Purdue Homeland Security Institute

Graduate Level Programs

Homeland Security Master Level Area of Specialization

Homeland security is one of the most important new areas of study in the twenty-first century. As an interdisciplinary field of study, homeland security is positioned at the intersection of science, engineering, technology, agriculture, management and economics, health sciences, and the social sciences of sociology, psychology, communication and political science. This interdisciplinary focus serves to broaden our fundamental understanding of homeland security issues and offers the potential to significantly impact and contribute to a wide variety of emerging technologies and science.

The program provides students with the opportunity to gain specific skills and an understanding of homeland security issues from a diverse group of faculty while also studying a specific discipline. Students are exposed to theoretical and fundamental issues related to preventing, mitigating, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from catastrophic events.

Through a campus-wide, interdisciplinary, graduate-level area of specialization in homeland security, students who complete a required set of two core courses plus additional elective hours in their major area, will earn a designation on their transcripts. Enrollment in and approval of this specialization is done through individual departments and colleges. Below is a list of links to department and college websites related to the homeland security area of specialization. Graduate students interested in this specialization should contact their departments directly.

Core Courses

  1. ASM 591A/OLS 581A – Foundations in Homeland Security (Course Overview PDF)

    Course will use an interdisciplinary approach to address the fundamental issues related to preventing, mitigating, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from major catastrophic events, both intentional and unintentional, that threaten the security and well-being of private and public sector resources and infrastructures. Contents will explore the characteristics of security and how personal and corporate perspectives of security vary; identification of assets and assessing cost/benefits of protecting them; conducting risk assessment and risk management; crisis decision making; current emergency management resources and response infrastructures; public health issues; best practices in emergency management and risk and crisis communication; business continuity; and the importance of a collaborative response through application of team building skills. Real world case studies will be examined including the 9-11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the I-35W bridge collapse. Invited presentations by external experts in the field of homeland security will be included and career opportunities in the field discussed.

  2. ASM 591B/OLS 581B – Managing Resources and Applications for Homeland Security (Course Overview PDF)

    Course will build on the prerequisite course, Foundations of Homeland Security Studies, providing examples and practice in applying and managing the resources, including technologies, used in the private and public sectors for Homeland Security programs. The interdisciplinary approach used on the Foundations course will continue to address issues, including: terrorism, corporate security, biosecurity, healthcare preparedness, personal/community preparedness, risk transfer, information security and privacy. Content will explore the local, state, and federal preparedness program issues in the private and public sectors that are designed to ensure survival during a continuum of emergency events ranging from off-normal events through catastrophe while providing continued practice in using a collaborative application of team building skills. The topics for the course will represent various issues on emergency management and business continuity programs and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, as an example of the application of the national structure for response to disaster and catastrophe.

Elective Courses

Homeland security specialization elective courses exist in several areas of research including engineering, agriculture, nursing, science, technology, and liberal arts. Please see the list of Purdue University courses related to homeland security for an idea of specific courses that could be used to fulfill the area of specialization elective requirements.

Homeland Security Related Courses

Homeland Security Courses

Want to study homeland security and emergency management? Enrollment is now open for Fall 2013:


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Purdue Homeland Security Institute 

401 N. Grant St., Rm 255 
Purdue University West Lafayette, 47907-1971 
E-mail: phsi@purdue.edu