Online Ph.D. Degree in Homeland Security: Program Overview

Essential Information

The majority of the core subject material in a Ph.D. in Homeland Security program can be taken through an online medium, but certain aspects of the program - such as residencies, internships, and the capstone dissertation defense - may need to be done in person. Because two primary draws of an online curriculum are the ability to set your own schedule and complete classes from anywhere, schools are willing to work with students to ensure that these campus-based sections fit into their schedules and can be performed at a nearby school site. To participate in Web cam discussions with professors and other students, computer software is necessary.

Course Information

Professionals in the field of homeland security must know the procedures that govern disaster responses related to natural catastrophes and human acts of terrorism; they must also learn how to properly prepare citizens to minimize shock and trauma. Consequently, coursework prepares learners to be effective and stable leaders in their country's time of need. Students study subjects that include the following:

  • Public policy
  • Constitutional law
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Emergency management
  • Leadership
  • Research design
  • Statistics
  • Qualitative research


The Ph.D. in Homeland Security program concludes with a dissertation defense, like most other doctoral degree programs. The dissertation is a well-researched paper in publishable condition that provides significant contribution toward the field of homeland security. It is defended in person in front of a panel of faculty members who judge the piece and may ask follow-up questions as an oral exam component.

About Online Learning

While the majority of this distance learning program may be completed at a student's preferred pace, due dates are given for assignments and special projects. The Ph.D. in Homeland Security program offers a great deal of challenging subjects, so students should be sure to devote enough time to completely understand the material.

To aid in the learning process, schools may provide online forums for students to create study groups, share ideas and rate one another. In addition, professors may hold live classes through a chat or video format, such as via Webcam. Much of the online portion of the doctoral degree program is handled through a dedicated virtual interface, allowing professors to post the following instructional tools on the Web:

  • Assignments
  • Readings
    • Government-issued handbooks
    • Current event articles regarding homeland security
    • Scholastic journal entries
    • Pieces written by the instructor
  • Lectures
  • Pre-recorded audio or video files

Who Is This Program For?

Because this is a research-focused program, participants may be interested in pursuing research or professorship careers. This degree program could also suit existing industry professionals looking to advance to senior-level positions. Earning a Ph.D. in Homeland Security could benefit workers in the following fields:

  • Government
  • Public safety
  • Law enforcement
  • Public administration
  • Postsecondary education
  • Research

An online degree in homeland security is available at the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree level. These programs focus on procedures and responses related to disasters and acts of terrorism by emphasizing courses in public policy, constitutional law, leadership and emergency management.

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