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Most Affordable Homeland Security Degree Programs 2018

The Department of Homeland Security has an important job: to make the nation safe from all threats, foreign and domestic. This requires more than 240,000 employees in jobs ranging from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity to chemical facility inspector.

Homeland Security

Homeland SecurityHomeland Security refers to efforts to stop terrorist attacks, reduce the susceptibility of the U.S. to terrorism, and lessen the damage from any attacks.

The term became part of the nation’s vocabulary after the reorganization of several government agencies in 2003 to form the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after the September 11 attacks.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, national security and defense includes 187 federal agencies and departments, including the U.S. National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the 14 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence corps and the Civil Air Patrol.

Homeland security usually refers to the civilian side of this effort. Homeland defense refers to the military component.

Types of Jobs

The Department of Homeland Security has career opportunities that are challenging and rewarding. Members of Homeland help secure the borders, airports, seaports and waterways; research and develop security technologies; respond to terrorist assaults; analyze intelligence reports, and much more.

Law Enforcement
homeland_securityThis area offers positions for the President, Vice President, their families, heads of state and other designated individuals; securing the nation’s borders; interagency law enforcement training; and enforcing economic, transportation and infrastructure security including jobs with:

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • Federal Protective Service
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

Immigration and Travel Security
TSA AgentImmigration and travel security jobs involve safeguarding the nation’s transportation systems, as well as overseeing lawful immigration into the U.S. including jobs with the:

  • Transportation Security Administration
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Homeland Security Schools

In response to threats of terrorism and natural disasters, many schools offer degree programs to train officers and agents to protect the nation’s infrastructure and borders:

University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA
USCThe University of Southern California was ranked 23rd on the 2011 list of top U.S. schools by U.S. News & World Report. USC hosts the National Center for Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), a research institute funded by the Department of Homeland Security. In partnership with other research centers, CREATE develops risk and economics scenarios to use as tools for teaching counterterrorism and policies.

USC’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development offers a Master of Public Policy program with core courses in policy analysis, leadership and development economics. Of the program’s 48 course units, 12 are devoted to specializations such as homeland security, education, health or media policies. Homeland security specialization courses offered by CREATE include risk analysis, human behavior, international conflicts and decision modeling.

Tulane University in New Orleans, LA
Tulane UniversityTulane University is a private college that offers research and education in a range of fields, including medicine, law, social work and architecture. Tulane was 51st in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 ranking of the nation’s best colleges. Students can major or minor in homeland security studies or earn a post-baccalaureate certificate in the field.

Students in the homeland security studies major learn theory and evaluation of the two main areas of national threats – disasters and terrorism. Since New Orleans is an international port and a national railroad hub, the program is particularly concentrated on the security of maritime and transportation networks. The Bachelor of Arts program in homeland security is run by the School of Continuing Studies. Course topics in the major include history of the Middle East, cyber security, emergency management and constitutional law.

Courses include basic law enforcement techniques and criminal justice studies. Students may learn to shoot firearms and explore legal means of computer hacking to get information. Courses may include:

  • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
  • Computer Network Security
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Criminology
  • Popular Career Options

A diploma in homeland security prepares graduates for entry-level positions in a number of career fields with the government or private employers. Career options include:

  • Security Guard
  • Transportation Security Officer
  • Loss Prevention Agent
  • Border Patrol Administrative Assistant
  • Home and Business Security Specialist

Continuing Education and Professional Certification

Homeland Security TrainingStudents with degrees in homeland security can further their education in the field by pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Unlike diploma programs, degree programs in homeland security include general education coursework. Common core topics include emergency management, cyber-terrorism and disaster response.

Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Public Safety
Homeland security employees enforce immigration policies, help repair damage caused by terrorism or natural disasters, and work to prevent attacks before they occur. Those interested in working in homeland security should look into a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Public Safety (BSHSPS) with a focus on law enforcement. These degree programs are designed to prepare students to inspect, patrol and implement crime prevention measures for anti-terrorism organizations within federal, state and local agencies as well as private industry.

Course Topics
Students in a BSHSPS program that focus on law enforcement learn how to maintain law and order. Students learn ways to protect the public and take courses that teach data analysis, crisis management and laws about terrorism and security threats. Students can also study human behavior through courses in psychology and sociology. Some common courses include:

  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • Emergency Management
  • Disaster Psychology
  • Homeland Security Management
  • Cyber Security
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Interview and Interrogation Theory and Techniques
  • Law and Constitutional Issues
  • Security Planning and Assessment

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a BSHSPS degree can work at airports, hospitals and other high-traffic places, or in law enforcement or military leadership. Others may opt to provide security for businesses and corporations. Possible careers include:

  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Police Supervisor
  • Homeland Security Officer
  • U.S. Border Patrol Specialist


Individuals interested in a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Public Safety degree will learn how to protect the public from terrorist attacks, restore and manage public safety and handle large scale crisis situations such as natural disasters. This degree may allow individuals to seek careers in public safety and security, law enforcement or emergency management.

Online Degrees
The average tuition charged by schools around the country that have online homeland security programs is $11,646 yearly. There has been a 33.2 percent increase in the average tuition over the past few years.

The following list shows the range of tuition at online homeland security colleges from least to most expensive:

  • 1. Laramie County Community College
    $1,632 – $4,986
  • 2. Metropolitan Community College
    $2,160 – $3,218
  • 3. Georgia Military College
    $4,560 – $4,560
  • 4. Thomas Edison State College
    $4,883 – $7,190
  • 5. Eastern Kentucky University
    $6,624 – $18,144
  • 6. Virginia Commonwealth University
    $6,885 – $19,604
  • 7. University of Connecticut
    $8,064 – $24,528
  • 8. Wilmington University
    $9,240 – $9,240
  • 9. Fortis College
    $10,282 – $10,282
  • 10. Michigan State University
    $11,152 – $29,108
  • 11. Keiser University
    $13,376 – $13,376
  • 12. Pennsylvania State University
    $14,412 – $26,276
  • 13. Saint Leo University
    $17,500 – $17,500
  • 14. Medaille College
    $20,570 – $20,570
  • 15. Upper Iowa University
    $22,350 – $22,350
  • 16. Fairleigh Dickinson University
    $30,140 – $30,140

College Homeland Security degrees
The average annual out of state cost for a bachelor program in Homeland Security is $26,875 for a total cost of $107,500 for a four year degree. For two year Homeland Security associate programs, the average annual cost is $14,741 or $29,482 for an average two year total. All cost data is taken from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2012-2013 IPEDS Survey.

Four Year Bachelor’s Degrees in Homeland Security:

  • American Public University System
    $12,480 – $12,480
  • Capella University
    $16,599 – $16,599
  • Keiser University, Ft Lauderdale
    $25,280 – $25,280
  • Daniel Webster College
    $27,180 – $27,180
  • William Woods University
    $28,950 – $28,950
  • Saint Leo University
    $29,964 – $29,964
  • Upper Iowa University
    $33,090 – $33,090

Two Year Associate’s Degrees in Homeland Security

  • Georgia Military College, Warner Robins Campus
    $5,720 – $5,720
  • Georgia Military College, Augusta Campus
    $6,104 – $6,104
  • Georgia Military College, Atlanta Campus
    $6,440 – $6,440
  • Chattahoochee Technical College
    $10,681 – $8,761
  • Georgia Military College, Milledgeville Campus
    $12,356 – $12,356
  • Blackfeet Community College
    $12,834 – $12,834
  • Pierpont Community and Technical College
    $17,584 – $12,280
  • Palomar College
    $17,852 – $13,956
  • Grossmont College
    $18,897 – $13,387
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College
    $19,064 – $19,064
  • Lake Superior State University
    $24,091 – $19,321
  • Keiser University, Ft Lauderdale
    $25,280 – $25,280

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