Security Studies Programs

Academic Programs

To meet the needs of professionals in the field or recent graduates, the program is conveniently located at Sam Houston State University – The Woodlands Center and offers the flexibility of face-to-face, online or hybrid classes. The program also offers two certificate programs to develop expertise in emergency management or critical infrastructure protection, which can be used to build toward a master's degree in Homeland Security Studies.

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Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate major in Homeland Security Studies introduces students to the broad theory and mission of homeland security and some of the specialty areas that have developed to protect the public against natural and manmade disasters. The Bachelor of Science has some flexibility in the curriculum allowing for degree specific electives in the social sciences, while the Bachelor of Arts requires additional hours of a foreign language (e.g., Spanish, French, American Sign, etc.).

Popular courses include:

  • Border Security
  • Homeland Sec Intelligence
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Transportation Security
  • Global Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Public Health in Homeland Security
  • Water Security

Undergraduate Minor

The undergraduate minor in Security Studies introduces students to the broad theory and mission of homeland security and some of the specialty areas that have developed to protect the public against natural and manmade disasters.

The 18-credit minor includes three required courses, two restricted electives, and one free elective.

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Graduate Program

The Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies is a relatively new degree offered by only a few universities. The program develops managers and leaders in the theoretical and experiential dimensions of security management.

Students are required to take 36 credit hours, which can be completed in just two years. The practitioner-focused degree builds on a theoretical framework for understanding security threats and develops the knowledge and skills to implement effective strategies in the field. A graduate of the program will possess the necessary skills and credentials that will be in high demand in both public and private sectors in Texas, throughout the United States, and internationally.

The program offers three tracks to meet the unique needs of professionals and graduate students. These include:

  • A capstone research paper and internship, where students are placed in the homeland security field for a full semester, earning three credits toward their degree
  • A thesis where students produce an original academic paper on issues of importance to the field
  • A capstone research paper and an extra elective, designed for professionals already working in the field

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Graduate Certificates

The Department of Security Studies offers two, 18-hour certificates to build expertise in two key areas of homeland security: Emergency Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection. Following the standard model developed by the Department of Homeland Security, students will learn how to address emergencies, major incidents, and disaster management or to protect critical industries needed for daily life from intentional or accidental disruptions. These courses can be used to help build toward a master's degree.

Critical Infrastructure Protection

The Department of Homeland Security has identified 16 critical infrastructure industries that are vital to life in the United States because of their ties to security, the economy, public health, and safety. To protect the nation's key assets, systems, and networks, students will learn about key concepts such as risk assessment, hardening, resilience, cybersecurity management, and threats facing the nation. Among the industries targeted are:

  • Chemical sector
  • Commercial Facilities Sector
  • Communications Sector
  • Critical Manufacturing Sector
  • Dam Sectors
  • Defense Industrial Base Sector
  • Emergency Services Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Financial Services Sector
  • Food and Agricultural Sectors
  • Government Facilities Sector
  • Healthcare and Public Health Sectors
  • Information Technology Sectors
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste Sector
  • Transportation Systems Sector
  • Water and Wastewater Systems Sector

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Emergency Management

Using an all-hazards approach, students will learn how to prepare for, response to, mitigate against, and recover from emergencies to build resilient communities and a resilient nation using concepts, policies, processes, and practices. Students can use their new skills in the public sector, including the military, law enforcement, and state and local governments, as well as private sector or non-profit agencies. Among the core topics of the program are:

  • Evolution of Emergency Management
  • Organizations, Structures and Administration
  • Leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Societal Aspects
  • Alignment of Emergency Management with Homeland Security

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