Having a homeland security degree is one of the best ways to establish a career with the DHS.
You should get a homeland security degree if you’re passionate about protecting the US, have strong analytical skills, and want a job in a US government agency. With your homeland security degree, you’ll be qualified to enter into a wide range of positions. Starting your freshman year as a homeland security major can be the first step into a very important career.
Who else should pursue a bachelor’s in homeland security? Those who enjoy a lot of options can do well in homeland security bachelor degree programs. When people imagine getting a bachelor’s in homeland security, many of them picture getting a job with the federal government. While it’s true that the federal government does have plenty of DHS jobs, those with a bachelor of science in homeland security can also work within state and local governments. For that matter, some homeland security majors even move on to work in private businesses. In other words, a homeland security degree can lead to plenty of job security.
Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Homeland Security Degree Programs
To rank the best homeland security degree programs in the US, Bachelor’s Degree Center editors sought out bachelor’s degrees focused on national security. From our initial pool, we selected only accredited, trusted institutions that we then ranked based on their Tuition Cost, Student Satisfaction, and Salary Potential.
1. George Mason University
The Criminology, Law and Society BS program at George Mason University is recognized around the country as one of the best homeland security degree programs. Throughout this course of study, students get more than just a criminology education. They learn to delve into the deep societal problems that cause crime to happen in the first place. Students graduate as esteemed critical thinkers, ready to work with people who struggle with crime to make the world a better place.
All students at George Mason take part in the Mason Core program requirements, a set of core general education courses designed to give students a well-rounded education. These classes let employers know that graduates of George Mason are ready to take on more than just tasks related to their major.
What We Like: George Mason’s Virginia location makes it the perfect place for students who are eventually interested in working in Washington, D.C.
Degree: Criminology, Law and Society, BS
2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Homeland Security BS program is one of the best security degrees available in the South, and is the perfect fit for students who want to combine their love of aerospace with their love of homeland security. Students have the opportunity to take two minors, to take one minor and one concentration throughout their homeland security education. This gives them the chance to specialize their degree to meet their career goal needs.
At Embry Riddle, the curriculum for the homeland security program changes constantly. Faculty watch changes in world conditions and update the program to reflect the condition and needs of world security.
What We Like: At Embry Riddle, guest lecturers are frequently the star of the show. Homeland security experts regularly come to provide guest lectures and even teach entire courses.
Degree: Homeland Security, BS
3. University of North Texas
The Emergency Administration and Planning BS degree at University of North Texas is one of the best homeland security degree programs available today. Students in this program don’t just learn the basics of how to handle an emergency – they emerge prepared to be leaders in the field. The program prepares students to communicate effectively with other leaders. Students are also required to take a minor to create a well-rounded education.
After studying at University of North Texas, many students go on to work for the Red Cross as disaster specialists. Students are well prepared for work in both the public and private sectors after successful completion of the program. Many students go on to work for other nonprofit organizations as well.
What We Like: As a public research university, U of NT has affordable tuition rates for in-state students.
Degree: Emergency Administration and Planning, BS
4. LeTourneau University
The Political Science/Homeland Security BS program at LeTourneau University is one of the best security degree options currently available to students who are interested in eventually working for the Department of Homeland Security. This program prepares students to work with government, public, and private organizations, and emphasizes leadership and the intersection of politics and security.
Esteemed professor Dr. John Barrett has years of experience working in homeland security, both domestically and abroad. Students who get to study under Dr. Barrett benefit from both his years of experience and his excitement to share what he’s learned with others.
What We Like: LeTourneau University is a Christian school, perfect for students who want to grow in their faith while also learning how to keep the nation safe.
Degree: Political Science/Homeland Security, BS
5. Tulane University
At Tulane University, the Homeland Security Studies BA program is widely respected as one of the best homeland security degree programs in the country.
Students have the option of earning their degree either on campus or in a hybrid on-campus/online program. The second option is the perfect fit for nontraditional students who want to continue to advance in their careers while also furthering their education. Tulane welcomes nontraditional students and works to make the accommodations necessary for people with busy schedules to earn their degrees.
What We Like: Located in the bustling metropolis of New Orleans, students have the opportunity to meet many local alums working in the field. Tulane’s widespread alumni network sets students up for success post-graduation.
Degree: Homeland Security Studies, BA
6. West Texas A&M University
The Emergency Management Administration BAAS at West Texas A&M University is one of the best homeland security degree programs available to students today. This program focuses on turning students into expert first responders, training them to make important decisions at a fast, life-saving pace. Leadership and community development are also focuses of the program, making students into important parts of their community who can contribute to growth.
This online program allows students to learn on their own time, at their own pace, and is perfect for busy professionals who want to continue to advance their careers while also working toward getting their degrees. The program is built for both full and part-time students. The program primarily focuses on nontraditional students who are currently working in the emergency services field.
What We Like: West Texas A&M University was recently ranked #2 by College Choice for the 25 best online emergency management degrees.
Degree: Emergency Management Administration, BAAS
7. Mississippi College
At Mississippi College, the Administration of Justice, Homeland Security BS program is known as one of the best security degrees available in the South. While students get a well-rounded education in crime and justice throughout the program, they’re also pushed to develop their critical thinking skills. Students question the way crime and justice are handled in the United States today and debate how to improve the future of the country.
Created in 1984, the Administration of Justice program has created decades of leaders in security, law enforcement, and government leadership positions. Faculty members work closely with students to help them develop courses of study that will lead them toward their long-term career goals.
What We Like: Mississippi College is a Christian university where students can grow in their faith while also earning their degree.
Degree: Administration of Justice, Homeland Security, BS
8. Virginia Commonwealth University
The Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness BA at Virginia Commonwealth University creates graduates who are well prepared to take on the complex realities of homeland security today. Known as one of the best security degree programs, students learn to excel both in the classroom and as leaders. As a BA program, students also must complete a foreign language component, making them even more career-ready after they graduate.
Since November 11th, Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania have become hot spots for people who want to study homeland security. The area has attracted top-notch faculty who are able to share their experiences both from this terrorist attack and other world events that have shaped the way we view the world.
What We Like: Virginia Commonwealth University is highly dedicated to serving their community – students complete over 1 million hours of community service each year. The school’s close proximity to Washington, D.C., make it a perfect location for students who are interested in eventually working for the government in the Department of Homeland Security.
Degree: Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, BA
9. Sul Ross State University
At Sul Ross State University, the Homeland Security BS is known as one of the best security degree programs available to students who are interested in working in either the public or the private sector. The program focuses on how terrorism has affected the government, and how governmental restructuring can help to protect the nation against terrorist attacks. This specialized program is perfect for students who want to go on to work in the government, or in the public/ private sectors.
This degree offers a hybrid course of study, allowing students to take some of their classes online. This option is perfect for nontraditional students who are working to balance their career and other responsibilities while also earning their degree. Hybrid programs are a perfect combination of in classroom and online studies, allowing students to enjoy valuable face time with their professors and classmates while also balancing the needs of their day-to-day lives.
What We Like: This program offers hands-on criminal investigation experiences during face-to-face classes.
Degree: Homeland Security, BS
10. Herzing University – Akron
At Herzing University – Akron, the Homeland Security and Public Safety BS degree is known as one of the best security degrees in the Midwest. This degree program works to help students learn how to discuss the ethical and social issues that impact emergency situations in the United States, evaluate public safety issues, identify techniques that are used to detect and arrest terrorist attacks, and more.
Many students in this program are nontraditional students who are currently working in the government or in law enforcement. The program teaches students how to question what they’ve been taught and look for solutions to problems they’re facing in their careers. Students have the opportunity to learn from one another as they enjoy traditional classroom settings, or as they pursue their education online.
What We Like: Herzing has campuses across the United States, and its online programs allow students to learn from professors across the country.
Degree: Homeland Security and Public Safety, BS
11. Regent University
At Regent University’s Criminal Justice/Homeland Security BS program, students get to earn one of the best homeland security degrees available in the United States today. The program doesn’t just cover traditional homeland security topics – it also delves into juvenile justice, ethics, constitutional law, criminal law, terrorism, and more.
As a Christian school, Regent University anchors its teachings in faith and Christian principles. This program is perfect for students who want to grow in their faith while also learning how to make the country (and world) a safer place.
What We Like: Regent’s Virginia location is perfect for students who want to eventually work for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. The school’s location lends itself to providing students with internship opportunities they may not have in other locations.
Degree: Criminal Justice/Homeland Security, BS
12. Monmouth University
The Homeland Security BS degree at Monmouth University is one of the best homeland security degree programs available in the country. Students on the Homeland Security, BS track at Monmouth have the opportunity to take up to 31 elective credits, allowing them to design a program that makes sense for their future career goals.
Unlike many BS programs, the Homeland Security, BS degree at Monmouth requires that students take classes in cultural diversity/ global understanding or foreign language, helping them to become global citizens with a deeper understanding of the world at large. At most schools, these requirements are only found in BA programs.
What We Like: Monmouth University’s coastal location in New Jersey makes New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia just a quick train ride away. These locations provide students with fantastic cultural and internship opportunities.
Degree: Homeland Security, BS
13. Campbell University
Campbell University’s Homeland Security BS is one of the best homeland security degree programs available in the United States today. The broad areas of study included in the program are intelligence and writing, domestic counterterrorism, border/ transportation security, emergency preparedness and response, protecting critical infrastructure and key areas, and defending against catastrophic threats. Together, these focus areas create a well-rounded education that leaves graduates prepared for any career in homeland security.
Geared toward adult and nontraditional students, the Homeland Security, BS program at Campbell University is perfect for busy professionals who want to earn their degree while also continuing to work toward their career goals. This program is available online, making it simple for students to work on their own time, at their own pace. Campbell is dedicated to helping adults get the education they want, without interfering with their career goals.
What We Like: Campbell University’s low tuition rates make the school perfect for people who want to go back to school on a budget.
Degree: Homeland Security, BS
14. Mercy College
At Mercy College, students in the Corporate and Homeland Security BS program get to earn one of the best homeland security degrees. The program focuses on leadership, including how to build a team in stressful situations. Business and security concepts classes can also be an important part of this degree if the student chooses to branch out and specialize in these areas.
Faculty at Mercy work closely with students to help them move toward their career goals. Whether that means helping them choose electives or connecting them with professionals in the field for internship opportunities, the world-class faculty at Mercy can help students take the steps they need to succeed after graduation.
What We Like: Mercy College’s New York City location allows students to experience cultural and learning opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Degree: Corporate and Homeland Security, BS
Mercy College Corporate and Homeland Security BS
15. SUNY College of Technology at Canton
At SUNY College of Technology at Canton, students in the Homeland Security BS program get to earn one of the best homeland security degrees in the Northeast. The program works to teach students how to anticipate and fight against domestic terrorism, how to understand and appropriately apply the concepts of The Patriot Act, how to apply the constitution and civil liberties to terrorism scenarios, and how to use intelligence analysis to effectively fight terrorism
At SUNY College of Technology at Canton, faculty work closely with students to provide hands-on experiences that show them what it will be like to work with homeland security concepts in the real world. Faculty are readily available to answer questions and work closely with students to help them work toward their career goals.
What We Like: This program is built perfectly for students who have earned their associate’s degree and are ready to take the next step in furthering their education.
Degree: Homeland Security, BS
16. University at Albany (SUNY)
The Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity BA/BS program at SUNY University at Albany is one of the best homeland security degree programs available to students today. Encompassing a wide variety of homeland security concepts, this program allows students to graduate fully ready to take on the changes and developments in the homeland security arena.
The program sets students up to be ready to step up as leaders in hard situations. SUNY at Albany recognizes that there’s more that goes into a homeland security degree than just understanding security concepts. Students need the confidence and ability to lead when things get hard, and the program prepares them to do exactly that.
What We Like: One of the hallmarks of SUNY at Albany is the living-learning communities offered on campus. Students can live and take classes with groups of students who share similar interests, deepening their learning.
Degree: Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity BA / BS
17. Franklin University
Franklin University’s Emergency Management & Homeland Security BS program is known as one of the best homeland security degree programs available to incoming students today. This program provides a broad education in the areas of ethics, security, terrorism, regulations, intelligence, and more. Graduates emerge ready to take on supervisory and other leadership positions in the homeland security arena.
This program is transfer-friendly and welcomes students who started their education at a community college or other school that does not offer a homeland security program. The program is completely online, which makes it easy for students to learn no matter what other factors are going on in life. Many students in this program are working while learning, and shared experiences with other law enforcement, security, and first responder professionals can add a richness to the overall learning experience.
What We Like: Situated in the heart of Ohio, Franklin University provides students with convenient access to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and more, giving students unique cultural and internship experiences.
Degree: Emergency Management & Homeland Security, BS
18. DeSales University
The Homeland Security BA program at DeSales University is one of the best homeland security degree programs available to undergraduate students. The BA aspect of the program means that students get a well-rounded arts education, which can be hard to come by in homeland security degree programs. The program helps students develop critical thinking and analytical skills, encouraging them to question the way that things have always been done in search of a new and better method.
The Center for Homeland Security is an organization unique to central Pennsylvania that provides learners at DeSales with unique learning experiences. Run by DeSales, this organization brings working professionals and students together to create a special experience that allows students to understand how homeland security works in the real world.
What We Like: The Crime Scene house on DeSales’ campus allows students to immerse themselves in a pseudo-crime experience. Students get to apply what they’ve learned in a real-life situation, teaching them to think on their feet when it matters most.
Degree: Homeland Security, BA
19. Post University
The Emergency Management & Homeland Security BS at Post University is one of the best homeland security degrees a student can achieve. This program is made for students who feel a deep sense of duty to their country and want to do what it takes to keep the nation safe. Students are taught to assess risk and make appropriate decisions for the safety of the nation. Students also analyze terrorist issues, including cultural, ethical, and religious considerations.
Post offers classes that are completely online, making it easier for busy professionals to get their degree. Students at Post are often nontraditional and are working while also getting their education. This creates an exciting learning environment where students get to share experiences with others who are also in the field.
What We Like: The school’s Connecticut location makes it easy for students to hop on the train and get unique learning and cultural experiences in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.
Degree: Emergency Management & Homeland Security, BS
20. Anderson University
The Homeland Security/Emergency Services, BA at Anderson University prepares students to take on several challenges within the homeland security world. Known as one of the best homeland security degree programs in the South, this program stresses leadership and sound decision-making. Students are pushed to think critically as they learn about the challenges they’ll face in the homeland security arena.
Graduates of this program are ready to take on leadership positions in the homeland security and emergency services area at the local, state, federal, and tribal levels. Whether students choose to work in the private, public, or government sectors, they’ll be well prepared to take on leadership and supervisory positions.
What We Like: Anderson has recently been recognized by Apple, Inc. as a distinguished school for innovation, excellence, and leadership.
Degree: Homeland Security/Emergency Services, BA
21. Tiffin University
The Homeland Security and Terrorism BCJ at Tiffin University is known for providing one of the best homeland security degrees in the United States. The program teaches the basics of homeland security and prepares students for entry-level advocacy positions in the public and private sectors.
If students are transferring credits, this program can be completed on a faster track than normal. Students who are interested in using transfer credits should call the school to see how many credits will be applicable. Tiffin is committed to helping students transfer as many credits as possible to lower the overall cost of their education.
What We Like: Tiffin offers military and FOP discounts, perfect for students who have experience in the military or law enforcement and want to further their education.
Degree: Homeland Security and Terrorism, BCJ
22. Central Penn College
The Homeland Security Management BS program at Central Penn College is one of the best homeland security degree programs available to students in the Northeastern United States. The program combines aspects of intelligence analysis, leadership, emergency management, infrastructure security, law enforcement, and organizational behavior to provide a well-rounded education that leaves graduates well prepared to be leaders in the homeland security field.
At Central Penn College, students experience hands-on learning opportunities, field trips, and exciting lectures from dedicated faculty. CPU understands the importance of seeing homeland security concepts in action, and works to provide students with experiences that let them think about how they would react in tough circumstances.
What We Like: Nervous about applying to school? CPU offers an instant decision day, allowing students to receive their admissions decision in seconds.
Degree: Homeland Security Management, BS
23. Keiser University
Students earning their Homeland Security BA degree at Keiser University are in the process of earning one of the best homeland security degrees available in the U.S. The program focuses on many different aspects of homeland security, including cross-cultural management, emergency management, and leadership.
The program doesn’t just focus on the procedural aspects of what to do in an emergency or terrorist situation. Students learn about how homeland security affects society, and teaches students to use societal factors in their decision-making processes.
What We Like: This program is available at many of Keiser’s Florida campuses, making it easy for students to attend class no matter where there are in Florida
Degree: Homeland Security, BA
24. University of New Haven
University of New Haven’s Homeland Security & Emergency Management BS program is one of the best homeland security degree programs available in the Northeast. Students learn how to work through the process of the scientific method in homeland security situations, allowing them to make sound decisions with whatever information they have available. The program focuses on transportation security, infrastructure security, emergency scene operations, and more.
Students get to choose between the homeland security track and the emergency management track. Esteemed faculty are happy to help students choose the track that makes the most sense for their personal career goals. Having a specialty track can go a long way to set students apart when they enter the career field.
What We Like: University of New Haven’s national recognized Center for Career Development gives students the help they need in getting ready for and finding a career after graduation. Students are able to return to the career center after graduation for further assistance finding the career that makes sense for them
Degree: Homeland Security & Emergency Management, BS
25. Dean College
At Dean College, students earning their Criminal Justice/Homeland Security Bachelors Degree are in the process of graduating from one of the best security degree programs in the U.S. In this program, students focus on emergency response and security plans for major events, leadership skills needed for security-related operations, international criminal justice, homeland security management, cybersecurity, and more.
Students graduate from the Criminal Justice/ Homeland Security program at Dean College ready to be leaders in their field. Faculty in the program are experienced homeland security experts who have worked through real-life scenarios that they readily describe to students. Students are encouraged to take part in internship opportunities that allow them to solve crimes and work to keep local companies safe.
What We Like: Students regularly get to interact with esteemed professionals in the classroom, including security experts from the New England Patriots and New England Revolution.
Degree: Criminal Justice/Homeland Security Bachelor’s Degree
Why Should I Get a Homeland Security Degree?
The US Department of Homeland Security is tasked with keeping the nation safe. Established just several days after the infamous 9/11 attacks, the DHS is primarily concerned with preventing and responding to terrorism. However, they also respond to other US safety threats. For example, during the COVID-19 crisis, the DHS put together a response team to help minimize risk and protect the US from as much damage as possible.
This mission includes a lot of factors, including air safety, cyber safety, and more. The DHS is made up of several organizations, such as the TSA, FEMA, etc. With all of these organizations under their umbrella, the DHS has a lot of roles to fill. It will always need smart, capable people to fill those roles and help keep Americans safe. That’s where having a homeland security degree can help you. With a homeland security major, you’ll learn everything it takes to protect the nation on a day-to-day basis.
How Do I Choose a Homeland Security Program?
The US has some excellent homeland security schools. When looking into those homeland security schools, there are a few things that you can do to find the one that’s right for you. For example, a “homeland security schools near me” search can help you get started. Other degree options include sociology, law enforcement, and similar majors.
The most important thing, though, is that you look for homeland security approved universities. When you research schools, look for regional accreditation. When a school is accredited, it means that it has met several standards for providing a relevant and challenging education. A non-accredited program won’t necessarily teach you all of the skills that you need, and employers prefer canditates with an accredited education. Plus, if you ever want to transfer schools, you’ll only be able to transfer your accredited courses. If you’ve taken non-accredited courses up until that point, you’ll have to start from scratch. It’s best to look for accredited schools from the start so that you can get the education that you need without wasting any of your time.
What else can you do to get started? You might decide to take some homeland security courses online. Free courses do exist, and they’re a great way to get started, learn some of the basics, and figure out whether or not this degree is right for you. While you can’t earn a full degree with these homeland security courses online, free classes are available to first responders through DHS.
What Will I Learn in a Homeland Security Degree Program?
In your homeland security degree program, you’ll get a broad overview of everything that goes into a homeland security job. Your courses will combine theory and practice. Because the DHS is primarily concerned with terrorism, many of your classes will also focus on terrorism. First, you’ll learn a lot of background information on why terrorism happens. You’ll explore the social, political, and psychological background of terrorist attacks. By understanding why terrorism happens, you’ll be in a better position to prevent it in the future.
Once you’ve learned some background information, your degree will lead you through practical courses that teach you how to respond to terrorism. Classes will focus on both prevention and mitigation.
Homeland security degree requirements include courses on sociology, cybersecurity, and similar subjects as well as some general education courses such as English and science. The average homeland security course description, for example, will include classes like the following:
- Psychology of Terrorism
- History of Terrorism
- Criminal Justice
- Public Safety
These courses prepare students to understand why terrorism happens, the best way to respond to terrorism, and how to prevent these threats from happening in the future. They all come together to form a bigger picture of keeping the nation safe.