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||Liberty University||Lynchburg||$$$$$||1971 University Blvd|
Lynchburg, VA 24515
Since 1985, LU’s distance learning programs have become increasingly diverse. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia,LU is the largest Christian university in the world and the largest nonprofit, private university in the country. Online enrollment exceeds 94,000 students. The online homeland security degree requires 120 hours, 30 of which must be taken through Liberty. Students with training through an accredited police academy may earn credits for their law enforcement experience. Classes begin at various times throughout the year, and students can apply for admission on a rolling basis. LU offers many financial aid grants and scholarships; approximately 87% of LU students have received financial aid.
|2||Saint Leo University||Saint Leo||$$$$$||33701 State Road 52|
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
St. Leo enrolls nearly 15,000 students around the world. Though St. Leo is the oldest Catholic school in Florida, the university prides itself on accepting students from all backgrounds and religious affiliations. St. Leo ranks as one of the country’s top 10 providers of education to military personnel and offers military scholarship programs. SLU students who earn their homeland security degree online are prepared for jobs in criminal justice; coursework includes classes in the Middle East, responses to terrorism, how to exploit weaknesses in terrorist organizations, and the legal implications of counter-terrorism. St. Leo is a private, liberal arts school with regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|3||Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale||Fort Lauderdale||$$$$$|
Fort Lauderdale, FL
KUFL was founded in 1977 with the goal of providing career-oriented education. Today, KUFL is Florida’s third largest nonprofit university. Keiser U has become a major Florida institution, with campuses in 18 metropolitan areas and international campuses in Nicaragua, China, and Taiwan. KUFL provides 90% of their degree programs online, perfect for adult students who need flexible learning environments. The school’s online homeland security degree develops skills necessary for management positions, including emergency management and critical infrastructure protection. While the degree program is available entirely online, students can also take courses at brick-and-mortar campuses throughout the U.S. and the world.
|4||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester||$$$$$||2500 North River Road|
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
Southern New Hampshire is listed as one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. SNHU’s online school is accessible 24/7, allowing students to learn according to their own schedules, and SNHU online programs begin at multiple times throughout the year. The online homeland security BS from SNHU is completed over six periods of nine weeks. Students gain a deeper understanding of terrorism and how to respond. Of the required 120 credit hours, 24 are elective credits, and SNHU allows up to 90 transfer credits. According to the BLS, careers in homeland security are expected to increase by 5% in the investigative field and 10% in conflict resolution from 2012 to 2022, making now the perfect time to earn a homeland security degree online.
|5||Concordia University - Portland||Portland||$$$$$||2811 NE Holman Street|
Portland, OR 97211-6099
CUP is one of ten universities instituted by the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and proudly admits students of any faith or background. CUP offers a fully online homeland security and emergency preparedness program that prepares graduates to enter the workforce after sixteen months of study. Fully accessible online learning platforms allows students to schedule learning around their daily lives There are no set class times; lectures, notes, and discussion boards are available 24/7. After earning their homeland security degree online, graduates pursue careers in public health, cyber security, and risk management. Additionally, CUP offers study abroad programs to online students.
|6||Philadelphia University||Philadelphia||$$$$$||4201 Henry Avenue|
Philadelphia, PA 19144-5497
Students complete the online degree in homeland security at PhilaU in two to three years. The online bachelor’s of science in law enforcement leadership prepares graduates for positions in police departments and other areas of law enforcement, with courses including crime analysis and police management. The required 120 credit hours are scheduled over eight-week periods, and course materials are available 24 hours per day, which allows students to study on their own time. PU prides itself on taking a unique, interdisciplinary approach to learning, requiring general education credits to supplement program-specific courses. Admissions are offered on a rolling basis, and PU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|7||Anderson University||Anderson||$$$$$||316 Boulevard|
Anderson, SC 29621-4035
AU’s entirely online homeland security degree mimics an on-campus experience. A collaborative environment, in which students communicate with peers and professors in real time, enhances the learning process. The homeland security preparedness program was created with first-time freshmen in mind and therefore offers extensive background information in criminal justice. Coursework covers arrest, search and seizure, juvenile delinquency, legal aspects of drugs, and other core topics. In addition practical skills, students who earn a homeland security degree online develop a foundation in causes of crime, legal aspects of criminal procedure, and the history of correctional systems and practices. The degree requires 123 hours for completion.
|8||Campbell University||Buies Creek||$$$$$||450 Leslie Campbell Ave|
Buies Creek, NC 27506
CU offers an online degree in homeland security: a bachelor’s of arts in criminal justice. While this degree is earned primarily online, the university requires students to complete one on-campus class, the Campbell Seminar. Program coursework includes correctional philosophies and issues, courts and procedures, the national government, and ethics in government. The required 124 credit hours include both classes specific to homeland security and extensive general education coursework. CU accepts up to 64 transfer credits from accredited institutions. Graduates who have earned their homeland security degree online pursue careers in law enforcement, private and corporate security, and forensics. CU is a private university with regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|9||National University||La Jolla||$$$$$||11255 North Torrey Pines Road|
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
NU offers an online degree in homeland security as part of its school of professional studies. The program provides students with a foundation in national security, with emphases on the threat of terrorism and how to handle a national emergency. Students learn to write and implement emergency plans and to aid major decision-makers. This bachelor’s of science in homeland security and emergency management requires 11 primary courses and several electives. Students choose between concentrations leading to master’s degrees in public administration or in criminal justice. All coursework—including lectures, notes, and discussion boards—is accessible 24/7, allowing students maximum flexibility in their studies.
|10||Mercy College||Dobbs Ferry||$$$$$||555 Broadway|
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
MC, which was founded in 1950 as a coeducational, nonsectarian college, offers a 100% online bachelor’s of science in corporate and homeland security. Over four years and 120 credit hours, students gain a comprehensive background in security and national concerns. This unique bachelor’s of science degree is classified as multidisciplinary; along with the BS in homeland security, students earn a business degree, meaning graduates are poised for a range of careers. MC accepts up to 75 transfer credits from any two-year college and 90 transfer credits from an accredited four-year institution. Mercy College maintains a prestigious regional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|11||Tiffin University||Tiffin||$$$$$||155 Miami Street|
Tiffin, OH 44883
Established in 1888, TU acknowledges the multifaceted nature of national and homeland security and offers a wide array of academic curriculums to cover various aspects of the field. Coursework may involves topics such as terrorism, criminal infrastructure, emergency management, and covert action and intelligence. Online classes are available in seven-week terms with start dates in January, March, May, July, August, and October. Students of the online homeland security program complete 121 credit hours in courses specific to homeland security, as well as general education classes. Tiffin University is nationally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and 27% of TU undergraduate students continue to master’s programs.
|12||University of Alaska Fairbanks||Fairbanks||$$$$$||505 South Chandalar Drive|
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7500
UAF offers two bachelor’s programs leading to degrees in homeland security. The homeland security and emergency management program emphasizes field-specific study to prepare students for service-driven positions. Graduates of the emergency management program, on the other hand, typically pursue office-based positions. The homeland security and emergency management certification requires 33 primary credit hours and an additional 10 to 15 credit hours in a concentration area. The bachelor’s in emergency management requires 120 credit hours and a minimum 2.0 GPA in all classes. Coursework is available completely online, and UAF is is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
|13||Lake Superior State University||Sault Ste Marie||$$$$$||650 W Easterday Ave|
Sault Ste Marie, MI 49783
LSSU is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the country—it was founded before the U.S. was even a country. With classes taught by former and current officers and lawyers, LSSU’s online homeland security degree utilizes a comprehensive teaching strategy with hands-on and academic-based learning. Students earning their bachelor’s of science in general criminal justice studies can customize the degree with a specialized minor, such as corrections, homeland security, or institutional loss control. Students may also pursue associate degrees in any of these areas. LSSU’s degree programs and specializations emphasize critical thinking, writing, and research. Bachelor’s degrees require four years of study, and associate degrees require two.
|14||SUNY College of Technology at Canton||Canton||$$$$$||34 Cornell Drive|
Canton, NY 13617-1098
Students of SUNY’s homeland security program learn to identify and respond to threats in both the private and public sectors. The degree’s 122 required credit hours include courses on topics such as immigration laws and civil liberties. During their final semester, students may choose to complete five upper-level courses in criminal justice or to undertake an internship at a criminal justice agency. Coursework—including lectures, notes, discussion forums, and reading material—is available 24/7 through online learning platforms. SUNY holds prestigious regional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers a number of financial aid opportunities; approximately 87% of students receive scholarships and grants from the school.
|15||Angelo State University||San Angelo||$$$$$||2601 W. Avenue N|
San Angelo, TX 76909
ASU’s online homeland security degree helps students understand current issues facing U.S. borders, in addition to worldwide homeland security concerns. The program improves critical thinking and analytical abilities in the realms of security, justice, and emergency management. The degree in border and homeland security requires 120 credit hours in both general education and field-specific classes, such as border security, cultural competence, and intelligence and security studies. ASU’s entirely online programs require no on-campus participation. ASU holds regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and Princeton Review consistently ranks ASU as one of the country’s best colleges.
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.