A degree in Homeland Security is generally one of the specializations or concentrations in a Criminal Justice program. While criminal justice and homeland security both fit into the realm of public administration or emergency management, the theory, concept, and applications of each field are distinct. The United States enacted the term “homeland security” in 2002 with the creation of the Homeland Security Act. This federal law was in response to the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
Homeland Security describes the efforts to ensure the critical infrastructure of the U.S. is secure and resilient against all natural and human-made threats and hazards, including natural disasters and terrorism. A college major in this discipline should train students for work in the protection of the country and its citizens from a variety of national and domestic threats.
One of the ways to gain a foothold academically is through an undergraduate degree in criminal justice (CJ). Particularly, with an emphasis on homeland security-related courses. This post will illustrate some of the programs available with the intent of providing an overview of what classes you can expect to encounter.
Bachelor of Arts
One of the select programs offering a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security is Keiser University. Their coursework teaches students about the different government levels of Homeland Security. Both their lower and upper-level courses focus on homeland security, terrorism, and emergency planning. You will also learn about the use of hazardous materials and biological agents.
Emergency Management (EM) & Homeland Security
The two disciplines are a typical couple in this arena of programs related to national security. In addition to learning about organizational theory, you will take classes in Fiscal Management. This class is part of the curriculum at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They have a Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and EM that, in addition to courses in EM, you study Terrorism, Intelligence Analysis & Security Management, Threat of WMDs, Cybersecurity, Public Health in Emergencies, Homeland Defense, and more.
By this title, you would not expect the classes related to homeland security or threat assessment. However, Bellevue University’s Bachelor of Science in Security Management will prepare you for a career in management and security. You have the option to enter law enforcement or use your education for a position in the public or private sector. The degree integrates concepts from business, criminal justice, security, and emergency management.
Examples of classes are:
Homeland Security and Terrorism: This focus of this course is on terrorism and the implementation of defense mechanisms to thwart terrorist acts. You will examine how national threats affect economic and political policies.
Security Administration: This class imparts the knowledge to assume a leadership position in security and emergencies. You learn how to recruit personnel, train, manage and conduct performance assessments.
For those who prefer an online format, there is a Bachelor’s Degree in Homeland Security at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). The school attests that their curriculum blends academics with real-world scenarios. The various subjects teach the skills to work in emergency management and disaster preparation and response. Some of the potential career choices for graduates entail counterterrorism, transportation security officer, IT specialist, and cybersecurity professional.
As we stated initially, there are many college programs under this heading available as both a Bachelor of Arts and Science. Either choice, a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security specializes in matters related to terrorism, homeland security, and the justice system.
Another aspect of Homeland Security is Criminal Investigation. Bachelor’s programs that have classes in this topic teach students the practices of investigating criminal activity. The course material covers the importance of following the legal procedures associated with a crime scene. The procurement of evidence is crucial, as are interview and surveillance techniques.
Homeland Security and Crisis Management
A Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice may offer a concentration in Homeland Security and Crisis Management. The coursework generally has an emphasis on the criminal justice system, the law, corrections, and illegal drug activity. You can find within this mix an assortment of courses dealing with crisis management, planning, communications, and infrastructures.
There are numerous degree programs in which to study homeland security and associated topics. As you see, the emphasis varies by college. Some are more management oriented, whereas others offer more classes in terrorism and disaster preparedness. This variety should benefit students interested in this field who can select a program whose classes suit your ambitions.