Studying Homeland Security

I’m interested in studying homeland security. What can you tell me?

Homeland security refers to the national defense system of the United States. The U.S. government formed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2002 after the terrorist attacks that occurred in New York City in September 2001. The DHS oversees many federal agencies, including U.S. Immigration Services, Customs and Border Security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and more. But the DHS is in charge of more than just border security. Homeland security officers also work with crisis management organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help communities recover from warfare and natural disasters like hurricanes or floods. So if you want to work with homeland security, you must be comfortable leading people and you should have the disposition to stay calm in an emergency. Homeland security degrees are unique because they prepare students to work for a specific government entity. However, a wide variety of jobs are available at the Department of Homeland Security, so it can be a versatile degree. Homeland security degrees are not yet common, but you can study this subject at all levels of education. In addition, at many schools you can earn criminal justice degrees with a specialization in homeland security.

Let's hear some other perspectives

An Interview with Jay Bertsch

Jay Bertsch

Student, Associate of Applied Science in Intelligence Operations,Cochise College

“A student in an homeland security program needs to have a very open mind. Politics and war can be divisive and controversial subjects. There are quite a few topics in this program that a student could get into arguments about if he or she does not accept the fact that people have different opinions.”Read the Full Interview

An Interview with Penney McCay

Penney McCay

Student, Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security,American Military University

“Students need to be optimistic and curious about the future. You also need to be open-minded and courageous. Studying online can be challenging and intimidating, but if you have a good attitude overall, you will be successful.”Read the Full Interview

An Interview with James Forest

James Forest

Associate Professor,University of Massachusetts Lowell

“One of the biggest hurdles facing students who enter a homeland security degree program is realizing that terrorism encompasses more than just what they know of Al-Qaeda. Students are often surprised by the content of the curriculum because terrorism incorporates a wide scope of activity that is carried out by many groups.”Read the Full Interview

Homeland Security Officer Overview

Special Agent,Rachel Williams Watch Her Story
video

What exactly is a homeland security officer?

There is no simple explanation of what homeland security officers are, because this field encompasses so many different areas of work. Although most homeland security officers work in the public sector for the government, you can also find work with nonprofits and private corporations. In addition, you can work in the United States or in another country. Despite the fact that the jobs that you can get in this field are so varied, you can categorize the career opportunities into 3 main areas:

Government Homeland Security Officers

Government homeland security officers usually work directly for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They work at the federal, state and local levels to design and implement public safety procedures and national security and defense policies. Some examples of government homeland security officers include Coast Guard officers, intelligence analysts, federal special agents and border patrol officers.

Emergency Responders

Emergency responders help victims of natural or manmade disasters to recover. Their duties vary, but emergency responders often provide food, medicine and water to crisis victims and help them to rebuild shelters and homes. In addition, emergency responders try to help the affected communities by making sure that critical business functions are still available to people in the event of a disaster.

Private Industry Workers

Homeland security workers are also employed in the private industry for non-government positions in a variety of roles. For instance, employees are needed in the fields of law enforcement, tourism and travel, academia and information technology. Jobs are also available for people who are qualified to safely plan, build and manage the American infrastructure, which includes roads and buildings.

Let's hear some other perspectives

An Interview with Terry Egan

Terry Egan

Homeland Security Professional and Emergency Manager,Emergency Management Division of the Washington Military Department

“What I enjoy the most about being an emergency professional is being able to help others. I get to work with other professionals to determine ways to save lives and protect property and have fun while doing it.”Read the Full Interview

An Interview with Edward Clark

Edward Clark

President, Principal Consultant,Executive Interface, LLC

“Overall, homeland security consulting is about learning, diplomacy and managing risks.”Read the Full Interview

An Interview with Demond Goins

Demond Goins

Transportation Security Officer,Los Angeles International Airport

“As a transportation security officer, I spend most of my time working with the public and with other security officers. Only about 10% of my day is spent working alone.”Read the Full Interview

Personality Quiz

How do I know if homeland security would be a good fit for me?

Here is a quick quiz to help you decide if you have the personality it takes to succeed as a homeland security officer. Rate, on a scale from 1 to 5, how well each of the following statements describes you.

I care about improving my community.

Homeland security officers try to reduce security threats and keep the public safe. You should be committed to fostering a safe environment if you want to work in homeland security.

I can stay cool and collected in a crisis.

Homeland security officers, policy makers, emergency responders and safety workers help control the effects of natural and manmade disasters. You may be faced with stressful circumstances in this career and you will have to stay composed in order to deal with them.

I am capable of making important decisions.

Homeland security executives write the policies that shape national defense systems. If you want to be a leader in this field, you need to understand the potential impact that your decisions can have on millions of American and foreign citizens.

I know how to keep a secret and I can be trusted with sensitive information.

People who work for the Department of Homeland Security have access to confidential information about national security. You must be able to keep this information to yourself if you want a successful career in this field.

I value cooperation and I work well as part of a team.

The Department of Homeland Security oversees many different teams that perform unique functions. You will need to cooperate with your own workforce and with officers from other divisions to accomplish your goals.

I am organized and I can keep track of many things at the same time.

Homeland security workers like emergency response managers coordinate complicated relief efforts after natural disasters. You will need the ability to juggle several tasks at once if you want to work in some positions in this field.

I feel a sense of patriotic duty to my country.

The Department of Homeland Security works to secure American borders and negotiate foreign policy with its allies. You should be committed to promoting the success of America if you want to work in homeland security.

I am comfortable working unusual hours.

Some occupations in this field, like border patrol or emergency response jobs, may require homeland security professionals to work long hours or have unpredictable schedules. If you are strictly interested in a 9-to-5 job, you may not enjoy certain careers in homeland security.

I pay close attention to detail.

Security guards and Transportation Security Administration scanners may experience long stretches of work when there are no security breaches. You will need to remain vigilant and observant even during slow periods in order to keep the public safe.

I am willing to risk physical harm if my job requires it.

Homeland security officers may face armed criminals or dangerous natural elements like floods and hurricanes. You should be aware that you could be injured while you work.

Get My Score

*Note that this is not a scientific quiz. The result is simply my rough estimate of how well I believe your personality matches that of a successful homeland security officer.

By my assessment, a career in homeland security is probably not a good fit for your personality. Please go to the Admissions Advisor homepage for a listing of other careers you may want to consider.

By my assessment, although a career in homeland security may not be an ideal fit for your personality, if you are willing to adapt in a few areas, you can still find success in the field. Please see the list to the right for information on the areas that you may need to work on.

By my assessment, your personality is a good fit for a career in homeland security. Scroll through our site to gain valuable insight into what it will take you to earn the necessary credentials.

Making the Right Choice

Is there anything else I should consider in deciding if homeland security is the right choice for me?

Aside from personality, you should take your past actions into consideration before you choose to study homeland security.

Security Clearance

If you want to work in this field, you will need to undergo background checks in order to gain security clearance. Background checks are required for all homeland security workers due to the sensitive and confidential information that they may have access to while you are on the job. However, the specific restrictions vary according to the type of job that you apply for. You may still be able to get certain homeland security jobs if you have non-felony charges on your record. If you are not sure whether you will be eligible to work in homeland security with your background, you should check with the agency that you want to work for before you commit to this course of study.

Homeland Security Professions

What homeland security professions can I choose from?

The Department of Homeland Security has hundreds of different jobs for trained professionals. Some of the homeland security careers that you can choose from include:

Education Required:

Associates (2 years) recommended

Average Salary:

$29,000 (Lowest 10% earned less than $25,000; highest 10% earned more than $33,000)

Work Environment:

Airports, seaports

Job Description:

Transportation security screeners make sure that passengers comply with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations when they travel. They operate x ray machinery to look through luggage and spot objects that could be used as weapons. If individuals set off metal detectors, screeners make sure that they do not present a threat before they are allowed to board public transportation.

Education Required:

Bachelors (4 years) recommended

Average Salary:

$56,000

Work Environment:

Government agencies, fieldwork

Job Description:

Border patrol agents prevent people from entering the United States illegally and from bringing prohibited objects into the country. Their work often takes place outdoors as they patrol the border in vehicles or on foot. If they find people trying to cross the border illegally, they detain them, take their fingerprints and type up reports.

Education Required:

Masters (2 – 3 years of graduate school) recommended

Average Salary:

$88,000

Work Environment:

Government agencies

Job Description:

Intelligence analysts receive data and interpret information about potential security threats to the United States. Intelligence reports come from many different sources and discuss a variety of topics, like tips about terrorist activity, organized criminal activity or the location of unsanctioned weapons of mass destruction.

Education Required:

Bachelors (4 years) plus experience in law enforcement (2 – 3 years)

Average Salary:

$43,440 base pay; increases according to location and experience

Work Environment:

Government agencies

Job Description:

Federal special agents work for the Department of Homeland Security as well as government agencies like the CIA and the FBI. They investigate threats to national security like suspected terrorism plots and drug trafficking operations. During the investigation process, these officers collect and analyze evidence, prepare reports and testify in court.

Education Required:

Bachelors (4 years)

Average Salary:

$45,670

Work Environment:

Nonprofit agencies, government agencies, fieldwork

Job Description:

Emergency management specialists typically work for agencies like the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These workers help communities to plan for and respond to crises such as natural disasters, like floods and tornados. For example, they conduct search and rescue efforts for missing persons and help rebuild homes when they are destroyed.

Job Outlook

What is the job outlook for homeland security officers?

Although the Department of Homeland Security was only created in 2002, it employs more than 183,000 officers. The overall job outlook in this field is positive, although few statistics are available about homeland security as a whole. Since homeland security includes so many different fields, it is best to look at a few key professions individually.
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Screeners: There were about 48,000 federal TSA screeners working in 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that number is expected to increase by 10% through 2020, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.
  • Border patrol officers: According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there were approximately 21,400 workers employed by the Border Patrol in 2011, with more than 18,000 officers employed in the Southwest region of the United States. There are no job projections for border patrol officers alone. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics files border patrol officers under the general category of police and sheriff’s patrol officers, who are expected to see an 8% increase in employment in the next decade. This is a little slower than average for all occupations.
  • Emergency management directors: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, emergency management directors will see a 2% increase in employment in the next 10 years, which is a lot slower than the national employment trend for all occupations. There were about 11,000 emergency management directors working in the United States in 2011.
Profession Employment Projected Average Growth

Average Salary Growth 2006 - 2011

Profession 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Salary By Percentile

Profession 10th 25th 50th 75th 90th

Education Requirements

How long would it take me to become a homeland security officer?

The amount of time that it will take you to become a homeland security officer varies from less than 1 year to more than 10 years, according to the educational path that you choose and your career goals. For instance, you can get an entry-level position in the field of homeland security with just a certificate, which typically takes you 6 months to 1 year to earn. On the other hand, you can earn your doctorate if you want to be a homeland security executive. Doctoral degrees usually take 4 to 7 years of graduate-level study.

Areas of Study

What can I expect to learn while pursuing homeland security?

You will gain both knowledge and skills during your homeland security education.

KNOWLEDGE

Homeland Security Policy

Homeland security policy governs the national defense system and affects international relations. This subject discusses theories of national security and potential challenges that the U.S. defense system could face when dealing with terrorism, warfare and international politics. Discussion topics will include adapting to current events and developing long-term policy solutions.

Criminal Justice Process

The criminal justice process describes the way that criminals are handled in the United States. It covers the responsibilities of law enforcement officers, the court system and the right that citizens have to a fair trial by jury. It also discusses the roles of correctional facilities, including jails and prisons.

Terrorism and Counter-terrorism

Terrorism theory discusses the major issues surrounding domestic and international terrorism. It discusses U.S. terrorism laws and the prosecution procedures of alleged terrorists. In addition, terrorism theory courses address the factors that motivate different groups, including religious extremism, political issues and drug cartels.

Criminal Justice Ethics

Criminal justice ethics address some of the controversial issues in this field. Ethical discussions of criminal justice and homeland security often center around professional responsibility. Some topics that will be covered in ethics courses include the justifiable use of force, nondiscrimination, racial profiling and affirmative action.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of mass destruction courses explore the different types of weapons that can harm large populations, such as explosive devices, chemical and biological agents and nuclear bombs. This topic describes how to recognize, identify and dissemble these weapons as well as how to assess the risks that they present.

SKILLS

Information Assurance

Your homeland security program will teach you about the ways that people use computers to commit crimes. You will be trained in investigative techniques that are used to uncover crimes. You will also learn how to identify weaknesses in computer security networks. Finally, you be trained to keep sensitive data and information safe from hackers and viruses.

Emergency Communication

In your homeland security courses, you will be trained in effective methods of communication that you can use during emergency situations. For example, your courses will teach strategies for getting urgent messages to the public by using existing multimedia platforms. You will also study the hierarchy of communication and protocol for national emergencies.

Problem Solving

During your homeland security program, you will try to solve or reduce the negative impact of world problems that are related to issues of national security. You will learn to use negotiation skills to find viable answers to difficult situations. In addition, your knowledge of political situations and current events will influence the way that you approach public safety policies.

Emergency Response Management

Emergency response planning classes will teach you how communities can plan for emergencies like natural disasters, warfare and terrorism. You will learn ways to effectively distribute relief supplies like food, water and clothing. You will also learn about business and government continuity, which discusses how to keep communities functioning in emergency circumstances.

Leadership

Your homeland security curriculum will teach you how to lead teams of workers in order to reach common goals. You will learn how to motivate others and inspire them to succeed under difficult or stressful working conditions. Your leadership classes will also teach you the value of modeling the type of behavior that you expect from the people you lead.

Academic Degrees

What academic levels are available in the field of homeland security?

You can earn every level of education if you decide to study homeland security. In addition to associates, bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees, you can also earn undergraduate and graduate certificates.

Select the degree level you are interested in:

  • Certificate
  • Associate’s
  • Bachelor’s
  • Master’s
  • Doctorate

Certificate

If you want to learn the fundamental principles of homeland security without committing to a full degree program, you can earn a certificate. Certificates take less time to complete than a degree and they can serve as useful introductions to the field of homeland security.

What are the different types of certificates that I can earn in homeland security?

Undergraduate Certificate

Undergraduate certificates in homeland security are designed to introduce you to the fundamental concepts of this subject. Undergraduate certificates are best if you want to supplement another degree with fundamental homeland security knowledge.

Graduate Certificate

Graduate certificates in homeland security offer graduate-level courses about the major issues in this field. Graduate certificates are best if you want to advance your career or learn about the field before you commit to a full masters degree.

How long will I have to study to earn my certificate in homeland security?

Undergraduate Certificates

Undergraduate certificates in homeland security typically require students to complete 9 to 18 credit hours. Therefore, students are usually able to complete undergraduate certificates in 6 months to a year, depending on the length and depth of their program.

Graduate Certificates

Similar to undergraduate certificates, graduate certificates in homeland security typically require students to complete 12 to 18 credit hours. Most students are able to complete their graduate certificates in 6 months to 1 year.

What types of courses will I take while studying for my certificate in homeland security?

Undergraduate Certificates

The classes that you take during your homeland security undergraduate certificate program may differ depending on your particular school. But you will probably take courses about national security policy, American foreign policy, international terrorism and U.S intelligence operations.

Graduate Certificates

Some of the courses that you take in your graduate certificate will vary according to the homeland security program that you choose. But you are likely to take classes about domestic and international terrorism, emergency preparedness and crisis response management. In addition, you may have the option to take a variety of elective courses, including military strategy and the laws that govern warfare.

What types of jobs can I hope to secure with a certificate in homeland security?

Undergraduate Certificates

Undergraduate certificates in homeland security will not prepare you for many jobs on their own. But you can use an undergraduate certificate to supplement a degree in other fields. For instance, if you earn a degree in information systems along with this certificate, you could be a security specialist. And if you add this certificate to a degree in criminal justice, you could be a border patrol officer.

Graduate Certificates

You can use graduate certificates in homeland security to advance careers in the military, law enforcement and emergency management. In addition, the education that you gain through a graduate certificate in homeland security may qualify you to work as a border patrol officer or intelligence analyst if you use this certificate to supplement your undergraduate education.

What should I consider when deciding on a school to earn my certificate in homeland security?

Graduate Certificates

When you are thinking about a homeland security program, you should take into consideration what kind of elective courses you will be able to take. Some graduate certificate programs offer more elective options than others. If you have a particular area of homeland security that you want to learn about, you should investigate the curriculums of the different programs that you are considering to see if you can study the homeland subject that you are interested in.

What are the requirements for admission to a graduate certificate program in homeland security?

You need to have a bachelors degree in any subject in order to apply to a graduate certificate program in homeland security.

What about getting an online certificate in homeland security?

Many reputable schools offer online homeland security certificates. Since certificates are meant to supplement other degrees, there is no reason not to earn your homeland security certificate online. However, if you choose to earn your credentials through an online homeland security school, you should make sure that your program has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). That way you can be sure that you will be getting a good education through your online homeland security certificate.

Associates Degree

Associates degrees in homeland security teach you the fundamental principles of public security and criminal justice. This degree is not worth a lot on its own, but you can transfer your credits into a bachelors degree later to increase your job options.

What are the different types of associates degrees that I can earn homeland security?

Associate of Arts AA

An AA in homeland security has humanities classes in addition to security classes to give you a broad educational background. The AA degree is the best choice if you want to transfer your credits into a bachelors degree program.

Associate of Science AS

An AS in homeland security offers science and math classes to give you a technical background. The AS degree is preferable if you want to enter the workforce as soon as you graduate.

How long will I have to study to earn my associates degree in homeland security?

Associates degrees in homeland security usually require students to complete 60 to 65 credit hours. Students are usually able to finish their associates degrees in about 2 years.

What types of courses will I take while studying for my associates degree in homeland security?

The exact classes that you will take in your homeland security degree program will vary according to your school. But some of the classes that you are likely to take include crime prevention, firearms training, intelligence analysis, cyber security and domestic and international terrorism.

What types of jobs can I hope to secure with an associates degree in homeland security?

After you earn an associates degree in homeland security, you will be qualified for entry-level jobs as a security officer or TSA scanner. You can also work on emergency response crews to help individuals and communities recover from natural disasters.

What should I consider when deciding on a school to earn my associates degree in homeland security?

When you are deciding on a school to attend for your associates degree in homeland security, you should look for programs that offer internships. Homeland security internships will train you in the practical skills that you will need in your profession. In addition, internships can boost your resume and help you stand out among other job candidates.

What about getting an online associates degree in homeland security?

If you want to earn your homeland security associates degree online, you have a few options. But if you decide to earn your degree through an online homeland security program, you will need to supplement your degree with work experience so that you can show your employers that you have practical skills. For this reason, many active-duty military service members and current law enforcement officers choose to earn online homeland security associates degrees since their training shows that they have related skills. Even though most of your training in homeland security will be theoretical classes about topics like disaster response planning and American foreign policy, you should not earn your homeland security associates degree online if you have no experience in the field.

Bachelors Degree

A bachelors degree in homeland security will teach you how national defense relates to the American government and international relations. When you are looking for a program, keep in mind that you can also earn a criminal justice degree with a homeland security specialization.

What are the different types of bachelors degrees that I can earn in homeland security?

Bachelor of Arts BA

A BA in homeland security has liberal arts and management classes to give you a background in the humanities and leadership. The BA degree is the best option if you want to go to graduate school in the future.

Bachelor of Science BS

A BS in homeland security offers math, science and computer classes in addition to homeland security courses to give you a technical background. This degree is best if you want to start working after you graduate.

How long will I have to study to earn my bachelors degree in homeland security?

Most bachelors degrees in homeland security require students to complete about 120 credit hours. Students are generally able to complete homeland security bachelors degrees in 4 years.

What types of courses will I take while studying for my bachelors degree in homeland security?

If you decide to earn a bachelors degree in homeland security, you will take classes about leadership, security and public safety. The exact courses that you take will vary depending on which school you choose to attend. But you can expect to take classes on cultural diversity, domestic and international terrorism, American government and international relations. You will also take classes that explain how technology is used in homeland security and the current legal and political issues that affect U.S. security. Finally, you will take classes in emergency response and crisis management.

What types of jobs can I hope to secure with a bachelors degree in homeland security?

A bachelors degree will prepare you for entry-level positions in the Department of Homeland Security and in other fields that are related to public safety. With this degree, you will be qualified to work as an emergency management specialist, Transportation Security Agency officer or border patrol officer. And if you have 2 to 3 years of experience in law enforcement, you would also qualify to work as a federal special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

What should I consider when deciding on a school to earn my bachelors degree in homeland security?

As you are looking for a homeland security degree program, you should investigate whether or not the schools that you are considering offer internships. Internships are very useful in the field of homeland security because they give you a chance to develop practical skills. The work experience that you gain through internships will greatly enhance your resume, which may make it easier for you to find a job after you graduate.

What about getting an online bachelors degree in homeland security?

Some schools offer online homeland security bachelors degrees. But you should only attempt to earn your degree through an online homeland security program if you already have military training or work experience in homeland security or another related field, like criminal justice, law enforcement and emergency response. If you do not have related work experience, you need to make sure that your online homeland security school provides you with an internship. Otherwise, you will not be able to apply the knowledge that you gain through an online homeland security bachelors degree to real world situations.

Masters Degree

Masters degrees in homeland security are intended to train students to be leaders in the Department of Homeland Security and in the private sector. You can also earn masters degrees in related fields, like criminal justice and emergency response management, with concentrations in homeland security.

What are the different types of masters degrees that I can earn in homeland security?

Master of Arts MA

An MA in homeland security technically has liberal arts classes to give you a broad education. The MA is a good option if you want to earn a doctorate in the future or find a job in homeland security.

Master of Science MS

An MS in homeland security technically has more science, math and computer classes to give you a technical education. However, the MS and the MA degrees are very similar to each other.

Master of Business Administration MBA

The MBA in homeland security is designed to train you in management skills. The MBA is the best choice if you want to learn how to manage other employees and be a homeland security leader.

How long will I have to study to earn my masters degree in homeland security?

Homeland security masters degree programs normally require students to complete 30 to 40 credit hours. Most students can finish their masters degrees in 2 to 3 years of study.

What types of courses will I take while studying for my masters degree in homeland security?

Various homeland security masters degree programs focus on different aspects of the discipline, so the classes that you take may be slightly different at each school. However, you are likely to take research methods, information systems, American foreign policy and comparative government in any program. In addition, you may take courses in psychology, intelligence analysis and terrorism. And if you decide to earn an MBA, you will also take classes like organizational theory, financial management, crisis management and risk assessment. Some masters programs also require you to write a thesis.

What types of jobs can I hope to secure with a masters degree in homeland security?

A masters degree in homeland security will qualify you for several jobs in the field. For instance, you could work as an intelligence analyst who helps to identify potential security threats. And if you want to work in crisis management, you could lead a team of emergency responders who help victims of disaster to recover. You could also use this degree to advance into a supervisory role in law enforcement or criminal justice.

What should I consider when deciding on a school to earn my masters degree in homeland security?

When you are looking for the right homeland security masters degree school, you should consider the focus of the programs that interest you. Some programs focus more on emergency response management, while others are designed to emphasize foreign policy and national defense. Therefore, you should study the curriculum of the schools that interest you to make sure that you will be allowed to study the topics that you care about most.

What are the requirements for admission to a masters degree program in homeland security?

You need to have a bachelors degree in order to be admitted into a masters degree program in homeland security. However, your degree can be in any field.

What about getting an online masters degree in homeland security?

There are several institutions that offer homeland security masters degrees online. In fact, there are no significant drawbacks to earning your homeland security masters degree online. However, if you are not comfortable earning your degree through a completely online homeland security program, some schools offer blended learning degrees. Blended degree programs use a combination of on-campus and online learning so that students can complete a lot of their coursework from home while attending online homeland security schools, but still have in-person contact with their peers and professors.

Doctorate

Doctorates are the most prestigious credentials that you can earn in this field. A few programs offer doctorates in homeland security as stand-alone degrees, but most programs will require you to enroll in a criminal justice program with a specialization or concentration in homeland security.

What are the different types of doctorates that I can earn in homeland security?

Doctor of Philosophy PhD

A PhD in homeland security allows you to specialize in national defense, emergency preparedness or public administration. The PhD is the best option if you want to research and teach at the university level.

Doctor of Business Administration DBA

A DBA focuses on leadership development and management in the field of homeland security. The DBA is preferable if you want to be part of homeland security executive leadership teams.

How long will I have to study to earn my doctorate in homeland security?

Most doctorates in homeland security require students to complete 60 to 90 credit hours. You should expect to spend 4 to 7 years studying to earn your homeland security doctoral degree.

What types of courses will I take while studying for my doctorate in homeland security?

Most of your doctoral curriculum will consist of independent research and elective courses that match your particular interests. However, you may need to take a few required courses. Although these courses differ from program to program, you are likely to take foundational courses in research methods and statistical analysis. Then you will take courses in your concentration area, like public policy implementation and counterterrorism. In addition, most doctoral programs require you to write a dissertation based on your original research.

What types of jobs can I hope to secure with a doctorate in homeland security?

A doctorate in homeland security can qualify you for a number of jobs. If you earn a PhD, you will be able to conduct academic research and teach classes at the university level. And if you earn a DBA, you can help write public security policy, analyze intelligence reports and manage teams of workers at the executive level.

What should I consider when deciding on a school to earn my doctorate in homeland security?

When you are looking for a doctoral school for your homeland security degree, you should check into the specializations that are offered in that program. Some schools emphasize a particular aspect of homeland security, like crisis management and emergency preparedness, over other areas in the same field. Make sure that the program that you choose will train you in the area of homeland security that most interests you.

What are the requirements for admission to a doctorate program in homeland security?

The admissions requirements for homeland security doctorates differ by program. Some schools require you to have a masters degree, but others will accept you with a bachelors degree. In addition, some schools require 3 or more years of related work experience before you can apply to their doctoral programs.

What about getting an online doctorate in homeland security?

There are a limited number of online homeland security doctorates available, but online homeland security programs are not recommended at this level of education. In general, doctorates require massive amounts of intense research. In order to accomplish this research, you will need to have a strong relationship with your professors and advisor. But it will be very difficult to cultivate close relationships through an online homeland security school. However, as online education becomes more popular, blended doctoral programs may emerge. Through blended learning, you can take some classes online but you still meet with your professors and peers on campus at times. Blended learning courses would be a better option than attempting to earn your doctorate through a completely online homeland security doctorate.

Questions & Answers

Select a category to find answers to your questions

Resources

What are some other resources that can help me learn more about pursuing a degree or certificate in homeland security?

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Careers in Homeland Security

Center for Homeland Defense and Security

Citizen Corps

Department of Homeland Security

DHS Job Search

FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA Disaster Preparedness Procedures

Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium Association

Homeland Security Resources for Citizens

Journal of Homeland Security Education

Rural Homeland Security Resources

Transportation Security Administration