Graduate Certificate in Security Studies

Available entirely online!

UMass Lowell's Criminal Justice Department developed the Online Graduate Certificate in Security Studies to educate students in the complex nature of threats and how to manage them in the post-September 11th environment.

The formulation of the Homeland Security Act after September 11th created a security infrastructure composed of federal, state, local and private law enforcement agencies, as well as a vast range of organizations that historically did not interface with one another. Today, individuals at every level of law enforcement must understand the type of information gathering that occurs in these agencies, strategies for sharing the information while maintaining data security, and ways to use the information for strategic planning, policy development and analysis. Moreover, there is a need for a better understanding of the process for gathering and analyzing this critical information without infringing upon the public's civil liberties and privacy rights.

Students in UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Certificate in Security Studies can focus their studies in areas such as risk management and analysis; organizational systems integration; legal and political policy and ethical issues in responding to threats; policy development and analysis; and the use of technology in implementing national security. The program is appropriate for students with a general interest in homeland security, professionals who are currently employed in security-related jobs, and for those interested in pursuing careers in security.

Many of the courses in this certificate program can be counted toward UMass Lowell's Online Master's Degree in Security Studies: Homeland Defense Concentration.

Program Outline

Required Courses (3):

  1. 44.567 Overview of Homeland Security (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!
  2. 44.549 Terrorism/Counter-Terrorism (3cr)
  3. 44.568 Contemporary Security Studies (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!

Elective Courses (Choose 1):

  1. 44.513 Crisis and Emergency Management (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!
  2. 44.526 Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes (3cr)
  3. 44.554 Threat Assessment and Risk Management (3cr)
  4. 44.569 Scientific & Technical Dimensions of National Security (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!
  5. 44.574 Economic Crime (3cr)
  6. 44.578 Intelligence Analysis (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!
  7. 44.594 Crime Analysis and Mapping (3cr)
  8. 44.599 Criminal Justice Intelligence and Information Sharing (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!
  9. 44.642 Issues in Computer Crime and Cyber Security (3cr) - Available Spring 2015!
  10. 44.643 Weapons of Mass Destruction (3cr)

For Additional Information on this program:

See the Graduate Course Catalog online or email cjgradadvisor@uml.edu

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined for each certificate program.

Graduate Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Course Descriptions

44.513 Crisis and Emergency Management

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.

44.526 Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes

This course examines bigotry and hate and how they are manifested in criminal behavior. Various groups who have been labeled as supporting or engaging in domestic terrorism are studied. Focus is placed on federal and state statutory laws and the dynamics of police, court, and corrections based responses to hate crimes and domestic terrorism. 3 credits.

44.549 Terrorism/Counter-Terrorism

This course will examine a broad spectrum of terrorist groups and strategies for combating terrorism. Topics include terrorist ideologies, operational tactics, financing and organizational behavior. The course also explores the impact of terrorism on the criminal justice system in the US. 3 credits.

44.554 Threat Assessment and Risk Management

The goal of this course is to enhance understanding and increase expertise regarding risk management and the impact of terrorism on economic and other critical infrastructures in the United States. The course will provide the tools (operational and statistical) and technology required to mitigate these risks. A second purpose of the course is to examine and critically discuss current and future methods to create best practices in security management. 3 credits.

44.567 Overview of Homeland Security

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.

44.568 Contemporary Security Studies

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.

44.569 Scientific & Technical Dimensions of National Security

In this required course for the Master's Degree in Security Studies, students will learn all about the efforts in the public and private sector to design new sensors, scanners, and the general role of science and technology in homeland and national security. 3 credits.

44.574 Economic Crime

Introduction to economic crime including nature, causes, consequence, investigation, and prevention. Empirical findings and major economic crime cases will also be examined. 3 credits.

44.578 Intelligence Analysis

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.

44.594 Crime Analysis and Mapping

This course examines the use of new technologies to analyze crime patterns and develop crime prevention strategies. Students study theories that explain the geographic distribution of crime and learn how to use Geographic Information Systems to study crime in ways that draw upon theory as well as how to apply GIS techniques in the law enforcement and corrections fields. 3 credits.

44.599 Criminal Justice Intelligence and Information Sharing

A primary function of law enforcement is the gathering of information. However, information by itself does little to support the law enforcement mission. Intelligence, in the context of law enforcement, is the outcome of rigorous analysis of information, and often generates key decisions and/or guides tactical strategies that help facilitate the enforcement mission. This course examines the role of information and intelligence in defining and achieving the law enforcement mission. Problem solving tools such as SARA, and management tools like COMPSTAT, which rely heavily on both information and intelligence, are discussed. In a world now confronted by the threat of terrorism, the course examines the sharing/lack of sharing of information and intelligence among local law enforcement and federal agencies and the impact of this contentious relationship. 3 credits.

44.642 Issues in Computer Crime and Cyber Security

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. 3 credits.

44.643 Weapons of Mass Destruction

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.

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Apply Online or complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Application form (pdf).

For further details visit UMass Lowell's Graduate Admissions.

Register for Courses

Approximately 2 months prior to the start of each semester, Online and Continuing Education posts the new course schedule to the website. Once you've decided which course(s) you would like to take, returning students can register using ISIS self-service, while new students must use the Non Degree Registration Form.
Note: If you previously completed an academic program through UMass Lowell
but haven't already applied and been accepted into this program, please use the Non Degree Registration Form to register.

Questions? Contact Us!

Email our Student Support Center for assistance, or call for advising at (800) 480-3190 and press 3 to speak with an advisor. See links at the bottom of this page for technical assistance with your online course.

Certificate Completion

Once you have completed all the courses in this graduate certificate program, please complete and either mail or fax the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form to the Registrar's Office.

Note: Graduate students are assessed a First Year Student Services Fee. Visit the Student Financial Services website for details.

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