It is unfortunate that, in many states in our great nation, there are not a lot of options for those hoping to pursue educational degrees in homeland security. Fortunately for Oklahoma residents, however, this is not the case.

Oklahoma is actually home to some of the finest, fully accredited colleges and universities offering programs in or closely related to the homeland security career field and the various jobs therein.

In fact, finding a school and program will never be a problem, but choosing one from among so many excellent options will likely be quite difficult.

One top choice for prospective homeland security professionals is St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee. The school is known for its reputable associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree program in general criminal justice.

However, as a private school, St. Gregory’s can get a little bit pricey. Don’t worry if you are on a budget, though. There are many very affordable options in the state, such as Tulsa Community College.

This practical school features a wide variety of associate’s degree majors ,including criminal justice, emergency and community preparedness, fire and emergency services, human services, corrections, law enforcement, and collegiate law enforcement.

There’s also the University of Central Oklahoma to consider, which is an Edmond school offering bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, criminal justice with an emphasis on policing, and forensic science, as well as master’s level programs in criminal justice management and administration, and forensic science.

Another good option is the popular University of Phoenix, which has locations in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and offers online programs in criminal justice at both the associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree level.

Plus, there are bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice with a focus on administration and/or management, and in organizational security management.

The school also offers a master’s degree program in administration of security and justice. Vatterott’s Educational Centers have locations in both of the above cities, and offer associate’s degree programs in general criminal justice and homeland security.

Also, don’t forget Western Oklahoma State College, in Altus, offering associate’s level programs in collegiate policing, corrections, and general criminal justice.

The above schools represent just a few of many fine choices in the state. There’s also Bacone College, a smaller school located in Muskogee, which offers both associate’s degree programs and bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice studies. Plus, there’s the well known Brown Mackie College of Tulsa, and Caddo Kiowa Technology Center in Fort Cobb.

The former has certification programs in accident investigation, emergency communications, criminal investigation, security, jail officer proceedings, patrol, police reporting, private investigating, safety, security guard training, security procedures, and traffic law.

You might also want to consider Cameron University, in Lawton which has both associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, or Central Technology Center of Drumright, with its certification program in public safety.

Other awesome schools in the state include East Central University in Ada, Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton, and many others. Also don’t forget about the online world of schooling, which can afford you the opportunity to earn degrees from all over the world.

Be aware, however, that while there are many wonderful online schools out there, there are also a lot of scams. To avoid these fruitless wastes of time, money, effort, and energy, always be sure that any online school you attend is fully accredited and legitimate.

Take the time to check up on the accreditation status yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. If you don’t, you could end up with a very expensive but very worthless piece of paper to show for your efforts.