Earn Your Homeland Security Degree
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Work on the front lines of national security with Southern New Hampshire University's Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security & Counterterrorism. By pursuing this highly focused homeland security degree online, you'll gain insights into an area of criminal justice that continues to grow in demand and develop a deep understanding of the threat of terrorism and how best to respond to it.
In the homeland security degree concentration, you'll examine the nature and history of terrorism, why terrorist groups succeed and fail, how to combat terror and how to respond to domestic and international terrorist campaigns. You'll also explore a wide range of security efforts and develop the analytical and policy skills required in this field.
Courses in the homeland security degree program will take you deep into the realms of psychology, American politics, criminal law and subjects specific to the study of terrorism and counterterrorism. Experienced, knowledgeable faculty will help you chart your course to a professional career in any number of related fields.
Learn how to:
Get credit for law enforcement training: If you have completed a basic police, corrections or probation and parole academy training, you may receive up to 12 credits toward your criminal justice degree at SNHU.
Criminal justice jobs can be highly competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of protective service occupations is projected to increase 3% from 2018 to 2028.1 With a slower-than-average job growth, making yourself stand out to employers is imperative.
"In today's environment, there is great competition and law enforcement agencies seek out the very best candidates," said Brian Rich, SNHU criminal justice faculty member and former FBI agent. "Our future leaders and heroes must be better educated than the criminal element."
And the best way to get that education? Rich believes it's by earning your bachelor's degree in homeland security online from Southern New Hampshire University. Graduates of our homeland security degree program have the opportunity to begin or advance a career in criminal justice with specialized skills.
Beyond standard police and detective roles, the homeland security concentration could help prepare you for employment in government roles such as:
Note: Law enforcement positions may involve additional training and eligibility requirements.
And if you've served in the military, transitioning to civilian work in homeland security can be a great choice. With a track record of passion for service, veterans have the opportunity to continue protecting the people through occupations directly supporting our national defense. No matter what job you had as a military service member, you're likely to find a job at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that builds upon the unique skills you possess.
Private companies also contract with the government to provide products and services for defense and security purposes. These companies have sensitive – and often secretive – operations that require a team of people skilled in recognizing, managing and defeating threats. Some job titles include:
These professions could provide work opportunities from home or abroad and may require special clearance from the U.S. government.
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution(s) toward your bachelor's degree.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
You'll have access to SNHUconnect – our private online community made exclusively for online students. Here, you can join our criminal justice club – known as the Law and Disorder Club – attend virtual events hosted by industry leaders and take advantage of the professional talent and capabilities of the criminal justice staff through mentorship in the CJ Career Council.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
This specialized program offers students a focused overview of the purpose and function of homeland security and counterterrorism. You’ll explore how historical events and cultural differences within and outside of the U.S. have influenced the evolution of criminal justice. Strategies such as intelligence gathering, threat assessment and collaboration among various branches of the criminal justice system will be examined.
Concentration courses in this homeland security degree program may include:
Courses are taught by criminal justice professionals with years of experience in police departments, military branches, government agencies and more.
“Students will reap the benefits of progressive and authentic course content taught by professionals working on the front lines of the homeland security profession," said Dr. Jeff Czarnec, SNHU's associate dean of criminal justice.
Criminal Justice Communication Certificate
Jobs in the criminal justice field demand critical thinkers with tip-top communication skills. That’s why SNHU’s online criminal justice degree program includes the option of earning a communication certificate. Built to prepare learners with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to communicate effectively with diverse groups of people, the certificate gives students resources to improve their ability to collect and convey field-related information.
Upon graduating, some students also choose to gain more knowledge through a master's in criminal justice online. SNHU offers a graduate concentration in advanced counterterrorism and homeland security for more specialized graduate study.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
Earn math credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment.
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
A homeland security degree offers preparation for a specialized career in criminal justice. Foundational courses include general education courses in math, writing, humanities and social sciences. Strong oral and written communication skills are also emphasized.
Major coursework includes courses on the history of homeland security and terrorism in the United States, security management, intelligence and counterintelligence. These courses combined provide the broad skills needed for a range of positions in criminal justice, as well as specific knowledge applicable to the field of homeland security.
With Southern New Hampshire University’s homeland security degree online, you'll learn how to:
A degree in homeland security can lead to a number of exciting career options in the public and private sectors. As the use and reach of technology is increasing, there has never been a greater need for actionable, reliable information to identify threats to national security.
A homeland security or counterterrorism degree could lead to such careers as:
These are just a few of the exciting and important opportunities available with a homeland security degree. Each career is grounded in the principles of safety, security and the well-being of the people.
Most people looking to get into the homeland security field pursue a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, which usually takes students between 3 and 4 years to complete.
At Southern New Hampshire University, you can even specialize your skills with a homeland security and counterterrorism concentration online. What's better? You may be able to complete it faster. If you qualify, you could receive up to 12 credits if you have already completed basic police, corrections or parole and probation academy training. And if you already started taking college classes elsewhere, you could transfer in up to 90 credits – meaning you'll save even more time and money.
Our professional team of admission and academic advisors aims to get you the maximum amount of transfer credit so that you may complete your degree as quickly as possible. Our fully online format allows you even more room to customize your education. Work the night shift? No problem, because no mandatory login times means you can complete your work at any time of the day or night. You’ll generally receive feedback from your instructors, who are professionals in the field, within 24 hours, too.
These jobs tend to be very stable, because the people who do them are fulfilling a calling – not just clocking hours at a day job. Therefore, there is a lot of opportunity to advance throughout your career – often while earning a stable salary with excellent benefits.
Responsibilities within homeland security roles can vary greatly, meaning how much you earn is dependent on your role, title and experience. Emergency management directors, for example, earned a median wage of $74,590 per year in 2019 while federally employed police and detectives earned $88,060, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1
With Southern New Hampshire University, you have the added benefit of learning from professionals in the field. Our instructors are all criminal justice professionals, so course time with them adds networking opportunities to your education, culminating in membership in our robust and active alumni network.
All aspects of law enforcement are part of the criminal justice system, including the court system, law enforcement officers and all aspects of upholding the code of the law. All things considered, homeland security is a relatively new part of the criminal justice umbrella.
While studying criminal justice helps prepare you for a career in all aspects of the law and public safety, the field of homeland security is a subset of national security and focuses specifically on the United States.
A background in criminal justice can prepare you with the legal, communication, criminal and technical aspects of the field. Adding a focus in homeland security means specializing in terrorism and counterterrorism, intelligence and all aspects of national security.
While there is no hard and fast rule, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field could be the most helpful in pursuing a career in counterterrorism. International affairs, national security studies or a concentration in homeland security are all areas that also help prepare you for a career in this specialized area of law enforcement.
In addition, practical experience is also important, since many working in this field have military or national security backgrounds. SNHU's counterterrorism degree offers an optional internship that could provide the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field.
There are many career paths you can take with a degree in counterterrorism. Because any counterterrorism or homeland security concentration is grounded in criminal justice, you have many options available to you, such as:
You may also be interested in a government career with agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation or Central Intelligence Agency.
Whichever agency or organization you choose, you are building a career rich in problem-solving skills, collaboration and threat assessment. More than that, you can use your skills to analyze social, behavioral and criminal theories and behavior to work toward eliminating threats and ensuring our nation’s safety.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2According to a survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.