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Master of Arts in Security Studies: Homeland Defense Concentration

Become a leader on the front lines of national security by learning how to develop, apply and manage critical homeland defense policies and programs.

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Please Note: Test requirements for graduate applications have been temporarily waived. Learn more.

Build Your Expertise in Homeland Security Strategy

The demand for dedicated and educated professionals who are focused on securing our country has continued to grow since 9/11. With UMass Lowell's Master of Arts in Security Studies: Homeland Defense Concentration, you will gain an informed perspective on global and national affairs, while cultivating core competencies that will position you for leadership and success in this vital field.

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No GRE / MAT Required

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Earn Your Master's Degree in as Little as 18 Months

Integrating a big-picture policy perspective with an understanding of human behavior, systems and intelligence analysis, this graduate program covers a range of topical issues related to the prevention of terrorist attacks and the defense of the United States, including critical infrastructure protection, regional and national security intelligence, land and maritime border protection, and the use of new technologies in homeland security practices.


Best Online Master's in Criminal Justice Program in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report
Ranked #3 Best Online Master's in Criminal Justice Programs in the Nation by U.S. News & World Report
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UMass Lowell has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research by the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security

Drawing on the in-depth knowledge and extensive experience of UMass Lowell's criminal justice, psychology and legal studies faculty, this multidisciplinary program will position you for a variety of career paths in local, state and federal government agencies, as well as security jobs with defense contractors, research firms and advanced technology companies.

Our faculty is comprised of top academics in the area of security studies, as well as industry experts who hold security clearances with the U.S. military and/or have worked in law enforcement or for intelligence and justice agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the Department of Defense.

Success Story

"The professors at UMass Lowell are experts and possess years of experience in what they teach. My intelligence class was taught by an intelligence officer, and the science and technology class was taught by a professor that used to work with a research and development company."

Dan A., M.A. in Security Studies, Homeland Defense | Read Dan's full story here »
Dan A.

Dan A.

Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 32 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
—U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2019

Open the Door to a variety of Opportunities

By earning a master's degree in Security Studies with a focus on homeland defense, you can increase your career opportunities and deepen your professional knowledge of a diverse range of topics including:

  • homeland security and defense systems utilized in the United States since 9/11
  • technical aspects, history and contemporary threat of weapons of mass destruction
  • Patterns and trends of political violence in different countries around the globe
  • strategies for reducing and responding to hazards posed by both manmade and natural disasters
  • legitimate and illegitimate Internet commerce
  • cyber-criminal methodologies and techniques
  • strategies, tactics, and legal and ethical implications of intelligence collection and analysis
  • best practices for designing and building a comprehensive cybersecurity program
  • the role of science and technology in homeland and national security

Learn from a Leader in Terrorism and Security Studies Research

The Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS) was established at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2013 to bring together faculty from several colleges at UMass Lowell (and from other institutions and organizations in the Commonwealth) to work on a variety of collaborative research projects addressing the evolution, convergence and complexity of such domestic and foreign security challenges as terrorism, cybersecurity, transnational crime and weapons of mass destruction.

CTSS faculty, staff and fellows — who are internationally recognized experts in their respective fields — represent such diverse disciplines as psychology, criminology, political science, education, philosophy and computer science.

Curriculum Outline

- Total Number of Courses: 10 (30 credits)


Program Requirements

To be recommended for a University of Massachusetts Lowell master's degree, candidates must satisfy all of the general requirements below, plus any additional requirements that may be required by the department through which the program is offered. Any additional requirements for this program are either listed below or may be found in the University's Graduate Program Catalog.

General Requirements:

  • Students must complete the program of study designed by the department in which he or she is enrolled and approved by the University.
  • Satisfactory grades in all subjects offered for the degree must be earned (See Academic Standing).
  • All financial obligations, including tuition, fees, and expenses, must be satisfied as evidenced by completion.
  • Upon completion of all their courses, graduate degree candidates must submit a signed Declaration of Intent to Graduate (DIG) form to the Registrar's Office.

Graduate Program Policies

In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

Course Descriptions

This course will look at safety, security and emergency management with regard to transportation operations; multi-modal transportation security threats, vulnerabilities, risk and strategies to mitigate and incident; and the security of supply chains and critical infrastructure. The course will use case studies to provide the student with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively safeguard the movement of assets within interconnected transportation networks. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CRIM.5740

This course will provide a broad introduction to the critical challenges of disaster management. The course will address past and present strategies for reducing and responding to hazards posed by both manmade and natural disasters. Emphasis will be placed on what we can learn from the history of disasters, and on how we can apply those lessons to the management of future events. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

This course examines the evolution and contemporary nature of domestic terrorist threats and violent extremist movements that the U.S. has confronted over the past several decades. Special attention is focused on right-wing militias, religious extremists, racial supremacist/hate groups, and extreme environmental and animal rights groups. Students will also learn about political and socioeconomic factors that enable a terrorist group's ideological resonance, prison radicalization, the role of the Internet in mobilizing individuals toward violent behavior, and the legal and criminal justice dimensions of responses to terrorism. 3 credits.
This course examines a broad spectrum of terrorist groups and counterterrorism responses in over a dozen countries, including Colombia, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Northern Ireland/UK, Pakistan, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Yemen. This comparative analysis will help students develop and understanding of patterns and trends within political violence (including radicalization, tactics, financing, targeting behavior, malevolent creativity, disengagement and de-radicalization) and the many different policies and strategies adopted by governments in response to terrorist threat. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

The U.S. has embraced the homeland security monolith without a full understanding of what it encompasses. This course provides a comprehensive overview of homeland security and defense as undertaken in the United States since 9/11. The course critically examines the current body of knowledge with a specific focus on understanding security threats, sources, and reasons for these threats. The roles of the key players at the federal, state and local levels, the policies and procedures enacted since 9/11, and the homeland security system in practice are also examined. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

This course examines the complex nature of key domestic and international security threats and responses. Topics include terrorism and insurgency, transnational organized crime, WMD proliferation, cyber-security, intelligence, national and homeland security strategies, critical infrastructure protection, and theories of international security. 3 credits.
Students will examine the tradecraft of intelligence collection and analysis from various perspectives. Topics will include strategies, tactics, legal and ethical implications, sources, means, methods, limitations, covert action, methods of analysis, and case studies of prominent intelligence successes and failures in the last half century. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

This course is a rigorous introduction to statistical inference: probability theory, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests. The course also covers regression analysis, which is developed in a non-technical way, with an emphasis on interpretation of regression results, using examples from recent research. 3 credits.
Research design is a graduate-level introduction to methodology as used in criminology/criminal justice. The course surveys the research design enterprise and covers a host of issues on the measurement and collection of data, and other procedures that influence whether a research study will lead the investigator to scientifically rigorous information. This course explains various strategies for devising social science studies, compares the relative benefits of various designs, and identifies the tools necessary to conduct studies that will yield data worthy of analysis and interpretation. This material will be valuable for students who will conduct research and administrators who must evaluate the research of others. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

This course will examine the history and evolving nature of the relationship between technology, crime, and security, with a particular focus on legitimate and illegitimate Internet commerce, and cyber criminal methodologies and techniques. We will study major issues in cyber security including criminal and state-sponsored hacking; data, intellectual property, and identity theft; financial and personal data security; cyber-terrorism; tools and methods used to exploit computer networks, and strategies to protect against them; and new and emerging technologies. This course will be taught specifically for non-computer science majors, although students with computer science backgrounds are welcome for the experiences that they can bring to the class discussions. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

This course explores the threats that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) pose to the U.S. and its interests along with the strategies to meet those threats. The course will examine the technical aspects, history, and contemporary threat of each category of weapon Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear followed by a critical analysis of U.S. and global efforts to limit access to these weapons and prohibit their production, proliferation and use. The course will also review some aspects of WMD attack response, recovery, and mitigation. 3 credits.
This course will explore the dynamics of terrorist networks and will equip students with an understanding of the drivers of terrorist network formation, development and disintegration. The course will also provide students with knowledge and understanding of how, why and when networks expand, affiliate, and occasionally splinter. And finally, students will be guided through the applicability of network theory and analysis to the design of hypothetical operational responses and contingency planning surrounding the disruption or containment of terrorist networks. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

In this required course for the MS in Security Studies program, students will take this course to learn all about the efforts in the public and private sector to design new sensors, scanner, and the general role of science and technology in homeland and national security. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

This course represents the culminating capstone experience for students in the MA in Security Studies program at UMass Lowell. Incorporating the tools learned in CRIM.5900, Research Design and Methods, students are required to design a research question, gather and analyze information, and write a Masters level research paper of at least 50 pages on a topic of their choosing related to security studies. Students will provide drafts of their paper to their faculty supervisor periodically during the semester, and the final version will be submitted for grading on the basis of quality research and writing. 3 credits.
Prerequisites:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

This course focuses on best practices for designing and building a comprehensive Cybersecurity Program based on the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity ("The Framework"). The Framework was issued on February 12, 2014, as directed by President Obama in Executive Order 13636. This framework provides guidance for reducing cybersecurity risk for organizations, and this course will examine its basic tenets of: "Cybersecurity Fundamentals", techniques applied to "Building a Controls Factory", "Cybersecurity Programs" "Establishing Cybersecurity Centers of Expertise" and "The Cybersecurity Program Implementation Roadmap". 3 credits.

Tuition & Fees

At UMass Lowell, we believe that students should have as much information as possible up front so they can make informed decisions before enrolling in a degree program or signing up for a course.

Tuition for all undergraduate courses offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition for all online graduate courses is also the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition is priced per credit. To calculate the tuition for a course, simply multiply the per-credit tuition by the total number of credits per course. Exception: If the total number of course contact hours is greater than the total number of credits, the per-credit tuition is instead multiplied by the total number of contact hours.

Fall 2020 Tuition

Per Credit / Contact Hour
Graduate Online and Audit (except Manning School of Business* Online, MBA in Haverhill, Graduate Online IT, Engineering and Education Courses) $575.00
Manning School of Business* Graduate Online Courses $655.00
MBA Graduate Courses in Haverhill $655.00
Graduate Online IT and Engineering Courses** $590.00
Registration includes access to parking after 3 pm and access to Blackboard.

*Applies to courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST, POMS offered through the Manning School of Business
**Applies to courses with the following prefixes: CHEN, CIVE, EECE, ENGN, MECH, PLAS offered through the Francis College of Engineering. Applies also to MSIT courses in the Master's in Information Technology, Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and the Graduate Certificate in Systems Models and Management.

Additional Fees

Registration Fee per Term $30.00
Late Fee for Nonpayment $50.00
Fee for Graduate Degree and Certificate Applications $50.00

Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.
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Registration

Current students can register using SiS Self-Service. New students who have not already applied and been accepted to a program must use the Non-Degree Registration Form.

You can take courses without being officially enrolled in a certificate or degree program, but you must meet course prerequisites. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. We recommend that you register early to reserve your place in class.

For more information, please visit our Registration Page.

New Students

If you have not already applied and been accepted to a program.

Current Students

If you have applied, been accepted to and are currently enrolled in a program.

Questions?

Email our Advising Center for assistance, or call 800-480-3190 to speak with an advisor.


Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented within this website, the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies reserves the right to implement new rules and regulations and to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, locations, tuition and fees. Whenever possible, appropriate notice of such changes will be given before they become effective. In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

Applying into the Security Studies: Homeland Defense Concentration Program

Applications to the Graduate Program in Security Studies are accepted and processed year-round. Students accepted into the program can begin their courses in the Fall, Spring or Summer terms. To be considered for admission to this program, applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher education, with a final cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. A wide variety of undergraduate degree programs qualify as an appropriate foundation for this master's degree, particularly those in the behavioral and social sciences such as political science, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, history, international relations, and many others.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed application - Apply Online or use the paper application form (pdf) plus the $50 application fee.
  • Official transcripts: An undergraduate degree in computer science or relevant professional experience is required for many of the technical courses in this graduate degree program.
  • A statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation (3)
  • No GRE or MAT required.
  • International students: Submit your official test results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. See Graduate Admissions International Graduate Application Requirements page for additional details.

Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions website for detailed information about each of these requirements.

Please Note: Test requirements for graduate applications have been temporarily waived. Learn more.
Apply Online

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723.

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

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