Homeland Security Degree: Upholding the Security of Our Nation

Homeland Security Degrees

Get a solid foundation in planning, implementing, and managing security operations for the country at the local, state, and national level by obtaining a homeland security degree. Homeland security schools prepare students to aid in the protection of our country. Owing to an increase in natural disasters and the ongoing threat of terrorism, the demand for highly trained security and safety employees has grown. If you would like to guard the United States from a variety of threats, ranging from terrorist attacks to hurricanes, learn more about what homeland security courses entail.

Types of Homeland Security Degrees

Degree Levels

Degrees in homeland security are offered at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Homeland security programs may also be combined with study in business administration, criminal justice, emergency management, public safety, organization management, information systems, and leadership and policy, among other areas. Many jobs in homeland security will require either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree might help you to secure a supervisory position.

Undergraduate Degree Overview

The admissions requirements for associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in homeland security may include a high school diploma or GED, a minimum required GPA, and minimum required SAT/ACT scores. Associate’s degrees typically last two years, and bachelor’s degrees can be completed in four. An associate’s degree can act as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree program.

Master’s Degree Overview

The admissions requirements for master’s degree programs in homeland security are usually a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a minimum required GPA, minimum required GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. Master’s degrees usually take two years of study.

Doctoral Degree Overview

In order to pursue a doctoral degree in homeland security, you typically need to have a master’s degree in a related field, a minimum required GPA, relevant work experience, letters of recommendation, and minimum required GRE scores. A doctoral degree may be completed in three to five years and typically requires you to write a research dissertation.

What You Learn in Homeland Security Schools


Homeland security classes allow students to develop the skills needed to succeed in this demanding and unpredictable field. Focusing on leadership principles, the curriculum will cover both the theoretical and practical knowledge of homeland security.

Homeland Security Courses

Many homeland security classes are offered in an online format, allowing students to complete their studies while fulfilling other commitments. Courses that students may be required to take include the following:

  • Criminal justice
  • Public safety
  • Emergency management
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Preparedness
  • Response & recovery
  • Tactical communications
  • Domestic & international terrorism

Types of Homeland Security Jobs

Role of Homeland Security

The role of homeland security professionals is to reduce our nation’s vulnerability to disastrous events and minimize the damage they cause. People who work in homeland security prevent, anticipate, prepare for, and react to catastrophic events ranging from terrorism, to pandemics, to natural disasters.

Where Homeland Security Professionals Work

The field of homeland security encompasses both the public and private sectors. The federal government’s Department of Homeland Security is one of the largest employers of homeland security graduates, but there is also a need for homeland security professionals at the local and state level.

Possible Career Paths

Potential career paths for homeland security professionals include:

  • Border patrol agent
  • Immigration officer
  • Air marshal
  • Police officer
  • Emergency management specialist
  • Security specialist
  • Program analyst
  • Criminal investigator
  • Information security specialist
  • Transportation security screener

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for homeland security positions will vary by specialty. As a whole, positions in law enforcement and public safety tend to be competitive, especially at the federal level. Typically, those who have earned a bachelor’s degree or have acquired military experience will have the best employment prospects. Bilingual candidates may also have an edge.


Because the field of homeland security is so diverse, there is no specific salary information available for homeland security professionals as a whole. However, to give you a general idea, below we have listed the median salary for a variety of positions within the field, as of May 2013.

Enrolling at a Homeland Security College

Homeland security is a challenging, dynamic, and diverse field. The work required to protect our nation is constantly changing, which means that people at nearly any level of education and experience have access to job opportunities in the field of homeland security. Homeland security jobs are available on land, in the air, and at sea. If you would like to help protect the safety and security of our nation’s citizens, pursue a homeland security degree today.