Looking for online asynchronous Doctorate in homeland security, national defense, or defense policy

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by FireMedic_Philosopher, Mar 25, 2024.

  1. Good evening ...
    (long post)

    I have been lurking here for a bit and am a member of the sister forum. I posted this over there a few weeks back, but wanted to post it here as well, because this forum seems more grad-school/doctorate focused.
    I would appreciate anyone's advice.

    I am a full time paramedic and part time firefighter in the rural Midwest. I've been doing it for twenty years (and teaching EMS as an adjunct) at the Community College level for 20 years. I already have several associates degrees, an RA B.S. degree where I double majored in Emergency/Disaster Management and Healthcare Administration, and an RA M.S. in Public Safety Administration (think a "taught" MPA with first responder focus... heavy on grant writing, disasters, and terrorism, very light on community relations, without any research component)...

    In addition to working as a medic/firefighter, I am a part-time civilian with the USCG. (I am NOT a veteran and do not qualify for tuition assistance or the GI Bill) All that being said, my goal is to leave EMS behind soon. Three reasons: My back is ready for a change, the EMS agencies in my state do not provide anything for retirement, and finally I have hit the glass ceiling and cannot advance any higher.

    My interests have always revolved around history, the military, and national security/public policy. I am hoping to find an asynchronous online doctorate, or one with very limited residencies in the field of homeland security, public policy, national defense, or a mix thereof.
    I work rotating 24 hr shifts and cannot do classes that require weekly zoom calls or online group work for that reason. So I can only consider asynchronous programs.

    My goal is to leverage this future degree and my Coast Guard background into a position working at a national think tank like RAND or CSIS, or teaching full time as a tenured professor in academia in the fields of national defense, homeland security, or emergency management et cetera. I am not looking to teach EMS, even full time, because I am burned out. I am not looking to adjunct because I need retirement.

    I am aware it is a bit of a niche area, but have still managed to find programs at Liberty, (PhD in Policy with National Security specialization), Missouri State (Doctorate of Defense and Strategic Studies), and a DSc in Public Safety-Emergency Management from Middle Georgia State.

    I do not feel like a DPA or PhD in Public Admin or Criminal Justice (think Jacksonville, Valdosta, or something like that) would be appropriate because those are not areas I've ever worked in before, and also a DPA or DCJ would focus on the wrong things. The Liberty and MSU programs both have the national strategy/military focus I am looking for. MGSU is more of a general degree and admittedly does have a bit of a CJ focus, but it is very cheap, and still an academic as opposed to a professional degree.

    All three programs interest me greatly. The issue is cost. Even with the first responder discount at Liberty, I would struggle to afford the degree. (I do not qualify for the vets discount)...the Missouri State program is even more expensive.
    This is why I am looking at MGSU.
    While I could probably get a full ride if I do a program in-house at a B&M school, I cannot afford to move in the next few years, both for family and financial reasons.
    (otherwise I'd be applying to Indiana, Georgetown, Chicago, Texas A&M et cetera)

    So... does anyone know of any ASYNCHRONOUS Doctorate level online homeland security / national defense (not CJ based) or public policy programs besides Middle Georgia cheaper than Liberty?

    I will pay out of pocket and have a max budget of $25,000. I am NOT looking for a shortcut or a diploma mill, or an African, Indian, or Spanglish proprio... I am more than willing to bust my butt and do the work of a "real" doctorate. . . . It's just that I'm just a working class paramedic and can't afford the bigger better programs... or else I'd apply to online degrees like Kansas and so on.

    Also, in case it matters, besides my USCG experience, I also spent time in my twenties working as a homeland security/counter-terror intern with both my state police agency and with my state public health department. So I do have some relevant niche experience I can point to, along with a few minor projects.

    I am also a graduate of several military PME leadership courses, but those only provide credit at the undergrad or master's levels... Nothing suitable for credit at a doctorate program.

    Also, I am not familiar with any language besides English, so I would be ineligible for most international relations programs or anything else with a foreign language requirement.

    Finally I do not currently have any doctoral credits but am considering a UK level 8 diploma from LSIB that was recommended to me over on the sister forum, that has been proven to transfer to US schools.

    At present my plan is to do this UK Diploma and apply to the MGSU DSc unless anyone has any better suggestions.

  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Have you looked at the typical curricula for these types of programs? Homeland security is inherently emergency management and CJ-based. National security or security studies is based on political science. Public policy is a mix of public administration and political science. You stated on the other forum that you wanted to work in foreign policy, and public policy programs don't always have an international focus.

    This thread would probably fit better in the general distance learning sub-forum since these are not business-related programs, and you have no interest in public administration.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2024
  3. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    I would also recommend reviewing anything else that you may have some interest in, anything to go further in 'administration' since your previous studies were all within 'administration of some sort or another'. Decide which route you want to go and see what options to pathways can be done for each you are interested in.

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