The number of colleges and university offering programs in homeland security are continuing to grow across the country. Although degree programs in this specialty are not common, many colleges offer degrees in other fields, such as law enforcement or emergency preparedness, with an emphasis on counterterrorism or homeland security.
Schools with Counterterrorism or Homeland Security Programs
Here is a list of colleges and universities that offer programs in homeland security at various degree levels:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Missouri State University||Springfield, MO and Fairfax, VA||4-year, Public||Certificate and Master's||In-state: $4,590|
|Campbell University||Buies Creek, NC||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$28,820|
|St. Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate||In-state: $3,352|
|Georgian Court University||Lakewood, NJ||4-year, Private||Master's||$15,102|
|Hawaii Pacific University||Honolulu, HI||4-year, Private||Associate's||$22,440|
|The University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso, TX||4-year, Public||Certificate, Bachelor's and Master's||Undergraduate (In-state): $7,259; Graduate (In-state): $4,336|
|Citrus College||Glendora, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||In-state: $1,174|
|John Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Private||Master's||$48,710|
|Anna Maria College||Paxton, MA||4-year, Private||Certificate and Master's||$10,530|
Source:*National Center for Education Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
Some considerations in selecting a school and program include the following:
- Prospective students can find schools with full degree programs focusing on areas such as principles of conflict and terror, weapons of mass destruction and general national security.
- Some institutions have partnerships with outside agencies, providing opportunities for internships and hands-on experience in the field.
- Schools with state-of-the-art technologies and equipment available will offer the student the best educational environment for studying the ever-evolving threat of terrorism.
- Many schools discourage students with criminal backgrounds from pursuing degrees, since internships often require background checks.
Associate's Degree in Homeland Security
Students in these programs gain a broad understanding of homeland security and counterterrorism, in addition to general education courses. These programs prepare students for a bachelor's degree program in a related area.
Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security
The goal of most bachelor's degree programs is to prepare students for counterterrorism and homeland security jobs at the local, state and federal levels. A number of colleges offer internships with agencies throughout the country, as well as computer software and laboratory experience. Many colleges offer courses such as aviation or computer terrorism, as well as student-designed programs.
Master's Degree in Homeland Security
A few colleges offer master's degree programs in homeland security with course offerings in counterterrorism. These programs offer a broad overview of the field, but allow students to strictly focus their areas of study. Most colleges that offer master's degree programs in this area require internships with local, state or national agencies. A comprehensive exam and, often, a thesis are also required.
As the need for homeland security specialists continues to grow, more schools are offering programs in this field. Since it might be challenging to finding a program that meets your needs, it is important to consider other options, like a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement.