Updated: August 1, 2017
Whether you’re drawn to infrastructure design, data analysis, or crisis mitigation, whether you’re interested in working directly with people or with complex systems, a career in homeland security could be an ideal fit for you.
Getting a degree (especially an advanced degree such as a MA or MS) in homeland security and emergency management will set you up for diverse career options after graduation. From border protection to non-profit emergency interference, from FBI agent to a leading corrections officer, homeland security education allows you to work within communities, businesses, organizations, and systems that are in critical need of strategic protection and careful prevention.
If you’ve considered a Master’s in Homeland Security but have balked about timing, price, or applicability (or all three!), then note that the employment rate of specific security analysts is projected to rise 18 percent in the next few years, making the demand for those with advanced degrees in homeland security far above and beyond those of other occupations. And while the career options vary, as do their respective average salaries, you can estimate making at least 40k annually (if, for example, you go into transportation screening), if not way more as a security analyst, detective, or coast guard control agent.
Furthermore, it is now easier and more affordable than ever to pursue your graduate degree. Online education is a flexible, convenient way to enhance your professional development at a fraction of the cost of “traditional” degrees. You can study from a distance while still working, network with leaders in your field, and participate in the same curriculum delivered by the same professors as on-campus students. Meaning, an online master’s in homeland security degree can be obtained at a flexible, affordable rate.
What are the Best Online Master’s in Homeland Security Degrees?
Though some of the homeland security programs below emphasize global terrorism and others domestic security, while some are Master’s of Arts degrees and others Master’s of Science, they are all the best graduate programs in the country for those interested in pursuing homeland security and/or emergency management. Here at College Choice we investigated a number of fundamental data points for every program across the nation: academic reputation, student retention (a signifier of student satisfaction), affordability, and the early salaries of graduates. What we found after extensive and exhaustive research were those programs that are not only the best in the nation at training and educating homeland security officials, but those that are also affordable and offer a great return on investment. Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 100
Credit Hour Cost: $562
Arizona State University (ASU) is a prominent research school with multiple campuses throughout Phoenix and across the state. It is affiliated with major medical schools and hospitals, research facilities and initiatives, and the global campus, which is one of the best distance education programs in the country.
Without ever having to step foot in a traditional classroom you can earn a MA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security through ASU Online. This online, thirty-three credit hour program gives students leadership experience regardless of whether they’re seeking work in public, nonprofit, or private sectors. In addition to the four areas of emphasis—biosecurity and threat management, community resilience, emergency management, and homeland security general—plus the opportunity to gain international education and work experience, ASU online students take classes such as:
- Hazards Governance
- Applied Data in Criminal Justice
- Homeland Security
- Integrated Emergency Management
- Geographic Information Systems
- And more
Just this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked ASU first among the most innovative schools in the country for the second year in a row. Likewise, the university is classified as a top research school and is consistently included in the public, national, and global rankings put forth by U.S News, Washington Monthly, and ARWU.
College Choice Score: 99.25
Credit Hour Cost: $621
Based in New Orleans, Tulane University is a private, research university comprised of around 13k undergraduate and graduate students. Founded as a medical college, Tulane is now considered the most selective, prestigious, and renowned university in the state of Louisiana. It is both research- and public service-based in its curriculum, encouraging students to gain an integrated academic experience that includes community involvement.
Through Tulane’s online programming, you can earn a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security degree that equips you to maintain the safety and security of U.S. citizens and residents. Classes cover both practical applications as well as theoretical approaches to emergency management, cyber security, and infrastructure management. On top of completing Tulane’s core classes—emergency management, health and medical issues in emergency management, intelligence analysis, and homeland security and approaches to counter-terrorism—students can take a number of unique electives to round out their degree:
- Maritime and Border Security
- Transportation and Border Security
- Cyber Threats and Homeland Security
- Law and National Security
- Intelligence Research, Methods, and Analysis
- And more
Ranked among the top national universities by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes, among others, Tulane has graduated a number of Rhodes scholars, U.S. Surgeons General, federal judges, Fulbright scholars, Nobel laureates, and more.
Michigan State University
College Choice Score: 97.25
Credit Hour Cost: $1,427
Based in Michigan’s capital, East Lansing, Michigan State University (MSU) is a notable public research university that was founded as an agricultural and land-grant college. In fact, it was one of the country’s first schools to teach scientific agriculture. Though now MSU offers hundred of academic programs to its 50k students.
Though not a full masters degree, you can earn a Certificate in Homeland Security online through MSU. This certification can be paired with another online degree or it can stand alone. Either way, you will take three courses to complete this nine-credit-hour program. Those include Foundations in Homeland Security, Issues in Criminal Justice (Public and Private Partnerships in Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security), and Terrorism. If you don’t want to earn just the certification, but are seeking a full masters degree, then consider pairing it with another of MSU’s online options:
- Masters in Criminal Justice
- Masters in Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis
- Masters in Judicial Administration
- MS in Management, Strategy, and Leadership
- Among many others
Included among the top 100 universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, MSU holds similar accolades from Times Higher Education, QS World University Rankings, Businessweek, Forbes, and Washington Monthly. MSU is also home to some of the largest and most renowned library archives, art museums, and research facilities.
College Choice Score: 97.25
Credit Hour Cost: $646
Located in Boston, Northeastern University is a private school with a high research classification. Approximately 25k students, among them around 7k graduate students, are enrolled in one of Northeastern’s 125 academic programs. Though a large school with a high degree of research activity, Northeastern’s curriculum is steeped in a liberal arts and experiential learning education.
Through Northeastern’s online MA in Homeland Security you will learn all aspects of disaster cycles, how to develop critical communication skills related to the public and media, how to utilize geographic information technologies to coalesce and analyze data, and you will understand the impetus of threats to social, political, and economic systems. At Northeastern you can further specialize by taking on one of three concentrations, in organization and infrastructure continuity, emergency management and geographic information technology, or in port security. However you specialize, you will take a core course load comprised of the following classes:
- Intro to Homeland Security
- The Unconventional Threat to Homeland Security
- Technology for Homeland Security
- Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability Analysis and Protection
- Multidisciplinary Approaches to Homeland Security
- Crisis Communication
- Intelligence for Homeland Security
Northeastern students are privileged to have access to several academic and experiential learning opportunities, from study abroad programs to research collaboration. Northeastern also boasts one of the largest co-op/internship programs in the world, one that is over 100 years old and allows students to alternate between academic study and paid professional employment.
Saint Joseph's University
College Choice Score: 97
Credit Hour Cost: $870
A Catholic school based in Philadelphia’s suburbs, Saint Joseph’s University (St. Joe’s) is one of the nation’s oldest Jesuit universities and is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Around 8k combined undergraduate and graduate students attend St. Joseph’s and are enrolled in one of the four schools: the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business, the Program of Professional and Liberal Studies, or the Haub Degree Completion program.
Saint Joseph’s offers a Master’s in Criminal Justice degree with a concentration in Homeland Security that can be completed online and that trains students to respond effectively to threats (both terrorism and natural catastrophic events) against the country and its citizens. Coursework covers the causes and effects of terrorism from political, religious, and historical perspectives; the sociological outcomes of disasters on communities; and risk assessment and management. Saint Joe graduates from this program have found work in:
- Border security
- Security research technologies
- Customs and TSA services
- Federal Emergency Management agencies
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Among others
Saint Joe’s receives high praise for its academic standards. It is well-ranked by Princeton Review, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its general rankings, many of the university’s specific departments and schools are recognized as among the best, especially its business, marketing, accounting, and security programs.
Pennsylvania State University
College Choice Score: 96.5
Credit Hour Cost: $821
With over 100k students, Penn State is one of the largest universities on our list. And one of the most renowned. It has two dozen campuses spread throughout the state and a huge online World Campus, which proffers degrees in over sixty areas.
There are many reasons to consider Penn State: it’s renowned name and reputation, but also because students have the opportunity to specialize, to collaborate in state-of-the-art security research, and to take coursework that emphasizes international security. This is a Master of Professional Studies degree in Homeland Security that requires thirty-three completed hours of coursework in administration, social and ethical issues pertaining to homeland security, terrorism and violence, strategic planning and defense, and much more. Penn State students can also specialize by enrolling in one of the four concentration areas:
- Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense
- Geospatial Intelligence
- Information Security and Forensics
- Public Health Preparedness
U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State 50th among all national universities and colleges. Among just the top public schools, it falls to 14th; and according to the Wall Street Journal, Penn State is ranked first for graduating the best-trained students. And that’s just keeping it domestic. Penn State is also globally ranked by QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Report.
University of Colorado–Denver
College Choice Score: 95.25
Credit Hour Cost: $625
Part of the University of Colorado System with two campuses, one in downtown Denver and the other in Aurora, UC Denver is a major public, research university known for its medical schools and hospitals. It is the largest research institution in the state, granting more degrees and bringing in more research funds than any other school in Colorado.
Through the UC Denver’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree you can specialize in homeland security and go on to work in law enforcement, juvenile justice, community corrections, policy and planning, and much more. At UC Denver you can take all your homeland security classes online or through a hybrid program, which allows you to take some traditional, on-campus courses as well as distance courses. Whichever way you design your degree you will have the privilege of receiving an education from the nationally recognized School of Public Affairs, ranked ninth in the nation for its criminology programs. Courses include:
- Criminology Theory
- Capstone Seminar
- Special Topics in Criminal Justice
- Plus a number of electives covering Homeland Security
Unsurprisingly, considering its achievements in and accolades for its research endeavors, UC Denver is well-ranked by The Chronicle of Higher Education, U.S. & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Its health science, medicine, and nursing programs are, of course, among the most notable, but so are its public affairs and business departments.
College Choice Score: 93.75
Credit Hour Cost: $1,018
With a campus in Manhattan (plus two others in Westchester County) Pace University gives students access to the intersection of culture and academia that is New York City. Pace is a private school with around 10k undergraduates and 5k graduate students.
At Pace University you can earn an online MA in Management for Public Safety and Homeland Security Professionals. This degree is specifically for those who want to pursue leadership roles in emergency management, as students are trained in meeting a diversity of challenges facing the post-9/11 world, including those wrought by terrorism and natural disasters. This is a two-year degree that can be completed fully online and is comprised of core courses covering everything from public sector management to budget analysis. Electives distinct to the Pace program include:
- Comparative Governments
- International Human RIghts
- Multidisciplinary Approaches to Homeland Security
- Public Health for HS Leaders
- And more
Many of Pace University’s colleges and schools are well-ranked by U.S. News & World Report, such as it law and business programs, and the university as a whole is ranked nationally among the top 200 best schools in the country.
Sam Houston State University
College Choice Score: 93.75
Credit Hour Cost: $1,168
One of the oldest public universities in the state of Texas, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is located outside of downtown Houston in Huntsville, Texas. SHSU is a member of the Texas State University System with over 20k students enrolled in one of its many degree programs. Though SHSU is most known for its education school, it has also been praised for its performing arts, mathematics, science, and criminal justice programs.
Ranked first in the nation for online criminal justice programs, Sam Houston’s MS in Homeland Security Studies develops leaders in the theoretical and experiential facets of security management. SHSU students choose between two tracks, one of which requires an internship and the other requiring more elective coursework; but all students complete the same same core course load:
- Research Methods in Homeland Security
- Unconventional Threats
- Law and Ethics in Homeland Security
- Critical Infrastructure Protection
- Global Perspectives in Homeland Security
- Information and Intel Management
- Among others
Sam Houston State University is well-ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly. Additionally, its online education programs consistently receive accolades and the College of Criminal Justice is ranked in the top five nationally by the Journal of Criminal Justice.
California University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 92.75
Credit Hour Cost: $493
California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) is a member of the larger Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Approximately 10k students, a majority of whom are undergraduates, are enrolled in one of Cal U’s 150 academic programs and participate in the university’s distinctive Outreach Mission program, which provides educational experiences and professional development opportunities to students and community members alike.
Polygraph and Lie Detection, Justice Studies, Law and the International Community, Digital Imaging and Forensic Photography, and Financial Investigations are just some of the unique electives you can take when earning your MS in Legal Studies with a concentration in Homeland Security degree at California University. This program trains students to develop strategies, plans, and programs to prevent attacks of all kinds. Equally, students also learn how to strengthen and reinforce security structures already in place. In addition to the classes above, the homeland security core at Cal U is comprised of the following classes:
- Terrorism, Threat, and Vulnerability Analysis and Protection
- Biological, Chemical, and Nuclear Threats
- Domestic Extremism
- U.S. Homeland Security
- Intelligence Practice in Homeland Security
California University’s Global Online program is ranked third in the nation among online colleges by the Online College Rankings. It is also consistently recognized by the Guide to Online Schools for its excellence in distance education.
University of Central Florida
College Choice Score: 92
Credit Hour Cost: $288
The University of Central Florida (UCF) is located in Orlando and was founded in the middle of the twentieth century to provide academic and research support to the U.S. space program. This foundation in engineering and technology still remains, but now UCF offers more than 200 degrees through its thirteen discrete colleges and schools.
At the University of Central Florida you have a couple options for homeland security study: earn a MS in Criminal Justice degree or earn a dual degree in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. These programs give you insight into the complex and evolving world of justice, policy, and security. You’ll examine the political, historical, economic, social, and philosophical forces that influence our country and you’ll gain indispensable research and computer skills. Graduates from UCF’s programs have gone on to become:
- Homeland Security Analysts
- Criminal Profilers
- Police Detectives
- U.S. Marshals
- FBI Agents
- Program Analysts
- And much more
UCF is a space-grant university that’s made huge research contributions to the areas of engineering, digital media, energy, sustainability, public affairs, and more. It is well-ranked by USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Kiplinger, among others.
College Choice Score: 87.5
Credit Hour Cost: $730
Also a Roman Catholic, Jesuit university, Regis University is a private school that was founded by the Society of Jesus in the late nineteenth century. It is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is based in Denver, Colorado. Approximately 10k students are enrolled in one of Regis’ five colleges, including the College for Professional Studies, which offers most of its degrees online.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated Regis as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. Meaning, this online MS in Information Assurance degree meets the high standards put forth by leaders and authorities in the field of security. This program allows you to choose between two specializations—in cybersecurity or IA policy management—and fully prepares you for industry certification exams. In addition to specialization and elective courses, your foundational homeland security course work will be grounded in:
- Information Technology Concepts
- Enterprise Architecture
- Information Technology Research Methodology
- Risk Management
- Managing a Secure Enterprise
- And more
Regis University has earned a reputation for not only giving its students a fine academic experience, but one that is fully integrated into service and experiential learning. Regis’ Center for Service Learning coordinates student voluntary service, which is a cornerstone of the university’s mission and curriculum.
College Choice Score: 87
Credit Hour Cost: $1,142
A small, private university based in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Monmouth University is home to under 5k undergraduates and around 1k graduate students. Monmouth is made up of seven colleges and universities that proffer degrees in education, business, social work, science, the humanities, and nursing.
Of the many distance education graduate degrees available at Monmouth University, you can earn a MS in Homeland Security degree that can be completed 100 percent online in approximately two years. Unlike other programs on our ranking, this one does not have a lot of flexibility regarding course structure and electives. Monmouth has a thirty-three credit-hour plan that they expect you to follow; however, the flip side of this means each class you take is steeped in homeland security theory, application, and methodology. You’ll graduate ready to protect large multinational companies, organizations, and communities. Courses include:
- Terrorism: Causes and Consequences
- Homeland Security Intelligence
- Cyber Security
- Psychology of Fear Management and Terrorism
- Technology for Homeland Security
- Policy Analysis and Research Methods
- And more
Monmouth’s campus is unlike any other, with old mansions that once housed U.S. Presidents, halls recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, a Guggenheim library, and much more. Additionally, campus is pocked with significant research facilities such as the Institute for Global Understanding, the Urban Coast Institute, and the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
College Choice Score: 86.75
Credit Hour Cost: $588
Mississippi College (MC) is a Christian university based in Clinton, just outside of Jackson. It is not only the oldest college in the state but the second-oldest Baptist school in the country. MC is also Mississippi’s largest private university with over 5k enrolled undergraduate and graduate students.
Through MC’s renowned Administration of Justice department, students can earn an online Master of Social Science degree in Homeland Security. With administration of justice as a foundation, this program then introduces students to the legal aspects and special issues relating to homeland security, including both natural and human threats, protection and security, medical assistance, damage control, and more. Though this degree is fully online, MC students still have access to all the same resources as on-campus students, including comprehensive career advising services. Indeed, graduates from this program have gone on to work for:
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Office of the Inspector General
- Transportation and Security Administration
- Citizenship and Immigration Services
Many of MC’s programs and schools have received attention for their excellence, but the Administration of Justice Program is most consistently praised and is ranked among the best nationally. This department is over thirty years old and has graduated hundreds of eminent criminal justice agents.
Eastern Kentucky University
College Choice Score: 86.25
Credit Hour Cost: $400
Eastern Kentucky (EKU) is located throughout and around Richmond, Kentucky with more branches throughout the state. It’s a sizeable school with over 16k combined undergraduate and graduate students and more than fifty academic programs.
When you get your online homeland security degree through Eastern Kentucky University you will participate in a curriculum that is based on the model developed by the Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. This means you’ll earn your degree with a national leader in security management, first responder initiative, emergency management, intelligence, and infrastructure protection. Other incentives for choosing EKU include:
- Accelerated, eight-week terms
- The program is ranked among the best for vets by Military Times
- Students are eligible for grants, financial aid, and scholarships
- You work one-on-one with advisors throughout your academic career
- One of the lowest tuition rates at $400 a credit hour
U.S. News & World Report has decorated EKU in many rankings—for being among the Top Public Schools, for being one of the best universities in its region, and for its online programs. Likewise, Forbes, Carnegie Foundation, and the Chronicle of Higher Education also laud EKU’s academic standards.
Arkansas Tech University
College Choice Score: 85
Credit Hour Cost: $568
Over 10k students attend Arkansas Tech University (ATU) and are enrolled in one of the six colleges that make up the university. Campus is located in Russellville with an Ozark campus as well. Though founded as a technical college, ATU offers degrees in everything from engineering to music, political science, nursing, criminal justice, and education.
Arkansas Tech offers a MS in Emergency Management and Homeland Security degree that can be fully completed online. This program equips students in preparedness, mitigation, prevention and protection, strategic collaboration, negotiation, and response and recovery. Arkansas Tech students have found work after graduation in an array of sectors, from private business to education, government agencies, and more. And even though ATU is already an affordable choice, emergency management and homeland security students can earn scholarships to help make their degree even more affordable. The core curriculum at ATU is comprised of the following classes:
- Foundation of Leadership
- Principles of Hazard and Emergency Management
- Fundamentals of Homeland Security
- Research Design and Methods
- Ethical, Legal, and Political Considerations
- Technology for Comprehensive Emergency Management
Half a dozen buildings and halls on Arkansas Tech’s campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places while another half dozen research facilities, museums, international and multicultural centers make up the rest of ATU’s campus.
University of Massachusetts–Lowell
College Choice Score: 84.25
Credit Hour Cost: $575
Part of the renowned University of Massachusetts system, the Lowell branch is a public, research institute with 20k students, the largest in its region and the second-largest public university in the state. UMass Lowell offers nearly 100 graduate degrees, many of which are nationally recognized.
The online MS in Security Studies degree through UMass Lowell can be paired with a concentration in Homeland Defense. This program provides crucial insights into security strategy and policy development while introducing students to the complex web of both regional and national security intelligence, land and maritime border protection, and evolving technologies related to homeland security. In addition to a core course load that covers the scientific and technological dimensions of security, the concentration is comprised of courses on:
- Transportation Systems Safety and Security
- Crisis and Emergency Management
- Domestic Terrorism and Violent Extremism
- Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
- Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Terrorism Networks
- Designing and Building a Cybersecurity Program
Many of UMass Lowell’s academic departments and programs are well-ranked, including its online school, as is the university as a whole. It is included among rankings put forth by Forbes, Washington Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and more.
College Choice Score: 82.75
Credit Hour Cost: $1,818
Part of the University System of Maryland, Towson University (TU) is a public institution located in Baltimore County. Though known for its education program, and for producing the most teachers in Maryland, Towson is now a large university (the largest in the state) with over 22k students and dozens of degree programs.
Towson’s MS in Integrated Homeland Security Management degree is entirely online and develops in its students a proficiency in security strategy, research and analysis, critical agency infrastructures, leadership and team collaboration, and efficient execution of rapid responses to crisis situations. Unique to the Towson program is the opportunity to specialize, in health preparedness, information assurance, or security policy. On top of completing a concentration, students are required to take one course from each of the other two concentrations, making Towson’s degree distinctly cross-disciplinary. Core courses include:
- Critical National Infrastructures
- Planning, Prevention, and Risk Management
- Emergency Communication and Management
- Team Building and Leadership Skills
- Strategic and Tactical Planning
- And more
Towson is ranked eighth in the nation among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Forbes and Kiplinger’s also rank Towson well, designating it among the top 100 public colleges and the top 100 best valued colleges in the country, respectively.
Virginia Commonwealth University
College Choice Score: 76.25
Credit Hour Cost: $780
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a public, research institution that was initially founded as a medical college in the nineteenth century. Today it is home to more than 32k undergraduate and graduate students who are earning degrees in over two-hundred academic areas. Designated a High Research University by Carnegie Classification, VCU is known for its dozens of colleges, research institutions, and academic scholars programs.
Through VCU’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs you can earn an online masters degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. This is an interdisciplinary program that gives students a broad understanding of the organizational, political, ethical, economic, and social aspects of disaster, both natural and man-made. VCU’s professors are leaders in their respective fields of geography, government, international affairs, and public administration, so you can graduate expecting to have developed advanced skills in analysis and intelligence operations as much as strategic planning and legal/constitutional influence. This thirty-six credit-hour program is made up of classes on:
- Technology, Security, and Preparedness
- Survey of Terrorism
- Emergency Management
- Risk Assessment
- Law Enforcement Policy and Judicial Precedent
- And more
In addition to its inclusion on rankings from the usual suspects—U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Washington Monthly—VCU boasts a medley of accolades from The New York Times, Businessweek, and Creativity Magazine, among others.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 71.25
Credit Hour Cost: $627
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private university based in Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. It is divided into six schools and colleges that specialize in engineering, technology, business, education, arts and sciences, and online and continuing education.
The Online MS in Criminal Justice degree, with Advanced Counterterrorism specialization, at SNHU helps students develop techniques in threat assessment, intelligence collection and analysis. Similarly, students learn the political challenges in homeland security as well as its legal and constitutional implications. This is a fifteen-month program that allows students to take two courses per ten-week term, making it one of the more accelerated homeland security degree programs on our list. But just because it’s accelerated doesn’t mean it’s not also comprehensive: through a curriculum steeped in the areas of criminology, public policy, the criminal justice system, judicial process, and global terrorism, SNHU graduates have found management work in:
- Local and federal government
- Law enforcement
- Security and corrections
- Public safety organizations
- And more
Southern New Hampshire University has earned a strong reputation in its distance education programs, having some of the best online bachelors and masters degrees in the nation.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
College Choice Score: 70
Credit Hour Cost: $375
With campuses in Natchitoches, Shreveport, Alexandria, and Fort Polk, Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) is part of the greater University of Louisiana System. Approximately 8k students attend NSU and are enrolled in one of the university’s fifty academic programs. NSU began primarily as a nursing and business school but bloomed into a large, four-year research university in the late twentieth century.
This MS in Homeland Security degree from Northwestern State University is housed within the Global Campus, meaning you can take classes from afar and at your own pace. This program is notably globalized in its curriculum, giving students an understanding of and a method to analyze the newest challenges of globalization. This includes transnational security, international and domestic terrorism, and identifying interorganizational characteristics of global terror groups. Additionally, NSU takes seriously the emergence of digital threats, so you can expect classes that cover:
- Network Security
- Countermeasures to Cyber Threats
- Intelligence Analysis
- And more
NSU is home to the state’s best liberal arts and science honors college, the Louisiana Scholar’s College, which provides innovative, individualized curriculums, small student-to-faculty ratio, study abroad options, and student-centered services.
Angelo State University
College Choice Score: 69.75
Credit Hour Cost: $465
Located in San Angelo, Texas, Angelo State University is a public school and member of the Texas Tech University System. It offers over 150 academic programs to its 10k undergraduate and graduates students, in business, education, liberal arts, nursing, science, and health. Angelo State is classified as a space-grant institution and member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
The online MS in Homeland Security at Angelo State University gives students both a holistic understanding of emerging, live issues related to security and crisis as well as a foundation in the national and international security issues that have traditionally been at play. This degree was designed to train law enforcement personnel, and has, in fact, done just that. Graduates from Angelo State have secured careers in border security, emergency management, criminal justice investigation work, and more. One of the most affordable degrees on our ranking, Angelo State ensures you become proficient in:
- Emergency Management
- Law and Constitutional Issues
- Terrorism and Counterterrorism
- Drug and Human Trafficking
- Critical Infrastructure Protection
- And more
Students come from around the country and world (students represent over twenty different countries) to attend Angelo State, as it is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as being among the “Top 10 Up and Coming Regional Universities.” The Princeton Review and Military Times also give a nod to Angelo State for its academic status and treatment of vets, respectively.
East Carolina University
College Choice Score: 69.75
Credit Hour Cost: $860
A public, research university based in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University (ECU) is recognized as both a sea-grant institution and an Innovation and Economic Prosperity campus. Founded as a teacher training school, today ECU is comprised of nine undergraduate colleges, a graduate school, plus another four professional schools.
East Carolina University’s Department of Political Science offers an online MS in Security Studies degree that can be paired with one of four concentrations, including homeland security. This is a thirty-six credit-hour program that requires the completion of a security core, the homeland security elective base, and an internship or practicum. Regarding the latter, if you have more than a year of experience in the industry you can request to opt out of the internship. To further specialize you can also enroll in one of ECU’s online certification programs, of which there are many that would make for a strong partnership with the homeland security degree:
- Information Assurance
- Professional Communication
- Performance Improvement
- Computer Network Professional
- Health Informatics
- And more
Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and Washington Monthly all name ECU as among the top 200 best universities in the nation. Supplementing these academic accolades are praises for ECU’s care for student veterans, as the university boasts the Patriot Award, among others.
College Choice Score: 69
Credit Hour Cost: $466
Wilmington University is a private, research school based mainly in New Castle, Delaware but with six other campuses located throughout the state, and even more regionally. It’s a large university with over 20k undergraduate and graduate students and over 100 academic programs.
Wilmington University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers an online MS in Homeland Security that provides a hands-on learning experience in security preparedness. Students learn the ethical, social, cultural, and legal issues involved in homeland security while being able to analyze trends and threats, utilize important technologies, promote safe spaces, and create solid professional relationships. Wilmington offers four areas of concentration: safety and security, organizational leadership, military leadership, and information assurance. Regardless of specialization, all students fulfill the core requirement consisting of:
- Contemporary Issues in Homeland Security
- Sociology of Terrorism
- Legal Aspects and Policy of Homeland Security
- Risk Assessment and Management
- Crisis Leadership
- Research Methods in Criminal Justice
Wilmington, as a whole, is included among the prestigious Forbes and U.S. News & World Report rankings, as is its College of Online and Experiential Learning. Nearly half the student population is housed in the Online College, which is consistently ranked among the best distance education programs in the nation.
Thomas Edison State University
College Choice Score: 56
Credit Hour Cost: $499
Located in Trenton, New Jersey, Thomas Edison State University is a public, research institution with nearly 20k combined undergraduate and graduate students. Thomas Edison is organized into five schools and colleges, in the arts and sciences, applied science and technology, business and management, public service, and nursing. They also specialize in providing an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary education to lifelong learners.
Though Thomas Edison State University does not offer a full masters degree in homeland security, they do provide an online Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security that can be completed independently or transferred into the MA in Liberal Studies or the MS in Management degrees. This certification was specifically developed by emergency management officials to give students a broad understanding of policy, preparation, management, and crisis. It is a twelve credit-hour certification made up of the following four classes:
- Terrorism and Homeland Security in the United States
- Protecting the Homeland: Balancing Security and Liberty
- Preparedness: Prevention and Deterrence
- Protecting the Homeland: Response and Recovery
Thomas Edison’s commitment to the integration of technology, learning, and ongoing education opportunities for adults is clear: Forbes named them among the best twenty colleges and universities in the nation for its online education. The New York Times similarly praised its early adoption of distance learning.