Homeland Security (M.P.S.)

Penn State Harrisburg is the academic and administrative home of this 33-credit intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security (iMPS-HLS). Based on the all-hazards and the whole-community approach and supported by an end-user Advisory Council, this program leads to a comprehensive online homeland security degree, providing graduates the education and employable skills to succeed as continuing or emerging leaders in homeland security.

A partnership of seven Penn State colleges, with Penn State Harrisburg's School of Public Affairs as the academic home, this MPS program provides a homeland security education portfolio that can suit the needs of many individuals working in this field or looking for a new career path in this field.

This program is exclusively delivered online via World Campus. No residential components are required. It is open to all students from across the world.

Penn State Harrisburg's School of Public Affairs offers the Base Program (General Homeland Security and Policy). Through three tailored collaborations, the Base Program also offers the additional disciplinary focus areas:

  • Public Administration, Public Policy, and Emergency Management
  • International Track (intersection of Homeland Security, Homeland Defense, National Defense, and National Security) – in collaboration with the School of International Affairs and its Master of International Affairs Program
  • Business Administration – in collaboration with the Smeal College of Business and its Master of Business Administration Program

Options for specialization offered by the five partner colleges include: 

  • Public Health Preparedness
  • Intelligence and Geospatial Analysis
  • Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention
  • Counterterrorism
  • Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense

The program also includes an optional internship. Internships are residential and accompanied by a credit-earning online course. They provide a real-world setting to enhance the educational experience and employability of both knowledge and competencies acquired in the program. The internship provides students an opportunity to combine their professional studies with first-hand mission space experience, and it will help them to differentiate themselves on the job market.

Career opportunities for those interested in pursuing the homeland security program include upper-level positions in the U.S. Homeland Security Enterprise and Departments such as DHS and its components (CBP, FEMA, TSA, etc.), and in particular in civil security including emergency and crisis management, business continuity, infrastructure protection, intelligence analysis, law enforcement, and physical security.

The Homeland Security Enterprise including international partners, career opportunities include international security institutions as well, and the program also serves international students interested in education from one of the leaders in homeland security studies in the U.S. The program's International Track is based on state-of-the-art security research. Here students can learn to understand differences and commonalities between homeland, national, and international security, as well as the characteristics of homeland security in a global context and an all-hazards threat environment. This track can prepare students for a global career with excellent earning potential.

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