Homeland Security and National Defense Campus Graduate Programs

For students who prefer face-to-face interaction and love the structure and support of scheduled classes, on-campus national defense and homeland security graduate programs might be a perfect option. On-campus programs typically enable students to settle into a set schedule and interact with classmates and professors in the classroom and during office-hours in person. For many students, the relative predictability and social nature of on-campus programs can make for more successful learning. Not to mention that on-campus students typically gain access to campus resources such as libraries, computer labs, activities centers, and more. If on-campus education is appealing to you, why not explore your Homeland Security and National Defense on Campus graduate program options?

What Might I Learn in an On-Campus Graduate Program in National Defense and Homeland Security?

In homeland security and national defense on campus programs, many professionals develop their general and advanced knowledge of the field and learn how to prevent and respond to natural and man-made disasters and emergencies. Students may learn about national defense and homeland security in public and private-sector contexts and discover how defense and security impact local, national, and global businesses, governments, and organizations. Students might emerge from their programs knowing how to apply key theories, principles, and concepts to practice in the field.

What Types of On-Campus National Defense and Homeland Security Graduate Programs Exist?

You can find graduate certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree programs in homeland security and national defense on campus. Here’s a bit more about each:

On-Campus National Defense and Homeland Security Certificate Programs

Students in on-campus national defense and homeland security certificate programs typically engage in a multidisciplinary study designed to give them general or specific knowledge of national defense and homeland securities issues, strategies, and applications across institutions and industries. In some programs, students might study key theories, concepts, and applications in the field, and in others students might study a specific area of the field in depth.

The curricula in a graduate certificate program might cover subjects such as:  

  • Approaches to national defense and homeland security
  • Comparative methods of national defense and homeland security
  • Foundations of national defense and homeland security
  • Practical applications 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

Some specific areas that programs might cover include terrorism, emergency management, or military defense, to name a few.

In their graduate certificate programs, students commonly take four to ten core and elective classes and earn their certificate in three months to one year of fulltime study. Some programs allow students to transfer their graduate certificate credits to a master’s degree program. To determine whether or not the credits in your preferred program will transfer, discuss your options with a program advisor.

On-Campus National Defense and Homeland Security Master’s Degree Programs

There are three popular types of national defense and homeland security master’s programs that students might find on campus: the Master of Science (M.S.), the Master of Arts (M.A.), and the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.). Within these designations, students might study any one or several areas of national defense and homeland security such as terrorism studies, national security, emergency management, national defense, or homeland security.

Some subjects students might explore in a master’s in homeland security or national defense program include:

  • Historical and contemporary issues in homeland security and national defense
  • Comparative methodologies 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
  • 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

Students might also pursue a concentration or specialization as they earn a master’s degree in homeland security and national defense. Some common areas for concentration or specialization include:

  • Emergency management
  • Terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • Military defense
  • Crisis and disaster management
  • Leadership
  • Management and administration
  • International relations
  • Psychology of defense
  • A region of the world such as Central America, the Middle East, or Europe

While every Homeland Security and National Defense on campus program is different, students earning a national defense and homeland security master’s degree typically do so with one to two years of intensive or fulltime study. More intensive than certificate programs, master’s degree programs commonly include ten to twenty courses. At the end of their programs, students might do a thesis (an intensive research and writing project) or take a comprehensive exam. In some programs, they might forgo both and do a final project in a capstone course. Some students may also complete an internship or study abroad as a part of their program. Check with your preferred programs to learn more about possible opportunities and requirements.  

On-Campus National Defense and Homeland Security Doctorate Programs

A doctorate in homeland security and national defense typically comes in one of four forms: the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), the Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), the Doctor of Business Administration, or the Doctor of Management. Degrees of these distinctions might cover homeland security, national defense, or another area of national security.  

In doctorate programs, students typically take a blend of core and elective classes. Their core classes might cover subjects similar to those in master’s degree programs but in greater depth. In D.M. and D.B.A. programs, students might study administration, management, leadership, and other business-related subjects. In any doctorate program, students might also take a significant number of classes in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. In many cases, doctorate programs are research-intensive and require students to emerge from their programs with a firm sense of homeland security and national defense as a researched field.  

Students’ elective curricula might cover subjects 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, and management. Study in these and other areas might help students develop a concentration or specialization.    

It generally takes students four to six years of fulltime study to earn a D.B.A., D.M., Sc.D., or Ph.D. in homeland security and national defense. At the ends of their programs, students might do a dissertation (a research and writing project) or take a comprehensive exam. They also might do an internship, work with a mentor, student teach, or work as a research assistant.

What Careers Might I Pursue with a Graduate Certificate or Degree in Homeland Security and National Defense?

Professionals from a variety of fields might pursue a graduate certificate or degree in homeland security and national defense to enhance their careers. Members of the military; people who work in local, state, and federal governments; security guards; protective services professionals; and emergency responders, such as EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, are just some examples of professionals who might seek advanced education to help move their careers forward. With an advanced degree, they might pursue positions in their field that require advanced knowledge and training, or management or administrative roles. They might also opt to move their careers in new directions. Following are some examples of the occupations professionals with advanced certificates or degrees in homeland security and national defense might pursue:   

  • Emergency Management Directors 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 earned a median annual salary of $102,640 across industries 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 earned a median annual salary of $86,110 across industries 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 Professionals earned anywhere from $1,566 per month to $16,072.20 per month[iv].

These are just some of the many specialized or advanced occupations professionals might pursue once they have a graduate certificate or degree in hand. (Note: The typical entry education level for many of these positions may be a bachelor’s degree.)

How Can I Find Homeland Security and National Defense on Campus Programs?

We’ve done some of the hard work of finding on-campus graduate programs in homeland security and national defense. Now all you have to do is browse through your Homeland Security and National Defense on campus options. Just below, you’ll find a list of certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree programs, all of which are offered on-campus. You can also refine your search to browse program level or location using our search tool. Good luck as you look for a perfect Homeland Security and National Defense on Campus program for you!


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

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