Best Online Homeland Security Degrees

Best Online Homeland Security Degrees

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Becoming a Homeland Security Professional

Homeland security professionals protect and serve the public in various roles within governmental agencies and the private sector. They work in fields as diverse as law enforcement, first responding, and information assurance.

Job opportunities for individuals with a homeland security degree continue to grow, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects a 5% job growth for police and detectives between 2019-2029. Police officers earn a median annual salary of $65,170, significantly higher than the $39,810 median annual salary for all workers. Many homeland security specialists, such as information assurance analysts, earn much higher salaries and enjoy an optimistic job growth projection of 31%.

A bachelor's degree in homeland security provides education and training for entry-level careers. The curriculum covers subjects such as criminal justice, cybersecurity, emergency management, and critical infrastructure protection. This guide provides information about homeland security careers and programs.

FAQ on Homeland Security Degrees

What kind of jobs can you get with a homeland security degree?

Homeland security professionals work in various settings. A bachelor's degree prepares students for entry-level careers including emergency management specialist, cybersecurity specialist, and special agent. Some careers require additional training.

Is there an age limit for homeland security jobs?

State and federal agencies establish age guidelines for some homeland security positions. Border patrol agents range from 18-40, and those aged 23-37 qualify for special agent positions with the FBI. The age limit for police officers varies by state.

What degree is needed for homeland security?

A bachelor's degree in homeland security prepares students for entry-level and early management positions. The degree also provides students with the foundation necessary for graduate education.

How much do homeland agents make?

Pay varies for homeland agents. According to January 2021 PayScale data, federal special agents make an average $115,300, while intelligence analysts make an average $75,810.

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What Are the Goals of a Homeland Security Degree?

Homeland security degree curriculum typically includes general education courses, core classes, and a concentration for specialized training. Some schools focus on a criminal justice curriculum that explores subjects such as criminology, criminal procedure, and incident investigation and analysis. Others offer an interdisciplinary curriculum blending public safety, homeland security, criminal justice, and behavioral science coursework. Many programs offer concentrations or electives in areas such as emergency management, cybersecurity, and law enforcement.

Students apply lessons and demonstrate their proficiency when they complete capstone projects. Internships give students supervised experience with local law enforcement, the FBI, the CIA, and other organizations. Students typically complete 120-126 credits in homeland security programs. Some schools offer generous credit transfer policies, allowing learners to complete the degree faster and more affordably.

Why Get a Homeland Security Degree?

A homeland security degree opens doors to many well-paying and fulfilling careers. The degree also provides those already working in the field with the education and training necessary for career advancement. Below we list some benefits of pursuing a homeland security degree.

Students pursuing a homeland security degree acquire the skills and training necessary for entry-level positions or graduate studies.

Some schools design homeland security programs especially for those already working in law enforcement or homeland security. The degree provides these professionals with the education necessary to advance their career and update their skills. Some schools award credits for their experience, police or military training, and associate degrees.

Employers value graduates with real experience. Some homeland security programs partner with local agencies for internship opportunities that build students' experience. Capstone projects allow students to apply lessons to solve real challenges and demonstrate their knowledge.

Homeland security programs offer various concentrations. Students acquire training in areas including cybersecurity, disaster management, or public safety. This experience helps students focus their career or graduate studies on a specialization in a field with many career possibilities.

Students develop strong critical thinking, analytical, communication, and technical skills necessary for successful homeland security careers. These skills transfer to other occupations in many fields.

What Are the Requirements for a Homeland Security Degree?

Entrance requirements for homeland security degrees vary by school. Recent high school graduates need test scores and transcripts for admission. Programs designed for nontraditional learners typically require college transcripts and a minimum 2.0-2.5 GPA. Some schools award credit for police and military training.

Many colleges develop a curriculum with law enforcement careers in mind. Others focus on the specialties discussed above. Careful planning ensures that students choose a homeland security degree suiting their career objectives. Students complete internships in their junior or senior year. The school may offer experiential opportunities at partnering organizations, or allow students to identify their own internship in the local community.

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Best Homeland Security Degrees

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#1

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

School Information
Location Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 68%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor's degree in homeland security from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania ranks high among programs of its type. This homeland security degree encourages the knowledge and skills required for diverse career paths. A bachelor's degree also prepares graduates to earn additional degrees, such as a master's or doctorate.

The bachelor's curriculum covers the major principles and methods in homeland security. Undergraduates also gain communication, writing, and critical-thinking skills in general education courses. Declaring a minor or double majoring helps students stand out on the job market.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from strong institutional support when they enroll at the school. For example, academic advisors work with students to transfer credits into the school and select courses.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania at a Glance:

Location: Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 71%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,716

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,574

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#2

Mercer University

School Information
Location Macon, Georgia
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 66%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor's in homeland security and emergency science program at Mercer University, a private institution, stands out for its academic quality. The school, located in Macon, Georgia, offers both in-person and online classes. The school's flexible course options, along with high academic standards, meet the needs of many undergraduates.

Majors take courses in homeland security and general education classes to earn a bachelor's degree. The general education curriculum includes classes in the humanities, mathematics, and communication. Advanced homeland security courses cover theoretical and practical topics, preparing graduates for the workforce or a higher degree.

Mercer University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 74%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 74

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $25,528

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $25,528

Graduation Rate: 66%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $40,400

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#3

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

School Information
Location Daytona Beach, Florida
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 62%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 1% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers 23 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in homeland security program that stands out for its quality. A homeland security degree prepares students for careers in diverse fields. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates also apply to master's programs to open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum covers core and advanced topics in homeland security. Undergraduates also strengthen writing, communication, and critical-thinking skills through general education classes. Students can explore other academic and professional interests by declaring a minor or a second major.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates transition into a bachelor's program. For example, career counselors meet with students to conduct career assessments and mock interviews.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at a Glance:

Location: Daytona Beach, Florida

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 61%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $35,424

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $35,424

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#4

University of New Hampshire

School Information
Location Durham, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 76%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of New Hampshire offers 86 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in homeland security program that prioritizes flexibility. This homeland security degree builds broad knowledge and skills that prepare students for entry- and mid-level careers. Graduates also meet the requirements for master's and doctoral programs by earning a bachelor's degree.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces foundational and advanced principles in homeland security. Undergraduates also complete general education requirements, which strengthen analytical and critical-thinking skills. Declaring a minor or double majoring helps students explore other interests.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from strong institutional support when they enroll at the school. For example, career counselors help students identify their strengths and plan for the job market.

University of New Hampshire at a Glance:

Location: Durham, New Hampshire

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 84%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,520

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $32,050

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