Will you be ready when disaster strikes? Learn what it takes to respond to any crisis. Here are the Best Online Master’s in Homeland Security!

Do you have a natural instinct to protect the people around you? Do you want a career in which you’ll potentially save tons of lives? A career in homeland security may be perfect for you! Those with an analytical mind, a natural curiosity, and a cool, calm, and collected attitude will really thrive in this fast-paced industry. You’ll need to anticipate both man-made and natural disasters and create innovative and safe ways to mitigate such risks.

What is a Homeland Security degree?

The United States Department of Homeland Security was founded in 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Since the creation of this department, a number of universities have created degree programs in the area of homeland security. These programs are designed to teach students how the nation prepares for potential risks and what to do if a man-made or natural disaster strikes.

From securing our borders to protecting our airports and seaports, homeland security professionals are critical for our nation’s safety. Not only will you learn how to protect the nation’s citizens with this degree, you’ll also discover planning prevention methods that create sustainable safety and secure environments. It’s an important job with a lot of responsibility, but it also provides plenty of stability and opportunity.

How much can you earn with a Homeland Security degree?

The average pay for homeland security graduates varies greatly as there are a number of different employers within the industry. In fact, homeland security professionals work on land, in the air, and even at sea! Those who choose to work for the federal government will earn the highest salaries, starting at a base salary of $40,000 per year with the opportunity to move up quickly.

Individuals who pursue employment in policymaking or other prestigious fields may also earn higher starting salaries. This field is expected to grow rapidly, with jobs in the federal sector growing the quickest – up to 17 percent within the next few years!

What is required for a Homeland Security degree?

Many of the below programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. While you don’t necessarily need to have a background in law enforcement or security, applicants who do are preferred. Most GPA prerequisites for the below programs range from 2.5 to 3.0.

Some of the programs require students to complete a capstone or final project equivalent in order to receive their degree. Many online master’s degrees on this list can be completed in just two years or less.

What are the best Homeland Security degrees?

We have compiled a list of the 25 Best Online Master’s in Homeland Security Degrees. Our ranking system is first based on the quality of the program, as indicated by student engagement, and faculty credentials. This score includes student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rates, and faculty experience and training.

Our methodology also incorporates the number of online programs and courses offered, tuition price, and acceptance rates.

We also take into consideration student and alumni satisfaction in the program rankings.

  1. Pennsylvania State University--World Campus

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $13,988/$13,988
    Acceptance72
    Earnings Potential70
    Online Presence94
    Online Program Quality91
    Retention55
    Student Satisfaction71
    Reputation100
    Pros
    • All students pay same tuition rate regardless of residence
    • Penn State is recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence
    • You’re not expected to have any previously earned credit hours
    Cons
    • Only three start dates per year
    • Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA
    • There is an information technology fee per semester
    100%OSR Score

    Pennsylvania State University–World Campus now offers a comprehensive 33-credit online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security. Students will learn the fundamentals of cyber security, including data breaches, phishing, cyber attacks, and malware. All Penn World Campus students, including distance learners, are expected to complete an internship.

  2. Arizona State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $10,792/$27,372
    Acceptance80
    Earnings Potential78
    Online Presence100
    Online Program Quality88
    Retention62
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation91
    Pros
    • This program can be completed in as little as one year
    • ASU Online tuition is a flat rate, regardless of residential status
    • Ranked the fourth best online undergraduate degree program in the nation
    Cons
    • The U.S. application fee is $70, the international application fee is $85
    • The accelerated class schedule can lead to heavy reading requirements
    • All online classes have a weekly deadline for tests, quizzes or homework
    99%OSR Score

    Arizona State University offers a 33-credit online Master of Arts in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Offered through ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions, each class is 7.5 weeks long and there are 11 classes in this program. All students will complete an applied project, allowing them to make direct and positive impacts in their home communities.

  3. Northeastern University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $49,497/$49,497
    Acceptance95
    Earnings Potential80
    Online Presence69
    Online Program Quality78
    Retention99
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation95
    Pros
    • Online program allows for flexible and enhanced learning
    • Offers collaboration with Homeland Security Centers and Institutes
    • Participate in co-op system, experiential learning, or an independent study
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $75
    • In-state students do not receive a tuition break
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    97%OSR Score

    The MA in Homeland Security at Northeastern offers four concentrations, including Geospatial Services for Homeland Security, Organization and Infrastructure Continuity, Port Security, and Emergency Management. Students will also have access to the university’s ALERT Center (Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats), a multi-university Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Graduates will know how to examine all aspects of a disaster cycle and how to gather and analyze data.

  4. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $7,922/$18,710
    Acceptance69
    Earnings Potential61
    Online Presence85
    Online Program Quality86
    Retention56
    Student Satisfaction84
    Reputation90
    Pros
    • Internet-only students do not pay any out of state fees
    • NSU’s Counseling and Center Services Center is available to all students
    • Flexible courses are offered in 8-week sessions during the fall and spring
    Cons
    • In-state students do not receive a tuition break
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    • Background in Criminal Justice or Public Administration is preferred
    95%OSR Score

    The Northwestern State University online Master of Science in Homeland Security is offered through the Department of Criminal Justice, History, and Social Sciences. Students may choose to complete a 42-credit thesis option or a 36-credit non-thesis option. Distance courses here involve a combination of online lectures, reading course content, and referring to textbooks.

  5. American Public University System

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $6,880/$6,880
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential70
    Online Presence96
    Online Program Quality84
    Retention72
    Student Satisfaction71
    Reputation85
    Pros
    • Online program offers monthly course starts
    • All students pay same tuition rate regardless of residency
    • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application
    Cons
    • Maximum of 15 transfer credits allowed
    • Applicants must have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    94%OSR Score

    The Master of Arts in Homeland Security at American Public University is only 36-credits. You can choose from one of eight areas of concentration, including Cyber, Transportation Security, Criminal Justice, Intelligence Studies, and more. Online courses at APU are asynchronous, allowing you to work on your own time on scheduled assignments.

  6. Angelo State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $7,201/$17,161
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential71
    Online Presence70
    Online Program Quality76
    Retention47
    Student Satisfaction81
    Reputation92
    Pros
    • In-state students receive a tuition break
    • Faculty includes nationally recognized industry experts
    • Classes are 100 percent online and in an eight-week format
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $50
    • Residents of certain states are not eligible for this program
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    93%OSR Score

    Angelo State University’s College of Graduate Studies and Research offers an online Master of Science in Homeland Security degree. All students in this program will complete a variety of core Homeland Security courses, electives, and a comprehensive capstone course. This program is intended for working professionals in the fields of law enforcement, criminal justice, and emergency management.

  7. Pace University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $43,986/$43,986
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential74
    Online Presence72
    Online Program Quality84
    Retention76
    Student Satisfaction68
    Reputation90
    Pros
    • Named one of the Best Online Security Master Programs
    • Faculty members have diverse backgrounds and industry experience
    • Partnered with the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)
    Cons
    • Most classes last about 15 weeks
    • Pace is one of the most expensive schools on this list
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    92%OSR Score

    Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences offers an online Master of Arts in Management for Public Safety and Homeland Security Professionals. This 36-credit program, which includes an optional master’s project or a comprehensive exam, can be completed in just two years. Required courses may include Public Sector Management, U.S. Constitution and Ethical Issues, and Public Health for HS Leaders.

  8. Monmouth University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $36,732/$36,732
    Acceptance70
    Earnings Potential77
    Online Presence69
    Online Program Quality77
    Retention71
    Student Satisfaction72
    Reputation88
    Pros
    • Program was created by experts in homeland security
    • Monmouth is a partner to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security
    • Students work closely with federal, state, and local governmental agencies
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $50
    • Students must take 15-credits on-campus
    • Monmouth is one of the most expensive schools on this list
    90%OSR Score

    Monmouth University’s Master of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Homeland Security track combines both online and on-campus courses. Students in this 30-credit program will take 15-credits of criminal justice courses in a traditional classroom setting, as well as 15-credits of online coursework. Students may choose to pursue a thesis or a non-thesis degree track.

  9. Wilmington University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $10,940/$10,940
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential62
    Online Presence79
    Online Program Quality41
    Retention41
    Student Satisfaction67
    Reputation97
    Pros
    • Classes start every eight weeks
    • There are no on-campus requirements
    • Specialize in Safety and Security, Org. Leadership, or Info. Assurance
    Cons
    • A $35 non-refundable application fee is required
    • This program must be completed within five years
    • You may transfer only up to six credits from accredited graduate programs
    89%OSR Score

    The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Wilmington University now offers an online Master of Science in Homeland Security. This 33-credit program made up of eleven courses can be completed in as little as one year. This program requires completion of a capstone project consisting of a field practicum, research project or study and the submission of a final paper/portfolio.

  10. Tulane University of Louisiana

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $52,960/$52,960
    Acceptance89
    Earnings Potential77
    Online Presence67
    Online Program Quality41
    Retention96
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation92
    Pros
    • All students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency
    • Courses are asynchronous so you can access the learning materials 24/7
    • Tulane was ranked a Top School in the Nation by U.S. News and World Report
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $50
    • Tulane has one of the highest tuition rates on this list
    • You may transfer only up to nine credit-hours of graduate coursework
    89%OSR Score

    The Tulane School of Professional Advancement offers a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security completely online. This unique program is made up of ten courses and does not require a thesis. Required courses may include Populations Issues During Disasters, Public Health Law, and Psychological Aspects of Disasters.

  11. University of Massachusetts--Lowell

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $14,800/$31,865
    Acceptance79
    Earnings Potential74
    Online Presence78
    Online Program Quality86
    Retention73
    Student Satisfaction73
    Reputation79
    Pros
    • Applications are accepted and processed year-round
    • UMass Lowell’s online programs are award-winning
    • UMassOnline students receive the same benefits as their on-campus peers
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $50
    • Must submit either GRE or GMAT test scores
    • Applicants from Arkansas, Kansas, and Minnesota may not apply at this time
    89%OSR Score

    UMass Lowell’s Master of Arts Degree in Security Studies offers a concentration in Homeland Defense that can be completed entirely online. This 10-course, 30-credit master’s program offers courses during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Students have the flexibility to take one or more courses per semester.

  12. Arkansas Tech University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $7,104/$12,528
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential65
    Online Presence74
    Online Program Quality66
    Retention61
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation84
    Pros
    • One of the most affordable programs on this list
    • Residents of contiguous states can pay in-state tuition rates
    • Ranked one of the Best Universities in the South by US News and World Report
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $40
    • This program must be completed within six years
    • Non-contiguous, out-of-state students pay a higher tuition rate
    88%OSR Score

    The Master’s in Emergency Management and Homeland Security at Arkansas Tech University is a 36-credit program that can be completed entirely online. All graduate students must  either complete an oral defense of the completed thesis or a comprehensive examination to earn their degree. Other required courses may include Principles of Emergency Management and Research Design and Methods.

  13. Towson University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $9,694/$22,140
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential74
    Online Presence68
    Online Program Quality74
    Retention51
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation84
    Pros
    • In-state residents receive a significant tuition break
    • Towson University is among the Top 100 Values in Public Institutions
    • Towson’s program accepts students for fall, spring, and summer terms
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $45
    • Towson cannot offer admission to residents of 12 states
    • Applicants must have relevant work experience and at least a 3.0 GPA
    88%OSR Score

    Towson University’s MS degree in Integrated Homeland Security Management offers unique specializations in health preparedness, information assurance, and security policy. On top of completing a concentration, you’ll be required to take one course from each of the other two concentrations, making Towson’s degree distinctly cross-disciplinary. This completely online program is made up of 36-credit hours, including a three-credit capstone project.

  14. Mississippi College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $17,392/$17,392
    Acceptance78
    Earnings Potential67
    Online Presence70
    Online Program Quality41
    Retention77
    Student Satisfaction82
    Reputation87
    Pros
    • There is no need to visit campus at any point
    • All students pay same tuition rate regardless of residency
    • U.S. News and World Report ranks MC fourth for Best Value Colleges
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $35
    • Applicants must hold a related bachelor’s degree
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    88%OSR Score

    Through MC’s Administration of Justice department, students can earn an online Master of Social Science degree in Homeland Security. Though this degree is fully online, you’ll still have access to all the same resources as those on-campus, including comprehensive career advising services. Career opportunities for graduates include immigration and customs enforcement, transportation and security administration, and more!

  15. St. Joseph's University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $43,880/$43,880
    Acceptance77
    Earnings Potential82
    Online Presence74
    Online Program Quality80
    Retention96
    Student Satisfaction71
    Reputation79
    Pros
    • This program does not require a thesis
    • Most students complete the program in about two years
    • Experience in Criminal Justice isn’t required to apply to this program
    Cons
    • Minimum GPA requirement of 2.8
    • Non-refundable application fee of $35
    • In-state students do not receive a break in tuition rates
    87%OSR Score

    Saint Joseph’s University offers a 30-credit Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security that can be completed online. The 10-course curriculum covers causes and effects of terrorism from political, religious, and historical perspectives, the sociological outcomes of disasters on communities, and more. You can start the program at one of six times per year: January, March, May, July, August, or October.

  16. National University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $13,016/$13,016
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential61
    Online Presence97
    Online Program Quality79
    Retention63
    Student Satisfaction63
    Reputation79
    Pros
    • Transfer up to 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit
    • Opportunities to collaborate with professors and classmates online
    • Year-round enrollment and flexible, four-week classes starting each month
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $60
    • In-state students do not receive a break in tuition rates
    • Tuition is due prior to the first class session of each course
    87%OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree at National University requires students to complete 54 quarter units of graduate work. This 12-course curriculum includes a capstone requirement. Other required classes may include Domestic Terrorism, Global Lessons in Security, and Managing Information Security.

  17. Purdue University--West Lafayette

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $9,992/$28,794
    Acceptance83
    Earnings Potential72
    Online Presence73
    Online Program Quality86
    Retention85
    Student Satisfaction83
    Reputation70
    Pros
    • Students can get credit for work experience
    • Purdue Global offers multiple start dates during the year
    • Military members and their families receive tuition discounts
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $60
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    • Tuition does not include University fees and associated program fees
    86%OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management at Purdue University is made up of 55-credit hours. Courses include Planning and Operations in Crisis and Emergency Management, and Crisis and Emergency Management Fundamentals. Graduates will be prepared for careers in information analysis, emergency management, hazard mitigation, and more.

  18. Sam Houston State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $8,062/$18,022
    Acceptance67
    Earnings Potential71
    Online Presence83
    Online Program Quality88
    Retention72
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation70
    Pros
    • Boasts one of the most affordable tuition rates on this list
    • Ranked first in the nation for online criminal justice programs
    • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for Fall and Spring admission
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $45
    • Distance Learning Fee of $101 per semester hour
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    85%OSR Score

    Sam Houston’s 36-credit MS in Homeland Security Studies allows students to choose between two tracks. You’ll either be required to complete an internship or you can elect to complete more coursework. Required core courses may include Information and Intel Management, Critical Infrastructure Protection, and Law and Ethics in Homeland Security.

  19. Excelsior College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $18,360/$18,360
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential54
    Online Presence67
    Online Program Quality41
    Retention74
    Student Satisfaction76
    Reputation89
    Pros
    • The GRE is not required
    • Excelsior allows up to 15 credits in transfer
    • Online criminal justice classes are available 24/7
    Cons
    • The application fee is $50
    • There is no tuition discount for in-state students
    • The cost of books and other materials is not included in the tuition
    85%OSR Score

    Excelsior College’s online Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree now offers a 30-credit Homeland Security and Emergency Management concentration. All graduate students must complete a three-credit capstone course at the end of the program. Along the way, you’ll receive personalized guidance from Excelsior’s top academic advisors.

  20. George Washington University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $53,518/$53,518
    Acceptance88
    Earnings Potential75
    Online Presence78
    Online Program Quality83
    Retention82
    Student Satisfaction74
    Reputation74
    Pros
    • There is no need to visit campus at any point
    • Flexible online format allows you to balance your life and career
    • Coursework can be completed online virtually any time, day or night
    Cons
    • GRE is required
    • Non-refundable application fee of $80
    • GWU has one of the highest tuition rates on this list
    85%OSR Score

    The College of Professional Studies at George Washington University now offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security. This 36 credit-hour master’s degree  program is intended for individuals who are involved in the public or private safety sectors. It’s possible to complete this degree in about 16 months.

  21. Eastern Kentucky University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $9,366/$18,250
    Acceptance72
    Earnings Potential63
    Online Presence90
    Online Program Quality85
    Retention52
    Student Satisfaction79
    Reputation70
    Pros
    • Graduate in as few as two years
    • Included among “America’s Top Colleges” rankings
    • EKU offers six start dates each year for your convenience
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $35
    • The cost of materials and other fees are not included in the tuition
    • Online tuition is billed at a flat rate with no discount for those in-state
    85%OSR Score

    Eastern Kentucky University offers a completely online 36-credit Master’s in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management with a focus in Homeland Security. Concentration courses may include Critical Infrastructure Protection, Intelligence for Homeland Security, and Hazards and Threats to Homeland Security. Students can earn additional degree credits for completed work experiences and industry training programs.

  22. Liberty University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $21,310/$21,310
    Acceptance75
    Earnings Potential61
    Online Presence100
    Online Program Quality76
    Retention61
    Student Satisfaction84
    Reputation68
    Pros
    • Graduate in as little as 1.5 years
    • Eight-week courses are offered completely online
    • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $100
    • There’s a Technology Fee of $199 per semester
    • There is no tuition break for in-state applicants
    84%OSR Score

    Liberty University offers a 36-credit Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. You will be able to choose between a thesis and non-thesis track. There are no specific required login times during the week, making this program flexible for working professionals.

  23. Thomas Edison State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $7,300/$9,820
    Acceptance73
    Earnings Potential69
    Online Presence67
    Online Program Quality41
    Retention67
    Student Satisfaction67
    Reputation80
    Pros
    • Earn your degree in as little as 18 months
    • Flexible, high-quality online courses taken at your own pace
    • Transfer graduate credits and earn credits from prior learning assessment
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $75
    • Out-of-state students must pay a higher tuition rate
    • The cost of materials and other fees are not included in the tuition
    81%OSR Score

    Through the Watson School Of Public Service, Thomas Edison State University offers an online 36-credit Master of Science in Homeland Security program. The curriculum focuses on domestic and global issues in security and developing competencies in theory, analysis, practice, and policy making. Additionally, all graduate students must complete a Capstone in Public Service.

  24. Virginia Commonwealth University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $13,624/$33,656
    Acceptance75
    Earnings Potential71
    Online Presence70
    Online Program Quality63
    Retention66
    Student Satisfaction77
    Reputation72
    Pros
    • Tuition and fees are charged at an affordable flat rate
    • Ranked a Top Public School by U.S. News and World Report
    • Participate in faculty-student and student-student communications
    Cons
    • Requires a minimum 2.7 GPA for admission
    • Applicants must submit a satisfactory standardized test score
    • Requires both off-campus and on-campus (at VCU) components
    81%OSR Score

    Through VCU’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, you can earn an online 36-credit Master of Arts in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The curriculum focuses on international and domestic security and preparedness issues related to terrorist threats and natural disasters. Additionally, all graduate students must take a Capstone Seminar.

  25. East Carolina University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $7,143/$23,420
    Acceptance71
    Earnings Potential70
    Online Presence80
    Online Program Quality81
    Retention81
    Student Satisfaction78
    Reputation61
    Pros
    • Degree offers four areas of emphasis
    • Students may choose either a thesis or non-thesis option
    • Faculty for this program are drawn from more than 15 departments
    Cons
    • Non-refundable application fee of $70
    • An entrance exam, GRE or GMAT, is required for admission to ECU
    • Non-residents pay a significantly higher tuition rate per credit hour
    80%OSR Score

    East Carolina University’s Department of Political Science offers an online MS in Security Studies degree that can be paired a concentration in Homeland Security. This 36-credit program requires the completion of a security core, the homeland security elective base, and an internship or practicum. Students with more than one year of experience in the industry can request to opt out of the internship.