Master of Arts in Homeland Security — Boston

The Master of Arts in Homeland Security prepares you for leadership in the challenging and rapidly evolving field of homeland security.

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We’re committed to creating an education as unique as your career path. So, whether your goal is a new career or moving up in your field, our innovative programs will get you going your way.


Customize your plan

We work with you to map your path to your goal.


Learn from experience

From real-world case studies to employer-based projects, we prepare you to manage what comes next.


Choose your focus

Whatever you’re passionate about, you’ll find the classes to sharpen your specialty.


Study anywhere, on your time

Part-time or full-time, we move at your speed, to get you where you’re going.


Full-Time, Part-Time

Entry Terms

Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter

Completion Time

1-1.5 years

F1 Visa Eligible



In an uncertain world, homeland security professionals must be equipped to meet diverse challenges. Whether you’re ready to launch a new career or looking to advance within your current profession, the Master of Arts in Homeland Security will prepare you for the next big step. With a whole-of-government approach emphasizing the role private sector partnerships play in national security, our program gives you the tools for success. You’ll gain skills you can apply immediately, including leadership, emergency planning and management, expertise in verbal and written communication, and the critical-thinking abilities to make timely, well-reasoned judgments. Additionally, you will have access to Northeastern’ s internationally renowned experiential opportunities including Coop, and experientially based capstone courses. With concentrations, you’ll have the freedom to choose your focus as you absorb the core elements of advanced study in this fast-growing field.

This program is based in Boston, MA.

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Unique Features

  • Career-advancing degree: With hands-on and career-oriented coursework, the curriculum enables students to “learn it tonight, use it tomorrow.” Coursework is specifically designed to immediately provide the skills and knowledge desired in the industry.

  • Tailor your degree to your career goals: Choose from one of four concentrations—Emergency Management; Organization and Infrastructure Continuity; Geospatial Services; or Port Security.

  • Flexible learning formats: With courses offered 100% online, on campus in Boston or Charlotte, or in a hybrid format, you can complete your degree without putting your life on hold.

  • Network and learn from expert security professionals:Our faculty are practicing, recognized experts with years of experience in national and homeland security. They provide students with valuable insights from their careers. Faculty include former FBI Supervisory Special Agents, CIA analysts, and experts who have advised presidents, Congress, and key organizations.

  • Northeastern’s commitment to advancing innovations in security: Security is one of Northeastern’s three research and programmatic focal areas. Our university-wide commitment to guide and advance innovation in security, intelligence, and resilience is bolstered by our dedicated research centers and institutes focused on security issues.

Program Objectives

  • Provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead the next generation of homeland security in both the public and private sectors
  • Provide the leadership skills, emergency planning and management tools, and verbal and written communication expertise to prepare our students to meet the challenges of an uncertain world
  • Provide a whole-of-government understanding of homeland security with an emphasis on the importance of partnering with the private sector in a global context
  • Focus on exposing students to a strategic-level understanding of the wholistic approach in the homeland security field and the private sector’s integral role

Career Outlook

  • Opportunities for employment in security positions are diverse, spanning both government and private industry. They include:
    • Emergency management (at the federal, state, and local levels)
    • Industries such as banking, energy, manufacturing, and transportation/shipping
    • Ports (maritime and aviation)
  • Past graduates of the program have gone on to work for:
    • U.S. Secret Service
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • FBI
    • The U.S. Department of State
    • Naval Criminal Investigative Services
    • Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency 
    • Raytheon 


Check out your career prospects

Beginning your journey with us is a big decision. But it's a smart one.  Your field is evolving rapidly. That's why we're constantly innovating our programs to anticipate your industry's needs.  So, no matter where your field goes, you can lead the way. 


Projected job growth in emergency and other relief services through 2026

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019


Projected job growth for emergency management directors through 2028

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Experiential / Co-op opportunities

Northeastern's signature experience-powered learning model has been at the heart of the university for more than a century. It combines world-class academics with professional practice, allowing you to acquire relevant, real-world skills you can immediately put into action in your current workplace.

This makes a Northeastern education a dynamic, transformative experience, giving you countless opportunities to grow as a professional and person.

Learn About Getting Real World Experience

Get Set with a Custom Course Plan

General Requirements

Required Courses 



Complete one of the following: 


Please Note: Students who are interested in taking HLS 7990 need to first take GST 6109 Basic Field Research.


Complete one of the following: 



Concentration in Emergency Management


Concentration in Geospatial Services


Concentration in Organization and Infrastructure Continuity


Concentration in Port Security

Students selecting this concentration are only required to take 4 quarter hours of electives:


Note: HLS 6100 and HLS 6120 are recommended to be taken concurrently. 

Follow our leaders

Our faculty represents a wide cross-section of professional practices and fields. They serve as mentors and advisors and collaborate alongside students to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.

“Homeland security has become increasingly essential to communities across the country. Whether we are reacting to global pandemics, natural disasters or terrorist incidents, we need a wide variety of occupations to be ready to respond and to secure those in harm’s way.” - Jack McDevitt, Faculty Director

Dave Hagen

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James Holst

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John Terpinas

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Jack McDevitt

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Edward Barr

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Developing a capstone to address the present COVID-19 pandemic with nine of my peers embodied what I love about Northeastern. Everything I learned had a real world application, but the final capstone was an opportunity to solve a problem that no one had ever created a solution for.

Nick Perrotta Master's in Homeland Security, 2020

Now Let's Talk Admissions

You know where you are headed and you've seen how our program will lead you there. So let's get going. Here's what you need to know before you enroll.

Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500–1000 words): Identify your educational goals and expectations of the program. Please be aware that Northeastern University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to your statement of purpose.
  • Professional resumé
  • Unofficial undergraduate transcripts; official transcripts required at the time of admission
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who have either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities such as a faculty member, colleague, or mentor, preferably one from your current employer
  • English language proficiency proof. Students for whom English is not their primary language must submit one of the following:
    • Official associate or bachelor's degree transcript from an accredited college or university in the U.S., stating degree conferral and date
    • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo, or NU Global Exam scores

International Requirements

Are You an International Student? Find out what additional documents are required to apply.

Global Engagement Learn how our teaching and research benefit from a worldwide network of students, faculty, and industry partners.

Financing Requirements

Finance Your Education We offer a variety of resources, including scholarships and assistantships.

How to Apply Learn more about the application process and requirements.

Cost and Tuition

Application Deadlines

Our admissions process operates on a rolling basis; however, we do recommend following the application guidelines below to ensure you can begin during your desired start term.

Fall 2020 Deadline
July 13, 2020 International out-of-country application complete (start date: September 14, 2020)
August 10, 2020International in-country application complete (start date: September 14, 2020)
September 4, 2020Domestic application complete (first half start: September 14, 2020)
October 16, 2020Domestic application complete (second half start: October 26, 2020)
Winter 2021 Deadline
November 2, 2020International out-of-country application complete (start date: January 11, 2021)
December 7, 2020International in-country application complete (start date: January 11, 2021)
January 1, 2021Domestic application complete (first half start: January 11, 2021)
February 12, 2021Domestic application complete (second half start: February 22, 2021)
Spring 2021 Deadline
February 8, 2021International out-of-country application complete (start date: April 12, 2021)
March 8, 2021International in-country application complete (start date: April 12, 2021)
April 2, 2021Domestic application complete (first half start: April 12, 2021)
May 14, 2021Domestic application complete (second half start: May 24, 2021)
Summer 2021 Deadline
May 10, 2021International out-of-country application complete (start date: July 12, 2021)
June 7, 2021International in-country application complete (start date: July 12, 2021)
July 2, 2021Domestic application complete (start date: July 12, 2021)

Student Body Profile

Below is a look at where our Political Science and Security alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.


  • Where They Work

    • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    • Fidelity Investments
    • State Street
    • US Army
    • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • What They Do

    • Business Development
    • Education
    • Community and Social Services
    • Legal
    • Operations
  • What They're Skilled At

    • Public Speaking
    • Research
    • Leadership
    • Microsoft Office
    • Management


Learn more about Northeastern Alumni on Linkedin.

Career Opportunities and Services


Thinking about earning your graduate degree?

Join the Virtual Graduate Open House on Oct. 17.

Learn More

Did You Know?

#1 ranking for our online Master of Arts in Homeland Security in the nation (thebestschools.org).

From Our Alumni

"The program has really trained us to open our minds and view the world from a multiplicity of critical viewpoints." — Christine Doucette, Alumna

Did You Know?

By enrolling in Northeastern, you gain access to our global network of more than 255,000 alumni and 3,350+ employer partners. 

From Our Students

"The program definitely gives us the practical tools to contribute in a variety of roles. It's also exposed me to a diverse faculty, who contribute to the field in myriad ways. Learning from such smart, thoughtful, and supportive practitioners is truly inspiring, and I am confident that they will help make my dream of serving my country a reality." — Christine Doucette, Alumna

From Our Students

"The program has been so informative and eye-opening as to how we might have, in the past, handled threats in a different manner, and how best to confront future challenges." —Christine Doucette, Alumna