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Best 16 Masters in Security in 2021

February 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Security
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It is easy for individuals that are not familiar with the complex nature of security professions to assume that a security education is part of criminal justice. The truth is that there are many types of security specialists. The growing need for security professionals leads to the need for those interested in security to receive a a high-quality education, such as a masters in security degree. 

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Security Degree? 

There are a variety of master’s in security programs available to individuals that have an interest in providing security at national and international levels. Pursuing a masters in security in the field that a person wants to enter requires selecting the right program. This helps to determine what a person can do with a master’s degree in security.

Top 5 Masters in Security

RankSchoolLocation
1East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina
2University of Houston DowntownUniversity of Houston Downtown
3University of South FloridaTampa, Florida
4John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew York City, New York
5Arizona State University Phoenix, Arizona

Consider a master’s degree in security studies if you want a career that focuses on security leadership, crisis management, or security analysis. Individuals that want a career in cybersecurity or homeland security often find ideal master’s in security programs that fulfill the goals or requirements for working in these fields. Do you want to focus on the security of populations or on security efforts after a disaster? Earning a master’s in security that focuses on human security is an option that leads to a rewarding career.  

The pay and job growth in security is likely a reason that some people choose to earn a master’s degree in security. The 2019 median pay was $99,730 for information security analysts, with an anticipated job growth of 31 percent through 2029. The National Security Agency (NSA) lists the entry level pay for a mid-level investigator at more than $72,000, and the pay for an NSA Forensic Analyst starting at $93,822 a year. 

Some schools allow students to complete program requirements online to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. Other programs require on-campus coursework and other face-to-face meetings. Exploring the best master’s in security programs allows for determining the best school and program that meets your goals and interests. 

The Best 16 Masters in Security in 2021

1

East Carolina University

  • Greenville, North Carolina

Earn a Master of Science in Security Studies from East Carolina University and take your place in security leadership at an intelligence agency, a small department within an organization, or at a large multinational corporation. The program guides students through gaining knowledge from disciplines such as criminal justice, political science, public administration, environmental health and safety, and computer technology.

Students have the opportunity to choose one of four concentrations, including Homeland Security Policy, International Security, Science and Technology Security or Environmental Health and Occupational Safety.

School Overview

Tuition: $249.26 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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2

University of Houston Downtown

  • University of Houston Downtown

The Master of Security Management degree offered by the University of Houston Downtown is an online program that is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to focus on the ever-changing cybersecurity and global security environments.

Security leaders and managers learn to mitigate cybersecurity risks, criminal risks or terroristic threats to businesses and organizations. Students gain the skills to identify emerging threats and to develop, implement, and refine policies related to organizational security risks.

School Overview

Tuition: $399.50 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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3

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, Florida

Earn a Cybersecurity Master’s Degree from the University of South Florida, and select your preferred concentration from the cyber intelligence option, information assurance, digital forensics options, or the computer security fundamentals concentration. Complete core courses and gain a strong foundation in cybersecurity before focusing on your concentration coursework.

Learn to manage risks and to counter vulnerabilities, to investigate computer crimes, cybersecurity, and electronic crimes. Learn to balance defenses and risks while maintaining confidentiality. Other skills that students learn are specific to the selected concentration.

*In-state tuition varies by Cybersecurity concentration

School Overview

Cyber Intelligence Tuition: $461.43 per credit hour*
Digital Forensics Behavioral and Community Sciences Tuition: $461.43 per credit hour*
Information Assurance Business Tuition: $497.34 per credit hour*
Computer Security Fundamentals Engineering Tuition: $497.34 per credit hour*
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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4

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

  • New York City, New York

The Master of Science in Security Management program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is delivered in an accelerated, on-campus or online format with small class sizes. Students have the ability to earn up to six credits every eight weeks, and to complete the 36-credit hour program within two years.

Take courses that cover topics such as protection management systems, organization theory and management, homeland defense, and contemporary issues in security management.

School Overview

Tuition: $470 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
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5

Arizona State University

  • Phoenix, Arizona

Earn an online Master of Arts in Emergency Management and Homeland Security at Arizona State University and learn to engage in a variety of effective management techniques to deal with crises and hazards related to public safety and security. The 33-credit-hour program prepares students for leadership positions in international security, and in disaster management.

Choose your preferred concentration from options that include biosecurity and threat management, homeland security, cybersecurity policy and management, community resilience, or emergency management.

School Overview

Tuition: $543 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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6

University of Massachusetts Lowell

  • Lowell, Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers unique options for its masters in security program. Students have the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Security Studies or a Master of Science in Security Studies. The master of arts program draws on criminal justice, psychology, and legal studies to prepare graduates for careers in government agencies, or to work in advanced technology positions, or to work in other areas. Students choose a concentration in homeland defense, international security, or industrial and economic security.

The master of science program, on the other hand, focuses on addressing threats to critical infrastructure, and on careers that focus on cybersecurity and weapons of mass destruction. There are a variety of student opportunities such as internships, and hands-on research.

School Overview

Tuition: $575 – $842.21 per credit hour
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
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7

Park University

  • Parkville, Missouri

Park University, the official higher education partner of the Kansas City Chiefs, offers the online Master of Arts in National Security. The program focuses on 21st century security issues, and prepares graduates to work as policy makers, analysts, and scholars. The school also lists career possibilities such as cybersecurity specialist, national security analyst, background investigator and logistics specialist. Examples of courses include U.S. National Security Policy, and International Relations.

Active-duty members of the military and veterans receive a tuition discount.

School Overview

Tuition: $597 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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8

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Worldwide

  • Worldwide Campus

The Master of Science in Human Security and Resilience program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Worldwide focuses on learning interdisciplinary approaches to understanding global affairs. The program prepares graduates to provide security for populations. Students learn to understand the ability of human populations to withstand and to recover from shocks such as extreme weather, terroristic acts, armed conflicts and other concepts of human security.

Gain knowledge and skills based on the principles put forth by the United Nations. Graduates also have the expertise to analyze the statistics related to the study of stressors that have the potential to disrupt the daily lives of people in their homes, places of employment, and in communities.

Students participate in multidisciplinary curriculum that explores the interplay between economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and political security. Students will study under faculty mentors who work closely with the UN agencies, private sectors firms, community-based organizations, civic and government leaders, and disaster managers in developing community- and regional-specific resilience plans. Students learn about the driving factors behind global, regional, and national trends impacting business, human development, diplomacy and more. They also gain exposure to today’s leaders and policymakers in real-time opportunities to learn about current threats and challenges urban areas face. Additionally, they conduct research and analysis on the stressors that disrupt daily life and the factors that fuel resilience and apply their knowledge to real-world events and in potential careers, such as a Disaster Resiliency Coordinator, Program Analyst, Community Resilience Planner, Emergency Management Specialist, or Emergency Management Program Manager.

School Overview

Tuition: $599 – $1,443 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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9

University of Texas at Austin

  • Austin, Texas

The University of Texas at Austin offers a Master of Science in Information Security and Privacy program. Students in the program learn perspectives in information security and privacy that are typically not available in cybersecurity and similar programs. There is no GRE requirement to apply to the program.

Topics covered in the 30-credit hour program curriculum includes public policy, information and privacy, information management, information risk and benefit analysis, and other relevant topics.

School Overview

Tuition: $600 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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10

The Citadel

  • Charleston, South Carolina

Earn a Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies in a 100 percent online format at The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina.

Students follow a course of study that prepares them to enhance national security as they learn best practices for intelligence collection and analysis, and homeland security leadership. These skills, combined with theory and research, provides students with the knowledge required for excellent report writing, effective briefings and critical thinking skills. Students choose the leadership concentration or the cybersecurity concentration.

School Overview

Tuition: $695 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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11

University of Denver

  • Denver, Colorado

The Master of Science in Security Management offered by the University of Denver prepares graduates to examine potential security threats, to provide assessments, and to offer security solutions. Students learn leadership skills required for the strategic, planning, and management efforts of both public and private organizations. They also learn to evaluate the financial implications of security programs, and to use cutting edge technology in the supply chain management concentration featured in the program.

School Overview

Tuition: $730 per credit hour
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
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12

University of San Diego

  • San Diego, California

The University of San Diego offers students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations in Leadership in just 20 months. The university understands the need for experts in the field of cyber security with the ability to demonstrate leadership in real-world situations.

The school accepts applications on a rolling basis, and admits students during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Learn how to communicate critical cybersecurity needs and priorities. Gain an understanding of the methods to defeat adversaries through theoretical and tactical perspectives, and to use state-of-the-art technologies in the field.

School Overview

Tuition: $925 per credit hour
Accreditation: WASC, NCATE
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13

University of New Haven

  • West Haven, Connecticut

Earn a Master of Science in National Security at the University of New Haven and gain knowledge in national and international security, intelligence analysis, homeland security, emergency management and public safety. The program includes opportunities for hands-on experiences, to complete research and an internship. The courses are taught by faculty members with a background in national security intelligence and with excellent academic credentials.

School Overview

Tuition: $965 per credit hour
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
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14

Tulane University

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

The Master of Professional Studies in Security Management at Tulane University prepares graduates for security and risk management leadership positions in settings such as hospitals, corporations, schools, universities and athletic events. Learn the skills that are required to protect businesses and corporations from disasters, criminal acts, or acts of terrorism in this online or hybrid program.

The university also offers a Master of Professional Studies in Emergency Management, and a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security Studies.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,078 per credit hour
Accreditation: SACSCOC
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15

Northeastern University

  • Boston, Massachusetts

The Master of Arts in Homeland Security program at Northeastern University prepares professionals for advanced roles in homeland security, in the public and private sectors, and to gain the skills necessary to meet a variety of challenges. Learn the leadership skills, professional management skills, critical thinking and reasoning skills and communication skills to work in homeland security. Learn how to address threats in matters such as pandemics, terrorist threats, national security threats and other issues that require a homeland security response. Students choose from four concentrations.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,509 per credit hour
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
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16

George Washington University

  • Washington, D.C

The George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs offers the Security Policy Studies Master of Arts degree. The policy-oriented program focuses on international security, with a particular emphasis on responding to 21st century security challenges. The curriculum provides for a strong foundation in national security policy-making processes, along with specialized knowledge of organized terrorist and criminal networks, cyber threats, weapons proliferation, pandemics, and other challenges.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,890 per credit hour
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
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Our Methodology 

We recognize the importance of gathering information on the best master’s in security programs to educate the best security professionals of the future. We researched the best programs, and included schools that are fully accredited, and then ranked them according to the resident tuition rate for one credit hour of instruction. 

Do you need help finding the ideal college or university? We can help you find the right school based on your selected program. 

If you would like to update the information on your school, please contact us and we will update the information for you. 

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