online masters in homeland securityOnlineCollegePlan is proud to present the Best 30 Online Masters Programs in Homeland Security to help students find the right degree to suit their educational needs.

Since the Department of Homeland Security was established in 2002, there have been more than 250,000 people employed in the department alone. There are also a lot of peripheral industries that have been established over the years that amounts to plenty of other jobs as well. Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that homeland security jobs will grow at a rate that is comparable to the national average but several other sources predict it will grow even faster as America’s political landscape continues to evolve.

Homeland security as a whole refers to America’s efforts to decrease the threat of not only terroristic attacks, but also natural disasters and any other threats to civilization. This means that there are a lot of different areas of the field that you could choose to pursue a career in and all of them play an important role in the big picture, which is protecting our country.

Homeland security degrees could offer concentrations in emergency management, criminal justice, information technology, or cybersecurity. On the opposite side of that, homeland security degrees are still fairly new. Schools are working to expand their academic offerings to accommodate the needs of students and adapt to the changes in the job market, though. In light of that, there are a number of criminal justice programs (among others) that offer homeland security concentration options.

Masters in Homeland Security Degrees

online masters programs in homeland securityThe first official homeland security degree program ever created was the Master of Arts in Homeland Security offered at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Sixteen years have passed since that program’s inception and now there are hundreds of degree options for those who would like to have a career in homeland security.

These programs usually cover the same core subjects. Some of the things you could see yourself studying in a homeland security degree program include disaster management, security policy, social justice, crisis leadership, public policy, terrorism, and much more. At the master’s level, there is a lot more opportunity to tailor your degree program to your needs so you will have the opportunity to specialize in a certain area or build upon your core curriculum with electives in various areas that interest you.

Electives in public health, disaster relief, border security, public policy, cybersecurity, and many other topics are offered depending on the school and program that you select. You do have the opportunity to take electives when you study at the undergraduate level but the curriculum of those programs tends to focus more on establishing the foundation you will need to build on either with professional training or further study.

A lot of masters in homeland security also will not require you to have a background in the area because it is still an evolving degree program. If you have earned your undergraduate degree in legal studies, networks, criminology, information assurance, or even criminal justice, you may have already completed a lot of the prerequisites. This will depend on the school you choose.

Online Masters Degrees in Homeland Security

The first degree in homeland security to be established was a masters degree. Masters-level degrees are the most prevalent type of program in homeland security and that tends to be what employers prefer when it comes to higher-level positions. The more advanced your education is in the field, the better your career prospects are going to be. We’re sure you already understand the benefits of earning your masters in homeland security but, what comes next?

When you decide to continue your education, it can feel like a huge investment. Of course, that’s because it is. With that said, it doesn’t need to become a huge sacrifice. There are a range of colleges and universities across the country that have started offering online masters in homeland security degrees.

Going to school online is a great option for those of you who have responsibilities and obligations that you are dedicated to, whether that is work, family, or something entirely different. If you choose to earn a masters in homeland security online, you may not ever have to visit a college campus and you will not have to move to one. Instead, you can take your classes from anywhere that you have internet access. You can also log in any time of day and work on your courses, so your work schedule or responsibilities at home won’t be compromised for you to do your schoolwork.

The most important benefit of earning a degree online is that you are not limited to what the schools in your area have to offer. You have the ability to earn the degree that you want to get the career you want, without having to leave your current job or home. All that’s left is finding the degree program that works best for you. In this ranking, we explore the top 30 best online masters degrees in homeland security. All of the schools were ranked according to the following.

Methodology

In order to rank the Top 30 Best Online Masters Degrees in Homeland Security, we started by curating a list of schools that offered such programs. We omitted any schools that were not based in the United States, didn’t have the proper accreditation or were operating using a for-profit model. Any degree program that was related to the field of homeland security was eligible for consideration.

Once we had created a list of schools, we then assigned them a score based on three factors, which are:

  • Freshman Retention Rate (⅓ of final score)
  • Graduation Rate (⅓ of final score)
  • Affordability (⅓ of final score)

Each institution could have scored a maximum of 300 points. All of the information used to rank the schools came from their own individual websites whenever it was available. We also used the National Center for Education Statistics and U.S. News & World Report to collect additional information presented in this ranking. The affordability and the cost displayed in this ranking is representative of the average cost of attendance provided by Niche.com.

All of the schools are presented in ascending order based on the score that they received. If there was an incident of a tie, the alphabetical ordering of the institutions’ names was used to determine their placement in the article.

We’d like to note that we pride ourselves in transparency. We are confident that this methodology is clear and the results are easily repeatable if it were followed. Some colleges and universities that may have otherwise ranked may not be present in this article based on incomplete information available or per their own request. No institution is ever awarded any preferential treatment of any kind, for any reason.

  1. MERIT: 260
    View Profile Average Cost: $30,784

    Master of Arts in Homeland Security

    Northeastern University, online degree programs, online college, college degree onlineNortheastern University is home to a range of online masters degrees, and the one that we’re featuring here is the online Master of Arts in Homeland Security. This program is designed to provide a comprehensive education in homeland security and emergency management concepts that could apply to a broad range of jobs.

    Students can take this program from anywhere in the United States because it is available entirely online. Students can also choose to study at a full-time or part-time pace depending on the demands of their schedule, and you can also choose from three start dates throughout the year. Classes are delivered in a flexible asynchronous format, but there are still opportunities for experiential learning and more.

    There are seven required courses in the program, and they cover topics in crisis communication, technology, intelligence, and more. You can choose then to add a concentration in emergency management, or you can hand-select your electives for a more customized and career-relevant experience. This program has a thesis and a non-thesis option.

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  2. MERIT: 258
    View Profile Average Cost: $25,346

    Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security

    Pennsylvania State University, online masters degree in homeland securityPennsylvania State University offers online masters degrees through its Penn State World Campus, along with other programs and certificates. One of those degree options in the Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security, which you can take online. This is a 33-credit program that offers a lot of options based on what you’d like to do after graduation.

    There are multiple options for academic specializations and graduate certificates that you can explore. The topics that you can choose to specialize in include Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense; Geospatial Intelligence; Counterterrorism; Information Security and Forensics; Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention and; Public Health Preparedness.

    Each of these concentrations shares a core curriculum and then builds on the foundation of that curriculum with relevant and rigorous electives. All of the classes that you will take are delivered online, and you will never have to commute to campus. Another benefit of this program is that online students pay flat-rate tuition regardless of their residency.

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  3. MERIT: 253
    View Profile Average Cost: $33,886

    Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security

    Tulane University, online masters program in homeland securityTulane University has a selection of online masters degrees, and many of them can be completed entirely online, or you can opt to complete them in a hybrid format if you’d ever like to attend campus. The degree program that the university offers in homeland security is the online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security. Something that sets this program apart is that instead of choosing a concentration that has already been designed, you will work with an advisor to create a program of study that meets your needs.

    This online masters in homeland security can be taken without any visits to campus. You will have a total of 30 credits to complete in order to earn your degree, but those of you who have previous academic experience may be able to transfer up to nine credits to apply towards your degree. When selecting your electives, you will need to pay attention to make sure that you are taking classes that are available online.

    There are not many required courses for this program, which means that it is very flexible as far as what you’ll have the opportunity to learn. The required classes are Emergency Management, Health and Medical Issues in Emergency Management, Intelligence Analysis/Critical Thinking, and Homeland Security & Approaches to Counterterrorism. The rest of your classes will be electives.

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  4. MERIT: 253
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,341

    Master of Emergency and Crisis Management

    University of central florida, online masters degree programsThe University of Central Florida has a distance education initiative called UCF Online through which the university offers online masters degrees along with many other programs. The online homeland security degree that UCF has been featured for is a unique one. The program leads to a Master of Emergency and Crisis Management degree. Students will need to complete a minimum of 36 credits to earn this degree.

    The curriculum of this program is designed to help graduates be ready to respond to disaster in whatever capacity their job calls for. Students are accepted to the program in the fall and spring semesters. All of the classes you will take are offered 100% online; the curriculum includes FEMA’s Professional Development Series. The majority of the credits you need will come from your required courses.

    Your required courses cover subjects like research, hazard analysis, disaster planning, public sector communications, and more. You will also be able to select two electives and be required to complete an internship and a capstone course. The University of Central Florida is ranked 6th in the nation for Emergency Management and Homeland Security education according to U.S. News & World Report.

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  5. MERIT: 250
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,947

    Master of Arts in Emergency Management & Homeland Security

    ASU, Online College, online master degreesArizona State University offers one of the most widely varied selections of online masters degrees in America. That makes sense because this school has been reigning as one of the most innovative institutions of higher education nationwide for several years running. ASU is featured in this ranking for its online Master of Arts in Emergency Management & Homeland Security.

    U.S. News & World Report ranks this program as the best of its kind in America. It is a research-heavy program that consists of 33 total credits. There are 11 classes that you are required to take, and each class is fully online and asynchronous; they are also condensed down to just seven and a half weeks each, allowing you to move through the material quickly. The average full-time student can graduate in just one year.

    There are multiple concentrations offered in ASU’s masters in homeland security online degree program. The concentration you choose determines the courses that you will take because each one is tailored to give you a cutting edge and in-depth understanding of the field you aspire to work in. The concentrations offered are Biosecurity and Threat Management, Community Resilience, Cybersecurity Policy and Management, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security.

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  6. MERIT: 248
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,250

    Master of Science in Integrated Homeland Security Management

    Towson University, online master's degree in homeland securityTowson University is a Maryland-based university that can trace its roots back over a century. It is a great institution; however, it’s important to note that their online master degrees are not available in all fifty states. Those of you who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Wisconsin, or Wyoming are currently not eligible to enroll.

    Towson is home to a Master of Science in Integrated Homeland Security Management that you can take online. The university offers areas of specialization within this degree program, and those are Health Preparedness, Information Assurance, and Security Policy. There is no general track offered so you would have to choose one of these areas to focus your degree in.

    This online masters in homeland security requires you to complete a total of 36 credits, including a capstone project. Something that is interesting about this program is that the core curriculum fulfills the requirements for you to earn a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Security Assessment and Management. You will graduate with this certificate, along with your master’s degree.

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  7. MERIT: 243
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,327

    Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Certificate in Security Studies

    east carolina university, online masters programs in homeland securityEast Carolina University offers several different masters programs online through its Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. The Master of Science in Criminal Justice is one of those programs, and it is the one that ECU has been ranked for in this article. This criminal justice degree is not a traditional approach to studying homeland security, but it does offer a homeland security area of focus.

    Instead of being structured like a traditional area of focus, you can opt to complete the Security Studies Certificate program to fulfill your elective requirements for the M.S. in Criminal Justice. This certificate will be awarded to you upon completion. The curriculum of this certificate track includes just two core courses. The two core courses you will be required to take are Security Studies Foundations, and Changing Nature of National Security Policy.

    Apart from those two classes, you will have the option to choose three more courses from a nicely varied list offered by the university. Some of the things you could study include Cyber Warfare, Global Terrorism, Cryptography, and more. There are a total of 15 classes that you could choose from. This masters program with the security studies certificate is available completely online and will require you to complete a minimum of 36 credits. You can also choose between a thesis or non-thesis option.

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  8. MERIT: 243
    View Profile Average Cost: $37,638

    Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security

    the george washington university, online master's degree programs in homeland securityGeorge Washington University has a very rich reputation; part of that stems from their commitment to giving students ample options when it comes to reaching their academic goals. Online masters programs, as well as undergraduate online programs, are one of the ways this university does that. GWU has ranked for its Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security.

    This online masters in homeland security features classes taught by experienced professionals in the many different aspects of homeland security. Students are admitted twice per year, in the fall and spring. You can earn your degree completely online, but you also have the option of a blended format by taking classes one evening a week in Arlington, Virginia.

    There are 36 credits required to graduate, and all of them will come from required classes. There is not any room for customization, but, you will gain a comprehensive homeland security education from one of the most reputable schools in the country. Topics you’ll study include political violence, terrorism, intelligence, information systems, civil liberties, strategic planning, and more. This program can be completed in as little as 16 months.

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  9. MERIT: 241
    View Profile Average Cost: $35,290

    Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Homeland Security

    sju, online homeland security degree masters programsSaint Joseph’s University is a Jesuit university that has been in operation for nearly 200 years. Located in close proximity to many of the pioneering institutions for distance learning, it’s only natural that SJU would offer a selection of online masters programs as well. The degree we are featuring this university for is a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security.

    There are a total of 30 credits required for this program, and the curriculum is broken down into four core classes, four specialized courses, and two electives. Even though not every course is specifically about homeland security, a lot of the concepts in criminal justice will help you approach homeland security in a different way, so you’re not missing out by choosing this program over a more traditional one.

    The specific homeland security classes that you will take include Terrorism: Threats and Strategy, Sociology of Disasters, Homeland Security, and Risk Assessment. You can take any of the electives offered except for those in behavioral analysis. You will take your program in an asynchronous online format.

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  10. MERIT: 239
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,375

    Master of Arts in Security Studies: Homeland Defense Concentration

    University of Massachusetts Lowell, online homeland security masters degree programsThe University of Massachusetts Lowell is one of several universities within the system that offers online masters degrees through UMass Online, and it is among the top providers of online degrees in America. It has ranked for its Master of Arts in Security Studies with a Homeland Defense Concentration. This program sets itself apart by being affordable and exceptionally convenient.

    There are a total of 30 credits required for the completion of this program, which can be done in a pretty short timeframe. UMass Lowell accepts up to 12 transfer credits along with offering full-time and part-time scheduling options, allowing you to graduate on your own time. All of the classes you’ll take are available online and are delivered asynchronously.

    Half of the classes you will take are the required courses, and those are Contemporary Security Studies, Intelligence Analysis: Policy and Practice, Scientific and Technological Dimensions of National Security, Research Design, and a Capstone Research Paper. The other five courses you take are selected by you in conjunction with an advisor. There are a total of 16 electives to choose from.

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  11. MERIT: 235
    View Profile Average Cost: $20,741

    Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

    Virginia Commonwealth University, online masters programs in homeland securityOne of the online master’s degrees you can earn at Virginia Commonwealth University is the Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. This university has gone out of its way to make sure that this is a broad and interdisciplinary degree that is suitable to prepare students for a diverse range of careers in the realm of homeland security.

    You will need to complete a total of 36 credits to graduate from this program, but there are some instances where you may need more credits to earn your degree. You can study at a full-time or part-time pace based on your schedule. Something that is nice about this program is that it was designed specifically to be offered online instead of being a campus-based program that was adapted to a distance format.

    Students are admitted once per year, and they take synchronous classes that cover Cyber Security, Terrorism, Strategic Planning, Public Health, and more. This program will require you to attend virtual sessions every week that range from an hour to an hour and a half. You will also complete a capstone prior to graduating.

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  12. MERIT: 231
    View Profile Average Cost: $33,997

    Master of Science in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security

    salve regina university, online masters programs in homeland securitySalve Regina University is a lesser-known option for those of you who would like to earn an online masters degree. We have ranked this school for the Master of Science in Administration of Justice and Homeland Security. Concentrations are offered in Cybersecurity and Intelligence, Digital Forensics, and Leadership in Justice.

    There are 36 total credits in the program, which means that you will take 12 courses that are worth three credits each. The majority of your classes are going to be the required courses. You will study Theories of Justice, Management Issues in the Justice System, Cultural Competency, Criminal Justice Research Methods, and Public Policy in the Global Environment along with other topics.

    You will then have the opportunity to choose your electives. You do have the option to take a general track that would allow you to pick your electives with an advisor so that they meet your particular goals or you can take one of the prescribed concentration programs of study. All of your requirements can be completed online, and the university offers an optional hybrid format.

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  13. MERIT: 230
    View Profile Average Cost: $27,925

    Master of Science in Emergency Management

    Adelphi University, online masters programs in homeland securityAdelphi University has a smaller selection of online masters degrees than many other schools across the country; however, this was one of the first schools nationwide to establish coursework in emergency management. Due to that history, Adelphi offers one of the best online masters in homeland security. The specific degree conferred is a Master of Science in Emergency Management.

    This homeland security masters program is offered 100% online. The curriculum was expertly crafted to give you a cutting-edge academic background in emergency management so that you’re not only prepared for whatever your career throws at you, but you are also ready to excel at it. The interdisciplinary curriculum comprises 39 credits in total. Part of the program allows you to also earn a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management.

    You will not have the option to choose any of your classes; instead, you will take a prescribed set of courses that covers everything from Business Continuity Planning to Health Management in Times of Disaster, and more. Adelphi University’s program stands out because it has one of the most diverse and multifaceted course lists in this ranking. If you study full-time, you could see yourself graduating in about two and a half years.

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  14. MERIT: 230
    View Profile Average Cost: $35,097

    Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies

    endicott college, online homeland security degree programsEndicott College is well-known for its extensive list of online masters programs it offers through its Van Loan School. One of the programs you can pursue is a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies. There are two specialization tracks offered as part of this program, and those are in Emergency Management and in Cybersecurity. Students are required to choose a specialization.

    There are 36 credits required for you to complete this degree, and you can do that in as little as 18 months of full-time study. One drawback with this program is that it may not provide the flexibility that every student needs. It is still provided in a convenient manner, but you will have to virtually attend synchronous classes in evenings and over the weekends. They are still scheduled with working professionals in mind.

    You will progress through your courses in a cohort, which means that you will take your classes with a set group of students. This is great because it allows you to foster important connections with your classmates, which is something that online programs may not always offer. Classes cover transportation security, psychology, infrastructure, and more. This program culminates in a research paper.

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  15. MERIT: 224
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,742

    Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies

    sam houston state university, online masters programs in homeland securitySam Houston State University is widely recognized for many of its online master’s programs. U.S. News & World Report has previously ranked the school among the top three best online graduate programs in criminal justice. There are plenty of benefits to earning your Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies from SHSU. For instance, new online students qualify for a scholarship of up to $1,000.

    There are 36 total credits in this online homeland security degree program, and you can complete all of them online without ever having to visit the university’s campus. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and students are admitted to the program twice per year in the fall and spring semesters.

    Most of the classes you will take are the required classes. The ten required courses explore the foundations of homeland security and familiarize you with key concepts in the field. You will be able to choose two electives offered by the department to add depth to your skills in an area that is important to you. Your choices for electives are Crisis Management Integration, Leadership in HSEM, Critical Infrastructure Risk Management, Cybersecurity, Internship in Security Studies, Special Topics in Security Studies, and Thesis Practicum.

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  16. MERIT: 223
    View Profile Average Cost: $31,300

    Master of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Homeland Security

    Monmouth university, online homeland security degreesMonmouth University has its Master of Arts in Criminal Justice available as a partially online masters program. This degree is offered with a concentration in homeland security. This is a 30-credit program, and the core curriculum in criminal justice will help you gain a better understanding of the justice system. You will learn about a variety of concepts in information technology, leadership, and more.

    The multidisciplinary core curriculum is complemented perfectly by the homeland security concentration courses. This is a hybrid program, so it’s important to keep in mind that your core courses have to be completed on Monmouth’s campus in West Long Branch, New Jersey. While this approach may not be ideal for all students, it is still a great opportunity because Monmouth is a partner with the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

    All of the homeland security concentration courses are available online. These 15 credits of coursework cover everything from natural disasters to terrorism. You will gain the crucial skills you need to help mitigate threats and reduce community vulnerability. This program track was created by experts in the field of homeland security, and it is a great degree if you’re open to a partially online masters in homeland security.

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  17. MERIT: 216
    View Profile Average Cost: $10,503

    Master of Science in Homeland Security

    Northwestern State University of Louisiana, online homeland security degreeThe Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers its online masters programs through its ENSU Global Campus. This university offers an online Master of Science in Homeland Security with a thesis or a non-thesis option. If you choose the non-thesis option, you only have to complete 30 total credits; the thesis option consists of 36. Students who do not complete a thesis will have to sit for a comprehensive exam instead.

    This online masters in homeland security is typically open to students that have an undergraduate degree in a related field. However, if you do not have the required undergraduate preparation, you may still get accepted to the program and will just have to complete a few extra courses to make sure that you’re fully prepared. Regardless of the track you choose or your academic background, you can expect to graduate in about two years.

    There are more required courses than there are electives so this program may be less customizable than many of the others featured in the ranking. With that said, though, the required courses in this program do cover some unique topics. Some of the things you’ll study include Transnational Organized Crime and Covert Operations, Network Security and Cyberterrorism, and Managing Chaotic Organizations.

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  18. MERIT: 215
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,659

    Master of Science in Safety, Security and Emergency Management

    Eastern Kentucky University, online masters programs in homeland securityEastern Kentucky University has slowly built a reputation for itself over the years as it continues to expand its list of online masters degrees that you can take entirely online and from anywhere in the country. The Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management is one of those programs. EKU has been recognized in several publications over the years for the quality of online programs such as this one.

    There are three concentrations that you can choose from, and those are Occupational Safety, Corporate Security Operations, and Emergency Management and Disaster Resilience. While these are all great options depending on your career goals, we believe that the Emergency Management and Disaster Resilience program is most in line with the field of homeland security.

    The curriculum in this program is designed to prepare you to step into leadership roles in your career field. You can complete all the requirements for this degree without ever attending campus. You also have the benefit of flexible scheduling options with full-time and part-time tracks as well as fully asynchronous courses.

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  19. MERIT: 214
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,954

    Master of Science in National Security

    liberty university, online masters in homeland securityLiberty University always stands out in our rankings because it offers some of the most flexible online masters degree programs in the country. That is true of its online Master of Science in National Security. This program consists of 36 credits in total, but Liberty has a generous transfer policy that allows you to bring in as much as half of the credits you need.

    The average student can finish this program in a year and a half, but there are circumstances that could lead to you finishing at a faster pace. One thing that helps you graduate faster is the fact that this 100% online homeland security degree is made up of courses that online last eight weeks each. The general track in the program includes courses like National Security, National Defense, and Foreign Policy; Cyberspace Policy/Operations and Political Challenges and; Sovereignty and National Security Challenges.

    The core curriculum of the program is one that will prepare you for a career in homeland security without question, but there is also a specialization in homeland security that you can add to your degree. You could also opt for the university’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice in Homeland Security.

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  20. MERIT: 211
    View Profile Average Cost: $31,734

    Master of Arts in Homeland Security

    pace university, online masters degree programs homeland securityEven the motto of Pace University is about giving students opportunities, and that is something that the institution is very committed to. Part of the way that it demonstrates this is by offering flexible online masters degrees that allow students to earn their degree on their own terms. The Master of Arts in Homeland Security awards you that opportunity because it is 100% online, and all of the classes are completely asynchronous.

    You can work on your classes when it works for you, and you can also choose to study at a full-time or part-time pace. There are 36 credits in total, and this program doesn’t offer any concentrations; instead, you would complete a broad range of classes so that you have a well-rounded perspective in the field. There are only five required courses and those cover planning, budgeting, management, and policy analysis in the public sector as well as the constitution and ethical problems.

    The rest of the classes you would be responsible for taking would be the electives that you select with an advisor. Some choices are International Human Rights, Intelligence Gathering Strategies for Homeland Security, and Psychology and Terrorism/Fear. You get to pick seven electives. You will be responsible for a capstone seminar.

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  21. MERIT: 210
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,781

    Master of Science in Cyber and Homeland Security Administration

    FDU, online homeland security masters degreesFairleigh Dickinson University was ranked among the best universities in its region for the year 2019 according to U.S. News & World Report; this is a strong reflection of the quality of the university and the online masters programs offered there. The degree that Fairleigh Dickinson has ranked for is unique among other programs in this list as it is a Master of Science in Cyber & Homeland Security Administration.

    There are three distinct specialty areas that you can pursue, and those are Terrorism and Security Studies, Emergency Management, and Leadership. The thing that sets this program apart is that cybersecurity is completely integrated into the core curriculum. This is very positive because technology has such an important role in the world today, and you don’t have to sacrifice another specialty area to become well-versed in it.

    Fairleigh Dickinson University’s online homeland security degree offers you multiple start dates throughout the year and has the same tuition cost regardless of your residency. Each course lasts for a duration of just eight weeks, which will progress you through the requirements quickly. You can graduate this program in two years; some students may complete it faster. Another thing that adds to the customizability of this degree is that on top of your concentration, you will still get to select more electives.

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  22. MERIT: 210
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,586

    Master of Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

    university of colorado, online homeland security degreesThe University of Colorado is very well known for offering online masters degrees so, of course, the University of Colorado Denver offers them as well. Through the School of Public Affairs, you can earn a Master of Criminal Justice with a concentration in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. You can earn this degree online.

    This degree program was first established all the way back in 1972, which is incredible considering the way that criminal justice and homeland security studies are still relatively new in the academic world. There are 36 total credits in the program. Students that enter this program without a background in criminal justice may have to take additional courses to meet all of the requirements.

    This exclusively online degree program is available for those of you who want to study full-time or part-time. Even though the pace may change, the basic structure stays the same. You will complete your core courses, then move onto your concentration, and then electives. You can choose a thesis or non-thesis track based on what you’d like to do with your degree as well.

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  23. MERIT: 209
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,740

    Master of Science in National Security Affairs

    Nova southeastern university, online masters programsNova Southeastern University is located in Florida, but thanks to its online options, students from all over the country are actively working towards their degree. One of the online masters degrees offered at NSU is the Master of Science in National Security Affairs and International Relations. You can choose to earn this degree entirely online or in a hybrid format if you want to visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    This program of study is comprised of 36 total credits. The majority of those credits will come from your core courses, of which there are seven. These are Current and Historical Issues, National Intelligence Collection, Border Protection, Research and Evaluation in National Security Affairs, U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, Ethical Issues in National Security, and International Relations: Theory and Practice.

    On top of those core classes, you can choose from a list of twelve electives. There is also an optional cybersecurity concentration that would lay out your electives for you. It is up to you whether you would like to take the thesis option or the non-thesis track. Some elements of this program may be presented synchronously.

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  24. MERIT: 208
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,510

    Master of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

    arkansas tech university, online masters degree programs in homeland securityOne of the online masters programs that you can take at Arkansas Tech University is the Master of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. It is a very flexible program that requires you to complete a minimum of 36 credits in order to earn the degree. You can opt to complete a thesis or a practicum research option based on what is best for you.

    You can transfer in as many as nine credits if you have relevant academic experience. This online masters in homeland security admits students twice a year, in the fall and spring semesters. There are 18 credits of required courses regardless of which option you take. These foundational courses explore topics like leadership, emergency management, homeland security, research, technology, and more.

    If you’re choosing to complete a thesis, you will have a set of research courses to take; this is true of the practicum option as well, but the courses are not the same. There are close to twenty electives offered by the department, and you will be able to select classes from that list that suit your goals to meet the rest of your degree requirements.

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  25. MERIT: 200
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,242

    Master of Public Administration with a Specialization in Homeland Security

    anna maria college, online masters degree programs homeland securityOf all of the online masters degrees in homeland security we’ve featured in this ranking, Anna Maria College truly stands out because this degree is completely different. We have ranked this college for its online Master of Public Administration in Homeland Security. This degree program gives you a unique opportunity to take a different approach to homeland security.

    There are 36 credits worth of courses that you have to take. Something that could shave some time off for you, though, is that if you have relevant work experience in public administration, you may be eligible for what is called the mid-career track. This would allow you to take only ten courses because your work experience demonstrates your competency in those key areas.

    The required courses you will take as part of the core curriculum are clearly all centered around public administration. You will learn about Executive Leadership, Ethical Theory, Public Policy, and things of that nature. The homeland security classes you will take if you choose to enroll at Anna Maria are Foundations of Homeland Security, Domestic Threat and Policy Analysis, International Threat and Policy Analysis, and Partnership for Homeland Security.

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  26. MERIT: 198
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,431

    Master of Public Safety & Homeland Security Management

    southern illinois university, online masters programs in homeland securityWhat is interesting about the online masters degree that Southern Illinois University-Carbondale has been featured for is that it is offered through the university’s School of Architecture. This is an online Master of Public Safety and Homeland Security Management. This program is only open to students that earned their undergraduate degree in a related area of study.

    You will need to complete a total of 39 credits in order to complete this degree; however, if you have graduated from the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program, then you are eligible for the In-Service degree track. In-Service students will only need to complete 30 total credits. Even though this online masters in homeland security has a few more requirements, you can still graduate in just four semesters (that’s 16 months!).

    There are no ways for you to customize your studies with this degree. Instead, you will take a prescribed curriculum that explores a broad range of topics in fire service, homeland security, disaster preparedness, legal administrative law, and more. This program is most suited for those who want to pursue leadership roles in a disaster management career.

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  27. MERIT: 196
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,742

    Master of Science in Homeland Security

    Angelo State University, online masters programs in homeland securityAngelo State University’s online masters degree is a Master of Science in Homeland Security. This program is open to all students holding a bachelor’s degree regardless of their academic background. Students are admitted to the program in the fall and spring semesters every year. Even though this is a lesser-known institution when it comes to online education, this homeland security degree has a lot to offer.

    All of the classes that you will take as part of your degree are available online in their entirety. You will never have to attend the Angelo State University campus. All of the classes are also presented in an eight-week format, helping things move at a brisk pace while giving you ample time to master the material. Something that sets this homeland security degree apart is that it includes a component about the growing problems of drug and human trafficking.

    There are six required courses. These will introduce you to homeland security concepts, national security, the ethics of criminal justice, border security, research methods, and even geographic information systems. The university offers 24 different electives for you to individualize your studies. Topics you can explore include data mining, port security, transportation security, cryptology, and more.

    *The credit requirement is not detailed on the program website.

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  28. MERIT: 187
    View Profile Average Cost: $34,984

    Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Concentration in Advanced Counterterrorism

    SNHU, homeland security online masters degreeSouthern New Hampshire University is among the most popular names in distance education because they offer a very extensive selection of online programs, including online masters degrees. We have ranked SNHU for its Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Advanced Counterterrorism. Counterterrorism is one of the most quintessential parts of homeland security.

    All students of this online program are eligible for flat rate tuition that was listed as $627 per credit hour at the time of writing. In total, you will need to complete 36 credits to earn this degree. You can complete all of those requirements online and asynchronously. The bulk of the program is what the university describes as the major courses. These include Criminology and Public Policy, Introduction to Organizational Conflict Management, and Courts and Judicial Process, among others. You will also have to complete an internship.

    Even though the major courses aren’t specific to homeland security and counterterrorism, the foundational understanding you will gain of criminal justice will prove itself to be a key piece of your success. Instead of selecting your own electives, the concentration has a set of courses you’ll take, and those are Global Terrorism, Terrorist Techniques and Counterterrorism, Threat Assessment, and Intelligence Collection and Analysis.

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  29. MERIT: 185
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,955

    Master of Science in Homeland Security

    Wilmington University, online masters degrees in homeland securityIt may be slightly surprising that an institution located in a small state like Delaware could hold its own against much larger ones, but Wilmington University certainly does. This university has close to 15,000 students, and nearly half of them are enrolled solely in distance education. 54% of the graduate students are taking their masters degrees online — one of those available degrees in the Master of Science in Homeland Security.

    What distinguishes this program is that it is very flexible and yet still comprehensive and engaging; the things you will do as you work towards this online masters in homeland security will expand your career horizons and expose you to new experiences that will directly impact your professional life. This 33-credit program offers concentrations in Organizational Leadership, Military Leadership, and Information Assurance.

    You will take your classes entirely online, and you won’t have to visit the campus, but you will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities with a field practicum capstone project. If that doesn’t suit you, you could also complete a research project or write a final paper instead. Classes begin every eight weeks, and you have the choice of studying full-time or part-time. The core courses introduce you to the main components of homeland security and whatever specialization you choose digs deep into the tools, skills, and theoretical knowledge you will need to be effective in your professional roles.

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  30. MERIT: 184
    View Profile Average Cost: $23,525

    Master of Public Administration with an Emphasis in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

    upper iowa university, online masters programs in homeland securityUpper Iowa University may have the smallest selection of online masters programs out of all of the schools featured in this ranking. There are only four programs; however, there are a combined 17 concentrations. One of the programs offered is a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

    At UIU, the academic year is broken up into five eight-week sessions and then one six-week session in the summer. You can start your classes almost any time, and you can complete your degree entirely online. All of the classes you will take are asynchronous, and you can study part-time or full-time, whichever you prefer. This university also accepts up to 12 credits per their transfer policy. These credits can come from college work, CLEP or DSST exams, or prior training and experience if applicable.

    This program has a very flexible presentation and will seamlessly fit into even the busiest lifestyle. It’s also quite customizable, so this is a homeland security degree that has it all. The core curriculum is 21 credits and covers the basics of public administration. The remaining credits come from your electives. UIU has nine different classes you can choose from to meet the specialization requirements, so you can focus on one topic or pursue an interdisciplinary program of study.

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What is the Difference Between Homeland Security and FBI?


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for a wide range of things, including–but not limited to–the following: counter-terrorism, counterintelligence gathering, criminal investigations at the federal level, and investigating and subsequently combating public official corruption at all levels. The FBI’s publicly stated top priorities are:

  • To protect the United States of America from terrorist attacks, both domestic and foreign;
  • To protect the United States of America against foreign intelligence operations and foreign espionage;
  • To protect the United States of America against cyberattacks and technological crimes;
  • To combat against public official corruption;
  • To protect civil rights and liberties;
  • To combat against transnational and national criminal organizations and criminal enterprises;
  • To combat against major white-collar crimes;
  • To combat significant violent crimes;
  • To support federal, state, and local partners in addition to supporting international partners, and;
  • To upgrade technology to enable the successful performances of its stated missions.

Homeland Security has a lot of overlap with the stated goals of the FBI. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is mainly focused on public security, and its main mission goals are:

  • To perform anti-terrorist activities;
  • To maintain and strengthen the borders of the United States of America;
  • Be responsible for areas related to immigration and customs;
  • To perform and assist with cybersecurity issues, and;
  • To assist with disaster prevention and management.

The Department of Homeland Security assists the FBI with the areas that both are concerned with, but the DHS is the government department that is mainly focused on keeping the borders into the United States secure from illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and other cross-border crimes against our nation.

Should I Get a Masters in Homeland Security?


Getting a Master’s degree in Homeland Security will greatly increase your chances of landing a job in the fields that are related to Homeland Security and–specifically–jobs within the Department of Homeland Security itself. By obtaining a Master’s degree in Homeland Security, you will be eligible for consideration for the highest paying jobs that the Department of Homeland Security have to offer, and–even if none of these higher-paying positions appeal to you personally–having a Master’s degree in Homeland Security will give you an edge in landing the specific job that you’re interested in pursuing because you will have a stronger foundation of the required knowledge and a better grasp on the needed skill set to do the job in an efficient and satisfactory manner. Due to the sensitive nature of many of the jobs in the field of Homeland Security, having a deeper pool of knowledge and being more capable overall, you will be a more desirable asset to your employer.

How Much Do Homeland Security Jobs Pay?


The pay scale for jobs that you can be hired for with a Master’s degree in Homeland Security really depends on the specific job and the job requirements. Some examples of jobs that a degree in Homeland Security will allow you to be eligible for hire and their associated pay rates are–according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)–are as follows:

  • Transportation Security Screeners Median Salary: $40,960 per year
  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers Median Salary: $58,320 per year
  • Security Guard Median Salary: $28,530 per year
  • Information Security Analysts Median Salary: $98,350 per year
  • Emergency Management Director Median Salary: $87,440 per year

As you can see, the median pay rate for a job in the various fields that having a degree in Homeland Security will help you to secure employment can vary wildly depending on what exactly the job in question entails.

Do You Need a College Degree to Work for Homeland Security?


Whether or not you need a college degree to work for the Department of Homeland Security wholly depends on what position with the Department of Homeland Security that you’re interested in. While having a relevant college degree for any position is obviously preferential, some positions that the DHS hires for require nothing more than a high school diploma or equivalent. These positions are usually secretarial in nature and would include receptionists and filing clerks, among others. The bulk of the positions that the Department of Homeland Security hires for, however, do require a college degree in a relevant field. This is mainly because of the sensitive nature of most DHS jobs, in addition to these jobs requiring a specific skill set and knowledge to be able to perform. Many of the jobs that the Department of Homeland Security hire for require a Bachelor’s degree at minimum, but many jobs require that the applicants have a Master’s degree at minimum to be eligible for consideration.

Is Homeland Security a Government Job?


If you get a job specifically working with the Department of Homeland Security with your degree in Homeland Security, then yes, it is a government job. All employees of the Department of Homeland Security are considered government employees. Depending on your job with the DHS, you will be considered either an essential government employee or a non-essential government employee, which will just determine whether or not you will need to continue doing your normal job during any possible government shut-downs. This is because the Department of Homeland Security hires for many different positions, from filing clerks, receptionists, directors, and police agents, among many others. The Department of Homeland Security is divided into various agencies.

The agencies that are under the control of the Department of Homeland Security, are:

  • Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman;
  • The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office;
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency;
  • The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers;
  • The Federal Protective Service;
  • The Management Directorate;
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency;
  • The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties;
  • The Office of General Counsel;
  • The Office of Intelligence and Analysis;
  • The Office of Legislative Affairs;
  • The Office of Operations Coordination;
  • The Office of Partnership and Engagement;
  • The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans;
  • The Office of Public Affairs;
  • The Office of the Inspector General;
  • The Privacy Office;
  • The Science and Technology Directorate;
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA);
  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services;
  • The United States Coast Guard;
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP);
  • The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and;
  • The United States Secret Service

Any jobs within one of these sub-agencies are all considered to be federal government jobs.

Looking for More Information?


Other rankings that OnlineCollegePlan has published that are similar to this one include the following:

If you’re interested in going to college online but you don’t want to study homeland security, you can check out our entire library of online college rankings, or the Top 100 Best Online Colleges for 2019.