Best Online Security Degrees

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Since 1970, the states of California and New York have been hit by nearly 1,000 attempted or successful terrorist attacks. These attacks can threaten both infrastructure, civilians and law enforcement officers. Homeland security officers act to help thwart these attacks and to mitigate the damage they cause. To do this they rely on specialized training received in programs such as the 35 Best Online Security Degrees.

Top 10 Best Online Security Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
2 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
3 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
4 Campbell University Buies Creek, NC
5 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
6 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
7 American Military University Charles Town, WV
8 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL
9 Anderson University Anderson, IN
10 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
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What is Homeland Security?

Homeland security is a field of study where students engage with how to maintain border integrity, as well as defend critical infrastructure such as airports, waterways, and ports. Students study terrorism and related subjects to better understand the threats currently facing homeland security and security officials.

Students are also trained in emergency management so that they can assist in the response to natural and man-made disasters. Students learn practical skills that help manage on the ground operations, as well as communication skills that help them communicate with law enforcement officials.

How Much Money Can I Earn Working in Homeland Security?

Students with a background in homeland security have a wide range of career options available to them, including careers at the local, state, and Federal levels of law enforcement. There are more than 100,000 detectives and criminal investigators currently working in this U.S., who make an average of $83,000 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Homeland security graduates may also qualify to become emergency management directors, whose have a median salary of $72,000. Students can qualify for these positions with just a bachelor’s degree. And those who go on to graduate work before beginning their careers can qualify to make over $141,000 per year.

Why Choose an Online Degree in Security?

Online programs have a number of advantages as compared to traditional bachelor’s programs. The flexible course schedules can allow students to choose when their programs or courses begin, as well as when they listen to lectures or complete coursework. This gives students the chance to adjust the pacing of their classes depending on their needs and schedules.

Online programs can also cut out many of the major overhead costs associated with traditional college programs. Students do not spend money on room and board, parking passes, meal plans, or anything else that they might not need, especially if they’re working professionals. This keeps costs lower and ensures students are only paying for what they want: an education!

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What are the Best Online Security Degrees?

We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer fair not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line – just how much is this going to cost?

Once we determine all of the above, we curate a list of stellar schools for you! These not only represent the best degrees you can get, but also ones that will fit your budget. Check out our picks below!

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Florida is a public university located in Gainesville, FL. Its first predecessor was the East Florida Seminary, which began operating in 1853, before eventually joining with other schools and changing its name to the University of Florida in 1909. UF now offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate degrees. They have a student population of over 55,000, including 16,000 postgraduates.

    Program Features

    The University of Florida offers an online Bachelor of Science in Fire Emergency Services through its College of Design, Construction, and Planning. The degree program offers specializations in Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and Emergency Management. Core coursework in the program includes:

    Fire and Emergency Services Financial Management Strategic Planning for FES Disaster Planning and Control Fire and Emergency Services Public Relations

    Each specialization includes seven courses 21 credits of specialization specific coursework and six courses (18 credits) of elective coursework.

    Notables

    Students need 60 transferable credits to qualify for the online program, but do not need an AA degree. For students to graduate with one of the specializations they are required to have a minimum major GPA of 2.3. In addition to the degree program, UF offers an Emergency Medical Services Management certificate program, as well as a Senior Fire Officer certificate program.

  2. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Liberty University is a private university located in Lynchburg, VA. It is a Christian university that has an informal relationship with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. Libertys endowment is more than $1 billion and they have over 15,000 on-campus students. They have an additional 100,000 students who access courses and programs through their online learning portal.

    Program Features

    Liberty University offers an online Bachelor of Arts degree in Homeland Security. The program is divided between 36 credits of lower division General Education courses, 24 credits of lower level major courses, and 18 credits of upper division general education courses. Courses from the program include:

    Domestic International Terrorism Organizing the War on Terrorism Tactical Communications Catastrophic Event Response Planning

    Students are not required to complete a thesis or capstone course to complete the program requirements.

    Notables

    Students must complete more than 120 total credits to graduate from the program. Additional course options from the program include Constitutional Law for the H.S. Professional and Critical Infrastructure Protection. Libertys curriculum also requires students to complete courses in theology and biblical studies, as a part of their Christian foundation.

  3. Western Carolina University
    Location

    Cullowhee, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Western Carolina University is a public university located in Cullowhee, NC. WCU was founded in 1888 as the Cullowhee Academy, which makes it the fifth oldest university in the state of North Carolina. The have around 11,000 total students and 639 academic staff members. Approximately 9 in 10 of their students are undergraduates, and they have an endowment of $66 million.

    Program Features

    Western Carolina University offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. The program is divided between 42 Liberal Studies hours, 48 major hours, and 30 general elective hours. Major hours courses include options such as:

    Methods of Disaster Research Risk Assessment and Vulnerability Analysis Disaster Response Operations and Management Social Dimensions of a Disaster

    Applicants to the program are required either to possess an AA/AS/AAS degree or to have made substantial progress towards the 44 General Core requirements of WCU.

    Notables

    Major elective options from the program include EMS Systems Management and Crisis Communications. The program includes an opportunity for a student internship as a part of the major requirements, for up to 12 academic credits towards a students degree. In addition to this degree program, WCU also offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree program.

  4. Campbell University
    Location

    Buies Creek, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Campbell University is a private university located in Buies Creek, NC. The school was founded in 1887 by a Baptist minister, and today shares an affiliation with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. They enroll 7,100 students annually and have an endowment of $124 million. It is the largest private university in the state of North Carolina by student population.

    Program Features

    Campbell University offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Homeland Security. Students pursue 124 credits divided between 57 concentration credits, 49 general education credits, and 18 elective credits. Sample courses include:

    The National Government Emergency Preparedness Critical Infrastructure Protection Intelligence National Security

    Students take six elective courses generally and then two concentration-specific electives relating to the major. There is no thesis or capstone course requirement for this program.

    Notables

    In addition to the online program, the BS in Homeland Security program is also available at the Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, and Raleigh campuses of Campbell. Students are required to complete a minimum of 31 semester hours of Campbell University courses, including 12 semester hours of upper level courses. Students may transfer in a maximum of 64 semester hours from any combination of regionally accredited two-year colleges.

  5. Saint Leo University
    Location

    Saint Leo, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Saint Leo University is a private university located in St. Leo, FL. Saint Leo is a Roman Catholic liberal arts university, which shares affiliations with the two Benedictine convents. They enroll approximately 13,000 students at their main campus, and also maintain 40 education centers and offices through their Center for Online Learning. Their endowment is $62 million and they have 1,7000 academic staff members.

    Program Features

    Saint Leo University offers an online Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, with a specialization in Homeland Security. Major courses are divided between 24 credit hours of criminal justice courses and 33 credit hours of specialization and concentration courses (focusing on psychology and the students chosen specialization). Courses may include:

    Theories of Criminal Behavior Substantial Criminal Law Criminal Justice Ethics Legal Issues in Counter-Terrorism

    Students graduating with this specialization receive a Homeland Security certificate, in addition to the core degree.

    Notables

    Saint Leo offers professional development opportunities including field placement with the Pasco-Hernando Police Academy. They also offer opportunities for role-playing assignments that replicate real-world settings such as juries, forensics labs, or the death chamber. In addition to the Homeland Security Specialization, Saint Leo also offers a Criminalistics Specialization.

  6. West Texas A&M University
    Location

    Canyon, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    West Texas M University is a public university located in Canyon, TX. WT originally began as the West Texas State Normal School in 1910, and eventually joined the Texas M State University System in 1990. They have around 10,000 total students, 2,500 of whom are postgraduates. They employ 317 academic staff members and maintain an annual endowment of around $71 million.

    Program Features

    West Texas M University offers an online Bachelor of Applied Arts Sciences degree program in Emergency Management Administration. The Emergency Management core is made up of 42 credit hours of courses including:

    Public Personnel Administration Municipal Government Ethics and Justice and EMA Systems Public Relations and Publicity

    Students also complete 42 hours of core curriculum courses and 34-36 credit hours of elective courses. Students may also complete a Directed Research course if they wish to pursue independent research during the program.

    Notables

    An upper-level statistics course is required as a part of the major core block of courses. Students applying to the online program must have the BAAS Block of technical credits transferred to WT by March 31 of the application year. Applicants should also have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and are required to submit a two-page personal statement to the program director.

  7. American Military University
    Location

    Charles Town, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The American Military University System is a private, for-profit university system primarily based out of Charles Town, WV. AMU is divided between American Military University and American Public University. Around half of the schools student population is composed of US military veterans or active duty soldiers. AMU has around 50,000 total students, of which approximately 8,000 are postgraduates.

    Program Features

    American Military University offers an online Bachelor of Arts degree program in Emergency and Disaster Management. The program is estimated to take four years of full-time study to complete. Major courses required for the program include:

    Research Design and Methods Hazard Mitigation and preparedness Emergency Planning Research Design and Methods

    Students complete 30 semester hours of required major courses and then select an additional 24 semester hours of courses labeled as general concentration courses. The program ends with a Senior Seminar in Emergency Disaster Management.

    Notables

    Students may transfer up to 90 credits in to the program from an accredited university, which is 75 percent of the overall credit requirement. Courses from the general concentration list include Electronics, Electricity, and Explosives and Risk Communications. AMU offers tuition grants for U.S. active-duty service members, Guard, Reserve, military spouses, and dependents.

  8. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide
    Location

    Daytona Beach, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a private university system based out of Daytona Beach, FL. Embry-Riddle has other locations, including its other main campus in Prescott, AZ, as well as more than 200 additional campuses throughout the United States and on American military bases. Through these on-campus locations and their online learning service ERAU helps educate more than 30,000 students each year.

    Program Features

    Embry- Riddle offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Safety Management. The Safety Management courses of the program are divided between program support and management core courses. Sample courses from these groups include:

    Fire Protection Ergonomics Introduction to Research Methods Fire-Related Human Behavior

    In addition to the core courses, students also select one of four Safety Management Specializations and take six courses (18 credits) relating to the chosen specialization.

    Notables

    Specializations offered in the program are Occupational Safety Management, Aviation Safety Management, Construction Safety Management, and Emergency Management. Courses from the Emergency Management specialization include Disaster Policy and Management, Disaster Planning and Control, and Managerial Issues in Hazardous Materials.

  9. Anderson University
    Location

    Anderson, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Anderson University is a private university located in Anderson, SC. They are affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Anderson was originally founded in 1848 as the Johnson Female Seminary, and eventually received its current name in 2006. They have around 3,000 undergraduate students and 500 postgraduate students. Andersons athletic teams are known as the Trojans and they compete at the DII level.

    Program Features

    Anderson offers a Bachelors Degree program in Emergency Services Management with a concentration in Homeland Security Operations and Administration. Courses are divided into five sections: general education, emergency services management, concentration elective, major elective, and general electives. Course options from the program include:

    Emergency Management Planning and Technical Writing Integrated Response to Disaster Disaster Management Government Budgeting and Finance

    Students complete the program with a senior seminar course, which serves to utilize all of the students accumulated knowledge from their time in the program.

    Notables

    Grades below C in courses required for the major, minor, or concentration will not count towards degree completion. Graduates generally pursue careers in management and leadership positions within local, state, tribal, and Federal Emergency management groups. It is also intended to prepare students for pursuing continuing education and graduate studies in the field of study.

  10. University of Central Missouri
    Location

    Warrensburg, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Central Missouri is a public university located in Warrensburg, MO. UCM was previously known as Central Missouri State University, and originally began as a teachers college in 1871. UCM now has an overall student population of more than 14,000 students, including 4,400 postgraduates. They offer more than 150 programs of study and have an endowment of approximately $43 million.

    Program Features

    The University of Central Missouri offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Crisis and Disaster Management. The program is intended both for professionals already working in the Emergency Management and for those looking to start their careers. Courses in the program cover topics relevant to jobs including:

    Public Safety Personnel Institutional Emergency Planners Community Service Providers Industrial Emergency Responders

    Students will engage not only with key course concepts, but they will also learn to develop outstanding interpersonal skills.

    Notables

    This program is available both online and at UCMs Warrensburg campus. The International Association of Emergency Managers offers an annual scholarship each year which students in the program are eligible to apply for. Students who have military training, professional training, or professional licenses are eligible to receive course credit for this knowledge.

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