DEGREE AT A GLANCE:
This degree is designed to provide broad coverage of the major homeland security threats, organization, and challenges through course study in homeland defense, intelligence and homeland security, terrorism, consequence management, and interagency government issues. Students may select courses based on their professional, personal, or research interests including weapons of mass destruction, crisis management, narcotics as a homeland security issue, terrorism, security management, intelligence methods, transportation security, information security, emergency management, and public health. Students must take HLSS500 as the first required course in this program.
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HLSS699 - Master’s Capstone Seminar in Homeland Security
In addition to the institutional and degree level outcomes objectives, this degree seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. Graduates in this degree program will be able to:
Careers in homeland security exist at every level of government—local, state, and federal. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Security Administration, Counterterrorism, and U.S. Immigration. Careers in any one of the sub-organizations within DHS are plentiful. Whether you are interested in federal law enforcement or emergency management, our homeland security studies will provide you with the education you need to compete in the job market.
Useful Skills in Homeland Security
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Agencies, Major Functions, and Mission Areas
Careers in homeland security exist at every level of government—local, state, and federal. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates twenty two different agencies including Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Transportation and Safety Administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and carries out counterterrorism activities.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) divides its career fields into four major functions. These are Mission Support (i.e. the headquarters elements), Law Enforcement, Immigration and Travel Security, and Prevention and Response.
Featured Mission Areas
In addition, there are four featured mission areas: Cybersecurity, Acquisitions, Law, and Law Enforcement—Federal Protective Service (FPS).
U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard is also a part of DHS and offers both military and civilian positions. Military positions can be discussed in greater detail with a recruiter, while civilian positions can be viewed and applied for on USAJobs.gov and the U.S. Coast Guard Web page.
Must-Know Security Clearance Information
Although not required for all positions, obtaining a security clearance is important when trying to enter the field of homeland security. While not all positions require applicants to already have one in place, most do require that applicants be able to obtain a clearance. It is important to understand what is required to obtain a clearance, the limitations, and how one is obtained before beginning the job search. One key piece of information to keep in mind: never trust a company offering preapproval for a clearance, no matter how small the fee they are charging.
Citizenship and Immigration Services
Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Coast Guard
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Office of the Inspector General
Transportation and Security Administration
Science and Technology Directorate
Government Consulting and Contracting
There are many large government consulting and contracting firms which have established homeland security practices. A sample of those firms are provided below.
A Homeland Security ‘think tank’, also known as a policy institute, is an organization whose primary responsibility is to conduct research and engage in advocacy in various public policy areas. Several examples of these organizations, whose focuses are related to Homeland Security, are listed below.
ANSER Homeland Security Institute
Aspen Institute Homeland Security Initiative
Brookings Institution: Homeland Security
Carnegie Endowment: Non-Proliferation Program
CATO Institute: Counterterrorism and Homeland Security
Center for Democracy and Technology: Security & Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Century Foundation: Homeland Security
Council on Foreign Relations: Defense/Homeland Security
CSIS Homeland Security Program
CSIS Technology & Public Policy Program
CSIS Transnational Threats Project
Foreign Policy Research Institute: Terrorism and Homeland Security
George Mason University Critical Infrastructure Protection Program
Heritage Foundation: Homeland Security
Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age
Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism
Migration Policy Institute
Nuclear Threat Initiative
Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Project on Government Oversight
RAND Terrorism and Homeland Security
University of Pittsburgh Center for Biosecurity
West Point Combating Terrorism Center
If you are a veteran or have experience with a State Vocational Rehabilitation Office, contact a Homeland Security Selective Placement Coordinator. You may be specially qualified for Department of Homeland Security positions, and they may also have additional resources available for you.
Professional organizations provide job seekers with an excellent opportunity to network with fellow practitioners in their field of study, and can assist in staying-up-to date on the new technology, tools, and best practices in the homeland security field. Below are a few professional organizations you may be interested in within the homeland security field.
American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) International
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International
Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)
Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium Association (HSDECA)
The International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals (IACSP)
International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
American Society for Industrial Security International
61st Annual Seminar and Exhibits
Sept. 28 - Oct. 1, 2015
Aug. 16-19, 2015
The Government Security Conference and Exposition
April 1-2, 2015
International Association of Professional Security
April 19-22, 2015
IAEM 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX
Nov. 13-18, 2015
Clark County, Nev.
AMU: Homeland Security Program (Facebook)
In Homeland Security (University Blog)
Homeland Security Affairs Journal
Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Homeland Security Watch
Committee on Homeland Security
U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
The Blog @ Homeland Security
U.S. Department of State Official Blog
State Homeland Security and Emergency Services
Homeland Security Job Application Process
Homeland Security Job Benefits
Homeland Security National Infrastructure Protection Plan
Homeland Security National Response Framework (PDF)
Homeland Security Presidential Directives
Homeland Security Strategic Plan (PDF)
Quadrennial Homeland Security Review Report
This course provides basic research methods skills for addressing homeland security studies problems and issues. Students focus on the detailed procedures for conducting qualitative case studies. Students become well versed in research planning, secondary data collection, and qualitative data analysis methods and how these methods relate to the larger field of social science research. This course prepares students for intermediate and advanced security and intelligence methods.
This course offers a comprehensive overview of key elements of the United States’ homeland security program. This overview will have students examining, discussing and analyzing homeland security operational and policy concerns which have continued to evolve in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
This course introduces students to risk management components including plans and strategies to mitigate risk. Students in this course will examine the role of risk management at the strategic and enterprise levels in the prevention of loss and mitigation of consequences through risk identification and control. This course will allow students to develop and apply risk management techniques to include selection of risk management measures and implementation of those measures.
This course traces the history, emergence, and growth of domestic terrorist and extremist groups within the United States. Students will assess various groups' intentions, capabilities, and activities within contexts of and ramifications on political, national security, and legal paradigms.
This course examines intelligence community responses to threats to the U.S. homeland from transnational and domestic actors. Threats to the U.S. borders, including illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling, money laundering, commercial smuggling, and other organized crime activities are also covered.
This course is provides an understanding of the structure of homeland security law and policy. This course will familiarize students with the extensive and complex legal codes that come under the heading of Homeland Security. The course will cover statutes, policy papers, presidential directives, and other documents related to homeland security allowing for an in-depth examination of the foundations of homeland security. The course will provide the student with important legal guidance allowing the student to accurately interpret, understand, and apply homeland security law and policy. The course provides a detailed overview of the subject of homeland security and includes definitions of homeland security, terrorism, the related law, and its development. The course discusses homeland security in other countries as well i.e. Europe, China, Japan.
This course introduces fundamental concepts of accounting principles, financial tools, and economic analysis for effective managerial decision-making. Topics include the role of the financial manager in the organization, concepts, and principles underlying financial accounting practices, financial statement analysis, budgeting, and economic analysis for decision makers.
This course explores management problems and the role of decision-making models and tools in resolving business problems. The application and use of information systems in decision-making is assessed. Students apply system and quantitative analysis to an integrated case study.
This course is a culmination of the business functions to incorporate them into a coherent, profitable, sustainable business strategy. This course includes strategy information, decisions, and techniques of industry leaders. Prerequisites: BUSN603
Pre Reqs: Quantitative Analysis(BUSN603)
This is a course in business analysis. This course investigates the advanced analysis methods and techniques used to solve modern business problems. The course emphasizes the most successful methods from business statistics, production and operations management, management science, and operations research fields of study. Students will be required to synthesize material from several major fields of study in order to apply it in this course. The capabilities of Microsoft Office will be used extensively throughout the course to illustrate the application of these methods and techniques to the analysis and solution of modern business problems. The course will first investigate the types of problems faced by businesses in the both the production and service areas. Methods of analysis will be investigated to solve these type problems including probability concepts and their applications, statistical quality control, process design, forecasting, inventory control, waiting line models, transportation and assignment methods, decision analysis, and simulation modeling.
This course explores the evolving role of police and corrections in the homeland security enterprise. Historical, social, legal, and operational aspects are considered. Threats and strategies specific to police and correctional facilities and best practices in the field are critically assessed. Furthermore, negotiating relationships with other agencies continues to be a challenge for information sharing and dissemination between different law enforcement and correction agencies. This course examines the role the police should play in the task of preventing and responding to terror and the aftermath of terror. Special emphasis is placed on the relationships between the police and their community and how those relationships can be leveraged post 9/11.
This course deals with the interaction, coordination, and facilitation between federal, state, and local agencies during preparation, response, and recovery operations. The history of emergency response organizational development is explored, along with the current structural and operational design provided by the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Finally, the potential for public-private partnerships in disaster response is examined. Students will achieve an understanding of how all of the various agencies work together to achieve emergency management and disaster response goals and objectives.
This course provides an overview of what is known about natural hazards, disasters, recovery, and mitigation, how research findings have been translated into policies and programs; and a sustainable hazard mitigation research agenda. The course also provides an examination of past disaster losses and hazards management over the past 50 years, including factors--demographic, climate, social--that influence loss.
This course addresses the potential results from nuclear, biological, and chemical incidents or uses. Topics include public health consequences of such incidents, emergency planning and response measures in place among U.S. agencies, and emerging detection and management technologies. Existing vulnerabilities to these types of incidents and attacks will also be discussed.
This course examines necessary communication that must be provided by public officials before and during emergencies and disasters in order to protect the public and achieve understanding and cooperation. Specific theories of emergency and disaster communication are examined. The communication surrounding several recent disaster events is analyzed, and students write a press briefing or press release for one of these cases. Finally, students engage in a forum discussion of a disaster of their choice, appropriately titled: ‘the good, the bad, and the totally clueless.’ Students achieve an enhanced ability to deal with the media and the public before and during crisis situations, which is an extremely valuable skill to have.
This course explores the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as a unique phenomenon within the homeland security landscape. Specifically, this course provides students with a historical perspective on the development and use of WMD from both an international and a domestic perspective. The course also explores the efforts to prevent, prepare, and respond to the use of WMDs.
This course will survey the critical importance of ports to trade, their vulnerability to disruption and attack, and defensive measures to mitigate risk focusing on international cooperation and legislation. Special emphasis will be placed on defensive measures to protect ports from disruption or asymmetric attack, international cooperation, and national legislation.
RECOMMENDED AS SECOND PROGRAM COURSE. This course examines the current structure, function, capabilities, and contributions of individual U.S. national intelligence community members. Students appraise the intelligence cycle by an overview of the intelligence planning, collection, exploitation, analysis, production, and dissemination phases. The course also evaluates the intelligence oversight system, the restrictions on national intelligence community activities prescribed by federal law, executive and agency directives.
This course is a study of intelligence collection and information gathering. It focuses on a variety of aspects related to how both the United States and foreign nations gather and process intelligence. The student will develop a comprehensive understanding of the role collection plays in the intelligence community, how various policies affect collection, and how different intelligence agencies monitor and collect intelligence.
This course provides an overview of intelligence analysis. It first explores the nature of human thought processes: why we think the way we do, and the many analytical, perceptual, and cognitive errors we frequently make in conducting our own analysis. The student is also provided a foundation from which to understand and conduct critical analysis. With this foundation, students are then given a series of historical case studies to examine and analyze.
This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of intelligence operations. The course will focus on the intelligence resources necessary to carry out the full range of intelligence operations using the tools, techniques, and resources available to intelligence agencies.
This course provides insight on how to improve interagency relationships among security, defense, and intelligence agencies. This course introduces the student to theoretical and practical material for understanding the behavior of individual organizations and what can be done to make organizations work more closely together at the federal, state, and local levels. Emphasis is placed on explaining why organizations act the way they do and how to improve interagency coordination.
This course examines Signals Intelligence focusing on the underlying technology of SIGINT and its application to various military and civilian intelligence questions. This course will also address contemporary issues related to the Cyber-SIGINT nexus as well as the lesser-known disciplines of MASINT, FISINT, etc. Collection platforms will be studied in relation to their inherent capabilities and application against various intelligence targets. The course is held at the unclassified, open-source level.
This course will provide an overview of transnational crime and narcotics and its effects on national security, political, social, and economic development of countries around the world. The focus of this class will be the proliferation and expanding influence of organized crime groups, the increasing links among crime groups, corruption, and links to terrorism from transnational crime and narcotics. This class will examine the diverse dimensions of transnational crime and narcotics in the context of increasing globalization and the exponential impact of technology advances
This course is a study of Cyber Intelligence from its nascent stages to its current operational and policy impact. Students will explore the full range of cyber capabilities from exploitation to defense including several case studies that demonstrate the challenges and benefits of cyber intelligence operations. The course will demonstrate how cyber has changed the nature of intelligence collection, operations, and analysis across the US Intelligence and Defense communities.
This course is a study of the evolution of intelligence and counterterrorism while analyzing U.S. and international policies for combating terrorism, terrorist tactics worldwide, and the scope of terrorism in the twenty-first century. The course focuses on the problems presented by terrorism to U.S. national security, suggested political solutions, and alternatives to the current counterterrorism policy.
This course will expose the students to a variety of counter-terrorism intelligence methodologies and analytic tools, and extensive academic, government, policy literature on the challenges, opportunities, and assumptions related to forecasting terrorism. The course will provide students with the analytic capability to understand the types of terrorist threats that are most likely to confront the U.S. and its allies, in addition to challenging students to evaluate the efficacy and impact of prediction-based efforts in counter-terrorism intelligence.
This course focuses on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Students will evaluate this national security threat from a variety of perspectives and will analyze various agencies response capabilities to a WMD attack within the United States. Competing definitions of WMD will be scrutinized and students will evaluate current US intelligence strategies used to prevent a WMD attack. Finally, students will explore how intelligence can be used in a post-attack situation.
The global reach of the Internet, the low cost of online activity, and the relative anonymity of users has led to an increase in computer related crimes. This course focuses on cybercrime investigation and prevention; it appraises the legal issues related to on-line criminal conduct, the collection of electronic evidence, and the onslaught of new technology. This course also analyzes the phases, processes, and challenges of cybercrime investigations, and it examines technical, legal, and social issues relating to the search and seizure of digital evidence and computer forensics. Students will encounter the challenges of the latency between technology and the law.
This course is an advanced study of information ethics, cyber privacy, and intellectual property. It examines the ethical, economic, and societal issues that face today’s information-entrenched society; this includes intellectual property rights, privacy, accessibility and censorship. The explosive growth of information technology, the increased competition in the global marketplace, and the surge in the use of information to protect society from terrorism has led to the unintended erosion of fundamental rights and values. This course appraises the current state of information ethics, the dangers and opportunities presented by information technology, and the potential solutions to the inherent risks in today’s information-bound society.
This course examines the tenets of Intrusion Detection, Intrusion Prevention, and Incident Handling. Intrusion Detection focuses on the methods to detect attempts (attacks or intrusions) to compromise the confidentiality, integrity or availability of an information system. Also included is an analysis of the principles and practices of intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, and incident handling; network-based, host-based, and hybrid intrusion detection; identifying attack patterns; deployment of resources and responses to handle the incident, surveillance, damage assessment, risk assessment, data forensics, data mining, attack tracing, system recovery, and continuity of operation.
This course is an advanced theory and practice of criminal law in the United States. The history, scope, and nature of criminal law will be discussed. This course will analyze the general nature of crime, constitutional limits on crime, and general principals of criminal liability. Topics include: legal language and machinery, parties to crime, classification of offenses, act and intent, capacity to commit crime, and various defenses. Primary emphasis will be the common law and modern statutory criminal codes. Students are provided knowledge of the building blocks of criminal law to include elements of crimes and defenses to criminal charges. The role of the police, criminal courts, and attorneys in the administration of the criminal justice system will be discussed in detail. The course will teach the student how to analyze and brief criminal cases and identify and discuss criminal issues. An overview of the criminal process and rules of evidence will be provided. This course focuses on the fundamental principles, concepts, and development of criminal law and the constitutional provisions which govern it. The course further discusses the relationship of the individual to the state and includes an examination of the general framework of criminal law as a means of social control.
This graduate course focuses on the procedural and substantive law surrounding immigration. Emphasis is given to legal changes enacted in the field since September 11, 2001, as well as current events. It provides students with the background, processes, and tools necessary for a working knowledge of immigration issues. Important topics such as immigrant status, citizenship, refugees, and asylum seekers will be explored. Students will analyze immigration law and policy.
Ships carry 90 percent of the world’s 5.1 billion tons per year of international trade. In addition, coastwise shipping between US ports transports over one billion tons of cargo annually. This massive international and domestic trade includes a U.S.-flag cargo fleet made up of more than 40,000 vessels that represent over $48 billion in private investment. To facilitate this commerce, federal courts and Congress have created a comprehensive body of uniform admiralty law that governs navigation and shipping. This course will examine that body of law. Topics will include jurisdiction, maritime liens, charter parties, bills of lading, remedies for injury and wrongful death, sovereign immunity, collisions, limitations on liability, and salvage.
This course focuses on the ways that law, ethics and cybersecurity overlap and intersect. Besides laws related to cybersecurity, the course examines laws related to intellectual property, civil litigation, criminal prosecutions, and privacy. This examination will provide the means to identify and analyze the policies reflected in those laws. Those policies could guide the creation of policies on a business-level, using qualitative risk assessment and planning. An exploration of ethics and cybersecurity, as well as of workplace ethics, will involve the use of an ethical framework.
This course covers the elements of contemporary leadership and delineates the principles that are important in the development of a leader for the 21st century. Discussion of the role and function of leadership will include an in-depth analysis and study of needs impacting individuals, organizations and society. The course provides students with a set of leadership skills and competencies on which to build an individual model for effective leadership that can be tested over time.
This course will provide an overview of current cyber policy and strategy for non-practitioners in a national security framework. Students will study the cyber threat environment; laws and policies that govern cyber security; current and historical structure, functions, and capabilities of private and governmental agencies comprising the cyber community; and future trends that affect national security
This course focuses on analyzing terror groups from a political psychological perspective. In particular, the course approaches terror groups from two different political psychological perspectives, individual and group processes. Together these two perspectives provide a solid foundation from which to understand terror groups.
This course examines the way government policies emerge from the political process and are implemented through participating institutions. In this class students will investigate how good analysis can contribute to informed policy-making and review the factors that go into developing effective implementation strategies. In addition, today’s need for enhanced public accountability and the challenging problems of measuring program performance are examined.
This course is a study of the theoretical, historical, and contemporary issues associated with quarantine as a public health and safety measure. Students will learn of quarantine strategy, implementation, effectiveness, and debate. The course topics will include consideration of quarantine as a health and safety measure in the modern homeland security strategy.
This course focuses on the principles, types, and forms of health management systems that exist to serve public needs during society’s most threatening crises. Topics range from international and national political and policy views of disaster health management down to local levels where leading hospitals and emergency managers must respond to public health disasters on a daily basis.
This course will examine cybercrime and the legal, social and technical issues cybercrime presents. With a multi-disciplinary perspective, we will focus on ways information technology is used to commit crimes, investigative techniques used to discover the crimes, and the challenges involved in prosecuting cybercrimes These challenges include jurisdictional issues, application of traditional laws to cybercrimes, and privacy issues encountered during prevention, investigation and prosecution.
THIS COURSE WILL REQUIRE A PROCTORED EXAM. This course stresses the core principles of the CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) concept. Students learn how to work with architects, city, and municipal planners to ensure new or refurbished construction is designed in such a way as to minimize or eliminate criminal activity. Topics covered include initial planning considerations, gathering information from multiple sources, formulating and implementing the plan based on core CPTED principles, and the need for modifications and review over time.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in airport security. Air terminal security is covered from the aspect of physical security considerations, baggage screening, training requirements for security personnel, employee screening and awareness programs, aircraft security, ground and air security technologies, integrating security systems for maximum coverage and protection, effective local, state, and federal liaison, counter and anti-terrorism measures, narcotics and contraband - the use of working dog teams, and apron access and security considerations.
This course aligns transportation management with a comprehensive overview of intermodal transportation and logistics management. We will look at recent trends in the field and its important stakeholders. Business logistics/supply chain will be viewed from managerial perspectives impacting physical distribution, materials management, transportation management, and logistics and supply chain management. The course covers the planning, organizing, and controlling of these activities including sub-activities such as transportation basics, inventory and location strategies.
This course is designed to address the multi-billion dollar annual loss globally due to cargo theft. Topics include: asset protection in the transportation industry, analysis of freight system vulnerability, development of an effective cargo security plan, review of industry standards, and best practices in the industry.
An in-depth look at the workings of maritime port operations and intermodal transportation systems. Course topics include the governance and administration of ports and marine terminals, the role of regulatory agencies, navigation and safety, port operations and development including the process to fund and carry out dredging projects. Cargo handling for containers and dry and liquid bulk operations will be discussed along with a look at productivity of terminal operations. Comparisons will be made with other regions of the world. A review of major steamship lines, their trading patterns and future trends among the industry will be covered along with technological advances in vessels and terminal operating equipment. A strong emphasis will be placed on current issues in port policy.
The Master’s Capstone Seminar option in Homeland Security is a course that serves as the capstone to a graduate degree in Homeland Security. This course may not be taken until all other courses are COMPLETED and student has a 3.0 GPA.
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