Wichita State University earned approval from the Kansas Board of Regents to establish the only bachelor’s degree in homeland security within the state’s public university system.

The online degree endorsed by the Board of Regents on Wednesday is designed to offer students a broad overview of homeland security with an emphasis on law enforcement operations relevant to the field.

Wichita State officials said introduction of the four-year program in spring 2018 is expected to appeal to individuals pursuing homeland security jobs in local, state and federal law enforcement or private security companies and drawn to careers related to the military, immigration and national security services.

“There are just so many jobs you can get with this major,” said Michael Birzer, a criminal justice professor at Wichita State. “Students can work in federal law, homeland security, private and public security — you name it.”

During the past 15 years, according to university officials, the federal government spent more than $130 billion on initiatives and strategies related to homeland security and related law enforcement services. A 2016 report by the Education Advisory Board indicated demand in the United States for homeland security professionals expanded by 43 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Students in the Wichita State program will be able to complete all course requirements online, said Mark Porcaro, executive director of the university’s online learning.

“We’re excited to have a completely online homeland security program here at WSU,” he said. “There aren’t very many of these types of programs in the nation, so it will help WSU stand out.”

In Kansas, two-year programs related to homeland security exist at Butler, Barton and Kansas City community colleges. Kansans Wesleyan University in Salina offers a bachelor’s degree in homeland security that focuses on emergency management. Southwestern College in Winfield has a certificate program in homeland security.