Doctorate in Homeland Security Online

Updated October 18, 2022 · 5 Min Read

Earning a doctorate in homeland security provides students with several benefits. They develop the most comprehensive understanding, the most specialized skill set, and the largest knowledge base available from an academic degree in homeland security. Graduates with a doctoral degree in the field can pursue careers as U.S. Department of Homeland Security officers, chief information officers, analytical chemists, and information security analysts.

By reading the information provided in the sections below, prospective students can learn reasons to pursue a doctorate in homeland security online, how to identify the best programs, and how to take advantage of career opportunities after graduation.

Should I Earn an Online Doctorate in Homeland Security?

Maximizing salary potential qualifies as a major benefit to earning a doctorate in homeland security online. Many companies determine pay rates based not only on experience but also on a candidate's level of education. Earning a doctoral degree in homeland security also opens up the widest range of career possibilities to graduates, since they hold the highest possible degree in their field. This allows graduates to shift within the field and pursue new opportunities that interest them.

Earning a doctorate in homeland security allows graduates to distinguish themselves during the hiring process. Many applicants hold bachelor's degrees and some candidates hold master's degrees, but fewer candidates hold doctoral degrees, which makes them stand out among the crowd. Learners can also pursue a doctorate in homeland security to gain mastery of the field, developing a specialized level of skills and knowledge.

Students should pursue a doctorate in homeland security for many reasons. Pursuing an online option, in particular, provides distance learners flexibility as they earn their degree. Many online programs let students complete their assignments at their own pace, allowing them to continue working as they pursue their education. Many learners desire programs that feature flexible schedules so they can complete their degree while fulfilling their other time commitments.

What Can I Do With an Online Doctorate in Homeland Security?

Graduates who earn their doctorate in homeland security online can pursue employment opportunities across a wide range of settings. Those interested in research and academia often seek employment as professors at colleges and universities. Graduates interested in taking a more analytical approach to the field can consider careers as analytical chemists or information security analysts, while those focused more on the fieldwork side of the industry can work within the Department of Homeland Security. Some other employers for homeland security students include federal law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Department of Defense, and research institutions.

Earning a doctorate in homeland security online provides graduates with the highest level of skills and knowledge possible for their field, differentiating them from their competition when applying for new jobs or internal promotions. During their education, these students can also complete internship components to gain experience in the field that makes them attractive candidates to employers.

Chief Executive Officer

Chief executive officers handle the business development, strategic planning, and financial operations of their company. They also define the company's goals and initiatives and work to achieve them. These professionals work closely with other business leaders and stakeholders in the company.

Analytical Chemist

Working as specialized scientists, analytical chemists determine which molecules and chemical compounds compose a piece of matter. These chemists use computerized instruments to take measurements. They also work with samples to create standardized test results and report their findings.

Emergency Management Specialist

Emergency management specialists devote their careers to minimizing the impacts of potential disasters through prevention, immediate response, and effective management of the aftermath. These specialists must maintain emergency planning and response programs and work closely with other emergency professionals, including police officers, firefighters, and paramedics.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts analyze and arrange security software and tools, working with information technology departments to cut down disruptions and keep assets safe. They prioritize and analyze threats to information security, documenting all threats and reporting all incidents.

Chief Information Officer

Responsible for the management of information technology development teams and personnel, chief information officers evaluate information technology operations for their company. They also evaluate information technology strategies within an organization, noting essential services and products.

Homeland Security Ph.D. Program Overview

Earning a doctorate in homeland security online can provide a wide range of benefits. Before settling on a program, learners should evaluate certain aspects like the type of degree they want to earn, admission requirements, program outcomes, sample courses, and accreditation. The following sections delve into these factors.

Doctoral Degrees in Homeland Security

Learners in Ph.D. programs in homeland security focus heavily on research and analysis. They explore multifaceted concepts in homeland security, learning how to directly relate the concepts they learn to their career after graduation.

Doctoral students typically complete a dissertation, which requires them to conduct in-depth research to contribute to the academic conversation surrounding a particular topic in the field. Dissertations usually take the form of a lengthy research paper. Doctoral programs generally require three years to complete.

Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Applicants pursuing their doctorate in homeland security online can face different admission criteria depending on the program. Nevertheless, many programs feature similar requirements. For each doctoral program, students must complete an application and pay any associated fees. They must also hold a master's degree in the field and provide official transcripts. Almost all doctoral programs require applicants to meet a minimum GPA requirement, often around 3.0.

Some programs require prospective students to submit letters of recommendation. These letters should come from professional or educational references, not friends or family members. Other possible supplemental materials include a current resume or a personal essay. In some situations, applicants may need to complete an admissions interview.


Depending on the program, students pursuing their doctorate in homeland security online may experience different curriculum structures and varying course topics. However, commonalities do exist among these programs.

Typically, students must complete around 25 credits of core courses, which help them establish foundational knowledge in the field. Learners must also fulfill around 14 credits of research courses to prepare them for their dissertation. In addition, doctoral candidates take around 21 credits of elective coursework, allowing them to tailor their degree to their particular interests and career goals.

In doctoral programs, learners complete both a dissertation course and a dissertation essay. Dissertations require students to conduct in-depth research about a particular topic that relates to the concepts they learned throughout their program. They use that research to write a final paper explaining what they have discovered.

Below is a list of common courses for an online doctorate in homeland security.

  • Homeland Security Enterprise: In this course, students learn about foundational theories and concepts they need to master to effectively protect their country.
  • Theories and Concepts of Security: Students in this course focus on physical and personnel changes within the information security field. Possible topics include staffing, planning, and the span of control.
  • Organizational Behavior: This course teaches students to understand the ways individuals and groups function in larger systems. Learners also study the psychological aspects of communication.
  • Migration and Border Security: This course focuses on issues with illegal and legal migration. Learners examine the process and cultural undertones of border security in the United States.
  • Ethical Leadership: Principles and Practices: Students in this course explore how to conduct ethical decision-making and apply their leadership skills effectively.
  • Statistical Analysis in Research: Students in this course gain proficiency in computer analysis of datasets and learn to evaluate different techniques and designs in statistics.
  • Preparedness and Response: This course teaches learners how to respond to large-scale emergencies and disasters. Students also learn about different types of disasters and the safety measures they can take to prepare for them.
  • Operational Continuity and Recovery: In this course, doctoral candidates learn about different types of disasters and the threats they pose, creating plans for strong recovery efforts.

Program Outcomes

Students pursuing a doctorate in homeland security online gain foundational skills and knowledge in criminal justice and law enforcement, allowing them to effectively protect their country. Throughout their curriculum, learners prepare to defend against high-level threats such as cybercrime and terrorism.

Graduates of these programs also cultivate a solid knowledge of current business theory. They learn to analyze business practices and incorporate what they have learned for the benefit of society. They also learn to communicate their ideas surrounding perspectives, theories, and applications of business across diverse groups of people. Upon graduating, individuals should understand the relationship between business decisions and the global environment.

Accreditation for Online Homeland Security Doctorate Programs

Prospective students exploring their options for a doctorate in homeland security should pay close attention to accreditation at colleges and universities. Learners should look out for two types of accreditation: regional and national.

Nationally accredited institutions focus primarily on career and technical education with little emphasis on liberal arts coursework. These institutions typically offer lower tuition rates than regionally accredited institutions, but they get excluded from most tuition reimbursement plans. Credits earned through nationally accredited institutions do not always transfer to other schools.

Regionally accredited universities highlight liberal arts coursework. Students at these institutions can take advantage of most tuition reimbursement plans. Credits from regionally accredited institutions are typically transferred to other institutions more easily, making regional accreditation the more prestigious form of accreditation.

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