Online Master’s Degrees in Homeland Security 2021

October 6, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Master’s Degrees in Homeland Security 2021

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Graduates Degree in Homeland Security

Homeland security professionals help protect the nation's infrastructure and citizens from terrorist attacks and natural disasters. A master's in homeland security qualifies graduates to work in homeland security and related fields, like criminal justice, law enforcement, and emergency management. 

Graduates with a master's degree in homeland security enjoy strong salary potential and job prospects. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information security analysts earn an annual median salary of $99,730. The BLS also projects job growth for information security analysts to grow 31% between 2019-2029, which is considerably higher than the 4% average growth rate for all occupations. 

This guide ranks the most affordable online master's in homeland security programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, including common courses and scholarships for homeland security students.

Master's in Homeland Security FAQ's

Q. What can you do with a master's in homeland security?

Graduates with a master's in homeland security can pursue leadership roles in diverse fields, like public health, emergency management, law enforcement, and cybersecurity.

Q. Is homeland security a good career?

Many careers in homeland security offer strong salaries, job growth potential, and opportunities for promotion.

Q. How much do you get paid working for homeland security?

Salaries vary by role, location, and experience. Cybersecurity analysts, for example, make an average salary of $76,652, according to March 2021 PayScale data.

Q. How long does it take to get a degree in homeland security?

A master's degree in homeland security typically takes two years of full-time study to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs that students can complete in 12-18 months.

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Why Get a Degree in Homeland Security?

A master's in homeland security offers many benefits, several of which we outline below.

Career Flexibility
A master's degree in homeland security allows students to pursue roles in diverse fields, including criminal justice, cybersecurity, public safety, and law enforcement.
Competitive Salary
Careers in homeland security often provide comfortable salaries. For example, information security analysts earn an annual median salary of $99,730, while emergency management directors earn $74,590 per year.
Strong Job Market
Homeland security offers strong job growth potential. For example, the BLS projects 31% job growth for information security analysts between 2019-2029.
Career Advancement
Private companies and governmental agencies offer many training and career advancement opportunities for homeland security professionals.
An Integral Part of the Community
Homeland security professionals make a positive impact safeguarding their community.

Courses in Homeland Security

Master's in homeland security degrees typically comprise 30-48 credits. Some schools offer a broad interdisciplinary curriculum that includes coursework in criminal justice, law enforcement, terrorism, and homeland security and emergency. Programs may also allow students to specialize in areas such as cybersecurity, emergency management, and intelligence studies.

In addition to technical skills, students develop leadership, analytical, and decision-making skills. Students often culminate the degree with a capstone project or thesis. Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in master's in homeland security programs.

[tabs] [tab-item title="Contemporary Issues in Homeland Security"]

This course reviews contemporary homeland security events, issues, and legislation, such as 9/11 and the U.S. Patriot Act. Students learn about the federal and state agencies involved in homeland security, and the efforts they coordinate in safety and security, preparedness, and terrorism response.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Survey of Terrorism"]

This course covers the strategies and tactics that terroristic organizations and states employ. Learners explore the relationship between terrorism and religion, how terrorists build their networks, and the technologies and tools terrorists use to disseminate information and carry out attacks. Learners also study counterterrorism measures.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Risk Assessment"]

This course explores risk assessment and planning for terrorist and natural disaster events. Students examine the methodologies that practitioners use to establish, quantify, mitigate, and respond to security risk. They also learn about the roles that governmental agencies play in planning and responding to threats.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Critical Infrastructure Protection"]

This course examines how homeland security professionals protect critical infrastructure from terrorist threats, natural disasters, and other events. Students explore the strategies and tools used to conduct vulnerability assessments.

[/tab-item] [tab-item title="Cyber Threats and Homeland Security"]

This course explores the nature of cyber threats, including digital crimes, hacking, cyber warfare, and digital espionage. Students learn how to assess risk, gather evidence, and perform counterattacks. Students also learn about national policies for securing cyberspace.

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Certifications and Licensure for Homeland Security

Homeland security professionals can bolster their career through licenses and certifications. Nongovernmental organizations award certifications, while governmental agencies award licenses. The following list highlights several professional credentials for homeland security professionals.

The National Sheriffs' Association Institute for Homeland Security awards this credential. Eligibility requires at least an associate degree and four years of professional or volunteer supervisory experience in an area such as law enforcement, emergency management, or fire/rescue. The National Sheriffs' Association also offers the CHPA certification. Eligibility requires professional or volunteer experience in a public safety or security area. Candidates must complete training and pass a 75- to 100-question exam. Cybersecurity professionals can pursue this well-recognized credential. Candidates must pass an exam that covers topics like cyber attacks, threats, and vulnerabilities; architecture and design; and operations and incident response.

Scholarships for Homeland Security Students

Homeland security students can take advantage of scholarships to help offset the cost of their degree. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for homeland security students.

CIA Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The CIA awards need-based scholarships to full-time graduate students at accredited institutions. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students receive tuition assistance and other benefits in exchange for 1.5 years of work at the CIA for each year they receive the scholarship.

Amount: Up to $25,000 per year

International Association of Emergency Managers Scholarship

Who Can Apply: IAEM awards this scholarship to students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in disaster management, emergency management, or a related field. Applicants must submit two essays on a designated topic.

Amount: Varies

Women in Federal Law Enforcement Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: WIFLE awards scholarship funding to students based on academic achievement and commitment to a career in law enforcement. Students enrolled in graduate and postgraduate programs qualify. Applicants must major in criminal justice or a related discipline and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also submit an essay and references.

Amount: Varies

Most Affordable Online Master's in Homeland Security 2021


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