Affordable Online Bachelor's in Homeland Security

Updated December 1, 2022

The field of Homeland Security has exploded since 2001, when the U.S. government created the department of Homeland Security, and it's never been as easy to break into the field with the availability of accredited online homeland security degree programs. Today the Department of Homeland Security is one of the country's largest federal agencies and employs nearly 185,000 ... is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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The field of Homeland Security has exploded since 2001, when the U.S. government created the department of Homeland Security, and it's never been as easy to break into the field with the availability of accredited online homeland security degree programs.

Today the Department of Homeland Security is one of the country's largest federal agencies and employs nearly 185,000 workers, and jobs in the private sector have continued to grow as well. A bachelor's degree in Homeland Security, Emergency Management, or a related field is ideal for anyone who loves criminal justice but wants to specifically focus on issues of terrorism and disaster relief.

Since the turn of the 21st century, more and more universities have begun to offer such degrees, and many online colleges have even added the program to their repertoire. This is great news for working professionals or busy parents who need to be able to take classes on their own time. The other big benefit of choosing distance education is that many of these schools are less expensive than traditional universities, and in fact none of the schools on this list cost more than about $16,000 a year! You should also note that the numbers we have included are raw tuition rates - if you qualify for financial aid or scholarships, you could save even more money on your college education.


We also feel the need to stress that just because these programs are online does not mean that they lack quality. The schools appearing in this ranking are the least expensive of their kind, according to the U.S. Department of Education's College Navigator database. These are all reputable, accredited schools that frequently make it on to national rankings by top publications, including U.S. News & World ReportForbesWashington Monthly, and Businessweek. They are listed according to their tuition (most expensive first), and we placed public institutions based on the average of their in-state and out-of-state rates.

Cheap Online Homeland Security Degree Program Rankings

#1 American Military University Charles Town, WV
#2 Thomas Edison State College Trenton, NJ
#3 Vincennes University Vincennes, IN
#4 Northcentral University Prescott Valley, AZ
#5 University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
#6 Colorado Technical University Colorado Springs, CO
#7 Franklin University Columbus, OH
#8 Herzing University Akron, OH
#9 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL
#10 National University La Jolla, CA

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. American Military University

    Charles Town, WV



    American Military University is a division of the American Public University System and is inarguably a cheap online college. At just $250 per credit, AMU offers an affordable online college education to just about anyone - and that's before you consider financial aid or credit from previous universities! The major requirements for the Homeland Security program at AMU focus on law enforcement, intelligence, chemical and biological hazards, weapons of mass destruction, immigration law and policy, and other topics that often attract military members, veterans, and other professionals interested in political science. The curriculum also gives students the opportunity to explore topics of particular relevance in the digital age, such as cyberlaw and cybercrime. This accredited online college is the #1 provider of education to the U.S. military, and an incredible 95% of seniors say they would choose AMU again. Because of the affordable and reputation of this great school, it's the logical choice for earning an online homeland security degree.

  2. Thomas Edison State College

    Trenton, NJ



    TESC is an accredited online college designed exclusively for adults. It is also one of the best online colleges available to distance education learners, and has been regularly recognized by Forbes, The New York Times,, the National University Technology Network, and others since the 1990s for its commitment to online education. Students in the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program must complete 120 credits to graduate, and take classes such as "Counterterrorism: Constitutional and Legislative Issues," "Protecting the Homeland, Response and Recovery," and "Social Impact of Disasters in the Community." TESC students must also complete a Capstone course and select a number of electives to round out their online homeland security degree.

  3. Vincennes University

    Vincennes, IN



    Vincennes University, labeled as "Indiana's First College," offers a number of distance education courses, including a program in Homeland Security delivered entirely online. The online college administrators created the program with a focus on excellence and innovation in education, and as a result have collaborated with highly experienced homeland security professionals and professors of superior caliber. This bachelor's degree will prepare you for careers with the DEA, FBI, and other federal agencies that require four-year degrees. The school also hosts conferences known as the "Homeland Security and Public Safety Community Academies," has a club just for aspiring HS professionals, and provides resources for students who want to pursue an internship. College Prowler reports that the vast majority of students consider this online college "worth the money" and full of "knowledgeable professors."

  4. Northcentral University

    Prescott Valley, AZ



    Northcentral University is an accredited online college that has uniquely chosen to structure its Homeland Security program around a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Students can take advantage of all the resources offered by the School of Business and Technology while also immersing themselves in the study of air and ground transportation security, public health management, biological terrorism, intelligence management, cyber protection, and more. Northcentral has positioned itself as a best online college by certifying that 100% of its professors have PhDs and emulating the one-to-one teaching method proposed by the Oxford Learning Model.

  5. University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Fairbanks, AK



    If the programs at the University of Alaska appeal to you, there's good news: you won't have to brave the snowy tundra in order to capitalize on the school's excellent selection of degrees. UA Fairbanks offers 100% online college classes for virtual learners, and has structured the HSEM program in particular to be delivered entirely through distance education. As a division of the school of management, the online homeland security degree program covers a range of topics related to Homeland Security, all grounded in the study of real-world experiences and practical scenarios. UA Fairbanks, including its top online school, has been recognized for its quality by such reputable publications as Forbes and Washington Monthly.

  6. Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Springs, CO



    Colorado Technical University is a top online college with a HSEM program a cut above the rest; this B.S. in Criminal Justice was developed in conjunction with the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School. This means that students enrolled at CTU benefit from a curriculum developed by true experts in the field. The 182 credit program allows people to specialize in one of five areas, and students who want to branch out from Homeland Security might also consider Forensic Investigation, Cybercrime and Security, Human Services, or a General concentration. Alumni speak overwhelmingly positively about their time at this affordable online college, including nearly 90% reporting satisfaction with their education.

  7. Franklin University

    Columbus, OH



    Franklin University is not only one of the most affordable online colleges, it is also one of the best schools for veterans, as recognized by Military Advanced Education Magazine for several years running. Military members and veterans in particular might be attracted to the school's Emergency Management and Homeland Security program, especially if they are considered going to college online. The online homeland security degree curriculum covers crisis response and disaster management, threat assessment, safety and security operations, labor relations, fiscal administration, risk management, and of course homeland security. As a graduate of Franklin, you could end up in a satisfying career anywhere from the FBI to a casino in Las Vegas.

  8. Herzing University

    Akron, OH



    Herzing University created its online college program in Homeland Security in response to the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2001. The degree is formulated to give students a top online college experience, and is characterized by the study of security threats, intelligence analysis, organizational safety, terrorism risk, investigations, and the management of critical incidents. Herzing is an accredited online college that targets its program toward people who have great respect for authority, can work well alone and in groups, respond well under stress, and can pay attention to details. For more than one year, this university has been listed as a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs.

  9. Florida Institute of Technology

    Melbourne, FL



    Florida Tech Online is the online college division of the Florida Institute of Technology, a well known school offering dozens of degree programs to students. One such degree is the B.A. in Criminal Justice Homeland Security, a career-focused program that combines liberal arts learning with the development of industry-specific skills. You'll learn about parole, law enforcement, corrections, and probation, while also studying the specifics of public safety, natural disasters, terrorism, disaster relief, and threats to national security. This online homeland security degree could be a good fit for you regardless of whether or not you have no criminal justice experience or are a professional looking to grow your career. PayScale rates this top online college #2 in Return on Investment in the state of Florida, while the Times Higher Education has ranked it one of the best 200 universities in the world.

  10. National University

    La Jolla, CA



    National University's Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management infuses classes with both theoretical and practical exploration of the politics and cultures of terrorism, management aspects of disasters, security issues, pending emergencies, and more. Graduates frequently go on to work in disaster management in the public sector, nonprofit organizations, and security. Some students also enroll in the transition program, which is available to those with at least a 3.0 GPA and allows them move seamlessly from undergraduate work to classes that will earn them a Master's in Public Administration. NU is the second largest, private, non-profit postsecondary institution in California and is considered a top online college for granting degrees to women and minorities.

Related articles:

College Prowler
The New York Times
USA Today
Times Higher Education
GI Jobs
Washington Monthly
The National University Technology Network
College Navigator

About the Author:
Iris Stone got her start in writing when she began working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Check out her Google+ Profile.

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