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Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security

If your focus in policing and criminal justice is homeland security, you can choose a bachelor's degree in this area. This article looks at the usual courses you might find in law and ethics for a bachelor's program, and your career options in homeland security once you graduate.

What Is a Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree Program?

You can find many Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Science programs in criminal justice that offer a concentration in homeland security. Most criminal justice programs offer courses in homeland security, but there are also programs that allow you to specialize in the defense of U.S. territory. These programs are often designed for criminal justice or security professionals, as well as new students looking to start their careers.

There are some online criminal justice bachelor's degree programs that cover homeland security topics if you're looking for flexible scheduling. You need about four years to complete a bachelor's degree and some programs offer internship opportunities and hands-on projects.

Degree TypesBachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Science, both with focuses in homeland security
Program LengthFour years
Common ClassesConflict resolution, forensic science, corrections, crime prevention
Career OptionsU.S. Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs
Median Salary (2018)$63,380 (Police and Detectives)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)7% growth (Police and Detectives)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Courses Will I Take?

The core courses in a criminal justice bachelor's degree program with a homeland security concentration give you a foundation in conflict resolution, forensic science and investigation. You learn about the various police and security organizations, as well as their roles in corrections and crime prevention. Criminal law, ethics and issues in the justice system are also discussed.

When you tailor your criminal justice bachelor's degree to specialize in homeland security, you take courses that discuss the ways local, state and federal agencies respond to terror attacks and attacks on U.S. soil. You also study counter-terrorism and the differences in criminal justice and military tactics. Terror organizations and their weaknesses are also discussed and some programs offer courses that cover international security topics.

What Kind of Career Can I Have?

If you graduate from a bachelor's degree program in criminal justice, you are eligible for employment at agencies like the U.S. Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs. You could also work in the court system or law enforcement, as well as emergency management, aviation safety and risk analysis.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2018, the median annual salary for police officers and detectives was $63,380, and the number of jobs within the industry was expected to increase by 7% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov).