, interdisciplinary field known as homeland security. In the wake of 9/11, the federal government created the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the term “homeland security” has been used since then to include professions involved with national safety and security. The field itself integrates theories of criminal justice, logistics, public health, information technology, and environmental science. Homeland security professionals leverage these disciplines to identify risks and create strategic plans to prevent and recover from national crises. When earning a homeland security degree, students often tailor the program to focus on issues such as national security, border patrol, disaster relief, or environmental sustainability. Careers in homeland security are available across industries, such as government agencies, public health organizations, or security for private companies.


How to Choose an Online Bachelor’s in Homeland Security Program

Choosing the right online homeland security degree is a personal decision. In addition to reviewing tuition costs, curriculum, and available concentrations, you should review the institution’s accreditation. Also, contact a school’s admissions advisor for more information on financial aid and program specifics. As a prospective student, you should apply to schools that meet your individual and career needs. Below are a few common questions you might consider.


Completing your homeland security degree online depends on transfer credits, academic standing, and the curriculum of your chosen university. Bachelor’s programs typically require you to complete 120 credit hours. If you enroll full-time, most programs can be finished in four years. Many schools offer part-time options, which can extend graduation but allow you to work at a slower pace. Accelerated options are also available, in which courses are taken simultaneously for quicker degree completion. You should contact your prospective schools for more information on what kinds of programs are available.


Most online homeland security degree programs offer flexible schedules allowing you to work while you learn. Schools understand that your on-the-job experience only enhances classroom time. Therefore, with an online program, you can earn your degree, work, and support a family, all while having the flexibility to complete coursework on your own time. Programs are often structured to allow individual pacing, and internships are tailored to accommodate your current employment needs.


The best programs know that online education benefits students in multiple ways. Earning a homeland security degree from the schools listed here can be completed 100% online or often, in hybrid formats. Student services and financial aid planning are also accessible online at most schools. The dynamic structure and unique demands of online education prepare you for the diverse challenges you will later meet in a career in homeland security.


Internships and career advancement opportunities are determined by each school. Internships provide students with supervised training from professionals in the field, and many homeland security online degrees encourage students to partner with local law enforcement, security, and relief agencies. Additional professional development is also available at most schools and can typically be accessed online. These institutions are dedicated to your success, and provide diverse opportunities to grow your career.

Careers for Graduates of this Program

With an online homeland security degree, you learn to identify risks, develop response strategies, and tackle recovery operation techniques to meet any situation. These skills are necessary for a variety of careers, in both government and private agencies. Whether its national security, law enforcement, or emergency response, graduates find satisfying and profitable work in many roles. A few of the most common positions are listed here.

Job Outlook and Salary

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in homeland security enter the workforce with ample opportunity to apply their skills. With a history of significant growth in the last ten years, employment is expected to rise 6% through 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. A homeland security degree prepares job seekers for crisis management, analysis, and resource distribution skills in a variety of potential careers. Though government budgeting affects available openings, geographic needs, and global security concerns continue to increase jobs. Private companies with security needs or who provide relief services continue to increase job prospects for degree holders.

Employment Growth for Emergency Management Directors
Employment, 2004 Projected Employment, 2014
10,880 13,180

Source: BLS


Similar to most careers, annual salaries for graduates with a homeland security bachelor’s degree rise over time with increased experience in the field. Additional certifications in information systems security, data analysis, and public health can also influence pay throughout your career. Some of the most common positions are listed below, demonstrating the positive trend in salary growth over time.

To determine the best online bachelor’s in homeland security programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online bachelor’s in homeland security programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.