About the Department

Through its degree and certificate programs, the Department of Security Studies in the College of Criminal Justice provides students with an understanding of the homeland security enterprise in terms of its scope and breadth, major challenges, and conceptual and policy frameworks. The program also helps students develop thinking and analytical skills as well as the tools to identify and mitigate e threats and enhance preparedness through understanding intelligence, counterterrorism, critical infrastructure needs, risk assessments, and emergency management methodologies. Consistent with the Homeland Security Enterprise model, and the needs of employers for analytical thinkers, the program is designed to prepare students for work as homeland security practitioners at all levels of government in the intelligence community, law enforcement, border and transportation security, the fire and emergency medical services sectors, and private-sector critical infrastructure providers.

Based in the College of Criminal Justice, the Department of Security Studies builds on one of the leading Criminal Justice and Criminology programs in the nation and the decades-long relationships of the College with public safety practitioners in the field. The College of Criminal Justice was recently ranked No. 1 in the nation for research productivity by The Journal of Criminal Justice Education. Moreover, the department is geographically situated within Texas, home to:

  • Two of the nation's top 10 airports
  • 16 waterports
  • 29 oil refineries
  • One of only a dozen major national-level medical centers
  • The longest border with a foreign country of any of the 48 contiguous states

The Department's geographic and academic context have given rise to a very robust internship program which provides students with hands-on experience in the field to supplement their classroom experiences.

Graduates of the program have been employed by:

  • The Department of Homeland Security (Border Patrol)
  • The Central Intelligence Agency (Intelligence Analyst)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (Intelligence Analyst)
  • Local police departments (Crime Analysts)
  • South Texas Nuclear Power Plant (Plant Security)
  • Photofax (Surveillance Firm)
  • Mustang Engineering (International Oilfield Service Company)
  • G4S Security (Private Security)

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