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An online associate in homeland security degree prepares learners for entry-level positions in areas like policing, transportation security, and border patrol.

Graduates can also pursue further study with a bachelor's degree in homeland security or a related field, like criminal justice or cybercrime.

Students interested in homeland security and related fields enjoy strong job prospects. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects roles for information security analysts to grow 32% between 2018 and 2028. These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree, and they made a median salary of $98,350 in 2018.

Top 10 Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs 2020

#1 Keiser University Fort Lauderdale, FL
#2 Campbell University Buies Creek, NC
#3 White Mountains Community College Berlin, NH
#4 Hawai'i Pacific University Honolulu, HI
#5 Central Wyoming College Riverton, WY
#6 Barton Community College Great Bend, KS
#7 Tidewater Community College Norfolk, VA
#8 Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown, NC
#9 Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh, PA
#10 Trident Technical College Charleston, SC

Table of Contents

This guide covers important information for prospective students considering a homeland security associate degree.

Best Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs

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4

Hawai'i Pacific University 

Honolulu, HI

About this school

Hawai'i Pacific University is a private, nonprofit institution that boasts one of the most culturally diverse student bodies in the world. Students enjoy small class sizes and innovative programs that meet society's changing needs. HPU offers several associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees online, including a fully online associate of science in homeland security.

In addition to general education classes, learners take homeland security courses on topics like disaster preparedness and response, dimensions in terrorism, and careers in homeland security. Students can also choose from electives like violence in the American society, cybersecurity, and justice systems.

Graduates understand homeland security from political, criminal justice, and historical perspectives. They can pursue entry-level employment at local, state, and federal government agencies or transfer to bachelor's programs, such as HPU's undergraduate degrees in diplomacy and military studies or international studies.

Learners can access free counseling, online library services, and online tutoring for lower-level courses. Candidates must submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and a personal essay. Members of the military fill out a different application and receive access to a specialized admission counselor.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
47%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
5

Central Wyoming College 

Riverton, WY

About this school

In addition to a variety of certificate and degree programs, Central Wyoming College hosts community enrichment courses, Wyoming PBS, and fine arts centers. The school's online associate of arts in criminal justice includes general education, criminal justice, and elective courses.

Criminal justice classes cover criminal legal procedures, criminology, introduction to corrections, and research in criminal justice. Students build on foundational criminal justice coursework through electives in homeland security. Students should reference each year's academic catalog to determine available homeland security electives.

Graduates can work in roles like corrections officer or law enforcement officer. They can also pursue entry-level positions at federal agencies or enroll in a bachelor's program. CWC has a transfer agreement with Regis University to facilitate seamless transfers for graduates.

The fully online program uses flexible, asynchronous courses, and distance learners have online access to the school's library. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts. CWC uses ACT or SAT scores for class placement but not for admission decisions.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
42%
Percent Receiving Loans
18%
6

Barton Community College 

Great Bend, KS

About this school

Established in 1969, Barton Community College serves approximately 15,000 learners each year. Barton's Hazardous Materials and Emergency Services Training Institute offers online and on-campus programs, including an online associate degree in emergency management.

Students in this program examine homeland security topics through an emergency management lens. The fully online, 64-credit program includes 18 general education credits and 46 emergency management and homeland security credits. Required courses include introduction to terrorism, mitigation for emergency managers, and GIS for emergency operations.

Barton offers 15 online terms per year, spanning four, six, eight, and 16 weeks. Barton accepts transfer credit from standardized tests, accredited institutions, professional certifications, and military experience. Degree candidates must earn at least 15 credits from Barton to graduate.

Candidates complete admission and scholarship applications online. Once accepted, they can submit ACT or ACCUPLACER scores to determine appropriate placement in general education courses, such as mathematics and English. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
32%
Percent Receiving Loans
25%
7

Tidewater Community College 

Norfolk, VA

About this school

Tidewater Community College is the second-largest community college in Virginia, serving more than 34,000 learners every year. The school's online associate of applied science in criminal justice offers specializations in forensic science, homeland security, and public law.

The 61-credit, online degree in homeland security includes general education, criminal justice, and homeland security courses. Criminal justice courses include introduction to law enforcement, law enforcement organization and administration, and principles in criminal investigation. Students can pursue homeland security electives on topics like homeland security and law, transportation and border security, and terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Students must take some homeland security courses on campus in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, or Portsmouth. Applicants must have clean driving records and pass a background check. Prospective learners must also prove college readiness through high school coursework, ACT or SAT scores, or the Virginia Placement Test.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
23%
Percent Receiving Loans
27%
8

Guilford Technical Community College 

Jamestown, NC

About this school

Established in 1958, Guilford Technical Community College educates more than 35,000 learners each year. Online students can choose from several associate degrees, including an associate of applied science in criminal justice technology with a certificate in homeland security.

The online homeland security degree includes 66 general education and criminal justice technology credits and 14 homeland security certificate credits. Criminal justice technology courses cover topics like civil liability, law enforcement operations, and corrections. Certificate candidates take homeland security courses on topics such as organized crime, threat assessment, and high-risk situations.

Graduates can work in roles like police officer, Transportation Security Administration officer, and state trooper. They can also transfer to four-year programs. Some learners may apply work credit toward the degree. Learners can earn the degree and certificate entirely online. Candidates must submit official transcripts and standardized test results.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
20%
Percent Receiving Loans
33%
9

Community College of Allegheny County 

Pittsburgh, PA

About this school

Established in 1966, Community College of Allegheny County now offers more than 160 educational programs, including 17 fully online associate degrees, such as an online degree in homeland security.

The 61-63-credit associate of science in homeland security includes courses in principles of information security, introduction to homeland security grant writing, principle of emergency services, and perspectives on terrorism. Learners with police academy, Pennsylvania firefighter, or Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Technician certificates may waive some course requirements. Graduates can work in border, seaport, and airport security.

The fully online program lasts four semesters. CCAC accepts transfer credits from standardized tests, portfolio reviews, and the Pittsburgh Job Corps. CCAC offers an open admission policy, admitting all adults with a high school diploma or equivalent. Candidates must submit standardized test results to determine appropriate math and English course placements.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
15%
Percent Receiving Loans
29%
10

Trident Technical College 

Charleston, SC

About this school

Trident Technical College hosts more than 15,000 students through over 150 academic programs annually. TTC offers accelerated semesters and low tuition rates. The school's online degree in homeland security management teaches students how to protect people and infrastructure during emergencies.

The 60-credit associate of applied science in homeland security management includes 15 general education credits, 36 major credits, and nine elective credits. Required homeland security classes include terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, constitutional law, ethics in criminal justice, and critical incident management.

The fully online degree uses a flexible, asynchronous format. Graduates can work in roles such as information technology specialist, program analyst, and mission support specialist.

Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
14%
Percent Receiving Loans
34%
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Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is Homeland Security?

Homeland security refers to the protection of a country from domestic and international threats such as terrorism, natural disasters, and man-made disasters.

Homeland security refers to the protection of a country from domestic and international threats such as terrorism, natural disasters, and man-made disasters. Professionals who earn an online degree in homeland security can work in a variety of fields, including immigration, travel security, and policing. Some professionals work on the frontlines of national security by serving in the FBI or CIA, while others combat digital crimes using cybersecurity technology.

All homeland security professionals must take an oath to uphold the Constitution. They also need keen attention to detail, a commitment to seeing work through to the end, and strong communication and collaboration skills.

What Is an Associate in Homeland Security Degree?

Many homeland security jobs require professionals to possess a bachelor's degree, but an associate degree can prepare students for support roles or further study at the bachelor's level. An online associate degree in homeland security includes general education and major-specific courses, and typically takes two years of full-time study to complete.

In these programs, learners study the methods that homeland security organizations use to protect communities and explore the foundations of the country's criminal justice and homeland security systems. Major courses cover weapons of mass destruction, criminology, cybersecurity, terrorism, and biosecurity.

Applicants typically must hold a high school diploma or GED and submit official transcripts. Some schools may also request a statement of purpose or letters of recommendation.

Where Can an Associate Degree in Homeland Security Take Me?

Graduates with an online associate degree in homeland security can pursue a bachelor's degree in homeland security or a related field. We cover several common types of bachelor's programs for homeland security below.

Bachelor's in Homeland Security

Bachelor's in homeland security programs build on the skills and knowledge gained in an associate degree, examining advanced concepts in areas such as cybersecurity, criminology, domestic and international terrorism, and emergency management.

Many bachelor's in homeland security programs include an internship that allows learners to gain practical experience in the field. Some schools offer a standalone bachelor's in homeland security, while others offer a criminal justice degree with a concentration in homeland security.

Bachelor's in Emergency Management

Bachelor's in emergency management programs teach students how to manage natural and man-made disasters. Graduates can work as emergency management directors, management analysts, law enforcement supervisors, and environmental health and safety managers.

Learners study topics like project management and budgeting for emergencies and disasters, risk perception awareness, and GIS for emergency and disaster management. These professionals need strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Bachelor's in Criminal Justice

A bachelor's in criminal justice is an interdisciplinary degree that examines concepts in forensic science, criminology, homeland security, and cybersecurity. Learners study topics like criminal law and procedure, ethics in criminal justice, and leadership in law enforcement.

Some programs include concentrations that allow students to tailor the degree to their interests and goals. Common concentrations include corrections, rehabilitation, law enforcement, and research methods. Graduates can work as corrections managers, crime scene investigators, and FBI agents.

Bachelor's in Cybercrime

Bachelor's in cybercrime programs examine the ways that technology and criminal justice intersect. Students learn how to recognize and address fraud, digital infiltration, and security breaches.

Common course topics include virtualization and cloud security, advanced ethical hacking, incident response and malware analysis, and security information and event management.

Graduates can work as security software developers, security consultants, cryptographers, and security analysts.

Homeland Security Jobs

Graduates with a homeland security degree can pursue many fields, depending on their interests and background. The most obvious option is to work for the department of homeland security, but there are other options, too. Several common jobs and potential salaries for homeland security graduates are listed below.

Police Officers

Police officers work to enforce local laws and monitor communities. They may patrol a specific neighborhood, make traffic stops, arrest suspects, and respond to emergency calls. Officers may also track and observe suspected criminals and collect evidence.

Some precincts require or prefer officers to hold a college degree, while others only require a high school diploma. All candidates must graduate from a police training academy before beginning work. Police officers need strong leadership, communication, and decision-making skills.

Median Annual Salary

$63,380

Projected Growth Rate

5%

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts protect the digital components of a business or government agency. They conduct scans for security breaches, install encryption and firewall software, and contract with ethical hackers to find weak points of entry.

These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree, though some hiring managers prefer a graduate degree. Information security analysts must be detail-oriented and have strong problem-solving and analytical skills.

Median Annual Salary

$98,350

Projected Growth Rate

32%

Emergency Management Directors

Emergency management directors create and implement response plans for man-made and natural disasters. They assess potential emergencies, work with other public safety professionals, share resources, and develop emergency response training programs.

These detail-oriented professionals must consider catastrophes from every angle to create sophisticated response procedures. Emergency management directors need a bachelor's degree and relevant experience.

Median Annual Salary

$74,420

Projected Growth Rate

5%

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Homeland Security?

Homeland security focuses on domestic and international terrorism.

What Is an Associate in Homeland Security Degree?

An associate in homeland security is a two-year degree that provides learners with the cornerstone skills and knowledge needed to both excel in entry-level positions and pursue further study after graduation.

What Can You Do With a Homeland Security Degree?

Graduates with a homeland security associate degree can pursue entry-level roles in areas like security, infrastructure, surveillance, and emergency preparedness, or they can enroll in bachelor's programs.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Homeland Security?

It typically takes two years of full-time study to earn an associate degree.

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