Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies

The Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies is designed to help students meet the needs of the homeland security enterprise at all levels of government as well as the private sector. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the homeland security enterprise to students desiring to advance their knowledge, skills, and qualifications within this field.

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Homeland Security program must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. GPA of 3.0 or higher
  4. An undergraduate degree from an accredited academic institution in an allied field
  5. Official transcripts of all academic coursework previously undertaken
  6. Three letters of recommendation from undergraduate professors referencing the applicant’s ability to perform graduate work
  7. A current resume
  8. An essay that demonstrates the capacity to write at the graduate level.  The essay topic is: defining homeland security.
  9. International students ONLY: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)—a minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based) is required

A holistic review of each student’s application will be completed on a competitive basis.

Courses are offered both online and face-to-face. All face-to-face classes are offered at The Woodlands Center with many classes available in the evenings. Enrollment is available in the Fall and Spring terms.

There are three tracks available for the graduate degree program:

1) Thesis: This track requires completion of a thesis practicum course in the fall of the second year and the writing of a Master’s thesis during the spring of the second year.

2) Internship: The internship option will be available to some of the students based in the greater Houston and Huntsville areas. Internships are highly competitive and will only be offered to students recommended by the faculty and found to be a good fit for the agencies/companies offering internships. Internships are not available for students already working in the field and are not guaranteed. Students engaged in an internship will still be required to complete a capstone course during their final semester as well as SCST 5346, Information and Intel Mgmt (both the capstone and SCST 5346 can be taken online).

3) Capstone and Elective Course Option: Online students complete a three-credit capstone project along with an elective course.

First Year
SCST 53393SCST 53203
SCST 53443SCST 53383
SCST 53963SCST 53483
 9 9
Second Year
SCST 53353SCST 53463
SCST 53363Track Option (Thesis, Internship, or General)26
SCST 639813 
 9 9
Total Hours: 36

Only for students in the thesis track (non-thesis track students choose an elective).


Track Options: SCST 6099 (Thesis); SCST 6370 and SCST 6365 Capstone (Internship); or SCST 6365 Capstone and an Elective. 

Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies (Internship)
Required Courses
SCST 5320Emergency Management Integration I3
SCST 5335Global Perspectives in Homeland Security3
SCST 5336Law and Ethics in Homeland Security3
SCST 5338Security and Management3
SCST 5339Foundations of Homeland Security3
SCST 5344Unconventional Threats3
SCST 5346Information and Intelligence Management3
SCST 5348Critical Infrastructure Protection3
SCST 5396Research Methods - Homeland Security Studies3
SCST 6365Doctrine and Praxis in Homeland Security3
Prescribed Electives
Select two of the following:6
Emergency Management Integration II
Leadership in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Critical Infrastructure Risk Management
Internship in Security Studies
Special Topics in Security Studies (limited usage, once for 3 SCH)
Thesis Practicum
No electives courses outside the department will be permitted except at the department chair's discretion.
Total Hours36

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The MS in Homeland Security Studies is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Think critically, conduct analysis, derive conclusions based on evidence, and communicate effectively.
  • Understand strategic policy-making to address homeland security challenges.
  • Weigh policy options, analyze data, and develop policy solutions to homeland security problems.
  • Understand the interagency environment, the legal frameworks, and the international context in which the homeland security enterprise operates.