Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans have taken a special interest in topics that had not necessarily crossed their minds before, or perhaps had been taken for granted before: national security, terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction.
While degrees in public safety and security were around prior to Sept. 11, their prevalence is expected to grow faster than other jobs—particularly in the fields of bioterrorism and cybersecurity.
Earning a degree in homeland security can prepare students for careers in a variety of fields including law enforcement, intelligence, forensic science, surveillance, and risk management. Those who hold homeland security credentials can work for a public or private law enforcement or security agency, a state government, or the federal government as an investigator, security advisor, or transportation surveyor.
Several schools offer online degrees in homeland security, ranging from undergraduate certificates and associate degrees to master’s degrees and beyond.
- University of Massachusetts Lowell- Undergraduate Certificate in Security Management and Homeland Security: This online certificate program offered through four-year, public university UMass Lowell requires six undergraduate courses—four required courses and two elective courses. The four core courses cover topics including physical security, security management, and information security. Elective courses cover topics including weapons of mass destruction, criminal law, terrorism, hate crime, criminal profiling, and forensic psychology. UMass-Lowell is regionally accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
- University of Maryland University College- Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security: This four-year program at public four-year UMUC is designed to teach students a global outlook, interpersonal skills, and awareness of current issues in homeland security. Students will take courses in technology, intelligence, political science, international relations, and response to critical incidents. Students in the program who would like to also earn a graduate degree in homeland security from UMUC may combine degree plans and cut off 12 required credits. UMUC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- Eastern Kentucky University- Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security: This four-course, 12-credit-hour certificate includes graduate coursework in homeland security policy analysis, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence, and hazards and threats to homeland security. Credits may then be transferred to the university’s master’s degree program in homeland security. Eastern Kentucky University, a four-year, public university, is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Penn State World Campus- Masters of Professional Studies in Homeland Security: The online branch of public, four-year Pennsylvania State University offers an online 33-credit graduate degree in homeland security. Students will take core coursework in policies and programs of homeland security and administration; social and ethical issues of homeland security; and violence, threats, terror, and insurgency. Students can choose from electives in biosecurity, network management, intergovernmental relations, homeland security law, terrorism politics, foreign policy, and international relations. Penn State is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
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