Homeland security professionals keep the United States safe from domestic and international threats. They prepare for and prevent emergencies, keep people safe, and preserve our freedoms. If you’re an analytical thinker with leadership skills and a passion for protecting our nation, you’re a good fit for a doctoral degree in Homeland Security.
These programs prepare you to make informed decisions that save lives. You’ll develop the skills mentioned above, in addition to your knowledge of homeland security issues, principles, and best practices. You’ll learn to build and manage teams, conduct and analyze research, and prevent and respond to emergencies and disasters.
A doctoral degree in Homeland Security prepares you for a wide range of careers in government, business, industry, or academia. Best of all, every program on this list is both online and highly affordable. You can continue working while pursuing your homeland security goals, all without breaking the bank.
What kind of doctoral degree in Homeland Security should you get?
There is a wide variety of doctoral degrees in Homeland Security. Options include a Doctor of Philosophy, a Doctor of Professional Studies, or a Doctor of Criminal Justice or Global Security with an emphasis/graduate certification in Homeland Security. The best program for you will depend on your personal interests and career goals.
Doctoral programs in Homeland Security are available online and on campus. Online programs offer the added benefit of flexibility. They allow you to continue working while pursuing your academic goals. You may be interested in exploring our list of the Most Affordable Online Graduate Schools.
How much money do people make with a doctoral degree in Homeland Security?
Homeland security incorporates many careers. For many,, a doctoral degree is not required. However, it can lead to better salary opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries for a few potential careers:
- Emergency Management Director: $72,760
- Homeland Security Professor: $76,000
- Information Security Analyst: $95,510
Keep in mind that this is just a small sample of the many doors opened by a doctoral degree in Homeland Security. Each of these careers is growing as fast or faster than average. Jobs for information security analysts, for example, are projected to grow by 28 percent over the next ten years.
What can you do with a doctoral degree in Homeland Security?
A doctoral degree in Homeland Security allows you to occupy leadership positions in the homeland security field, including government agencies and positions in business and industry. You may also consider becoming a consultant or working in academia.
Homeland security encompasses criminal justice, cybersecurity, emergency management, immigration and customs enforcement, law enforcement, and more. A doctoral degree in Homeland Security will prepare you to take the lead in any of these areas. You’ll think analytically and critically, making important decisions that ensure the safety of our nation and its people.
What are the requirements for a doctoral degree in Homeland Security?
Requirements vary by program. You may need a master’s degree in a related field, in addition to work experience in homeland security. Application materials may include a resume, transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement and/or writing sample.
Most of these programs take at least three years to complete and require a dissertation. In most cases, they also require a brief on-campus residency, usually one weekend per term or academic year. Courses cover research methods, contemporary topics in homeland security, homeland security best practices, leadership, and emergency management. You may be required to take a comprehensive exam.
What are the most affordable online doctoral degrees in Homeland Security?
Based on net tuition costs, we’ve put together a list of the nation’s most affordable online doctoral degrees in Homeland Security. Of course, you want both affordability and quality. That’s why every program on this list is also accredited. Accreditation means that the program has met rigorous academic standards.
To create this list, we’ve used trusted sources like:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- U.S. News and World Report
- Princeton Review
- Official college and university websites and course catalogs
If you’re looking for a flexible, affordable terminal degree in Homeland Security, these programs will help you achieve your goals.
See our rankings methodology page.
American Public University
Average Net Price: $10,658
American Public University and American Military University offer flexible, affordable online programs intended for working professionals and military service members or veterans. Discounts are available for service members and their families. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university’s online programs among the best in the nation. Part of the American Public University System, the school is regionally accredited and offers professionally-focused programs. This includes a Doctor of Global Security.
Through American Public University’s Doctor of Global Security program, students explore the complex global security environment. They focus on the formulation and implementation of international policies and norms, as well as the impact of global security on domestic security and foreign policy. APU’s multidisciplinary curriculum integrates research and evidence-based solutions with courses like:
- Nationalism and Identity
- Seminar in Emerging Global Security Issues
- Psychology of Actors in the Global Environment
- Seminar in Global Governance
- Quantitative Methods
All courses are taught by scholar-practitioners, many of whom hold key positions in public safety organizations or government agencies. Doctoral programs are offered three times annually in January, May, and September. Applicants should apply at least three months in advance of their desired start date. Applicants who advance to the final stage of consideration must attend an interview. Program length is three years plus a dissertation.
Jacksonville State University
Average Net Price: $11,939
Jacksonville State University, known as “the friendliest university in the South,” emphasizes personal development, leadership, diversity, affordability and excellence in education. The university enrolls 8,479 students, 80 percent of whom receive financial aid, and offers 95 academic programs and concentrations. One option is an online doctoral program in Emergency Management.
JSU’s Doctor of Science in Emergency Management requires 60 semester credit hours. This includes coursework in research methods and statistics, practice areas, and administration and policy, as well as a dissertation. Applicants must hold a master’s degree. Courses include:
- Disaster Management Principles and Practices
- Systems Thinking and Applications in Emergency Management
- Hazards Risk Management and Community Resilience
- Emergency Management Program Management
- Research Design
All courses are online, but students must participate in a week-long seminar on campus each academic year. Before advancing to doctoral candidacy, students must pass three qualifying exams. After passing the exams, they will complete an applied research dissertation.
New Jersey City University
Average Net Price: $12,267
New Jersey City University was founded as a training school for teachers in 1927. It’s located just minutes from New York City and offers a wide range of degree programs in emerging and interdisciplinary fields. Students engage in cooperative education internships, study abroad programs, and unique applied learning experiences. NJCU offers an online Doctor of Science in Civil Security.
The Doctor of Science in Civil Security Leadership, Management, and Policy is one of the nation’s first Security Studies doctoral programs. The three-year program includes a two-week summer residency and four on-campus weekends during the academic year. Students develop their knowledge of national security, corporate security, and cybersecurity/information assurance. The degree has a strong research and analysis component. You’ll take courses such as:
- Data Analysis for Civil Security Leadership, Management, and Policy
- Communications for Civil Security Leadership, Management, and Policy
- Civil Security Policy/Budget Development and Implementation
- Current Issues in Civil Security Leadership, Management, and Policy
- Doctoral Colloquium in Emergency Operations and Management
Graduates assume executive-level security responsibilities in government, education, and business. They are also prepared to become post-secondary educators in the security field. Every professor in the program has a minimum of 15 years of experience in professional security. Applicants must hold a master’s degree with a 3.5 GPA or higher, as well as four years of relevant work experience.
Average Net Price: $15,667
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Capella University is a public university specializing in online learning for non-traditional students. With over 1,600 online courses, Capella offers more than 150 academic and certification programs. Students choose from multiple start dates and multiple online learning formats. Programs are competency-based and designed with support from industry leaders. One of these career-crafted programs is a Doctor of Emergency Management.
Capella’s Doctor of Emergency Management teaches students to critically analyze all aspects of emergency management to make life-saving decisions. Students learn to develop and implement policy with an emphasis on leadership, professional communication, and ethical decision-making skills. Courses include:
- Emergency Management Policy and the Administration of Emergencies and Disasters
- Emergency Management Systems
- Risk Management in Emergency Management
- Emergency Management Operations and Planning
- Response, Continuity, Recovery, and Resilience
Candidates may choose a concentration in Continuity Management, Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources, Higher Education, or Project Management. Students learn through Riverbend City, an immersive media simulation that allows for the application of knowledge and skills in a risk-free environment. Active-duty military service members, spouses, and veterans are eligible for a 10 percent tuition discount.
Colorado Technical University
Average Net Price: $15,888
Colorado Technical University is committed to providing industry-relevant education to a diverse student population using innovative technology. CTU’s online school was introduced in 1995 and has rapidly spread around the globe. The experienced faculty at CTU deliver effective, award-winning programs that enable the pursuit of personal and professional goals. One of CTU’s top-notch online programs is a Doctor of Management in Homeland Security.
Students in CTU’s Doctor of Management in Homeland Security program build expertise in strategic analysis, research, and policy leadership in the growing field of homeland security. The 100-credit program emphasizes three areas of focus: Research and Writing, Leadership and Change Management, and Homeland Security. Students complete courses like:
- Management Theory
- Organization Innovation and Scenario Thinking
- Quantitative Research Methods
- Risk, Resilience, and Innovation in Security Policy
- Homeland Security Enterprise
Scholarships, grants, and multiple start dates are available. Graduates are prepared to become effective upper-level managers in several areas important to national security. The program can be completed in three years and includes a dissertation component. The dissertation must be presented and approved by the candidate’s dissertation committee.
California University of Pennsylvania
Average Net Price: $17,755
Nicknamed Cal U, California University of Pennsylvania is a public university in California, Pennsylvania. It offers a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. With highly affordable tuition, the university provides an excellent education at a tremendous value. Ninety-nine percent of Cal U graduates are working or in graduate school. Cal U offers over 50 respected graduate programs, including an online doctorate in Criminal Justice.
The first regionally accredited Doctor of Criminal Justice program in the nation, Cal U’s DCJ strengthens skills in analysis, leadership, policy implementation, and evaluation. The 42-credit doctorate can be finished in two years of part-time online study, including a comprehensive exam and doctoral research portfolio. Students may also pursue an online graduate certificate in Homeland Security. Courses include:
- Using Theory to Improve Criminal Justice Practice
- Corrections: Crisis and Management
- Criminal Justice Training: Needs, Problems, Solutions
- Legal Research Methods for Criminal Justice Practitioners
- Contemporary Forensic Science and Technology for Criminal Justice Leaders
Cal U requires one five-day summer residency on campus. The program collaborates with the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative and Forensic Sciences, which consults with working practitioners to offer various criminal justice certifications. Graduates work in federal, state, and local police agencies, corrections departments, investigative units, and other agencies related to government and justice.
Saint Leo University
Average Net Price: $20,552
The oldest Catholic institution of higher learning in Florida, Saint Leo University has two main campuses, several regional locations, and a wide range of online offerings. In total, Saint Leo enrolls nearly 15,000 students. According to U.S. News and World Report, the university is one of the best in the South. Saint Leo emphasizes accessibility and affordability. The school offers an affordable online Doctorate Degree in Criminal Justice with a Homeland Security specialization.
Saint Leo’s Doctor of Criminal Justice in Homeland Security offers a comprehensive curriculum that can be completed in 3.5 years. Students learn homeland security best practices and decision-making, empowering them to protect the United States from threats. The 60-credit program is highly flexible and includes a dissertation. You’ll take courses like:
- Law, Policy, and Social Order
- Global Extremism and Mass Movements
- Terrorism, Domestic Radicalization
- Systems Approach to Homeland Security
- Organizational and Community Resilience
Students attend three weekend-long residencies at University Campus in Florida, in addition to Saint Leo’s Education Centers in Virginia Beach and Atlanta. The curriculum is designed to easily integrate into a work environment, allowing it to function in unison with students’ work schedule. Students get assigned dissertation chairs early in the program, and students receive continuous support as they progress through the curriculum.
St. John's University
Average Net Price: $25,981
St. John’s University is a private Catholic and Vincentian university founded in 1870. The university has campuses throughout New York, as well as international campuses in Rome, Paris, and Limerick, Ireland. The school has 17 Division I NCAA teams and a proud alumni network of 184,000. St. John’s serves over 20,000 students and offers more than 100 academic programs, including a Doctor of Professional Studies in Homeland Security.
The 78-credit online Doctor of Professional Studies in Homeland Security teaches the knowledge and skills to effectively research, think analytically and critically, build and manage teams, and make decisions to solve real-world security challenges. The program also focuses on emergency and disaster preparedness, including response, recovery, mitigation, and resilience. You can expect to enroll in courses including:
- Homeland Security Enterprise
- Intelligence for Homeland Security: Organizational and Policy Challenges
- Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability and Protection
- Disaster Management I: Preparedness and Response
- Disaster Management II: Operational Continuity and Recovery
Students are required to be in residence for one week each academic year. St. John’s has a Homeland Security/Emergency Management Simulation Lab and Cyber Security Lab featuring state-of-the-art laboratory simulations and cybersecurity exercises. Graduates are prepared to occupy executive positions in government, law enforcement, public and private security industries, and academia.
Nova Southeastern University
Average Net Price: $26,740
A private university based in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is ranked one of the best universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. The school is founded on core principles of academic excellence, integrity, innovation, opportunity, diversity, and community. In addition to campuses throughout Florida and in Puerto Rico, Nova Southeastern offers a wide range of online programs, such as an affordable Doctor of Philosophy in Cybersecurity Management.
NSU’s Doctor of Philosophy in Cybersecurity Management requires a minimum of 67 credits. The comprehensive, multidisciplinary research program equips graduates for careers in academia; federal, state, and local government agencies; and business and industry. Students complete two doctoral research courses, a doctoral research dissertation, and seven core courses, including:
- Secure Systems Analysis and Design
- Information Protection
- Information Security Risk Management
- Information Privacy
- Research Seminar in Information Assurance
This program is recognized by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The curriculum is a combination of technically intensive and management-focused security courses. Students attend on-campus class sessions once per term. Applicants should have experience in information security, a master’s degree in a relevant field, and an information security research goal with strong potential.
Average Net Price: $26,954
Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University has paved the way in distance education since the mid-1980s. Originally, the university mailed VHS tapes loaded with course content to their distance learning students. In the late 1990s, Liberty began offering Christian college degree programs online. Today, students access a wide range of online programs and state-of-the-art digital resources using Blackboard. One of Liberty’s many online offerings is a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on Homeland Security.
The 60-credit Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice-Homeland Security takes an average of three years to complete. Students gain advanced skills and knowledge in cybersecurity, counterterrorism and counterintelligence strategies, vulnerability analysis, protection of critical infrastructures, and more. All courses are rooted in biblical foundations and ethics. These courses include:
- Transnational Organized Crime
- Topics in Terrorism and Intelligence
- Criminal Justice Organizational Conflict
- Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability Analysis and Protection
- Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Strategies
As a nonprofit university, Liberty has been able to keep costs low. Tuition has not increased in three consecutive years. The program track can be customized to meet the student’s individual needs and schedule. Graduates pursue leadership positions in homeland security or work in higher education in criminal justice and homeland security subjects.