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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Homeland Security

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ALEXANDER SIEDSCHLAG, Ph.D., Chair, Homeland Security Graduate Programs
Professor of Homeland Security and Public Health Preparedness
W160M Olmsted Building
Penn State Harrisburg
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA  17057
Phone: 717-948-4326; Fax: 717-948-6320
Email: aus50@psu.edu

 

Degree Conferred

M.P.S.

 

Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

The intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security (iMPS-HLS) degree program is designed to prepare professionals and develop leaders for the field of homeland security by providing exceptional graduate education that includes an integrated curriculum, expert faculty, and student interaction. The program is comprised of courses from several Penn State colleges and delivered via distance education through the Penn State World Campus to accommodate the needs and careers of professionals who are already active in homeland security and related fields of civil security, or those interested in transitioning into the field. The program provides select graduate students with an integrated, cross-disciplinary curriculum that is focused on a set of unified educational goals to help them understand and manage the complexities of homeland security in a global environment. Within the degree program and in addition to its common core curriculum, students choose the base program or one of six options that represent main elements, capabilities, and risk-informed priorities of the homeland security mission space: agricultural biosecurity and food defense; counterterrorism; cyber threat analytics and prevention; geospatial intelligence; public health preparedness; and information security and forensics.  The participating academic units for this collaborative program are:  Penn State Harrisburg; the College of Medicine (in collaboration with the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center); the College of the Liberal Arts; the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; the College of Agricultural Sciences; and Penn State Great Valley.

General Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Core Application Packet

Statement of Purpose and Curriculum Vitae

A statement of professional experience and goals (up to 500 words) and the candidate’s vita or résumé must accompany the application.

Letters of Recommendation

  • The individuals writing letters should be familiar with you and comfortable discussing your professional and/or academic strengths and accomplishments.
  • The Admissions Committee prefers that all letters be written within the last six months and reference the applicant’s current career goals and/or ability to perform graduate level study.
  • A person choosing to submit a letter of reference will do this through the online application process and either select our pre-formatted template or upload his/her own letter.

GPA Requirements

The candidate grade-point average is interpreted by the Admissions Committee in the context of a completed application.

GRE Requirements

The Graduate Record Examination may be required by some options.

Other Considerations

Special backgrounds, abilities, and interests related to homeland security are desirable.

Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security program requires a minimum of 33 credits, 24 of which must be earned at Penn State. Up to 10 graduate credits may be transferred in from a regionally accredited institution (as is permissible by Graduate Council policy); if the full 10 credits are transferred, the minimum total number of credits in the degree program will be 34.  At least 18 credits must be courses at the 500 or 800 level, of which 6 credits must be in 500-level courses.  Students are expected to maintain a B (3.0) or better average in academic courses to be retained in the program. Graduate Council policy requires that student must have a GPA of 3.0 or above in order to graduate from the program. Each student will take a 9 credit core curriculum consisting of HLS/PADM 801, HLS/PHIL 803, and HLS/PLSC 805, as well as of a non-credit Orientation Course. Students will also take 12 credits of prescribed courses for the specialized option. There are 9 elective credits that are chosen from an approved list in consultation with the student’s academic adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Option Director and is provided to the students in the option. Finally, each degree candidate must complete a capstone project on a topic related to homeland security and defense, in association with HLS/AGBIO/GEOG/INSC/IST/PHP/PLSC 594 - Research Topics.

Time Limitation
All degree requirements for the Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security must be met within five years of admission to degree status.

Prescribed Courses

Homeland security refers to the unifying core for the vast global network of organizations and institutions that are involved in the efforts to secure society.  Regardless of field of specialization, or chosen discipline for graduate study, all professionals in the program will participate in a Unifying Core Curriculum with the following educational goals and objectives:    

  • Understand major policies and legislation that shapes homeland security in a globalized society. 
  • Become familiar with organizations that play a key role in the implementation of homeland security policies and administration, and recognize the interactions among them.
  • Understand the way in which a person or group responds to a set of conditions so as to prevent and respond to incidents and catastrophic events when needed.
  • Recognize the impact that catastrophic events, both natural and man-made, have on society and the domestic and global economy.
  • Identify and assess potential threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences.
  • Apply leadership skills and principles that are necessary for producing and acting on information of value within a collaborative setting.
  • Communicate effectively in the context of particular institutional cultures.
  • Use, conduct, and interpret research and data effectively in decision-making.
  • Practice ethics and integrity as a foundation for analytical debate and conclusion.
  • Develop an appreciation of the cultural, social, psychological, political, and legal aspects of terrorism and counterterrorism.

The Core Curriculum consists of the following four courses:

HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit) Overview of program expectations, parts, academic specialization areas, and mechanics; as well as an essential overview of the field of homeland security and its community of practice. The Options may add content to aspects of homeland security that are specific to their academic specialization area.

HLS/PADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3) Foundation for understanding homeland security history, the development of homeland security policies and organizations, and current management approaches.

HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3) This course examines the social, political, legal, and ethical issues that arise in the context of homeland security. 

HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3) Provides an overview of the domestic and global issues related to homeland security.

Listed below are the courses required/suggested for the Base Program and for the Options:

Homeland Security (Base Program)

Director: Dr. Alexander Siedschlag, Ph.D. (Univ Munich, Germany) Professor of Homeland Security and Public Health Preparedness, School of Public Affairs; Program Chair, iMPS-Homeland Security, W160 Olmsted Building, Penn State Harrisburg; 717-948-4326; aus50@psu.edu

Core Curriculum
HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit)
HLS/PADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3)
HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3)
HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3)

Prescribed Courses
HLS 811: Fundamentals of Homeland Security (3)
HLS/PADM 404: Homeland Security and Defense in Practice (3)
HLS/PADM 802: Collaboration and Integration: Multifaceted Approaches to Homeland Security (3)
HLS 804: Strategic Planning and Organizational Imperatives in Homeland Security and Defense (3)

Electives
Choose 9 credits from an approved elective list in consultation with adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Base Program Director and is provided to the students in the base program.

Capstone Experience
HLS 594: Research Topics (3)

Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option

Director: Gretchen Kuldau, Ph.D. (California) Associate Professor of Plant Pathology
0205 Buckout Laboratory, University Park; 814 863 7232; kuldau@psu.edu

Core Curriculum
HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit)
HLS/PADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3)
HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3)
HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3)

Prescribed Courses
AGBIO 520: Agricultural Biosecurity: Protecting a Key Infrastructure (3)
AGBIO 521: Food Defense: Prevention Planning For Food Processors (3)
AGBIO 801: Veterinary Infectious Disease Diagnostic and Surveillance Systems (3)
AGBIO 802: Plant Protection: Responding to Introductions of Threatening Pest and Pathogens (3)

Electives
Choose 9 credits from an approved elective list in consultation with adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Option Director and is provided to the students in the option.

Capstone Experience
AGBIO 594: Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense - Capstone Experience (3)

Counterterrorism Option

Director: James Piazza, Ph.D. (New York University), Professor of Political Science, 330 Pond Lab, University Park; (814) 867-4429; jap45@psu.edu

Core Curriculum
HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit)
HLS/P ADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3)
HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3)
HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3)

Prescribed Courses
PLSC 836: Root Causes of Terrorism (3)
PLSC 569: Counterterrorism (3)
PLSC 838: Tools and Analysis of Terrorism and Counterterrorism (3)
PLSC 837: Radicalization, Counter Radicalization, and De-Radicalization (3)

Electives
Choose 9 credits from an approved elective list in consultation with adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Option Director and is provided to the students in the option.

Capstone Experience
PLSC 594: Research in Political Science (3)

Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention Option

Director: Robin Qiu, Ph.D., Professor of Information Science, School of Graduate Professional Studies, Penn State Great Valley; 610-725-5313; robinqiu@psu.edu 

Core Curriculum
HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit)
HLS/P ADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3)
HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3)
HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3)

Prescribed courses
SWENG 545: Data Mining (3)
IN SC 561: Web Security and Privacy (3)
IN SC 846: Network and Predictive Analytics for Socio-Technical Systems (3)
IST 564: Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management (3)

Electives

Choose 9 credits from an approved elective list in consultation with adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Option Director and is provided to the students in the option.

Capstone Experience
IN SC 594: Research projects (3)

Geospatial Intelligence Option

Director: Gregory Thomas, Ph.D. (Indiana University of PA), Professor of Practice for Geospatial Intelligence, 2217 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building, University Park; (814) 867-1471; gat5@psu.edu 

Core Curriculum
HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit)
HLS/PADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3)
HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3)
HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3)

Prescribed Courses
GEOG 882: Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence (3)
GEOG 483: Problem Solving with GIS (3)
GEOG 480: Exploring Imagery and Elevation Data in GIS Applications (3)
GEOG 885: Advanced Analytic Methods for Geospatial Intelligence (3)

Electives
Choose 9 credits from an approved elective list in consultation with adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Option Director and is provided to the students in the option.

Capstone Experience
GEOG 594A: Research Topics: Analytic Experience in Geospatial Intelligence (1)
GEOG 594B: Research Topics: Geospatial Intelligence Capstone Experience (2)

Information Security and Forensics Option

Director: Peter Forster, Ph.D. (Penn State) Senior Lecturer of Information Sciences and Technology, and Management Science and Associate Dean
332P Information Sciences and Technology Building, University Park; 814-863-8304; pkf1@psu.edu

Core Curriculum
HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit)
HLS/PADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3)
HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3)
HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3)

Prescribed Courses
IST 454:  Computer and Cyber Forensics (3)
IST 456: Information Security Management (3)
IST 815:  Information Security and Assurance (3)
IST 554:  Network Management and Security (3)

Electives
Choose 9 credits from an approved elective list in consultation with adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Option Director and is provided to the students in the option.

Capstone Experience
IST 594: Research Topics (3)

Public Health Preparedness Option

Director: Eugene J. Lengerich, V.M.D., M.S., Professor, Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, MC H070; 500 University Drive; Hershey, Pennsylvania; 717-531-6066; PHP_Programs@psu.edu

Core Curriculum
HLS ORIENTATION: Orientation course (non-credit)
HLS/PADM 801: Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs (3)
HLS/PHIL 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (3)
HLS/PLSC 805: Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency (3)

Prescribed Courses
PHP 410: Public Health Preparedness for Disaster and Bioterrorism Emergencies I (3)
PHP 510: Public Health Preparedness for Disaster and Bioterrorism Emergencies II (3)
PHP 527: Public Health Evaluation of Disasters and Bioterrorism (3)
PHP 530: Critical Infrastructure Protection of Health Care Delivery Systems (3)

Electives
Choose 9 credits from an approved elective list in consultation with adviser. The list of electives is maintained by the Option Director and is provided to the students in the option.

Capstone Experience
PHP 594: Research Topics (3)

Student Aid

World Campus students in graduate degree programs may be eligible for financial aid. Refer to the Tuition and Financial Aid section of the World Campus website for more information.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

 

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Session 2017

Blue Sheet Item #: 46-01

Review Date: 8/22/2017

Faculty linked: 9/1/15

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