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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Homeland Security and Public Safety

Majors Overview March 5, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Homeland Security and Public Safety and its education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Homeland Security and Public Safety

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in homeland security and public safety may seek jobs that involve providing protection and security to the public. They can aspire for careers as government officials, law enforcement personnel, or emergency response personnel. Students learn about topic areas pertinent to federal laws, terrorism, criminal behavior, law enforcement, and security.

Once they complete the program, these professionals can work in homeland security agencies, use law enforcement techniques, manage investigations, identify national security issues, manage a crisis, and assess terrorist activities.

Education Requirements

Schools expect incoming students to hold an associate’s degree in safety, emergency medical services, security, law, or a related area. Coursework is devised to build on the coursework completed by students in the associate’s degree program. Some schools do not insist on candidates with an associate’s degree and allow admission to the program after incoming students have met the school’s admission requirements.


Coursework in a homeland security and public safety degree program covers a broad area, including emergency preparedness, engineering, psychology, and political science, among other subject areas.

However, programs mainly focus on public security and emergency training. Students also learn about ways of securing facilities and computer networks, in addition to obtaining, disengaging, and destroying terrorist weapons. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Crisis situations
•Weapons of mass destruction
•Criminal law
•National security laws
•Public safety policies
•Homeland security policies
•Hate crimes
•Crisis negotiation tactics
•Cyber security

Career Choices

Those who complete the program may seek entry-level careers in government, emergency medicine, security, and law enforcement. Numerous organizations hire homeland security and public safety personnel; these employers include transportation companies, medical facilities, private businesses, and government agencies, among other organizations. These professionals may seek job titles such as:

•Police officer
•Border control agent
•Air marshal

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of five percent has been predicted for police officers over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the same period, firefighters are expected to see a seven percent growth in job opportunities. In May 2012, police and sheriff’s patrol officers and firefighters brought home respective average annual wages of $55,270 and $45,250.

Continuing Education Choices

Students enrolled in some programs are prepared for continuing education through graduate degree programs. Graduate program options vary according to the desired career objectives of individuals and include degrees in management and leadership.

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