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2023 Homeland Security Degree Guide

Are you interested in protecting your country from threats of terrorism and protecting fellow citizens during times of crisis? If so, then Homeland Security could be the major for you.

Studying Homeland Security will provide you with knowledge about security threats, both domestic and international. Classes will cover such topics as international relations, homeland defense, government, bioscience, consequence management, and terrorism. Current issues in this field are keeping American interests in mind worldwide, drug trafficking, and emergency management.

Some concentrations you may be able to specialize in are Disaster Management, Critical Infrastructure Protection, and Terrorism and Counterterrorism Operations.

A Recent Jump in Homeland Security Degrees

#117 Most Popular Major
7.1k Degrees Awarded
11.7% Increase in Graduates

Homeland Security was the 117th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 7,140 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 837 over the prior year, a growth of 11.7%.

This year's Best Homeland Security Schools ranking compares 124 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom homeland security rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Homeland Security
2023 Overall Best Homeland Security Colleges >

Best Homeland Security Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Homeland Security
Bachelor's Degrees in Homeland Security
Master's Degrees in Homeland Security
Doctorate Degrees in Homeland Security


Homeland Security Degree Requirements

This major teaches students many valuable and practical skills. You will learn how to evaluate domestic security challenges and propose changes to government at the local, state, and federal level. This requires a logical thinker who doesn't shy away from controversial topics. Students should be objective and pay close attention to detail in their research in order to have accurate outcomes.

A career in homeland security requires clear thinkers who are able to make decisions and keep calm in emergency situations. You may face any number of dangerous environments. Students should be physical fit and strong as well as emotionally consistent.

Prior Education for a Homeland Security Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific homeland security careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Homeland Security Degree Types

There are various different levels of homeland security degrees. Homeland Security programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest homeland security degree you can get. Different homeland security degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to homeland security, with approximately 47.7% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for homeland security workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 43.4%
Master’s Degree 17.8%
High School Diploma 10.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 9.9%
Some College Courses 6.7%

75.3% of homeland security workers have at least a bachelor's. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in homeland security have received.


This of course varies depending on which homeland security career you choose.

Homeland Security Careers

Average Number of Jobs
$52.2k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Graduates will have learned a broad set of skills they can apply to a number of different occupations. Many grads work for the department of homeland security as federal agents, law enforcement officers or first responders. Other options are to become a law maker, detective, government lawyer or police officer.

Growth Projected for Homeland Security Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your homeland security degree? Homeland Security careers are expected to grow 8.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to homeland security.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Professors 258,700 9.4%
Police and Detective Supervisors 111,600 6.6%
Protective Service Worker Supervisors 78,700 4.7%
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Professors 19,400 12.1%

Homeland Security Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated homeland security students earned an average of $52,213 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $25,085 to as high as $125,347. As you might expect, salaries for homeland security graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Homeland Security Careers

Salaries for homeland security graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers homeland security grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Police and Detective Supervisors $93,100
Emergency Management Directors $82,570
Professors $76,990
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Professors $72,390

Getting Your Homeland Security Degree

With over 577 different homeland security degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased homeland security school rankings to help you with this.


Study Areas in Homeland Security

One of 4 majors within the Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting area of study, Homeland Security has other similar majors worth exploring.

Homeland Security Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Homeland Security 3,012
Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management 2,709
Critical Infrastructure Protection 978
Other Homeland Security 228
Terrorism & Counterterrorism Operations 213

View All Homeland Security Focus Areas >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Criminal Justice & Corrections 113,121
Fire Protection 13,766
Security Science and Technology 6,888
Other Homeland Security 1,695

View All Homeland Security Related Majors >


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