Homeland Security Major (B.S.)

Homeland Security Major (B.S.)
Information technology

Available on both the Manchester and Durham campuses, 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.


From political violence and terrorism to natural disasters and climate change, today’s homeland security enterprise (HLS) is complex, dynamic, and relevant to most realms of human existence. Today's HLS incorporates issues such as community-level human security, data security, cybersecurity, climate change, crisis-related migration, pandemic preparedness, disaster resilience, corporate/private sector security and national security intelligence - just to name a few.

Students in the UNH homeland security program build the analytical, decision making, technical and strategic skills to create and sustain more resilient organizations and communities and a more secure nation. This broad, interdisciplinary field requires professionals who possess critical thinking, problem solving, analytical and communication skills. At UNH, HLS students are empowered to identify and address challenges of national and international significance and to pursue diverse and rewarding careers in the public and private sectors.


Fully available on both the Manchester and Durham campuses, the HLS program prepares you with a wide array of skills and best practices in leadership, decision making, strategic planning, emergency management, cybersecurity, open-source intelligence production and risk assessment, professional writing and public speaking. Our nationally recognized program offers substantive interdisciplinary flexibility and career-specific preparation because all HLS majors combine a B.S. in HLS with a dual or double major, 2 minors or an associate degree.  Students earn a competitive advantage through their degree combination and real-world learning in both the classroom and the field through our internship and capstone experiences. Rigorous academic study combined with experiential learning by subject matter experts from across the nation gives students unique skill sets that are directly relevant to employers.


  • Civil or foreign service (U.S. State Department)
  • Corporate or sports security
  • Criminology or justice studies
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Cybersecurity and information security
  • Emergency management, resilience, and preparedness
  • Environmental security
  • Forensics (biological or digital)
  • Intelligence collection/analysis and/or national security policy/analysis
  • Law enforcement (Local, State or Federal)
  • Law school or legal support functions
  • Military service
  • Risk management and asset protection

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National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

Our homeland security program earned UNH its designation as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

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Graduate in four years with an education specialized around your interests. Interested in foreign affairs? Add a minor in political science or political economy. 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.


New England Residents

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont do not offer a bachelor's-level homeland security program in their public universities, so students from these states can enroll at a reduced tuition rate.

Accelerated Master's

Diligent students can complete a B.S. in homeland security and a master’s degree in cybersecurity policy and risk management, global conflict and human security or national security intelligence analysis in as few as five years by taking graduate-level courses during senior year.

Curriculum & Requirements

Fully available on both Durham and Manchester campuses, the UNH Homeland Security program is built upon the expertise and advice of subject matter experts from around the Nation. Its proven curriculum includes practical experiences, service and experiential learning opportunities, and consulting opportunities that together empower students to manage programs and to lead people. HLS provides students with an impressive array of tools including how to do strategic planning, how to build emergency management and continuity plans, how to perform an organization-wide security and risk assessments, and how to design and evaluate exercises. The 4-year curriculum is flexible and incorporates the ability for students to complete coursework of “breadth” as either two minors, a double major, or a dual degree. Students transferring with an associate’s degree automatically satisfy the breadth requirement. Ultimately, the Homeland Security program empowers students to be successful on the job market or in graduate school.

Homeland security is a broad-field, applied liberal arts degree teaching students critical thinking, writing and analysis skills. As a result, HLS creates several graduate school opportunities and opens students to dozens of career paths in both the public sector (i.e., local, state or federal government), and the private sector or the military. Students will find diverse and rewarding career opportunities in cyber security/ information assurance, intelligence analysis, civil or Foreign Service, diplomatic security, law enforcement at the local, state or federal levels, emergency and disaster management, immigration, border and transportation security, policy making, corporate security, risk management, critical infrastructure protection, human security and more.

For additional information, contact Terrence O'Sullivan, HLS Program Coordinator, or the UNH Manchester Office of Admissions at (603) 641-4150.

This degree plan is a sample and does not reflect the impact of transfer credit or current course offerings. Undergraduate students will develop individual academic plans with their professional advisor during the first year at UNH.

Sample Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
HLS 410 Introduction to Homeland Security 4
Discovery Course 4
Breadth Area Course 4
PSYC 402 Statistics in Psychology 4
HLS 415 Fundamentals of Corporate Security 4
HLS 455 Introduction to Cybersecurity 4
Discovery Course 4
Second Year
PSYC 502
or PS 595
Research Methods in Psychology
or Research for Political and Policy Action
HLS 480 Professional Skills in Homeland Security 4
HLS 505 Political Violence and Terrorism 4
Breadth Area Course 4
HLS 510 Fundamentals of Emergency Management 4
HLS 515 Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience 4
Breadth Area Course 4
Discovery Course 4
Third Year
HLS 520 Homeland Security Law and Policy 4
HLS 650 Topics in National Security Intelligence 4
Discovery Course 4
Breadth Area Course 4
HLS 580 Environmental and Human Security 4
HLS 770 Internship in Homeland Security 4
Discovery Course 4
Breadth Area Course 4
Fourth Year
HLS 760 Strategic Planning and Decision Making 4
Breadth Area Course 4
Discovery Course 4
Breadth Area Course 4
HLS 790 Capstone in Homeland Security 4
Breadth Area Course 4
Breadth Area Course 4
Breadth Area Course 4
 Total Credits128

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

All courses within the major, fully available on both Durham and Manchester campuses, must be completed with a grade of C- or above and an overall GPA of 2.0 or above in major courses.

Core Major Requirements
HLS 410Introduction to Homeland Security4
HLS 415Fundamentals of Corporate Security4
HLS 455Introduction to Cybersecurity4
HLS 480Professional Skills in Homeland Security4
HLS 505Political Violence and Terrorism4
HLS 510Fundamentals of Emergency Management4
HLS 515Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience4
HLS 520Homeland Security Law and Policy4
HLS 580Environmental and Human Security4
JUST 501Research Methods4
or PSYC 502 Research Methods in Psychology
or PS 595 Research for Political and Policy Action
HLS 650Topics in National Security Intelligence4
HLS 760Strategic Planning and Decision Making4
HLS 770Internship in Homeland Security4
or HLS 799 Senior Thesis in Homeland Security
HLS 790Capstone in Homeland Security4
Total Credits56

Breadth Requirement
In addition to the core HLS courses, students must complete 40 additional credits from either Durham or Manchester campuses, or both, in one of five ways:

  1. two minors;
  2. a minor and a "coherent block"/self-designed concentration (i.e., ROTC credits, or credits earned from another major). The coherent block needs to be approved by the HLS coordinator;
  3. a second major or a UNH dual degree;
  4. an associate's degree transferred in to UNH;
  5. some other combination of coursework with consent of the HLS program coordinator.

  • Conduct research and work collaboratively to deliver professional, written papers, presentations, and briefs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary or emergent threats, challenges or issues including natural manmade and technological hazards.
  • Apply knowledge and tools gained throughout the HLS program to complete a capstone project.
  • Complete an internship in HLS (or a senior thesis in HLS).
  • Recognize the concepts of ethics and professionalism in the homeland security enterprise.

Explore Program Details

Students can combine their interests in security studies and history with travel through summer study abroad course to Belfast, Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands, York and London. Taught by professor of security studies, and Sonic Woytonik, history lecturer, this nearly 3-week trip focuses on the how the UK has experienced domestic conflict (i.e., the Troubles in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century, including the struggle for Irish independence), and the broader responses of the UK to domestic security and emergency preparedness to hazards and threats from World War II to present times.

The trip offers several opportunities for students to intimately experience history and culture in Ireland, Scotland, and England.  While in Ireland you’ll have the chance to visit Dublin ahead of time, then and as a group of 12, you’ll experience a day with former Irish Republicans and Loyalists who’ll explain the conflict from their perspective, we’ll visit the Northern Irish Assembly (Stormont) for a guided tour, the Titanic Museum, and the N Irish Coast including castles, the Giant’s Causeway and cross the Rede Rope Bridge).

We then travel to Scotland where we are invited to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to attend the First Ministers question/answer session, eat and do skittle bowling in a 15th cent Scottish pub, see Edinburgh Castle, hike Ben Vrackie, visit a highlands distillery and much more on your own.

Leaving Edinburgh, we will travel to York England via the ancient 700 year old Alnwick Castle (home of the first 2 Harry Potters).  In York we are invited to the UK Emergency Plannign College to experience how the UK seeks to understand and prepare for everything from floods, to the Coronavirus to terrorism.   You’ll have plenty of time to experience York, a Medieval walled town that was 1000 years old by the time the Romans settled it in 79 AD.

From York we travel to Bletchley Park (home of the WW II code breakers, and birthplace of MI6 an the OSS - think “The Imitation Game”) and then on to London where we see the Churchill War Rooms and have a dedicated guided (nonfiction) Spy Walk.  You’ll have plenty of time to explore London and all her charms as each student is given an Oyster card to use the bus and tube system.

The trip is offered each summer from mid-May to early June.  

Before the trip, students have the choice to take HLS 555 – Culture and Conflict in the spring semester.  HLS 555 satisfies the World Cultures discovery requirement.  The trip itself is tied to HLS 656, a 1 credit lab of HLS 555.  Students that take BOTH HLS 555 and HLS 656 (the trip) can waive EITHER the terrorism or the intelligence course requirement in the HLS major.

Student costs include:

  • HLS 656 (1 credit tition)
  • The “trip fee” – which is the “lab fee” of HLS 656 (includes all lodging, breakfasts, several lunches/dinners, all entrance fees, guides, and in-trip transportation, etc)
  • transatlantic airfare
  • missed meals

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.

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. Here are a few minors that will complement your HLS degree:


The corporate security minor builds the foundation of business and strategies common to modem corporate security, from safeguarding the workforce to securing physical and digital assets.


The cybersecurity policy minor introduces students to the fundamentals of cybersecurity, risk management, critical infrastructure security and resilience. 


The emergency management minor prepares you with knowledge of emergency management strategies, tools and policies essential to related careers in government, the private sector and nonprofit entities.


Enhance your degree and marketability with the forensic accounting minor, which gives you the skills and techniques to examine, detect and prevent fraudulent activity in a range of business, governmental and legal venues.


Actively engage in global issues while developing cross-cultural awareness through our global studies minor, which gives you the knowlege, skills and anlytical reasoning to analyze the impact of 21st century issues on regional, national and global communities.


An excellent complement to any degree, a history minor helps you build a foundational understanding of the political, social, economic and cultural forces that influence human life.


The threats to national and homeland security are seemingly in the news every day, and with it comes the need for an educated workforce. Our homeland security minor builds your skills in this complex field, preparing you to work in dynamic environments, form partnerships, think critically and solve today's challenges.

National Security Intelligence

In our national security intelligence minor, you'll gain a composite view of national security intelligence and related topics that may support a career path in government, private sector, nonprofits and more.


Strengthen your understanding of foreign policy through our terrorism studies minor, which explores global and domestic politics and the origins, ideologies and goals of terrorist groups.

View all minors

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.)

Learn more about career planning

We've partnered with NHTI and White Mountains Community College to develop curriculum guides that show you which NHTI and WMCC courses transfer into UNH Manchester's homeland security program. Click on a community college below to see transferable homeland security requirements:

Questions? Contact an admission counselor for help.

See the complete list of Pathways

Through the accelerated master’s program, diligent students can complete a B.S. in homeland security and a master’s degree in cybersecurity policy and risk management , global conflict and human security or national security intelligence analysis in as few as five years by taking graduate-level courses during senior year. You're eligible to apply for the accelerated master's program if you have a GPA of 3.2 or higher in your junior year or first semester of senior year. 

Cybersecurity Policy and Risk Management

The online CPRM program blends strategy and policy to cultivate the strategic thinking, policy development and risk-management skills for a brighter cybersecurity future. LEARN MORE

Global Conflict and Human Security

Online and truly global, the GCHS program prepares you to assess risk and threats to human security and promote social, economic and political development while building durable peace. LEARN MORE

National Security Intelligence Analysis

The online NSIA program provides a deep conceptual understanding of national and international security issues, strategies and policies to prepare the next generation of intelligence professionals. LEARN MORE

HLS Departmental Honors contact: Prof. Woytonik, sonic.woytonik@unh.edu

What is the HLS departmental honors program?
Departmental honors offers high-achieving students with a credential as well as access to a more rigorous, applied HLS curriculum. Students pursuing department honors take 3 HLS core courses as honors (usually 3 of the following: 480, 580, 760, or 790) in which they complete additional projects under the supervision of HLS faculty. Departmental honors students also complete a senior honors thesis through HLS 799H.

In some cases, students may petition the Honors liaison to take a different HLS course as Honors. Students with questions about which courses they can use to fulfill Honors should contact the Honors liaison.

Who is eligible for departmental honors?
Students who have a UNH GPA of 3.5, and who have earned a B+ or higher in HLS 410 and HLS 415, are invited to join. Students should also know how they will complete the HLS breadth requirement prior to applying for departmental honors. 

To remain in the honors program, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA and earn a grade of B+ or higher in HLS honors courses.

Is departmental honors open to students on both campuses?

Is departmental honors the same as university honors?
No. Students may participate in departmental honors without pursuing university honors. However, students in university honors must complete the departmental honors track within the HLS major as a component of the university honors curriculum. More information about university honors can be found here.

If I am in the departmental honors program, can I still do an internship?
Yes. While HLS 799H Honors Thesis will satisfy the professional experience requirement in the HLS curriculum, I always recommend internships for career exploration and building security-related work experience! The HLS departmental honors program offers more opportunities, not fewer.

I'm not yet eligible to join departmental honors but I'm interested for the future. What should I do?
Contact the Honors liaison Prof. Woytonik to start planning: sonic.woytonik@unh.edu.

What happens if a student in departmental honors loses eligibility?
Students participating in the HLS departmental honors program must meet certain requirements to remain in the program. Students who lose eligibility will receive a communication from the Honors liaison faculty with more information. Students will still receive credit for any Honors courses they have taken in the HLS core. Depending on circumstances, it may be possible for students to re-join departmental honors in a later semester if they meet eligibility requirements.

How does a student withdraw from departmental honors?
If a student wishes to stop participating in departmental honors, they should contact the Honors liaison faculty in writing as soon as possible. If withdrawal occurs mid-semester, the student will remain enrolled in any departmental Honors courses they are taking. If withdrawal occurs between semesters, students will be re-registered for the non-honors section of courses.

Can I take courses multiple times, if I already took 480 and now want to take 480H?
No, there is a mutual exclusion because these courses run concurrently and students may only receive credit once.

Can I join Honors if I am a transfer student?
Yes! Please connect with the Honors liaison and make sure that if you still need 410 and 415, those classes are in your first semester schedule. If you are transferring with an equivalent course to 410 or 415, you may still be able to join Honors.

Click here to view the Homeland Security Departmental Honors Admissions Criteria

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