Homeland security officers create and implement plans to support and protect communities from natural disasters and manmade threats. Those who have earned an online bachelor’s degree in homeland security have been trained to assess potential risks at the local, state and national levels. They have the knowledge and skills needed to help towns recover from a severe storm or to respond to terrorist attacks.
By earning a homeland security degree online, students prepare for work in the private or public sectors. They have the opportunity to join the ranks of the roughly 240,000 employees working for the Department of Homeland Security. The curriculum and outcomes of the bachelor’s in homeland security degree in this field differ very little from their on-campus counterparts. However, most of the online classes are taken one-at-a-time, which gives students the opportunity to master each topic.
The following list ranks the best online bachelor’s in homeland security programs for 2016.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Saint Leo University||Saint Leo||$$$$$||33701 State Road 52|
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
Students of the St. Leo criminal justice program can add a homeland security degree online to their other degree. The curriculum is based in the liberal arts and Catholic spirit and provides a solid foundation of arts and sciences courses. The 18-credit homeland security concentration mostly focuses on terrorism; students learn about how the Department of Homeland Security protects the nation from attacks and helps with recovery from disaster. Classes include: Legal Issues in Counter-Terrorism, Local Response to Terrorism and Exploitable Weaknesses in Terrorist Organizations.
Students engage with class materials, instructors and classmates by logging in to the My Saint Leo Portal and accessing the Learning Studio. Prospective online students can learn about the school's expectations and tools by watching the Starting Point Videos. Necessary textbooks for the bachelor's in homeland security degree can be ordered online, and students can take advantage of the library's digital collection, research tools and interlibrary loan.
|2||National University||La Jolla||$$$$$||11255 North Torrey Pines Road|
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
In the Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (BS-HSEM) program, students learn how to create, implement and conduct emergency plans. They are prepared to take on roles with government agencies, emergency response teams and nonprofit organizations and have the skills to react to naturally-occurring and manmade disasters. To qualify for graduation, online homeland security degree students complete 180 quarter hours of coursework, 49.5 of which are earned in the major.
With the exception of the senior project course, bachelor's in homeland security degree classes last a month and are taken one-at-a-time; students have two months to complete the culminating project. Those with previous experience or training in the field may participate in the CAEL Portfolio program; five of the HSEM classes are eligible to be waived. National University uses Blackboard for its online courses; students use one login to access the learning platform and other online resources.
|3||Concordia University - Portland||Portland||$$$$$||2811 NE Holman Street|
Portland, OR 97211-6099
The Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program instills students with skills in four objective areas: leadership, foresight, vigilance and team building. Through a curriculum taught by first responders, federal agents and military leaders, students are prepared to take on leadership and planning roles in government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sectors. Students take one class during each eight-week term, allowing them to finish the major's 48 credits in four years. The program culminates in a practicum that gives students the opportunity to experience working in the field first-hand.
Online learning is conducted over Blackboard, through which students and instructors communicate on discussion boards, access reading materials and complete or grade assignments. Those new to online learning can participate in a Blackboard orientation to familiarize themselves with the platform.
|4||Keiser University||Fort Lauderdale||$$$$$||1500 NW 49th St|
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Students in the homeland security degree online program are given the managerial skills and knowledge necessary to recognize, plan for and respond to manmade and natural emergencies. The curriculum consists of 120 credit hours of coursework; the lower division requirements must be fulfilled before students can begin upper division course. Topics in the major cover terrorism, cyber security, management and catastrophe response. Students complete a capstone project that looks at a current public safety topic.
Online learning is managed using Blackboard. Online homeland security degree students have access to the Online Writing Lab to help them with their written assignments. They can also use the library's digital resources and purchase their textbooks from the school's online bookstore.
|5||Angelo State University||San Angelo||$$$$$||2601 W. Avenue N|
San Angelo, TX 76909
With a curriculum that includes Critical Infrastructure Protection and Legal Issues in International Relations, the online homeland security degree program looks at where border security fits into the homeland security profession. Students are given the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to understand the current issues surrounding the U.S. borders. The degree consists of 42 credit hours in major courses and 78 credit hours in general education, elective and minor requirements.
Online classes are held over Blackboard, through which students can access assignments, pre-recorded lectures and discussion boards. Online learners at Angelo can find resources for mental health concerns, disability services and access library materials developed with them in mind.
Employment opportunities in homeland security abound. Depending on interests, training and clearance levels, professionals in this field can find work in the public or private sectors, or with the local, state or national governments. They work with first responders to create and implement plans for the prevention of or recovery from destruction. They also protect people, businesses and the government from economic fraud and cyber attacks.
Graduates can also find work with the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS offers careers in four main areas: Law Enforcement, Immigration and Travel Security, Prevention and Response, and Mission Support. Each area encompasses other offices and departments within the U.S. government, and potential careers with the DHS include: U.S. Secret Service, cyber security, customs enforcement and border protection. Many jobs with the United States government require testing independent of a degree and background checks.
Most employment opportunities for homeland security specialists require additional training after earning a degree; some positions also require further education and previous employment experience. The DHS provides a number of competitive internship programs open to students from high school to postgraduates. Most online bachelor’s in homeland security degree programs require undergraduates to participate in practicums that let them apply their theory to real-world projects.