Homeland Security Dispatch

Undergraduate Minor inHomeland Security

Program summary

Learn about homeland security and defense issues, from emergency management to homeland security policy and operations. This 18-credit minor can be a valuable enhancement to majors in a variety of fields, including criminal justice, organizational leadership, and political science.

Credits and costs

18 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Enhance Your Penn State Degree

Add a minor to get even more value out of your education.

Gain Specialized Knowledge

Earning a minor enables you to complement your major, pursue a personal interest, or explore a different field of study.

It is expected that there will be many opportunities for employment in security and protective services–related occupations in both the public and private sectors. If you are interested in gaining an understanding of homeland security issues to better position yourself for a career in homeland security, consider Penn State’s online minor in homeland security and defense.

The minor is open to all interested undergraduate World Campus students who meet the prerequisites and is most useful if you are majoring in criminal justice, political science, law and society, nursing, or organizational leadership

Learn about homeland security and defense issues such as emergency management, homeland security policy, and the structure of homeland security operations. Grow your skills to better recover from, prevent, and respond to man-made and natural disasters in a multi-jurisdictional and multifunctional environment. 


The 18 credits of course work can inform you about such career aspects of homeland and security defense as emergency management, security administration, border security, and critical infrastructure protection.

Prescribed Courses (9 credits)

  • 3

    An introduction to homeland security and defense, with a focus on policy, legal issues, organization, and administration.

  • 3

    An introduction to emergency management in mitigating, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from hazards.

  • 3

    This course will examine the inter-relationship of foreign, military and economic policy.

Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 9 credits)

  • 3

    Interdisciplinary analysis of security and loss prevention; its administration, role in crime control and prevention, and relationship to criminal justice.

  • 3

    This course provides knowledge about government organizations charged with American border security and guiding laws and policies.

  • 3

    Provides knowledge about protection of critical infrastructure as an aspect of homeland security

  • 3

    The Homeland Security Intelligence course provides a depth of knowledge of key intelligence issues for homeland security professionals.

  • 3

    Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

  • 3

    The course examines the users and processes of Intelligence Community, participants of Competitive Intelligence, and comparative intelligence communities.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

  • There are no upcoming deadlines at this time.

Admissions Help

Please work with your adviser if you have questions about adding a minor. You can find your adviser's contact information in your student portal or by calling advising at 814-863-3283.

Admission Requirements 

To be eligible for admittance into the homeland security minor, you must:

  • be a current Penn State undergraduate student in your fifth semester
  • maintain a grade of C or better in all courses for the minor
  • complete a minimum of 18 credits in homeland security and defense courses
    • 9 credits of prescribed courses
    • 9 credits of electives

Adding a Minor

If you have achieved fifth-semester standing (60 credits completed), you can apply for admission to the minor. To begin, please follow these steps:

  1. Talk with your academic adviser about incorporating the minor into your major and to develop a semester-by-semester plan for meeting requirements.
  2. Apply for the minor by adding it in LionPATH. You should do this as early as possible, but you can apply up to the late drop deadline of your graduating semester.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email once you declare the minor in LionPATH.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this program.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Homeland Security Minor, offered in partnership with the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs, please contact:

For questions regarding how to apply, contact:

World Campus Advisers
Phone: 814-863-3283
[email protected]

For questions about the program, contact:

Melissa Forkey
Homeland Security Degree Base Program, Certificate, and Undergraduate Minor
School of Public Affairs
777 West Harrisburg Pike
160W Olmsted Building
Middletown, PA 17057
Phone: 717-948-6322
Fax: 717-948-6320
[email protected]