The 10 Best Online Associates in Homeland Security Degrees

Online Associates in Homeland Security - featured image

Online Associates in Homeland Security degrees were created as a result of the creation of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Indeed, it’s safe to say that every homeland security program is designed by the stated missions of the DHS.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002, or the Homeland Security Law, states that the DHS is in charge of overseeing the coordination of the actions of the federal government with other public and private instrumentalities.

Take a look: The 20 Easiest Online Associate Degrees

Quick Summarization 

Homeland security professionals usually have a college education – an associate degree in homeland security is an excellent start. With the dynamic and diverse nature of homeland security careers, the opportunities for career advancement are aplenty. You will find many online programs that promise an excellent entry point into the homeland security field.

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While Homeland Security professionals come from diverse backgrounds, an associate degree in Homeland Security can get your foot in the door. Choose the best program that determines your future career trajectory.

Note, too, that homeland security careers cut across multiple disciplines. There are also options for working in front and behind the scenes, thus, creating more job possibilities. 

Start by exploring each of the best Associates in Homeland Security programs offered online by the country’s leading colleges, as evidenced by these program features:

  • Delivered 100% online learning format or blended learning for flexible classes,
  • Presents a comprehensive foundation of Homeland Security, featuring general education courses and introductions to the concepts of national security, emergency response and management, international crime, cybersecurity, and infrastructure security, among others,
  • Instills in each student the skills required to thrive in the field of Homeland Security, including critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and attention to detail,
  • A Learning Management System or virtual learning platform that emphasizes easy access to coursework and convenient discussions and communication,
  • Features teaching personnel that have earned a reputation for extensive experience and expertise in Homeland Security, either as a seasoned instructor or a DHS officer or expert,
  • Highlights associate degree program affordability through financial aid programs,
  • Accredited by academic organizations that set the quality of online teaching standards at the associate level,
  • Recognized by Homeland Security associations and groups.

Learn more about our college ranking process. Check out our Methodology page.

Online Associates in Homeland Security

10 Best Online Associate in Homeland Security Degree Programs

The school rankings for these associate degrees in homeland security programs took into account our methodology. All of these homeland security degrees, furthermore, are recognized by employers in both the public and private sectors. 

Georgia Military College

Georgia Military College

The Associate of Arts (AA) in Homeland Security & Emergency Management program at GMC is among the best programs because of its comprehensive coverage. Online students learn the fundamentals of homeland security law, emergency management, risk analysis, and strategic planning. 

Graduates of the homeland security program are prepared for immediate employment and further studies. There are plenty of workplaces that recognize their education, such as police departments and emergency management agencies. 

Online students must earn 95-98 quarter hours to be awarded the associate degree in homeland security. GMC’s core curriculum includes courses in communication, quantitative and liberal arts skills. 

The concentration courses in the associate degree in homeland security program include: 

  • Introduction to homeland security and emergency management 
  • Terrorism and International Crime

Online students in the associate in homeland security degree program learn about homeland security principles and practices. 

Financial aid is available. This is well-recognized online homeland security with Georgia Military College being respected for its high academic standards. GMC is accredited by the SACSCOC or Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges as a public military junior college. 

Campbell University

Campbell University

Online students in the Associate of Science (AS) in Homeland Security program at Campbell University benefit from the 8-week accelerated terms. Many are adult learners pursuing career advancement via an associate degree, too. 

The homeland security program has a comprehensive curriculum with courses in: 

  • Critical infrastructure protection 
  • Homeland security 
  • Introduction to cybersecurity 
  • Terrorism 
  • Intelligence and national security 

Graduates awarded the associate in homeland security degree can demonstrate proficiency in several key areas in homeland security. These include the real-world applications of homeland security management principles for domestic and international security.

The associate degree in homeland security can also be transferred to a bachelor’s degree program. Electives can result in broader knowledge of criminal justice, border security, or emergency management. Graduates, however, can pursue law enforcement careers. 

Financial aid is available to students of the online homeland security program. Campbell University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Trident University International

Trident University

The online Associate of Science (AS) in Homeland Security program at Trident is a convenient and flexible program for aspiring homeland security professionals. Online students develop their multidisciplinary knowledge in emergency management and homeland security. 

The curriculum in the associate degree in homeland security has a progressive approach. Students build on their knowledge in: 

  • Humanities and fine arts 
  • Quantitative skills 
  • Criminal justice 
  • Social and behavioral sciences 
  • Business administration and management 

This is a 60-credit online program. Up to 16 credits can be transferred against free electives, too. 

Students also participate in disaster simulations and security scenarios that mimic real-world situations. The associate degree in homeland security program adopts the case-based approach, too. 

Graduates of the associate in homeland security program can transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree. Trident also offers a master’s in a homeland security program. 

Admission to the homeland security program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Military training credits are accepted. 

Peninsula College

Peninsula College

The next generation of homeland security professionals trains at the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Homeland Security Emergency Management program! Students learn the basic knowledge and skills for effective emergency management response. 

Online students earn 98 credits in the associate degree in a homeland security program.

The program of study in the associate in homeland security degree program includes courses in: 

  • Introduction to Emergency Management
  • Technology in Emergency Management
  • All Hazards Emergency Planning
  • Disaster Response and Recovery
  • Emergency Response Awareness to Terrorism

In pursuing an associate degree in homeland security, online students also develop soft skills. Communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills development are encouraged. 

Students also complete a work-based experience to earn a homeland security degree. 

The costs of the online homeland security degree are reduced through financial aid. Peninsula College is a component of the Washington Community and Technical Colleges system. 

Keiser University

Keiser University

The Associate of Arts (AA) in Homeland Security program at Keiser University provides students with a comprehensive review of the DHS. Online students pursuing a degree in homeland security develop basic technical skills in international terrorism countermeasures. 

The curriculum of the associate in homeland security program consists of 60 credits.

Courses include: 

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Introduction to Homeland Security
  • Domestic and International Terrorism
  • Bio-Terrorism: Hazardous Materials & Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Emergency Planning and Security Measures

Financial aid is available, meaning the associate degree in homeland security is affordable. This is also a respected homeland security degree, thanks to Keiser University’s reputation. Keiser is accredited by the SACSCOC. 

Trident Technical College

Trident Technical College

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Homeland Security program at Trident Tech prepares online students for successful careers. Possible opportunities are in the areas of international and domestic terrorism and emergency management. 

The associate in homeland security has a 60-credit curriculum with courses in: 

  • Introduction to Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Criminal Justice Research Methods
  • Transportation and Border Security
  • Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Students must also comply with the grade requirements, among others, of the online associate degree program. The homeland security degree has immediate workplace applications. 

Prospective students applying for admission into the associate degree in homeland security program must pass qualifying placement exams. They must also show their high school diploma for evaluation.

As a community college, Trident Tech offers financial aid to online homeland security students. Trident Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

SUNY Monroe Community College

SUNY Monroe Community College

The Associate of Science (AS) in Homeland Security at Monroe Community College attracts high school graduates and working adults. Both cohorts tackle general education and homeland security courses for a well-rounded education. 

Upon earning a degree in homeland security, graduates can land jobs in private security firms and government agencies. These are entry-level positions with a possibility for career advancement. 

Online students tackle a homeland security curriculum consisting of 63-64 credits. Concentration courses are in: 

  • Communication and Crisis
  • Introduction to Intelligence Processes
  • Introduction to Emergency Management
  • Introduction to Homeland Security

Students are awarded the homeland security degree once academic requirements, lab sessions, and field experiences are met. The credits can be transferred to one of SUNY’s online bachelor’s degree programs, too. 

Prospective students of the online homeland security program must pass placement tests in math and English. 

Students of the online homeland security program are eligible to apply for financial aid. 

Waldorf University

Waldorf University

The Associate of Arts (AA) in Homeland Security online program at Waldorf University is designed according to DHS functions. Students learn about American homeland security, from its history to its future direction. 

The associate degree in homeland security has transferable credits toward a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and other related fields. Full-time students can earn a homeland security degree in two years. 

Online students must complete the 60-credit homeland security curriculum. Courses include: 

  • Introduction to Terrorism
  • American Homeland Security
  • Terrorism Response Operations
  • Disaster Planning and Management and Disaster Preparedness
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction

General education courses in the online homeland security program comprise 45 credits and cover liberal arts subjects. 

SUNY Broome Community College

SUNY Broome Community College

This is a hybrid Associate of Science (AS) in Homeland Security & Emergency Management program. About 50% of courses are delivered online. But online students receive the same homeland security degree as their on-campus counterparts. 

The 61-credit curriculum features SUNY’s General Education and Liberal Arts courses. The concentration courses are in homeland security, criminal justice, and emergency management. 

The associate degree in homeland security is an academic pathway toward a bachelor’s degree in homeland security and other related fields. Online students can access a tutor for assistance in their academics. 

Online students are advised to avail of financial aid. But SUNY being a public institution means that the tuition costs are more affordable. 

Montgomery College

Montgomery College

This is also a hybrid Associates of Arts (AA) in General Studies – Homeland Security Option program. Montgomery College has articulation agreements with the American Public University and University of Maryland Global Campus. Students can pursue a bachelor’s degree with junior standing. 

Students must complete the 60-credit hour curriculum to be awarded the degree in homeland security. The GPA requirement is 2.0 at least. 

Online students prepare for successful careers in the homeland security field. Graduates possess technical and transferable skills that enable them to gainful employment. 

Financial aid is available for online students at the public community college. 

Additional Information: The 15 Best Online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management & Homeland Security

Overview of Online Associate in Homeland Security Programs   

While online homeland security degree programs have several similarities to their on-campus counterparts, there are also significant differences. Prospective students must be well aware of these aspects before making their decision. 

Admission Requirements 

Prospective students of homeland security online programs must have a high school diploma or its GED equivalent, at least. Credits from an uncompleted associate degree, military training, and other college-level credits are also considered. 

Placement exams and standardized test scores may also be required. A completed online application form is also a must. 

Average Time-to-completion 

Homeland security online programs are designed for completion in two years of full-time studies. Part-time enrollment, however, is allowed but will result in a longer time to completion. 

The number of credits transferred will also affect the time to completion. The higher the number of transferred credits, the shorter the time to earn the associate degree. 

Credits, Curriculum, and Courses  

School rankings of online programs are also influenced by the quality and rigor of their respective homeland security curriculum. Online students of the best online associate degree in homeland security programs find the courses challenging, too. 

Introduction to Homeland Security

The course covers the history, present status and issues, and future directions of the homeland security field. Students learn the terminology, technology, and principles and practices of homeland security. 

Introduction to Criminal Justice

Students discuss the basic aspects of the US criminal justice system including the judicial process and correctional system. 

Introduction to Emergency Management

The course establishes foundational knowledge about disaster and emergency management in the context of 21st-century homeland security. 

Transportation and Border Security

Students learn about transport systems, border security, and supply chain including their wide range of concerns. 

Terrorism and International Crime

The course focuses on the causes, consequences, and nature of domestic and international tourism. The roots of terrorism and terrorist organizations are also covered. 

Online Learning Technology 

Online students in homeland security programs must master multiple online learning technologies if they want to succeed academically. 

Learning Management System

Every online program has a learning management system (LMS) that it adopts for all its students and instructors. Common examples are Blackboard, Canvas, and Moodle. 

Every LMS has its features and functions; however, each system has easy-to-access learning materials for both students and instructors. Both cohorts use the LMS for interactions, collaboration, and productivity purposes, too. 

Assessments and Evaluations 

Every online homeland security program has its specific criteria for grading academic performance and monitoring academic progress. Lessons in the form of reading materials, lectures, and assignments are common in online programs. 

Digital Simulations 

Due to the hands-on nature of disaster preparedness and other aspects of homeland security, many programs have digital simulations. These provide a sense of realism that mimics real-world scenarios without exposing students to risky situations. 

Internship and Practicum Requirements 

Some homeland security associate degree programs offer internship or practicum opportunities to online students. These hands-on experiences in the public and private sectors strengthen theory-centric homeland security education. Aspiring homeland security professionals can, for example, get real-world experience as interns in the criminal justice system. 

The Department of Homeland Security also has internship and training opportunities

Workplace-Ready Skills and Traits 

Aspiring homeland security professionals in online programs must strive to develop technical and transferable skills. The technical skills are par for the course in an associate degree. But transferable skills are mainly your responsibility. 

These skills include: 

  • Communication 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Analytical thinking 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Organization and leadership 
  • Flexible thinking 
  • Fast reactions combined with taking calculated risks 
  • Grace under pressure 

Tuition and Financial Aid 

Online students in homeland security associate degree programs are eligible for financial aid, too. FAFSA is the first resort but be sure to check out institutional and external scholarships, too. 

Per-credit costs vary from $110 to more than $400. Community colleges have more affordable tuition.

Online Associates in Homeland Security - fact

The Diversity of Careers and Occupations in Homeland Security 

Homeland security professionals anticipate, prevent, prepare for and make appropriate responses to natural and manmade threats. These include domestic and international terrorism, pandemics, and hurricanes. By mitigating the impact caused by catastrophic events, homeland security professionals are unsung heroes! 

But people in homeland security jobs must also meet certain criteria that other workers aren’t generally required. These include background checks, criminal record checks, and security clearances. Even students in a typical homeland security program may be asked to undergo background checks! 

Aside from a college degree in homeland security or other related fields, applicants must also be US citizens. These basic parameters are strictly enforced due to the sensitive nature of the jobs. 

Beyond these strict parameters, however, there is a wealth of employers, careers, and occupations related to homeland security! Such diversity means that homeland security careers are among the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding. 

Wide Range of Employers 

It is safe to assume that there isn’t an industry or a person out there who is unaffected by homeland security! Homeland security touches both the public and private sectors, affecting land, air, and sea industries. 

Homeland security jobs are abundant with the federal government and with the state and local governments. Homeland security graduates are present at the DHS as well as the federal departments it works with. Examples include the Departments of Justice, Energy, and Health and Human Services. 

A degree in homeland security can also open doors of opportunities in federal agencies involved in securing the nation. Think of the first responders including emergency management agencies.

While these may not seem like homeland security work, their functions strengthen the work of frontliners in homeland security. 

Graduates of homeland security degree programs also find work in the private industry including for-profit and nonprofit organizations. In fact, security is among their biggest concerns, thus, professionals with skills in physical and virtual security are popular hires!  

Professionals with research skills are also hired for homeland security research projects. Homeland security professionals can also find work in educational institutions. 

Wide Variety of Careers 

Homeland security careers can be defined as any career where workers aid in keeping the nation’s people and places safe and secure. With such an expansive definition, meteorologists, engineers and architects, and doctors can be considered homeland security professionals in their own right. 

But if we are to narrow down the coverage, homeland security professionals are engaged in these lines of work. 

  • Emergency management professionals are involved in the preparedness, mitigation, response, and rehabilitation activities after threats to homeland security. The foremost agency is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in this regard. 
  • Business continuity professionals with homeland security degrees are instrumental in getting businesses up and running after a catastrophic disaster. 
  • Information security professionals may have a degree in homeland security with a specialization in information technology or related fields. Their work involves the protection of all types of information from security threats. 
  • Intelligence analysis is yet another career path for holders of an associate degree in homeland security. Professionals work with information in the prevention, mitigation, and investigation of security threats. 
  • Infrastructure protection refers to the systems that safeguard the communities’ basic services, such as communication, transportation, public health, and utility systems. 
  • Law enforcement careers are a popular choice among students of homeland security degree programs. Police officers and detectives are popular occupations. 
  • Physical security refers to the safety and security of physical infrastructures, such as airports and ports. Many graduates find work in the Transportation Security Administration. 
  • Scientific study and academic occupations are also viable career paths for homeland security graduates. Their scope of the study can include weapons of mass destruction and pandemics. 

With that said, you can have a pick of the best homeland security jobs in your level of education, experience, and interests! Start with an associate degree in homeland security. Not only is it cheaper in cost and shorter in duration than a bachelor’s degree but it establishes a solid foundation in the homeland security field. 

Careers and Salaries of Graduates of Associate in Homeland Security Programs 

An associate degree in homeland security can make you competitive for these entry-level positions in the public and private sectors. 

Police Officers ($62,128/year

Police officers are at the forefront of law enforcement. 

Border Patrol Agents ($78,861/year

Border patrol agents work at border checkpoints on railways, airports, roadways, and other points of entry and exit. They aid in keeping people safe and secure during their travels. 

Transit and Railroad Police Officers ($51,053/year)

These professionals protect the places, people, and products in railroad stations and other transit points. 

Transportation Security Screeners ($63,697/year

Their job involves enforcing the rules and regulations of the Travel Security Administration at various entry and exit points across the country. 

Security Guards ($40,646/year

Security guard positions are well-paying jobs that involve keeping people and property safe and secure from threats. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What degree is best for Homeland Security careers?

A Homeland Security associate degree is the best choice but you can also consider other degrees, such as engineering or fire science. Note that with the far-reaching impact of the homeland security field, you will likely find a job that suits your education, experience, and interests. 

Why do you need a degree in Homeland Security?

Not only will you be able to enjoy the benefits of a successful career but you can contribute to keeping your family, friends, and fellowmen safe from security threats, natural disasters, and the like. 

What are Homeland Security professional organizations that students can join? 

The ASIS or American Society for Industrial Security, the NTOA or National Tactical Officers Association, and the FLEOA or Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association are the most popularly known professional Homeland Security organizations. 

In Conclusion

  • An online associate degree in homeland security is an excellent credential for entry-level positions in the far-reaching field of homeland security.
  • From there, you can earn a bachelor’s degree in management positions.

Also, see: The 15 Most Affordable Online Associate Degree Programs

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor