Online Terrorism & National Security Management Certificate Info

Find info about online certificate programs in terrorism and national security management. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career option.

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Essential Information

Many schools offer certificate programs in terrorism and national security management at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. All courses in these programs can usually be accessed online, but some certificate programs are offered in a hybrid format, with on-campus requirements. Internships or field experience are usually not part of these programs.

Most undergraduate certificate programs take about a year to complete. These programs give students an overview of contemporary issues regarding homeland security, such as prevention of attacks and communication in a crisis. In addition to terrorism, undergraduate certificate programs may cover security procedures for natural disasters, such as storms or wildfires.

Graduate certificate programs in this field are aimed at working professionals in law enforcement and national security. The programs take about two years to complete, but this schedule is flexible. Students may be able to choose a concentration such as border security or emergency management. Courses in a graduate certificate program may include infrastructure protection and security planning. Students also explore the laws regarding security procedures.

These programs may require students to have a scanner, fax machine, CD/DVD drive, and/or microphone.

Undergraduate Certificate in Terrorism and National Security Management

Undergraduate certificate programs develop strategic management and problem identification skills to manage terrorist threats or national security events. Students explore current procedures, as well as the impact of disasters and threats. Major topics covered include disaster prevention planning, terrorist threats and crisis communications.

Program Information and Requirements

Prospective students may be required to possess as little as a high school diploma or GED for admission into the program. Most certificate programs are offered entirely online, but some schools may require students to participate on-campus classes. Program lengths vary by institution, but most can be completed within a year. Online learners access classes through online course management systems and communication tools.

Online learners must have a reliable Internet connection and access to a computer meeting hardware and software standards. Students may also be required to have access to a scanner and fax machine.

Course Topics

Certificate candidates gain an in-depth understanding of domestic and international natural and manmade threats. They focus on homeland security issues such as disaster prevention, emergency response and strategic planning.

Understanding Terrorism

This online course provides an overview of what motivates terrorists, both domestically and internationally. Students also learn the tactical methods used in a terrorist incident.

Introduction to Homeland Security

Students study the relationships between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as their roles and responsibilities in protecting the U.S. from terrorist threats. Special emphasis is placed on the policies, plans and procedures.

Introduction to Security

This course examines the fundamentals of security and loss prevention. The program provides an overview of the security industry and common security problems. Students also learn to analyze potential risk factors.

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Graduate Certificate in Terrorism and National Security Management

Online graduate certificate programs are designed for professionals working in the public and private security management sectors. Students build on current knowledge and strategies used in homeland security. They discuss infrastructure protection, security intelligence and weapons of mass destruction. Students also explore disaster prevention, loss mitigation and recovery.

Program Information and Requirements

Applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Some institutions may require students to possess professional experience in security management or law enforcement. Most classes are conducted online utilizing online learning platforms; however, some schools may require on-campus participation.

Online learners must have access to a computer with an Internet connection. The computer must have a CD or DVD drive to run specified software. A microphone and a printer may also be required.

Course Topics

Students will develop competencies and knowledge in the areas of homeland security strategy and policy development. The program also covers procedures used in infrastructure protection and border security.

Infrastructure Protection

In this course, students develop an understanding of terrorist threats against infrastructures and cyberspace. Topics covered include weapons of mass destruction (WMD), protection strategies and emergency response procedures.

U.S. Law and Homeland Security

This online course discusses the legal challenges faced by the Department of Homeland Security and its associated agencies. Students explore legal issues found in areas such as U.S. borders, transportation and customs.

Homeland Security and Business Continuity Planning

The curriculum of this course focuses on the relationship between the private sector and homeland security on local, state and federal government levels. Students investigate strategies that businesses employ to secure their data, employees and locations from terrorist threats.

Career Information

Students possessing an undergraduate certificate are typically eligible to find entry-level positions working for local governments or federal agencies. Graduates may find careers as border patrol agents, immigration inspectors and customs inspectors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a slower than average growth of four percent for police and detectives, including those working in homeland security, from 2014-2024 (

Certificate holders can pursue a number of career options in the areas of homeland security, terror prevention and emergency response. Positions, such as security manager or security director, can be found in both the government and private sectors. In 2016, reported that the median annual salary for security directors was $119,609.

Certificate programs in terrorism and national security management teach students about threat and disaster preparedness, and how to manage crises. Graduate-level programs are often designed for law enforcement and national security professionals.

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