Since September 11th, the homeland security field in the U.S. has expanded substantially. Career opportunities are varied, and there is work to be found in areas like emergency management, information security, infrastructure protection, intelligence analysis, law enforcement and physical security. Though most jobs that fall under the umbrella of homeland security involve serving and protecting the public, the field emphasizes the importance of investigating acts of domestic and international terrorism, as well as cybercrime.
Homeland security is a great academic path for those already working in relevant fields like law enforcement and security. By enrolling in an online master’s in homeland security in particular, professionals can continue to hold a relevant position and gain further experience while strengthening their skills, knowledge and chances of upward mobility. Many jobs in security are high stress with long hours; online degrees provide the most flexible and least taxing option. Though a bachelor’s isn’t required for all positions in the field, obtaining a master’s will ensure easier advancement and prove dedication and expertise to employers.
Of course, choosing the right online program is key. We’ve compiled our list of the best online master’s in homeland security programs below.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus
|Teaneck||1000 River Rd|
Teaneck, NJ 07666
The online master's in homeland security at FDU may also be completed as a blended version which incorporates the traditional classroom experience. Students must complete 36 credits divided into 12 courses, four of which must be the following required courses: Homeland Security and Constitutional Issues; Research and Policy Analysis; Weapons of Mass Destruction/Terrorism Awareness; and Strategic Planning Implementation and Evaluation, which includes a thesis.
Students pursuing an online MSHS at FEDU use Webcampus, an online courseware resource which uses Blackboard online systems. Webcampus gives students access to the FDU on-campus library resources and the separate, FDU online library. Students may request free online tutoring using etutoring.org, powered by Webcampus.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale||3301 College Ave|
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
Nova Southeastern offers a 33 credit MS in National Security Affairs through their Department of Multidisciplinary Studies. The homeland security master's degree online program is designed to teach students theoretical, research and applied skills in security affairs as well as how to analyze and assess the threat of terrorism. Graduates should emerge able to perform textual analysis of critical issues in security affairs.
Students of NSU’s MS in National Security Affairs use Sharklearn, the school’s online portal powered by the Blackboard learning management system. Students can submit coursework, communicate with instructors and access student resources using Sharklearn. The online program is offered worldwide.
|New Castle||320 Dupont Hwy|
New Castle, DE 19720
Wilmington University offers a Master of Science in Administration of Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. The online master's homeland security program focuses on equipping students with a foundational knowledge in the major issues of homeland security and emphasizes modern terrorism, risk assessment and any legal implications involved in security efforts. In order to be considered, students must hold a master’s from an accredited institution in criminal justice or a related discipline. Up to six credits earned in previous graduate programs may be petitioned to be applied to this degree.
The coursework is delivered through Wilmington’s online portal, Blackboard. Students can access course materials, message instructors and classmates and submit assignments. Using Blackboard Collaborate, students can meet virtually in an online classroom environment.
|Philadelphia||3141 Chestnut St|
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Drexel University offers a Master of Science in National Security Management (MSNSM) that requires 45 credit hours. Students have up to five years to finish the degree. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this program covers security management, information technology, risk management, emergency management, law and policy. Students may pursue professional development certificates during the course of the program in homeland security: Cybersecurity; Law and Policy; Intelligence; and Continuity Management. However, any credits earned during certification may not be applied to the MSNSM.
Students of the homeland security master's degree online program use DrexelConnect, the school’s single-sign-on site for all Drexel web portals. This includes Learn, which uses Blackboard, the course management system. Here, students can browse and turn in assignments, contact instructors and classmates and access student resources.
|Riverhead||121 Speonk-Riverhead Rd|
Riverhead, NY 11901-3499
Long Island University Riverhead offers a 36 credit online master's homeland security. The program is designed by and for professionals; fire fighters, HazMat experts, military personnel, government and public safety officials, law enforcement professionals and others in relevant fields stand to gain advanced skills and insight in homeland security. Students can choose between Homeland Security Core Courses or Cyber Security Policy Core Courses in addition to required electives and research courses. Additionally, students must also complete a practicum.
Online classes are taught asynchronously through interactive discussion boards lead by instructors. Through the MyLIU portal, students can access coursework and resources, submit assignments and contact instructors or classmates.
Angelo State University
|San Angelo||2601 W. Avenue N|
San Angelo, TX 76909
Angelo State University offers an online master's degree in homeland security that incorporates both practical and theoretical studies of intelligence, terrorism, critical infrastructure, counter-terrorism, law and relevant constitutional issues and emergency management. Those with a bachelor’s degree in any subject are eligible to apply for the program. The degree can be completed in as little as 18 months and courses are taught in a 16-week format. Students may transfer up to nine credit hours of graduate coursework from an accredited institution to apply toward the MSHS.
ASU’s RamPort gives students access to the school’s online portal, which is a one-stop-sign-in for all ASU online services. Homeland security master's degree online students can access coursework materials, register for classes and communicate with instructors and classmates using RamPort. It’s also possible to customize RamPort by adding and moving channels.
|Albany||7 Columbia Cir|
Albany, NY 12203-5159
Excelsior College offers a fully online Master of Science in Criminal Justice (Homeland Security and Emergency Management). The program requires 30 credits to graduate and accepts up to 15 transfer credits from criminal justice programs at accredited institutions. Students will gain advanced knowledge in multicultural issues, criminological theories, disaster response and mitigation and international and domestic terrorism, among other subjects.
The MSCJ at Excelsior is designed for working professionals; courses are asynchronous and can be accessed through the MyExcelsior portal. There online master's homeland security students will find student support and resources, course materials and discussion boards. Excelsior also offers an Online Writing Lab to assist students with grammar, plagiarism issues and essay writing.
Though advanced education isn’t always a requirement to land a position in homeland security, pursuing a graduate degree will put you ahead of other candidates and demonstrate your dedication to future employers. Work experience should be a priority for those just starting out; make sure to pursue internships or maintain a relevant job while in school.
Other keys to pursuing a master’s in homeland security online depend upon your specialization. If you’re interested in information security or investigating cybercrimes, hone your technical skills. Those looking to advance into highly paid criminal investigator roles should gain experience in law enforcement and take courses in criminal justice. Emergency managers often have training as emergency medical technicians and knowledge of public administration.
A number of the aforementioned careers in homeland security show great promise in terms of job growth and pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, emergency management directors, currently earning an average of $69,810 annually, will see an 8% growth in total jobs in the next decade. Information security analysts, earning an average of $91,600 annually, will see a 37% increase in total jobs in the next decade. Detectives and criminal investigators earn $80,540 on average and are expected to see a 5% growth in total jobs in the next decade.
After you’ve earned your degree, frequent the Department of Homeland Security’s job postings, one of the primary place you’ll find open positions in these fields. Consider joining professional organizations to stay abreast of the happenings in the field, like the National Homeland Security Association. Oftentimes, such organizations have conferences that offer opportunities for networking. Improving your skills, knowledge and experience will make you a solid candidate for jobs, but knowing people in the field always helps.