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Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Homeland Security Online in 2023

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Homeland Security Online in 2023

A homeland security degree online lays the foundation for crucial positions in government and private sectors where you’ll prevent disasters and keep people safe. If this sounds like the type of career you’ve been searching for, keep reading to explore this year’s top schools and learn about each program’s cost, benefits, and requirements for admission and graduation.

Are you a first responder with a burning desire to protect your country and its people? Maybe you’re a veteran looking for a civilian job. Perhaps you’re already working in law enforcement, but you want more specialized skills to advance your career. If so, earning a homeland security degree online can open the door to work in government intelligence, cybersecurity, emergency management, and more.

Use this guide to explore top-rated schools and get important details on how you can earn a homeland security degree online and on your own schedule. Course customization, double degrees, and multiple financial aid options are just a few reasons why these are some of the best online bachelor’s degree programs available in homeland security.

Top Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Homeland Security for 2024

We have ranked the top schools below. Our Rankings Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES.) Click the About the Ranking link below for more information about our methodology.


    Base Methodology for OnlineColleges.me’s 2024 Online College Rankings

    1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

    To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

    • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • At least one program in the subject area offered partially or fully online.
    1. Assign Weightings

    After creating the list of eligible schools, OnlineColleges.me data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

    Online Program Availability

    • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education. Because exact numbers change often and can be difficult to verify, we use a range-based scoring system: 0-5 online programs = 1 star; 6-10 = 2 stars; 11-15 = 3 stars; 16-20 = 4 stars; 21+ = 5 stars. In our design, laptop icons = stars.
    • For degree-specific pages, ex: Psychology degrees, we list the current number of online programs available at that school for that degree type, as self-reported by the schools.


    • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
    • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

    Support Services

    • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
    • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

    About Our Data

    OnlineColleges.me’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: January of 2024

  • Canton, NY
    Public $

    The Bachelor’s of Technology (BTech) in Homeland Security program at the State University of New York (SUNY) Canton is an extension of SUNY Canton’s highly popular criminal justice, criminal investigation, and law enforcement programs. The degree can be completed online or in-person, with tuition reductions available for out-of-state students who choose to complete their degree online. In addition to accepting freshmen applicants, the program is meant to offer a seamless transition for those who have completed an associate degree at SUNY Canton.

    Program Highlights:

    BTech in Homeland Security

    • Credits: 122
    • Length: Four years
    • Cost: $295/credit (in-state), $729/credit (out-of-state), $353/credit (online)
    • Mode: In-person, online
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Elizabeth City, NC
    Public $

    Elizabeth City State University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Homeland Security. This four-year degree includes traditional general education requirements in addition to your homeland security courses, all through distance learning. This is an interdisciplinary degree in which you’ll study criminology, the courts and justice system, public policy, world history and comparative government, and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to choose electives in any discipline that interests you.

    Program Highlights:

    BS in Homeland Security

    • Credits: 120
    • Length: Four years
    • Cost: $41.67/credit (in-state), $208.33/credit (out-of-state)
    • Mode: Online
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tahlequah, OK
    Public $

    The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Homeland Security and Emergency Management at Northeastern State University can be completed either fully online or at one of their Oklahoma campuses. However you choose to study, you’ll complete core courses in criminal justice, disaster planning, risk assessment, and more, as well as nine credits of electives, including an optional workshop in criminal justice and legal studies. Students in this program are also required to declare and complete a minor. Financial aid is available.

    Program Highlights:

    BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

    • Credits: 60
    • Length: Varies
    • Cost: $220.75/credit (in-state), $524.75/credit (out-of-state)
    • Mode: In-person, online
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Wichita, KS
    Public $
  • San Angelo, TX
    Public $
  • Atlanta, GA
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Brookfield, WI
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Madison, WI
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Metairie, LA
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Birmingham, AL
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Daytona Beach, FL
    Private not-for-profit $$
  • Huntsville, TX
    Public $
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Private not-for-profit $$$$

Program Spotlights: Homeland Security Bachelor’s Degrees Online

When looking for an online homeland security degree, you’ll find that different programs may vary in their individual courses and projected outcomes. This information can usually be found on the school’s website. Some offer a choice of concentration to focus your studies on a particular area, such as cybersecurity, while others spend more time on emergency management. 

However, all programs contain core content that meets regional accreditation standards. They are designed to give you a quality foundation of critical thinking, analysis, and communication, whether you want a government intelligence career or a job with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University -Daytona Beach

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach offers a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security that teaches strategic thinking, environmental security, emergency management, cybersecurity, intelligence, terrorism studies, and asymmetric warfare in an asynchronous format. This program prepares students for work with the government, military, and leadership positions in private companies.

Applicants must submit a high school transcript or GED with a 2.5 GPA and any post-secondary education transcripts with a 2.0 GPA. ACT or SAT scores aren’t required but are encouraged.

Students can also take advantage of Embry-Riddle’s 4+1 program that allows qualifying students in the bachelor’s course to earn a master’s degree with just one additional year of study.

Waldorf University

Waldorf University offers an online-only Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security that covers terrorism, infrastructure protection, weapons of mass destruction, and disaster planning and management. Students can customize their degree by choosing from three concentrations: criminal justice, cybersecurity, or emergency management. To help reduce student costs, the university provides all course textbooks for free through the Waldorf Book Grant and Loan-A-Book Program.

For admittance to this homeland security degree online, students must submit an application along with a high school transcript or equivalent with a 2.0 GPA. After receiving a detailed evaluation report on the required courses, they can enroll via the website or by contacting the admissions office.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security
  • Credits: 120 credits, including 36 upper-division credits with a C average and 2.0 cumulative GPA required for graduation
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: $325 per credit hour or $250/credit hour for active-duty members of the military using military financial assistance
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Northeastern State University

Northeastern State University (NSU) boasts the only homeland security program in the state of Oklahoma. The Bachelor of Science Homeland Security & Emergency Management online degree uses both synchronous and asynchronous learning to teach intelligence analysis, risk assessment, critical thinking, the relation between homeland security and the Constitution, and recent research on major areas of homeland security and emergency management.

NSU offers a significant discount to Oklahoma residents and a wealth of financial aid for students. They hand out the Pell Grant, subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, SEOG, OTAG, and Direct Parent Plus Loans. The university also awards its own scholarships to qualifying students in various situations, such as incoming freshmen, transfers, returning students, and international students.

  • Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security & Emergency Management
  • Credits: 124 credit hours with a C average and 2.5 GPA
  • Length: 4 years
  • Cost: In-state $250.40 per credit hour/Out-of-state: $554.40 per credit hour

Courses in Your Online Bachelor’s Degree in Homeland Security

When studying for a homeland security degree online, you’ll find individual courses may vary, but the core topics remain the same. They typically include a foundational knowledge of homeland security, terrorism, disaster and emergency management, infrastructure protection, weapons of mass destruction, and related ethical and legal issues. 

These courses provide an understanding of the origins and goals of homeland security, terrorism, and how to effectively respond to human-caused and natural disasters. They’ll equip you for positions in federal or state law enforcement, intelligence analysis, emergency management, and cybersecurity. Your online homeland security degree program may culminate with one or two capstone projects, where you apply what you’ve learned by devising a real-life scenario with an accompanying action plan. Electives such as forensics, criminal investigation, and disaster response and recovery allow you to tailor your education to your preferred career path.

Homeland Security Technology

This course focuses on the technology used in homeland security to detect, prevent, protect from, and intervene in terrorist attacks. It explores the possible uses of AI in homeland security and the technological threats the country may face from terrorism.

By the end of the course, students will have a thorough knowledge of the available technology, the ability to assess potential technological threats, and an understanding of the impact of weapons of mass destruction. They also become well-versed in the personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by first responders in emergencies.

Terrorism Response

In this homeland security degree online course, students primarily focus on proactively detecting and mitigating terrorist attacks. Lessons from 9/11 are examined to improve both preparedness and recovery. Various tactical response options are studied, emphasizing the cooperation between multiple organizations on the state and federal levels as described in the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Students learn to assess potential threats, develop a response plan, and determine the best way to protect individuals on the scene.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

A course on weapons of mass destruction gives students an overview of biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons. It covers their development and use by terrorists and the country’s potential risks. Students learn about the history of weapons of mass destruction, understand the effects of each type, and study their impact on terrorism and society. Laws made to regulate the production of weapons of mass destruction are also examined and evaluated.

Disaster Planning and Management

This course may include natural disasters but typically focuses on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks. Students study the roles of federal, state, and local agencies in planning and preparedness. They evaluate the effectiveness of homeland security programs in government and non-government agencies and explore the impact of nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological, and explosive agents on response plans. Students also examine the National Response Framework to see how it pertains to terrorism.

Critical Infrastructure Protection

Infrastructure protection takes a comprehensive look at both natural and man-made disasters and how to prepare for and mitigate the resulting damage. Students analyze threats to networks and facilities, examining the impact of various events and attacks. With this information, they develop strategies, training exercises, and evaluations to build a communication network between different areas of infrastructure. Finally, students create ways to respond to the ever-changing nature of the threat environment appropriately.

What Should I Look for in an Online Homeland Security Bachelor’s Degree Program?

Several principal factors should be considered when choosing a homeland security degree online. Cost, accreditation, program quality, and faculty expertise can all affect what your experience will be like, as well as opportunities after graduation. Find out more about each one below.


Your budget will play a significant part in deciding which online homeland security degree to pursue, and some colleges offer scholarships and financial aid that others don’t. More expensive courses may have additional benefits or options that increase their value, such as the 4+1 program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Ultimately, your needs and preferences will dictate what’s most suitable.

Program Quality

When making a large investment, such as a bachelor’s homeland security degree online, it’s only natural to want to make sure you’re paying for a quality education. To do this, you can research the institution’s academic reputation, acceptance and graduation rates, and the average income of graduates. Talking to current and former students can give you an idea of the day-to-day experience.

Faculty Expertise

According to the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, teachers with substantial industry experience typically prove more effective in passing on the necessary academic and soft skills like teamwork and communication. Checking faculty credentials and reviews and talking to their students, can help you determine if they fit your needs.


Accreditation can affect your eligibility for financial aid and scholarships and should be considered when choosing a college. An accredited school meets the consistency and quality standards laid out by the U.S. Department of Education, and a degree from one signals to potential employers that you have a solid education from a reputable college.


Not all online homeland security degree programs are created equal, and they have varying formats, such as synchronous or asynchronous. Students who need more flexibility usually prefer asynchronous learning for the freedom to study at their own pace by watching prerecorded lectures.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Homeland Security Cost?

Earning a bachelor’s of criminal justice in homeland security online is a considerable investment of both time and money. With tuition rising at a rate of 6.8% per year, even affordable colleges cost a substantial amount. Because of this, it’s wise to plan out how you’re going to pay for your schooling before enrollment.

Fortunately, there are many financial aid options available for varying needs. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), student loans, private and school scholarships, employer tuition assistance, fellowships, or work study. The table below shows a sample of tuition costs. 

How Much Your Online Bachelors in Homeland Security Could Cost

SchoolNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition
Eastern Kentucky University120$434$52,080
George Washington University60 (core courses)$975$58,500
Herzing University – New Orleans120$464$55,680
Mercer University120$525$63,000
Texas Southern University121$237 in-state
$770 out-of-state
$28,677 in-state
$93,170 out-of-state

FAQs About Online Bachelor’s Programs in Homeland Security

Read on for the answers to five of the top questions readers have about getting a homeland security degree online.

  • Are online bachelor’s degree programs in homeland security fully online?

    Most online homeland security programs are entirely online. The advantage is that people who may be unable to attend classes on campus, even for a hybrid program, can still complete their education at their convenience. Classes and meetings are all conducted online using Zoom or another software, whether in real-time (synchronous) or prerecorded (asynchronous).

  • What does the admissions process look like for this degree?

    Although individual requirements can vary between schools, the admissions process for a homeland security online degree is typically straightforward. It involves submitting a high school transcript or a GED with a minimum GPA from 2.0 to 2.5. Any post-secondary education transcripts must also be submitted, usually with a 2.0 GPA. Standardized testing scores such as ACT, SAT, or GRE may or may not be required. Even if they’re not required, including them to support your application is still a good idea.

  • How long does it take to complete a bachelor’s degree in homeland security online?

    An online bachelor’s degree in homeland security usually takes full-time students four years to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs that only take three years. The courses will take longer to complete for part-time students because they can’t dedicate as much time to studying. Fortunately, online courses (particularly those with an asynchronous format) are designed for that very situation so students can learn at their own pace.

  • What academic and career support services are available to online students earning their bachelor’s in homeland security?

    Most schools take great pains to meet the needs of students earning a homeland security degree online. Both passive and real-time support are available through email, toll-free telephone numbers, text messages, online chats, web conferencing, and forums. 

    Many colleges are incorporating a 24/7 support system to accommodate extended study hours during nights and weekends. Another benefit of online technology is the ability for students to interact with each other and the teacher, which fosters a sense of community.

  • Can I work while pursuing an online bachelor’s in homeland security degree?

    Online homeland security degrees are designed to accommodate various work schedules and family obligations. You can access courses with asynchronous learning at all hours of the day and night, whether before the kids wake up in the morning or after you get off work in the evening. For working students, weekends become prime study time. This flexibility makes the online format appealing to people who can’t attend traditional college.

Other Bachelor’s Degree Options in Criminal Justice

If you are interested in a master’s degree in education but are unsure what specialization to pursue, check out these other degree pages to learn about your options:

Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice – Criminology

Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice – Forensic Science

Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement