If you are considering entering a career path under the umbrella of Homeland Security, you are in the right time at the right place. The office of Homeland Security was created directly following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, primarily on New York City in 2001. The United States Department of Homeland Security is known for being at the precipice of border security and customs, with a myriad of other responsibilities to keep our country safe from terrorism among other hazards. Currently, we are dealing with a public health crisis as the world is trying to flatten the COVID-19 pandemic curve. It comes as no surprise that the Department of Homeland Security is at the front lines of the efforts to keep Americans safe and at home while we heal collectively from this major catastrophe. In fact, they are at the helm of interventions for so many issues that plague our country today, including the Opioid Crisis .

There are many Homeland Security undergraduate degrees that tackle some of the most pertinent issues of our time, including disaster management and preparedness. We are especially excited about the affordable and non-traditional options if you are interested in achieving a Homeland Security undergraduate degree online. Many programs are designed for working professionals who require flexibility to take on an academic program, as they have to juggle other life commitments like work and family obligations.

Ranking the Cheapest National Security Degrees

Working professionals in particular often have to find career-ready degree options that will not break their bank. With that in mind, we have come up with a list of affordable online homeland security degree programs that you can achieve from the comfort of your own home. Has there ever been a better time in the world to log in to a virtual classroom then a global pandemic? 

1. Bellevue University

If you are interested in an affordable bachelor’s in homeland security degree program that is also flexible, Bellevue University has an option that might pique your interest. This offering is a Bachelor of Science program in Security Management that is delivered entirely online. The course of study focuses on five critical issues to the field that include: infrastructure security, critical communication, homeland security, organizational interaction, personnel management, and threat assessment. The entire offering can be completed with a total of 127 credit hours, 40 of which are dedicated to the major. Bellevue makes it easy to transfer credits from other institutions of higher learning. For students who are active national guard or military members, they can access the program at a reduced rate. Some of the required classes include: Foundations of Personal Success, Risk Analysis and Organizational Security, Infrastructure Security and National Defense, and Homeland Security and Terrorism. 

Degree Type: BS Security Management 

2. Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University offers a Bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management that qualifies as an affordable bachelor’s in homeland security degree. The entire degree is offered online with a flexible delivery format that enables students to continue working and attending to other life commitments while studying. Students will engage with the five critical pillars of the national preparedness system mission including: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The coursework covers the foundations of homeland security, emergency management, national preparedness, risk assessment, public safety, and business continuity issues. The program is made up of 120 credit hours of coursework. One of the perks of studying at Thomas Edison is that they have a pay as you go tuition structure that makes it much easier to afford then paying tuition all at once. They also make scholarship and grant opportunities available even to their online students. 

Degree Type: BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

3. Vincennes University

Vincennes University offers a Bachelors of Science Degree program in Homeland Security and Public Safety that is delivered entirely online. This is considered an affordable bachelor’s in homeland security degree that thoroughly trains students to enter the career path with top-notch in-demand skills. The coursework not only covers homeland security but all forms of terrorism, intelligence, public safety, loss prevention, crisis and emergency management, among other pertinent topics. Other explored fields include: public health, law enforcement, infrastructure protection, and radiological and nuclear countermeasures, among many others. Graduates of the program will be qualified to work for careers within the federal government, the FBI, the drug enforcement agency, and alcohol tobacco and firearms. The program generally takes four years to complete, with a total of 120 credit hours. The faculty are a huge selling point, and are made up of very experienced career professionals in the field. 

Degree Type: BS in Homeland Security and Public Safety

4. Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University offers a Bachelors of Science in Homeland Security degree program that is not only known for being affordable, but very flexible with an accessible online course delivery. The bachelor’s in homeland security coursework covers a wide variety of topics including border management, counterterrorism, cyber networks, immigration, disaster resilience and critical infrastructure. Columbia Southern utilizes a learning platform called LifePace Learning which offers one of the most flexible formats out there, as all of the classes have no login times or required deadlines and students can move through the program at their own pace. Columbia  Southern allows students to transfer up to 90 credit hours, making it easy to matriculate from another institution. The entire course of study is made up of 120 credit hours including 36 that are distinctly for this particular major. They pride themselves on offering a tuition rate that is less than half of what their competitor programs charge. 

Degree Type: BS in Homeland Security

5. North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University offers an affordable homeland security degree online. This specific offering is a Bachelors of Science in criminal justice with a concentration in Homeland Security that is delivered entirely online. This bachelor’s in homeland security course of study is fully certified by the Academy of criminal justice Sciences (ACJS). The online format is flexible and can be easily fit into the busy life of a working professional who needs to retain employment while completing the program. There are fast track options that will enable students to participate at an accelerated pace. All students have access to intimate virtual learning environments that include hands-on support from faculty members. The program comes with many networking opportunities, specifically in the state of North Carolina and surrounding regions. Ultimately, graduates have gotten internships and exclusive job opportunities while in the program and directly following. Tuition is incredibly affordable, especially for in-state students and there are many scholarship opportunities. 

Degree Type: BS: Criminal Justice/Homeland Security 

6. Angelo State University

Angelo State University offers an affordable homeland security degree that is delivered entirely online. This is a Bachelors of Security Studies in Border and Homeland Security. This is a unique department as the faculty is made up of professionals who are experts in the field. Angelo State’s sole purpose is to create a cross-cultural exchange while delivering top security programming that builds competent leaders in the field. The bachelor’s in homeland security coursework is made up of subjects that include: cultural competence, multiple classes on border security, advanced studies, and general studies. They also require several hours of core coursework including english, communications, math and science that are considered Texas Common Courses. Angelo State offers extensive academic advising for all of their students, as well as one on one faculty support. The entire course of study is 120 semester hours in length. 

Degree Type: BSS in Border and Homeland Security

7. Grantham University

Grantham University offers an affordable homeland security degree that culminates in a Bachelors of Arts Degree in criminal justice with an emphasis on Homeland Security. The entire bachelor’s in homeland security degree is delivered in a flexible online format, making it perfect for students who have to work full time while completing their coursework. The basis of the degree is studying the science of criminal behavior along with the different types of crime. Coursework dives into the ethics of the law enforcement discipline and the discourse around bias elimination. Students will also study juvenile justice and the differences between federal and state law enforcement while understanding crime intervention practices. The homeland security emphasis gives students the foundation to understand the analysis and prevention tactics of terrorism, intelligence and critical infrastructure protection. Students will learn skills to protect their communities and the nation from border and security threats from top experts in the field firsthand. 

Degree Type: BA criminal justice – Homeland Security

8. American Public University

The School of Security and Global Studies at The American Public University is an affordable homeland security degree program that can be completed entirely online. This Bachelors of Arts in Homeland Security is perfect for a working professional who has a lot to juggle while completing their degree. Not only is this the case because of its flexibility, but because they have taken every opportunity to cut costs for the student. They enable students from other programs to matriculate while taking up to 77 percent of their credit hours from another institution with them. There is no application fee, and they charge nothing for transfer credit evaluation. An extra unusual price cut comes with the fact that students have to pay nothing for their textbooks, including ebooks, making learning that much more accessible. The coursework dives deep into such issues as intelligence, risk management, legal and ethical issues, and border security. 

Degree Type: BA in Homeland Security

9. Eastern Kentucky University

Through the online degree programs at Eastern Kentucky University, you will find an affordable homeland security degree opportunity. This is an online bachelor’s in Homeland Security that offers a focus on the three key pillars related to the discipline which include: intelligence studies, disaster management, and security operations. Students will have a chance to select a relevant minor that can make them more marketable once they graduate. Each class is accelerated and is offered in an eight-week term. Homeland security and emergency management classes begin 6 times per year, and EKU makes it easy to transfer in credits from other institutions of higher learning. Students have access to complex advising from the moment they apply to the moment they graduate. Active duty service members are offered reduced tuition rates. Graduates go on to have careers in: border patrol, the FBI, CIA intelligence, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Administration, forensic auditing, telecommunications, policy analysis, and more. 

Degree Type: Bachelors Homeland Security

10. SUNY at Canton

Canton State University of New York (of the SUNY system), offers a fully online B Tech degree program in Homeland Security, that is known for being an affordable homeland security degree option. Students who undertake this bachelor’s in homeland security will undergo extensive coursework that prepares them to defend, intervene, and respond to hazards small and large. Students will learn all about crisis response from human-made catastrophes to natural disasters. This particular degree path extends from the criminal justice associates degree program also offered at SUNY Canton, and absorbs many students who want to continue on to this four-year option. There are many employment options based on the skills covered that can include working on the front lines or equally critical administrative positions. Many graduates go on to work in government agencies like US Customs and Border Protection, US Secret Service, US Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Degree Type: BTech in Homeland Security

11. University of Maryland – Global Campus

The University of Maryland’s Global Campus offers an affordable homeland security degree program that is delivered entirely online. This degree path culminates in a Bachelors of Science in Homeland Security that can prepare you for a successful career in the homeland security and emergency management field. Students will learn expert communication skills and complex problem-solving strategies that will enable them to become strong leaders and motivational managers in the field. Other skills that will be covered include technology management and infrastructure information protection, intelligence gathering, cybersecurity, risk assessment, international and domestic terrorism, critical infrastructure protection, and emergency mitigation and management. The entire course of study is made up of 120 credit hours, many of which can be transferred in from other programs. Many graduates go on to achieve a masters degree from the same institution in Management (Homeland Security Specialization) and Information Technology (Homeland Security Specialization), both of which are delivered at an accelerated pace, utilizing some of the bachelor’s credit hours.  

Degree Type: BS Homeland Security 

12. American InterContinental University

The American InterContinental University offers an affordable Bachelors of Science program in criminal justice with an emphasis in Homeland Security and Crisis Management. This course of study is delivered entirely online in a flexible format that ensures students can continue working while moving through their classes. This program dives into the field of criminal justice from many angles and relates back to homeland security by way of disaster relief education. Students will learn all about risk analysis and emergency planning while using FEMA modules. The entire course of study is 180 credit hours in length and many of the credits can be transferred from other programs. Some of the required classes include: critical infastructures, terrorism and homeland security, national security, foundations of crisis management, psychosocial dimensions of terrorism, stress and crisis management, communication and crisis planning, homeland security and emergency management, among many others. Not only is this program financially accessible, but they have a variety of grant and scholarship opportunities for homeland security professionals to choose from. 

Degree Type: BS in criminal justice – Homeland Security

13. Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelors of Science program in Public Service and Policy Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Students in this program will learn the most cutting-edge skills related to disaster mitigation and management as it relates to crisis, both human created (like terrorist attacks) and natural. Students in this field are generally interested in holding positions such as emergency managers in a variety of professional settings. The emphasis on public policy and public service in this homeland security and emergency management program is unique and lends itself to adding an additional skill set that qualifies students for more in depth positions at the community and governmental level. The entire course of study is made up of 120 credit hours, with 40 classes. Each class can be completed in 7.5 weeks. There is an interesting option to undergo this program in a 4+1 accelerated plan that leads to a MA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. 

Degree Type: BS in Emergency Management and Homeland Security

14. Trident University International

Trident University International offers a Bachelors of Science Program in Homeland Security that is not only affordable but also extremely flexible with an online format. The course of study is structured with a sequence to allow students to work through the four pillars of the discipline including: prevent, protect, respond and recover. Trident utilizes what is called an EdActive Learning Approach, which specifically offers a case-based framework, enabling students to learn real world understandings of the programmatic skills. Students can choose one of the following concentrations: Cybersecurity, Leadership, criminal justice Administration, and Emergency Disaster Management. One of the affordable aspects about this program is that they ensure students will not have to pay for books, supplies, or additional materials. The entire program is made up of 120 credit hours, which include classes like: Ethics and Homeland Security, Cyber and Physical Security Vulnerabilities and Methodologies, intelligence gathering, national security, and Ethics and Homeland Security. 

Degree Type: BS in Homeland Security

15. Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University offers an affordable homeland security degree that is delivered entirely online. This is actually a Bachelors of Science in criminal justice with a focus on Homeland Security and Emergency Management. They pride themselves on offering a program so flexible that it can be aligned with any student’s busy schedule. They are also known for cutting cost corners for students to make this learning opportunity as affordable and accessible as possible. Their student-centered approach ensures that they meet their participants where they’re at; they do this by offering options to test out of classes through what is called the CTU fast track. This is specifically to enable life experience to count towards their college credits. The total credit hours for completion are 182. Their core coursework for homeland security and emergency management accounts for 116 of the credits and 66 make up the general education requirements. 

Degree Type: BS criminal justice – Homeland Security and Emergency Management

How Do I Get an Affordable Homeland Security Degree?

When seeking a degree program in homeland security there are many factors to consider. The priority for most of us is not breaking the bank, while also achieving a high-quality education. It might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack when trying to find the cheapest homeland security degree program. They do exist. We promise. Definitely start by looking into community college programs and other certification programs in homeland security and emergency management. Many will have partnerships with public four-year institutions that will make it a seamless endeavor to transfer an associate degree or credits.

If you want to go straight towards the four-year degree program, take a look at the lower-cost public colleges that often enable you to study online and they offer flexible coursework. Don’t just look at tuition, but what do such institutions charge beyond the per credit fees? Are there additional lab fees, and estimated costs for books and course materials? All of these factors could really increase the homeland security programs’ cost. There are also many employers who offer tuition reimbursement for homeland security degree programs online. That is a good thing to look into even before investing in a program as it might inform what schools you apply to. 

Is a Homeland Security Degree Worth It? 

If you are wondering, Is a Homeland Security Degree Worth It? I urge you to ask yourself if a career in homeland security fits your dreams and goals. If the answer is yes, then the degree itself is definitely worth it. It is not an ambiguous degree, but one that leads to a clear and in-demand career path with many employers connected to the academic programming itself.

Again, there are opportunities to access tuition reimbursement options from employers for homeland security programs, which can make any accrued student loan or tuition debt seem a lot less overwhelming. Government agencies will often partner as well to get the top homeland security professionals straight out of school. Take a look at the Defense Education Consortium Association for more information.

How Much Can I Make in a Homeland Security Career?

As you probably are aware, there are so many career paths in homeland security and emergency management. In fact, when thinking about homeland security jobs salary, homeland security graduates can easily choose to work as a frontline professional or in an administrative role which have pay variations. The average Homeland security degree job salary is $74,000 per year. There are some entry-level positions for homeland security professionals, such as transportation security officer, which makes $33,000 annually on the low end. A border patrol agent makes an average salary of $59,840 per year . Emergency management directors make well into six figures.

Keep in mind that all of these homeland security professionals have opportunities for bonuses and significant benefits. Many times students choose a homeland security degree program with a minor or specialization to give them more options and make them more marketable candidates. This also puts homeland security graduates in the field with more options as far as actual careers are concerned.

You will notice, when exploring program options, that there are some that feature public policy, and others that are more in the direction of disaster response. Consider the different affordable homeland security programs according to the career projections, salaries, as well as your interests. This way, you will find a perfect fit as a homeland security professional.


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