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Protect the United States with a Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security

Homeland security is the study of terrorism and other threats to national security—including natural and man-made disasters. As a student in IUP’s BA in Political Science/Homeland Security program, you’ll gain the necessary tools to confront global and domestic challenges facing the United States, setting you up to anticipate threats and protect this country and its citizens.

Why Get a BA in Political Science/Homeland Security at IUP

While completing your degree, you’ll gain a broad knowledge base and develop your critical and creative thinking skills. You’ll have a wide variety of courses and tools available to you. Your professors will provide context in your core political science courses, which will allow you to better understand homeland security. Your degree will emphasize policy-making and the administrative aspects of homeland security—giving you an edge on the job market.

Your faculty advisors are deeply committed to your success during and after your time at IUP. You’ll develop close relationships with your professors and your advisor, and you’ll have the same advisor throughout your time in the major. They’ll work with you every semester to make sure your coursework matches your goals and interests, and they’ll be your trusted ally in planning for your future.

What You’ll Learn

As a Homeland Security major, you’ll learn how to use critical thinking around complex and evolving threats and learn how to create and implement systems to stop threats. You’ll understand how homeland security policy is developed and how it becomes law, and your professors will explain how federal agencies interpret security policies.

Imagine Your Future

With a BA in Homeland Security, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to work in many different fields related to emergency management and homeland defense. You can expect to find jobs in businesses, emergency and safety management, law enforcement, military service, private security, and transportation and border control, to name a few.

Industries Looking for You

A sampling of the many employers and industries who are recruiting graduates with degrees in homeland security:

  • Centers for Disease Control
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • Domestic Nuclear Detection Office
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
  • Fraud investigation
  • Homeland security advocacy groups
  • Information security
  • Intergovernmental affairs
  • International diplomacy
  • National Cybersecurity Center
  • Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • Office of Intelligence Analysis
  • Science and Technology Directorate
  • Think tanks
  • Transportation Security Administration
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Career opportunities in Political Science/Homeland Security

You’ll have your pick of a wide variety of different roles, including:

  • Air marshal
  • ATF special agent
  • Business continuity specialist
  • Counterterrorism analyst
  • Criminal investigator/detective
  • Critical infrastructure analyst
  • Customs and Border Patrol agents
  • Disaster resilience coordinator
  • Emergency manager
  • FBI agent
  • Geospatial analyst
  • Immigration services officer
  • Intelligence analyst
  • IT-Cyber security specialist
  • Risk analyst
  • Secret Service special agent
  • Telecommunications specialist
  • Transportation security officer
  • US postal inspector

Classes and Requirements

You’ll start with five required core classes, which will give you basic skills alongside background on policies and agencies in the field. You’ll dive deeper in your three elective courses, which will explain how homeland security policies are created and implemented.

In your program, you’ll choose between either a specialization in Homeland Defense or Emergency Management. If your specialization is Homeland Defense, you’ll focus on identifying risks and developing policy and strategy. If you specialize in Emergency Management, you’ll focus on both program administration and disaster or crisis management.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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4 + 1 and Early Admissions for Master of Public Affairs

If you’re looking to get a head start on your master's degree while finishing up your undergraduate courses—and you have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have completed at least 15 credits toward your major—you can apply early and start toward your graduate degree. 

In the 4 + 1 program, you’ll take graduate seminars that will count toward both your undergraduate and master’s degree—which means you’ll save both time and money on graduate school. You’ll receive a master's degree in public affairs, which will give you the background and skills to work as a public administrator at local, state, national, or international levels or to work in private or nonprofit organizations. You’ll graduate with skills like policy analysis, administrative management, budgeting, and public administration.

Build Your Professional Network with an Internship

Your professors and advisor will encourage you to think about an internship while you’re in school. Even though it isn't required, an internship can give you plenty of advantages: a network in your field, a valuable entry for your resume, awareness of the available options post-graduation, and specialized skills and knowledge. 

An internship will earn you 3–12 credits, depending on how many hours you work. You won’t be on your own: All Political Science internships are coordinated and supervised by Dr. Sarah Wheeler, a faculty member in the Political Science Department.

For more information about your internship options and the application process, see the Internship Handbook for Political Science Majors.

Handbook Part 1

Handbook Part 2

Internship Forms

Increase Your Career Opportunities with a Minor or Second Major

The bachelor's degree in Political Science/Homeland Security program was designed with enough flexibility that you can easily add a minor—or even a second major—and still graduate in four years. Depending on your goals, you can choose from plenty of options to make you a more well-rounded candidate once you leave school.

BA in Political Science/Homeland Security majors often minor in:

There’s a Place for You in Our Community

IUP’s goal is for you to feel at home in the Political Science Department. Your professors are genuinely excited that you’re here, and they want to get to know you and help you find your place in the community. 

The Political Science Department offices are a place for you to feel comfortable—with plenty of space to study or chat with your classmates or professors. The department also hosts regular Coffee Breaks, where you can get to know your classmates and learn from your professors outside the classroom.