National Defense and Homeland Security Graduate Programs
What is a Masters Degree in National Security?
Homeland Security and National Defense Graduate Programs may help professionals gain advanced knowledge and skills in preventing and responding to natural and man-made emergencies and disasters. As a field, national defense and homeland security spans public and private sectors across industries and impacts local, national, and global entities.
Students may also explore the field’s many facets and learn how to apply core theories, principles, and concepts to practice.
National Defense and Homeland Security Certificate Programs
At the graduate level, national defense and homeland security certificate programs may help professionals gain broad-based knowledge of national defense and homeland securities issues, strategies, and applications at multiple levels of government and, depending on the program, across industries. Homeland Security and National Defense Graduate Programs curricula might be multidisciplinary and cover subjects such as those listed below.
- Foundations of national defense and homeland security
- Practical applications of national defense and homeland security
- Approaches to national defense and homeland security
- Comparative methods of national defense and homeland security
- Strategic planning and tactics of national defense and homeland security
- Law, politics, and sociology of national defense and homeland security
- Contemporary issues in national defense and homeland security
GradSchools.com Top Schools with National Defense and Homeland Security Masters Degrees*
Start Date: 01/14/2019
Format / Location - Online
Total Enrollments - 10,861+
Student / Teacher Ratio - 1:1
Format / Location - Online
Total Enrollments - 44,560+
Student / Teacher Ratio - 18:1
Start Date: 05/28/2019
Format / Location - Online
Total Enrollments - 5,289+
Student / Teacher Ratio - 12:1
Start Date: 01/14/2019
Format / Location - Online
Total Enrollments - 1,379+
Student / Teacher Ratio - 11:1
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Some graduate certificate programs in national defense and homeland security might be more specialized and cover subjects such as terrorism, emergency management, or military defense.
Most curricula in graduate certificate programs comprise core and elective coursework that give students foundational knowledge of national defense and homeland security and areas specific to their personal and professional interests. In many cases, students can earn a graduate certificate in national defense and homeland security through three months to one year of fulltime on-campus or online study. Many programs consist of just four to ten courses. This may make it a great option for professionals interested in further developing their knowledge or those interested in the field but not yet ready for a longer degree program. In some cases, students can transfer their certificate credits to a master’s degree program down the road. To determine transferability, students should consult a director in the program.
Masters in Homeland Security and Masters in National Security Programs
National defense and homeland security master’s programs come in three primary forms: the Master of Science (M.S.), the Master of Arts (M.A.), and the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.). Students might pursue any one of these degrees in subjects such as national defense, homeland security, emergency management, terrorism studies, or another area of national security, including national security itself. Students commonly take core and elective coursework, the latter of which might culminate in a concentration or specialization. Some core subjects students might study in a master’s in homeland security or master's in national defense program include the following.
- Foundations of homeland security and national defense
- Applications and approaches to homeland security and national defense
- Administration of homeland security and national defense
- Social and ethical issues in homeland security and national defense
- Terrorism and counterterrorism in homeland security and national defense
- Threats and violence in homeland security and national defense
- Strategic planning in homeland security and national defense
- Historical and contemporary issues in homeland security and national defense
- Comparative methodologies in homeland security and national defense
Elective courses may help students narrow their focus to specific areas of national defense and homeland security. Some areas in which students might focus their masters in national security studies include emergency management, terrorism and counterterrorism, military defense, crisis and disaster management, leadership, management, administration, international relations, psychology of defense, and numerous others. Students in more specialized programs, such as terrorism or emergency management programs, for example, might study more specific subjects like these as part of their core curricula. They might also study a particular region of the world, such as Mexico, Europe, or the Middle East, as it relates to national defense and homeland security.
Students who pursue a master's in homeland security or national defense typically do so over the course of one to two years of intensive or fulltime study. They commonly take ten to twenty courses across disciplines. Depending on their program, students might conclude their studies by writing a thesis or taking a comprehensive exam. Some masters in security studies programs however, do not require students to do either. Instead they may require the completion of a special project or presentation in a capstone course. Additionally, some students might engage in internships in public or private entities or participate in a study abroad program. Contact individual masters in homeland security programs for details.
National Defense and Homeland Security Doctorate Programs
Those who wish to pursue a doctorate in homeland security or national defense will likely do so through one of four forms: the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), the Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), the Doctor of Business Administration, and the Doctor of Management. Any of these four degrees might emphasize homeland security, national defense, or another area of security through core and elective coursework.
Through their core coursework, doctorate students commonly study subjects similar to those in a master’s degree program but perhaps in greater depth and breadth. They might also study subjects such as management, leadership, and administration, especially in D.M. and D.B.A. programs. Students in doctorate programs commonly study qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and statistics extensively. Many doctorate programs are research-intensive and require students to gain knowledge of historical and contemporary research in homeland security and national defense.
Through their elective curricula, students might pursue a concentration or specialization in areas such as comparative politics, political economy, political theory, science, technology, public policy, homeland security enterprise, innovation in homeland security and national defense, public health, emergency planning, management, and others.
Students typically earn a D.B.A., D.M., Sc.D., or Ph.D. in homeland security and national defense through four to six years of fulltime study. To conclude their programs, students might write a dissertation (an intensive research project) and defend it to a committee of advisors, take a comprehensive exam, do an internship, or do student teaching. In D.B.A. and D.M. programs—the more business oriented of the four—students might engage with a mentor in business or management.
What Careers Might I Pursue with a Degree in Homeland Security and National Defense?
Professionals in a variety of occupations might pursue a graduate certificate or degree in homeland security and national defense. EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, security guards, protective services professionals, members of the military, and professionals in local, state, and federal governments are just some examples. With an advanced certificate or degree, they might seek management or administrative positions, or positions that require specialized or advanced knowledge. Here are some examples of occupations that professionals with homeland security and national defense graduate certificates and masters degrees might pursue.
- Emergency Management Directors: professionals in this occupation earned a median annual salary of $67,330 as of 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that this occupation will grow by six percent between 2014 and 2024 (which is about as fast as average for all occupations)[i]
- Training and Development Managers: professionals in this occupation across industries earned a median annual salary of $102,640 as of 2015. The BLS predicts that this occupation will grow by seven percent between 2014 and 2024 (which is about as fast as average for all occupations)[ii]
- Administrative Services Managers: professionals in this occupation earned a median annual salary of $86,110 as of 2015. The BLS predicts that this occupation will grow by eight percent between 2014 and 2024 (which is as fast as average for all occupations)[iii]
- Military careers: professionals in this occupation earned anywhere from $1,566 per month to $16,072.20 per month[iv]
These are just some of the many occupations professionals with graduate certificates or masters in homeland security and national defense degrees might fill. (Note: The typical entry level education for many of these positions may be a bachelor’s degree).
Top 158 National Security Graduate Programs
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/management/mobile/emergency-management-directors.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/military/military-careers.htm#tab-5
Are you prepared to influence and advance the future of business practice? Walden University’s ACBSP-accredited Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program examines some of the challenges and prospects that currently exist in the dynamic wo...
American UniversityUpcoming Start Date: May 28, 2019
American University's Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security is an online, 33-credit degree for law enforcement and intelligence professionals who wish to specialize in homeland security.
Utica CollegeUpcoming Start Date: January 14, 2019
The Online MS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Intelligence teaches students to proactively address ever-changing attack and infiltration techniques.
Saint Joseph's University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
The Master of Science in Cyber and Homeland Security (MSCHSA) program is administered by the School of Administrative Science (SAS) from the Metropolitan Campus and is conducted off-campus (week nights and Saturdays) and online...
- Teaneck, NJ
Purdue University GlobalUpcoming Start Date: January 23, 2019
- Saint Louis, MO
- Rockville, MD
- Omaha, NE
- Milwaukee, WI
- Mason City, IA
- Lewiston, ME
- Indianapolis, IN
- Hagerstown, MD
- Des Moines, IA
- Davenport, IA
- Cedar Rapids, IA
- Augusta, ME
- South Portland, ME
Eastern Kentucky University
Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management - Concentration in Homeland Security
The Homeland Security Concentration is designed to meet the demands and challenges of the real world and its ever-changing threats to the security of the nation. The curriculum of the Homeland Security concentration focuses on current issues that affect...
Grand Canyon University
The Master of Science in Leadership with an Emphasis in Homeland Security and Emergency Management degree focuses on the role of leadership and the immediate application of ethical and practical leadership skills.
Pennsylvania State University
Prepare to prevent and respond to man-made and natural disasters - earn a Master's in Homeland Security degree online at Penn State. The 33-credit program offers many specializations that mirror the diverse nature of the field. ...
Liberty University OnlineUpcoming Start Date: January 14, 2019
Liberty University’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security, 100% online program, is designed to train criminal justice professionals for leadership roles.
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is proud to be one of just a handful of universities in the United States to offer a Master of Science degree in Homeland Security. The program is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the homeland s...
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Greenwood Village, CO
- Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern UniversityUpcoming Start Date: March 11, 2019
Students in this program will build a core understanding of critical issues informing the field of national security today.
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
Upper Iowa University
The purpose of the M.P.A. with a Homeland Security emphasis is to prepare the learner for successful management of government and not-for-profit...
University of Maryland University College
UMUC's Master of Science in Management program is designed for professionals who are assuming increasing management...
St. Louis University
There are three Master in Science degree program options, all of which are taught entirely using distance technology through...
- Monterey, CAMonterey, CA
Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Trains professionals for careers in analyzing, preventing, and responding to terrorist threats and the spread of WMDs.
- Fairfax, VAFairfax, VA
Missouri State University
Provides professional, graduate level academic education & training for careers in national security policy, defense analysis...
- Keele, United KingdomKeele, United Kingdom
Keele is a residential campus university set in beautiful Staffordshire parkland.
- Denver, CODenver, CO
University of Denver
The University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies is a leader among institutions of higher learning that prepare students for tr...
- Urbana, ILUrbana, IL
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Areas of Specialization:War and Society in Early Modern Europe War and Society in South Asia War and Society in Ancient Greece and Rome Mexican-Americ...
- Ithaca, NYIthaca, NY
The graduate program in Government at Cornell is designed to prepare students for academic and research careers as political scientists competent in t...