Can I Get A Master’s In Homeland Security?

Homeland Security DegreeA Master’s in Homeland Security is a degree program that continues to grow in popularity in colleges across America. While the United States has always depended on some form of homeland security to protect the nation against possible threats, it was the horrific events that occurred on September 11, 2001 that changed everything. After the World Trade Center Collapse, the nation began to devote a greater amount of money and resources towards protecting the United States, including the borders, seaports, air space and even areas of cybersecurity. In order to meet the demand created by these changes, several colleges started offering homeland security degree programs.

Homeland Security Degree Options

According to U.S. Department of Homeland Security, different college programs offer various specializations within the homeland security degree. For example, some of the specializations currently offered include legal studies, bio-defense, government, emergency management, public health preparedness, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, policy and coordination and security administration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains a list of colleges that offer graduate level degree programs in homeland security, with more than 30 programs located in most areas of the United States.

Sample Courses

The courses you take during your graduate program will vary based off the university you choose to attend and whether or not you have a specialization. However, each program typically covers subjects such as disaster management, crisis action planning, domestic terrorism, extremist groups, research methods, homeland defense, mass casualty management, inter-agency operations, cybersecurity, weapons of mass destruction, threat analysis, public policy and management, quarantine procedures, seaport and airport security, statistics and geographic information.

Job Opportunities

Those with a master’s degree in homeland security can use their degree to obtain jobs in various government and private sector roles. Those with master’s degrees in homeland security have found jobs in citizenship and immigration services and enforcement, customs and border protection, federal emergency management, federal law enforcement, information analysis and infrastructure defense, transportation and security administration, armed forces positions and Secret Service investigative positions. Keep in mind that some agencies and positions may require other specialized degrees or training.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salary levels will vary based on the position and the GS level assigned to the specific opening. For example, a border patrol agent typically starts between a GS-5 and a GS-7, depending on experience, putting the yearly salary at an estimated $27,431 to $33,979. The average salary for an emergency management specialist is $45,670, or around a G-10 level. Most homeland security jobs provide opportunities for advancement both in title and in general schedule level throughout your career.

Related Resource: Border Patrol Agent

As political unrest continues around the world and more emphasis is placed on protecting the borders and areas within the United States, a greater number of trained professionals will be needed to fill homeland security positions from the local level all the way up to the federal level in Washington D.C.. A Master’s in Homeland Security gives you the knowledge necessary to not only obtain jobs as they open up, but also allows you to perform at the highest skill level possible while protecting and serving your nation.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security – FEMA Emergency Management Institute: The College List – Homeland Security Programs