Fairmont State University’s National Security and Intelligence graduate program ranked among top online degrees in homeland security

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Fairmont State University’s National Security and Intelligence graduate program has been ranked one of the year’s top online degrees in homeland security by STEPS (Student Training & Education in Public Service).

The STEPS organization reported under six percent of colleges and universities in the U.S. earned a position in its public service program rankings in 2022.

“We are thrilled to be among the institutions selected by STEPS this year,” said Fairmont State University College of Liberal Arts Dean, Christopher Kast. “This recognition is a testament to the excellence of the University’s National Security and Intelligence program, but also our faculty’s dedication to enhance student learning through online modalities. We are honored to receive this ranking and look forward to continuing to ensure transformative educational opportunities for our students through our public service programs.”

STEPS vetted an estimated 7,700 postsecondary institutions to create its rankings. To qualify, a college or university must hold active regional accreditation from an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and have at least one partially online public service program.

STEPS analyzed multiple datasets from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), as well as data collected from the schools themselves. Key data points used to identify top schools include the following:

  • Number of online programs in a given subject area
  • Tuition and fees per academic year
  • Percentage of students receiving institutional financial aid
  • Existence of academic counseling
  • Offering of career placement services

“STEPS wanted to find the colleges with the best overall public service education available online. This included degree programs with top-notch academics, support services for students and affordability of enrollment,” said Kyle Smith, community outreach specialist at STEPS. “Identifying and acknowledging these schools is critical as more students look toward online higher education options in a post-pandemic era.”

This ranking comes at a time when enrollment in online degree programs is on the rise. A recent study from market research company, Technavio, found that online higher education has the potential to grow by 20 percent over the next four years.

“Fairmont State is one of the few colleges today prioritizing online learning to meet student demand,” said Smith. "Adding online programs also promotes diversity in higher education, opening doors to those who may not have easy access to a campus-based classroom.”

See where Fairmont State ranked on the full listing below:


STEPS (https://www.publicservicedegrees.org) started in 2019 with the goal of connecting students with valuable and informative resources to help them get their degrees and find satisfying careers in public service. These free guides range from connecting students with online schools to breaking down options for affording a degree.