Master of Arts in Homeland Security

Campus Locations Boston, Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter (excl F1 visa applicants)
Meets International Visa Requirements Yes


The Master of Arts degree in Homeland Security is intended to prepare the next generation of emergency managers and homeland security professionals for leadership roles in the public and private sectors. The degree offers a comprehensive program of studies covering core elements of homeland security and emergency management at the graduate level, including management skills, intelligence gathering and analysis, risk management, emergency planning and management, legal issues, technological issues and social psychology. The MA in Homeland Security program is designed to develop high-level operational expertise through the application of the above content to the implementation of emergency response protocols as executed in the United States.

Under our National Guard agreement, Homeland Security and Emergency Management professionals can leverage your NIMS certifications for program credit. To learn more about eligibility for this opportunity, please view our fact sheet.

Program Objectives

  • Examine all aspects of the disaster cycle
  • Understand the nature and sources of threats to social, political, and economic systems
  • Develop critical communication skills and techniques related to the public and media
  • Use geographic information technologies to gather and analyze relevant data

Collaboration with Homeland Security Centers and Institutes

Northeastern University’s Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security’s mission is to advance resilience in the face of 21st century risks through use-inspired research.

Northeastern University’s ALERT Center (Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats) is a multi-university Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. It is one of 12 Centers of Excellence across the country that conducts transformational research, technology and educational development for effective response to explosives-related threats.

The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security, known as the nation’s homeland security educator, has been providing homeland security graduate and executive education since 2002, and is now collaborating with Northeastern University. The Master’s in Homeland Security degree incorporates homeland security and emergency management course content researched and developed by this Center.

Interested in Learning More? Watch One of Our Webinars:

- MA in Homeland Security Overview
Exploring the Intersections of Geospatial Intelligence and Homeland Security



Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2017 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

Required Courses (21 q.h.)

HLS 6000 Introduction to Homeland Security (required in first term) 3 q.h.
HLS 6010  The Unconventional Threat to Homeland Security 3 q.h.
HLS 6020  Technology for Homeland Security 3 q.h.
HLS 6030  Intelligence for Homeland Security 3 q.h.
HLS 6040 Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability Analysis and Protection 3 q.h.
HLS 6050  Multidisciplinary Approaches to Homeland Security  3 q.h.
CMN 6050 Crisis Communication 3 q.h.

Elective Courses (6-8 q.h.)

Complete two of the following courses:

HLS 6035 Advanced Intelligence Applications for Homeland Security  4 q.h. 
HLS 6983 Topics in Homeland Security  1-4 q.h. 
CJS 6105 Domestic and International Terrorism 3 q.h.
CJS 6125 Issues in National Security 3 q.h.
CJS 6000 Management for Security Professionals  3 q.h. 
CJS 6010  Advanced Principles of Security Management and Threat Assessment  3 q.h. 
CJS 6005  Legal and Regulatory Issues for Security Management 3 q.h. 
CJS 6430  Risk Management 3 q.h. 
GST 6300  Global Issues: Security & Terrorism  4 q.h. 
CMN 6060 Negotiation, Mediation, and Facilitation 3 q.h. 
CJS 6964 Co-op 0 q.h. 
INT 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning 3 q.h. 
CJS 5978 Independent Study 3 q.h. 


Concentrations (18-20 q.h.)

Choose one of the following concentrations:

Emergency Management and Geographic Information Technologies Concentration (18 q.h.)

HLS 6060 Strategic Planning & Budgeting 3 q.h.
HLS 6070 Emergency Management and Geographic Information Systems  3 q.h. 
HLS 6080  Continuity of Operations and Planning   3 q.h.
GIS 5101 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems  3 q.h. 
GIS 5102  Fundamentals of GIS Analysis  3 q.h. 
GIS 6394 Crisis Mapping for Humanitarian Action 3 q.h. 


Organization and Infrastructure Continuity Concentration (18 q.h.)

HLS 6090 Organization and Structural Continuity Planning  3 q.h. 
CJS 6430  Risk Management  3 q.h.
GIS 5101  Introduction to Geographic Information Systems   3 q.h.
GIS 5102 Fundamentals of GIS Analysis 3 q.h. 
ITC 6315  Information Security Risk Management  3 q.h. 
ITC 6310 Information Security Governance  3 q.h. 


Port Security Concentration (20 q.h.)

HLS 6100 Maritime and Port Security 1 (recommended taken concurrently with  HLS 6120 ) 4 q.h. 
HLS 6110  Maritime and Port Security 2
4 q.h.
HLS 6120  Aviation Security 1 (recommended taken concurrently with  HLS 6100 )  4 q.h.
HLS 6130
Aviation Security 2
4 q.h. 
HLS 6140
Port Security Capstone 4 q.h.


Required minimum credit hours: between 45-47 q.h. depending on the selected concentration

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $30,195.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

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Degree Type


Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Faculty Profile

Craig Gruber, Lead Faculty Member, Northeastern University MA Homeland Security

Dr. Craig Gruber, Director and Faculty Member

PhD (Psychology), Clark University 
MS (Gifted and Talented Education), Johns Hopkins University

Craig W. Gruber is the director of the Master of arts in Homeland Security program. Dr. Gruber's teaching, research, and theoretical interests focus on the area of courage, personal agency revolving around homeland security, intelligence analysis, and educational settings; his expertise lies in maritime domain awareness, intelligence analysis, and counter-terrorism. An officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves, Dr. Gruber has served at the Office of Naval Intelligence 0397 and Joint Intelligence Center Central Command 0597. A social and developmental psychologist, he is the coauthor of the book, Psychology, AP Edition. Dr. Gruber also is the author or coauthor of numerous articles that have been published in prestigious journals, including most recently the Procedia- Social and Behavioral Journal, Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, Culture & Psychology, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He currently has an article in press at Research in Developmental Education. 

Previously, Dr. Gruber was a lecturer in psychology at Northeastern University, an adjunct professor in psychology at Mt. Ida College, and a psychologist in residence at American University. Prior to that, he served as an assistant principal and as a teacher for various public school systems. He is certified and licensed in Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. 

Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Describe the nature and sources of threats to social, political, and economic systems for different constituent groups in homeland security, based on the theory, knowledge, and practice in the field.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Design and execute an applied or investigative work in the homeland security domain that draws on the perspectives and methods of other fields of study and assesses the resulting advantages and challenges of including these perspectives and methods.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Create a disaster response plan (man-made or natural) based on FEMA guidelines, including pre-planning, positioning of resources, assets, leadership, and collaboration with public and private groups charged with the response.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Assess and develop a position on a policy question with significance in homeland security, taking into account both scholarship, positions and narratives of relevant interest groups.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within course work or beyond the classroom via experiential opportunities within the program.

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We can walk you through your program options and the application process.


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Next Term Starts
  • Summer Graduate
    Jul 10, 2017 (4-, 6-, and 8-week classes)
    Aug 7, 2017 (4-week classes)
  • Fall Undergraduate
    Sep 4, 2017 (7.5- and 15-week classes)
    Oct 25, 2017 (7.5-week classes)
  • Fall Graduate
    Sep 18, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Oct 30, 2017 (6-week classes)

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