Online Graduate Certificate Program 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, International Security and Industrial & Economic Security concentrations.

Program Outline

Required Courses (3):

  1. CRIM.5740 Overview of Homeland Security (3cr) - Available Summer 2017!
  2. CRIM.5720 Comparative Terrorism and Counterterrorism (3cr)
  3. CRIM.5750 Contemporary Security Studies (3cr) - Available Summer 2017!

Elective Courses (Choose 1):

  1. CRIM.5260 Economic Crime (3cr)
  2. CRIM.5660 Transportation Systems Safety and Security (3cr)
  3. CRIM.5700 Crisis and Emergency Management (3cr)
  4. CRIM.5710 Domestic Terrorism and Violent Extremism (3cr)
  5. CRIM.5730 Threat Assessment and Risk Management (3cr)
  6. CRIM.5760 Criminal Justice Intelligence and Information Sharing (3cr)
  7. CRIM.5780 Intelligence Analysis Policy and Practice (3cr) - Available Summer 2017!
  8. CRIM.6580 Issues in Computer Crime and Cyber Security (3cr)
  9. CRIM.6640 Weapons of Mass Destruction (3cr) - Available Summer 2017!
  10. CRIM.6680 Scientific & Technological Dimensions of National Security (3cr) - Available Summer 2017!
  11. CRIM.6940 Crime Analysis and Mapping (3cr)

For Additional Information on this program:

See the Graduate Course Catalog online or email

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

    CRIM.5260 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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.5660 Transportation Systems Safety and Security

    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. Prerequisite: CRIM.5740

    CRIM.5700 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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.5710 Domestic Terrorism and Violent Extremism

    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.

    CRIM.5720 Comparative Terrorism and Counterterrorism

    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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.5730 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.

    CRIM.5740 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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.5750 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.

    CRIM.5760 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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.5780 Intelligence Analysis Policy and Practice

    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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.6580 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. 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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.6640 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.

    CRIM.6680 Scientific & Technological Dimensions of National Security

    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. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

    CRIM.6940 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.

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Certificate Completion

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

The Benefits of Learning Online with UMass Lowell

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At UMass Lowell, we are committed to providing you with high-quality, affordable online programs that make earning your degree or certificate more convenient than ever before. Our students have access to online course technical support 24X7, and our academic advisors and program coordinators are happy to help you with your questions.