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Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Transfer up to
113 Credits
A median of 73 credits accepted
Receive credit for military training

Advance Your Career with an Online BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Achieve your career goals with this bachelor’s in homeland security and emergency management program that gives you the knowledge you need to become a successful emergency manager, hazard mitigation officer, emergency preparedness coordinator, public safety manager, or emergency services director in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and related national, state, and local organizations.

This fully online Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management program prepares you for employment and advancement in homeland security and emergency management-related professions in the United States. Core courses focus on skills required to coordinate first response activities with appropriate public safety agencies quickly and accurately, as well as utility companies, community health groups, and security businesses in multiple locations in accordance with state and federal regulations.

Learn how to lead responses to natural disasters, domestic terrorism, biological threats, and other emergencies by creating strategic prevention, preparation, response, risk mitigation, and recovery plans that reduce disruption, minimize property damage, and provide medical care and other emergency services to those in need.

Fast Facts:

Top employers of emergency management specialists include governments, hospitals, and emergency relief services (Source: BLS)

A typical BS degree holder will earn $1.19 million over their working lifetime—more than twice as much as a typical high school graduate (Source: The Hamilton Project)

The average U.S. Customs and border protection CBP officer salary is $80,350 (Source:


credit hours

Online BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Program Details

120 credits are required for the Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. 30 credits must be earned at the upper level. As part of these credits, for the core component, a minimum of 33 credits must be earned in the field of homeland security/emergency management, of which 18 credits must be at the upper level. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the core component.

  • Cornerstone Course
  • Written English Requirement
  • Ethics
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences/History
  • Natural Sciences/Math (must include at least 2 credits in each area)
  • INL 102 Information Literacy

Core Homeland Security and Emergency Management Courses

Introduction to Homeland Security

Become familiar with the legal policies and communication and media practices critical to careers in homeland security by studying the evolution of homeland security in United States since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Course material explores the structure of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence, security, and counterterrorism agencies that support homeland security activities. Topics include: all-hazards planning and risk mitigation; border security, immigration, and customs enforcement; transportation safety and security; and cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection.

Emergency Management

Increase your knowledge of the principles and practices that emergency managers use on the job when responding to public safety threats, natural disasters, hazardous events, and other dangerous situations. Learn how to protect workers exposed to physical, chemical, biological, and other hazards during response and reconstruction efforts. Learn about federal policies and organizational partnerships, the FEMA all-hazards approach, communication strategies, and the capabilities required in emergency planning, preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery.

Domestic Terrorism

Learn how domestic terrorism is defined and how it has evolved in the United States. This course examines the role of the internet and social media in radicalizing and deterring domestic terrorists, the emergence of radical Islam in the West, and the ideologies and tactics of right- and left-wing hate groups, anti-government militias, Christian and other religious extremists, suicide bombers, and lone wolves and leaderless terrorists. Study legal and ethical issues related to the enforcement of hate crime laws, the U.S. PATRIOT Act, encryption technology, FBI surveillance, and the balance between privacy, civil liberties, and public safety.

Comparative National Security Analysis

Delve into the underlying economic and sociological factors that compel nations and non-state actors to seek local and international partnerships or conflict. This course covers the complexities associated with the national interests and security of nations and non-state actors in international relations and covers aspects of sociology, economics, and practical analysis. Students may take this course or Research Methods in Criminal Justice.

Infrastructure Security and Policy

Investigate the security policies of public transit, airports, railways, hospitals, communication networks, electric grids, power plants, water systems, agriculture, and the all-hazards approach to the protection and assurance of critical infrastructure. This course covers infrastructure demand, capacity, and fragility; federal regulations and the National Response Framework (NRF) guide; public disclosure and the Freedom of Information Act; public-private security partnerships; governmental oversight and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs); distributed infrastructure control systems; and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Capstone

Apply your knowledge and hone your skills in homeland security, emergency management, and public safety. Through projects and written assignments in this course, you create emergency preparedness, response, and recovery plans for real-life public safety threat scenarios such as fairground shootings, massive city flooding, hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions, bioterrorist attacks, passenger train derailment, and more.

You’ll work with your academic advisor to select approved courses in your area of interest for a total of 12 credits.

The curriculum requires credits beyond the general education credits and the major requirements that can be satisfied with applied professional and additional arts and sciences credit, which includes the Cornerstone course.

Explain homeland security and emergency management coordination in planning or operations.

Analyze threats and risks in the context of homeland security and emergency management.

Apply the all-hazards approach to homeland security and emergency management.

Evaluate ethical issues in homeland security and emergency management.

Deliver written communication with appropriate content, organization, syntax, mechanics, and style for the audience and purpose (GECC 1.2).

View additional details about programs and courses:

Download the Undergraduate Studies Catalog

Common Careers with an
Online BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

  • Business Operations
  • Cybersecurity
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Emergency Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management and Assessment
  • Health Management
  • Homeland Security

Caleen Oliver
Bachelor of Science, 2015

“Excelsior gave me the opportunity to follow my dreams … there’s no time frame on getting your education.”

Recognitions & Accreditations

Middle States Commission on Higher Education logo

Institutional Accreditation

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801 (267-284-5011) The MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Phase: Accredited
Status: Accreditation Reaffirmed
Accreditation Granted: 1977
Last Reaffirmation: 2017
Next Self-Study Evaluation: 2021-2022

All of Excelsior College’s academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.