Homeland Security, B.S.

Students in Homeland Security program working on computers

Preparing innovative, dynamic problem-solvers for a safer tomorrow

Our Homeland Security program gives you the tools to defend, protect, act and react to threats small and large, from bioterrorism to data breaches to natural disasters. Built upon the expertise and advice of homeland security professionals across the nation, this program empowers you to think, plan and respond to today's most relevant security issues.

As a student in our program, you will be learning from faculty who are experts in the field. You'll work independently and collaboratively to find solutions to complex problems in areas like:

  • information security
  • corporate and physical security
  • intelligence systems and structures
  • environmental security
  • strategic management and decision making and
  • emerging security models

In four years, students graduate with a Homeland Security degree as well as a second major or two minors. This flexible curriculum allows you to specialize your education around your interests, and gives you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs or graduate schools. Interested in foreign affairs? Add a major in Politics & Society, or minors in Political Science and Politics & the Economy. If you enjoy computer science, get an additional B.S. in Analytics or Computer Information Systems. Business-savvy? Double-major in Business, or minor in Entrepreneurship and Communication Arts.

You will apply your classroom learning through the senior capstone, where you’ll work alongside industry professionals in agencies like FEMA, N.H. Homeland Security & Emergency Management, Fidelity Investments or the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant.

Our students graduate with the skills needed to lead strategic planning, build emergency management and continuity plans, and to perform organization-wide security and risk assessments. In this highly employable industry, you’ll be prepared for success in graduate school or careers in fields as diverse as critical infrastructure protection, environmental and human security, intelligence, cybersecurity and more. 

Program Coordinator

James Ramsay

Department of Business, Politics & Security Studies Chair, Coordinator of Homeland Security Program and Professor of Security Studies

If you live in New England and your state does not offer a bachelor's-level Homeland Security program at a public college or university, you can enroll in our program at a reduced tuition rate.

Homeland Security major is available at both the Manchester and Durham campuses.

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Learn More

Download a copy of the major sheet

To earn your Bachelor of Science degree, you’ll complete 128 credits between courses for the University Discovery Program and your major. Here are the courses that will make up your Homeland Security degree:

  • HLS 455 – Foundations of Information Security
    HLS 455 provides a survey of the field of cyber\information security. The course describes information security and the role it plays in homeland security including ethical and legal issues, risk management and planning, and information security technology. The role of the Department of Homeland Security has in securing cyberspace and the nation's information-related infrastructures is also explored.
  • HLS 480 – Professional Skills in Homeland Security
    HLS 480 prepares students to effectively enter the workforce via an internship or co-op experience. Students learn to prepare a resume and cover letter, practice interviewing, learn about how their personality matches job descriptions, search for internships, and develop an e-Portfolio that describes themselves, their professional aspirations, skills, etc. Professional ethics, decision making, organizational power, basic leadership and management principles and professionalism are discussed and illustrated.

  • PS 505 – Political Violence & Terrorism
    This course provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of political violence and terrorism. It covers the pyschological and sociological roots of terrorism, the organizational patterns of cells, groups and networks, and the role of ideology and identity in shaping goals, targets, and tatics. 
  • HLS 510 – Fundamentals of Emergency Management
    This course includes thorough coverage of the historical background of emergency management (EM) in the United States as well as many of the most significant laws and policies that have defined and shaped the field, including HLSPD 5, HLSPD 8, the National Flood Insurance Act, and the Stafford Act. Topics include detailed coverage of FEMA's all hazards approach, all phases of the EM cycle, including mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery; integrated emergency management systems, the incident command system, the National Incident Management System, emergency support functions, and risk communications. The course culimnates with each student writing and formally presenting an integrated emergency management plan.

  • HLS 520 – Homeland Security Law and Policy
    This course is an overview of key legal, policy, and ethical issues in the context of Homeland Security policy and practice. Students examine legal concepts regarding constitutional rights of individuals, legal process, access to courts, the law of war, and national security principles as they relate to homeland security legislation and policy initiatives. Legal principles of due process, habeas corpus, search and seizure. compulsory process, and international agreements are explored in greater depth. The law of war will be examined in the context of preemptive war and the current National Security Strategy, the status of combatants and detention, Elements of national security law, intelligence collection and sharing, the Patriot Act, and military-civilian relations, etc. 

  • HLS 580 – Environmental and Human Security
    Students will learn how environmental issues may give rise to socio-political instability around the world which can become threats to US national/homeland security. This course will explore how U.S. domestic and foreign policy, and ultimately, U.S. national security, can be impacted by emergent threats to nations from environmental health issues, climate change, deforestation, infrastructure vulnerabilities, and natural resource shortages caused by rapid industrialization, population growth, and urbanization in less developed countries. In a seminar format, students and faculty will cover a variety of readings and discuss their conclusions and students will have the opportunity to lead class discussions on assigned readings.

  • HLS 610 – Exercise Design and Evaluation
    HLS 610 studies the role and structure of exercise design as it is applied in homeland security and emergency management. Students are introduced to the nature and characteristics of discussion and operations-based exercises and the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program. The legislative and policy background of national preparedness is presented. Students complete a project and presentation that demonstrates how exercises are designed, scripted, implemented (sonducted) and evaluated.

  • HLS 650 – Intelligence Systems and Structures
    Intelligence is a systematic process of collection, analysis, and dissemination of information in support of national, state, and/or local policy or strategy. HLS 650 will explore the varied expressions of the intelligence community as it exists in the US. In addition, students will explore the history and development of the IC in the US, major legislative acts that led to the development of intelligence as a major function of US national security strategies.

  • HLS 760 – Strategic Planning and Decision Making
    HLS 760 investigates the nature of strategic planning as it relates to homeland security and national security in the U.S. Students explore how strategic planning relates to decision making in more stable as well as uncertain environments. Relevant legislation and past decisions (such as the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missle Crisis) are explored including concepts and techniques fro making high quality decisions. Strategic communication principles and techniques are presented. 

  • HLS 790 – Senior Capstone
    HLS 790 allows students to work collaboratively with an organization to identify and solve a homeland security ot emergency management challenge. Each group researches the origins of their client's challenge and identifies applies best practices as countermeasures. Students culminate their projects with presentations to their classmates and to their clients. The expectation of this class is to develop a professional example of the student's thinking and writing to solve real security problems. 

  • HLS 770 – Internship or HLS 795 Thesis in Homeland Security
    HLS 770 represents the professional work experience required in the homeland security major. Students work in a professional setting for a minimum of 300 hours under the supervision of a site supervisor. All internships require students to identify and complete work on a specific project (s) approved by the HLS coordinator.

Breadth gets you hired: Second major or two minors.

Why settle for one?  Within the 128 credits needed to graduate, all students are required to take 40 credits of breadth outside the Homeland Security program. This means, in addition to your B.S. in Homeland Security, you will graduate with an additional major or two minors. Transferring from another college? You can roll in credits you've earned from coursework in other majors, or an entire associate degree.

New England is a microcosm of the nation: Our challenges reflect the breadth and depth of needs for development and education across the country, and our location brings you to the doorstep of significant local homeland security talent.

"The Homeland Security program will train the next generation of homeland security practitioners who will help to keep our country safe, and provide students with real-world skills that will make them workforce ready."

Mike Beland, Businessman and Former Obama Appointee

In addition to in-demand graduate degree options in law, diplomacy, national security, international affairs and more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positive growth in many homeland security related professions between 2012 and 2022. With expert faculty and hands-on experience in the classroom and in the field, our Homeland Security program prepares the next generation of heroes in intelligence analysis, cybersecurity, emergency management and more. Here are just a few of the many careers you'll be prepared for as a Homeland Security graduate:

  • Aviation security
  • Cybersecurity unit (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Nike, etc.)
  • Diplomatic security (U.S. State Department)
  • Emergency management (county and state levels)
  • EMT and paramedic services
  • FBI, ATF, DEA Agent (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • FEMA, Secret Service, TSA, Cybersecurity, CBP (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Law enforcement and fire services (local, state and federal)
  • NSA, Defense Intelligence Agency (U.S. Department of Defense)
  • Occupational Health & Safety Specialist
  • Private-sector opportunities in risk management, security, cybersecurity, emergency preparedness
  • Regional security (Amazon, Google, etc.)
  • Security Specialist (Bechtel, Granger, etc.)


You will apply your classroom learning through the senior capstone where you’ll work alongside industry professionals in agencies like FEMA, N.H. Homeland Security & Emergency Management, Fidelity Investments, or the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant.


Our campus is in the heart of the region’s cultural, economic, entertainment and government activity — putting unlimited internship opportunities at your doorstep. We’ve partnered with local businesses to give you the real-world experience that sets you apart.

Homeland Security majors have access to internships at many high-profile organizations in the area, including:

  • American Red Cross
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • EMT and paramedic services
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Grainger Industrial Supply
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Local and state law enforcement agencies
  • N.H. Homeland Security & Emergency Management
  • N.H. Department of Corrections
  • N.Y. Port Authority
  • Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant
  • Small to midsize private sector businesses

"The Homeland Security capstone course gave me the opportunity to gain real-world and professional experience. I also traveled abroad and studied security conflicts encountered by other nations."
Joey Fazzino, Regional Security Specialist, Google, Inc.

The threats to national and homeland security are seemingly in the news every day, so an educated workforce who understands how to function in dynamic environments, form partnerships, think critically, make complex decisions and engage in the community is key. Our five course, 20 credit Homeland Security minor will show you how homeland security issues, challenges and tools relate to — and add breadth to — your specific major.

View all minors

If you live in New England and your state does not offer a bachelor's-level Homeland Security program at a public college or university, the New England Regional Student Program allows you to enroll in our program at a reduced tuition rate.

Course Sequence

Interested in a sample course sequence for this program?

Download a copy of the major sheet

Course Schedule

Visit courses.unh.edu and select "Courses at Manchester" to see our course schedules and descriptions.