Why Get a Masters in Homeland Security + No GRE Options

For professionals who are interested in defending the country and having an exciting and profitable career, working in Homeland Security may be just the career for them.

By earning a master’s degree in homeland security, you will have the skills and knowledge to work at the management level in homeland security-related positions in the United States. These skills may be transferred to many different fields and industries.

For example, many homeland security professionals with a master’s degree may work in middle and upper management in these agencies:

  • US Customs and Border Protection
  • Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Transportation Security Administration
  • Various federal law enforcement agencies
  • Intelligence
  • Disaster relief
  • Secret Service
  • Emergency management/FEMA
  • DEA

A master’s in homeland security will give you the skills that you need to respond to both natural and manmade disasters. Some of the skills that you will learn that can be transferred into homeland security work are information security, forensics, technology, counterintelligence, national security and preparedness of the health system.

Graduating with this advanced degree will provide you with job opportunities such as these:

  • Emergency management director: You will be responsible for the planning and preparation for a department to respond to natural disasters or terrorism. Play a very critical role in leading response both during and after various emergencies. Often you will need to work in close coordination with many public safety officials, legislators, nonprofit groups, volunteers, and other government agencies. Plan to research best practices from other departments around the country to determine the best emergency management responses for various crises – man made or natural.
  • Firefighter: Homeland security professionals with an advanced degree in the field are often called upon to be managers and leaders in fire departments. Clearly, a properly functioning fire department in a city is extremely important for proper first response to any type of emergency event. These departments can be very large in big cities, and effective emergency management managers are needed to keep them organized and efficient.
  • Management analyst: A professional with extensive homeland security experience and education can be an excellent resource as a management consultant. You can work with government organizations, nonprofits and businesses to ensure that the organization is doing everything that it can to conduct its emergency response and homeland security related processes in an efficient and effective manner.

Why Earn a Master’s in Homeland Security?

A master’s degree in homeland security will offer you an expert level of knowledge in homeland defense, terrorism, intelligence gathering, WMDs, management of consequences, government issues between agencies, public health, emergency management and information security.

The entire homeland security apparatus in the US – including DHS, DoD, state and local public health organizations and even major corporations – are routinely seeking homeland security professionals with the background and experience to be strategic and intellectual managers in this important field.

Earning this degree will increase you homeland security leadership skills, and will boost your knowledge of national security and defense issues. The degree will well prepare you as an analyst, manager or other type of leader in homeland security.

Online MPH Programs

Admission Requirements

You should have the following minimum requirements for admission into this type of master’s program:

  • 0 GPA
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • Resume that reflects homeland security and emergency management experience, at least at a volunteer level
  • Transcripts
  • Writing samples
  • Three professional or academic recommendations

Curriculum and Courses

For the highest quality and most respected master’s in this field, consider the Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security from Penn State World Campus.

This master’s program consists of 33 credits and is delivered entirely by distance, from the comfort of your home. This is a good choice for you because the homeland security courses offered at Penn State will help you to grasp homeland security in its entire global context. After your core classes, you may then focus one one or more of these specializations:

  • General homeland security
  • Public health preparedness
  • Geospatial intelligence
  • Information security and forensics
  • Agricultural biosecurity and/or food defense

Additionally, this program features an international track. This unique program will teach you to grasp differences between homeland, national and international security. Also, you will learn about their similarities and commonalities, allowing you the possibility of a global career in homeland security or defense.

Past graduates of this esteemed program have obtained upper level management roles in many government agencies, including emergency management, crisis management, protection of infrastructure, analysis of intelligence and counterintelligence, and law enforcement.

Required courses are:

  • Homeland Security Administration
  • Homeland Security Ethical and Social Issues
  • Violence, Terror, Threats and Insurgency
  • Introduction to Homeland Security
  • Homeland Security and Defense in Practice
  • Homeland Security Approaches

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

Earning this master’s degree could provide you with the chance to work in these careers and related job titles:

  • Police officer
  • Firefighter
  • Director of security
  • Coordinator for homeland security
  • Disaster program director
  • Risk manager analyst
  • Crisis recovery director

Job and Salary Outlook

  • Emergency Management Director — Employment for these management professionals will rise by 6% by 2024. This is about average when compared with other fields. Employment is going to increase in certain, well populated areas as state and local governments are putting more money and effort into being prepared for terrorism and also natural disasters. Some budgets could be more constrained than others, and some cities and states are more of a target and are more vulnerable to natural and other disasters than others. The median salary is $67,000 per year.
  • Firefighter — Five percent increase in job demand is expected across the US by 2024. This is average job growth, but some areas of the country will certainly see faster job growth as the population is expanding more rapidly than in other areas. There also will be more need for effective emergency and homeland security managers in upper level administration of fire and police services. Median income is $46,800.
  • Management Analyst — Expect to see an increase in demand of 14% by 2024, which is much faster than average when compared to all fields. It is expected that the consulting field generally will have much higher need, as companies want to improve efficiency and control their costs. Also, it is vital for government entities to ensure that their emergency response departments are efficient and operating well. Median salary is $81,300.

Scholarships and Grants

  • Western Washington University: This school offers an annual scholarship for students who are studying either emergency planning or homeland security.


  • Organizational Chart for Department of Homeland Security: If you are interested in working for or with DHS, you should be familiar with the organizational chart for the entire organization.
  • National Capital Region Homeland Security Program: This organization coordinates homeland security planning for this very important region of the US. Federal officials have devised a government structure that has several regional working groups. This page shows you how those various working groups will interrelate. This is critical to understanding how this NCR functions, especially to be well prepared in event of an emergency.

Additional Resources