NS3180: Introduction to Homeland Security

This course provides an overview of the essential ideas that constitute the emerging discipline of homeland security. It has two central objectives: to expand the way participants think, analyze and communicate about homeland security; and to assess knowledge in critical homeland security domains: including strategy, history, terrorism, fear management, crisis communication, conventional and unconventional threats, complexity, network leadership, weapons of mass destruction, lessons learned from other nations, civil liberties and security, intelligence and information, homeland security technology, and analytics. The course is organized around an evolving narrative about what homeland security leaders need and how the CHDS program helps address those needs.


DA3210: The Unconventional Threat to Homeland Security

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the operational and organizational dynamics of terrorism. It considers those who act as individuals, in small groups or in large organizations; it considers indigenous actors as well as those who come to the United States to raise money, recruit or commit their acts of violence. In every instance, its focus is on violent clandestine activity that, whatever its motivation, has a political purpose or effect. The course addresses such specific topics as suicide terrorism, the role of the media, innovation and technology acquisition, the decline of terrorism and ways of measuring the effect of counterterrorism policies and strategies. The course also looks briefly at sabotage. By the end of the course, students should be able to design effective measures for countering and responding to terrorism based on an understanding of its organizational and operational dynamics.

NS2013 and NS4081: Research Sequence

The purpose of the research sequence (NS 2013 and NS 4081) is to advance your critical thinking, research and inquiry skills; you will use these skills to produce a strong thesis proposal (in this course sequence), and then later for the final thesis. We will identify and practice the main steps and modalities of good research. This will include exposure to a variety of research methods from which you will choose at least one for your thesis project and develop with the help of your thesis committee. The goal of the sequence is to support the degree objectives of the CHDS Master’s program by preparing you to conduct graduate-level, policy-relevant research and deliver the results of this research in an academically rigorous thesis. The thesis is arguably your primary deliverable in the Master’s program. By the end of the NS 2013-NS 4081 sequence, you will have prepared a proposal for a thesis that is intellectually rigorous, feasible, and reflects the policy interests and needs of the homeland security community.

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IS4010: Technology for Homeland Security

Government agencies in today’s Information Age are more dependent than ever on technology and information sharing. This course provides individuals involved in homeland security a broad overview of homeland security technology, information systems, inspections and surveillance technology, communications, knowledge management and information security. The course focuses on technology as a tool to support homeland security personnel regardless of functional specialty. The methodology used in the course will frame technology in terms of its contribution to deterrence; preemption; prevention; protection; response after an attack. The study of principles and theory is combined with homeland security examples and cases. Students will gain a perspective on the important role of senior management in enterprise level computing and their personal role as change agents and dealing with “disruptive technologies.” The objective is to empower the student to influence the plans and actions of homeland security organizations in preventing and preparing for homeland security, homeland defense, and terrorism. Another primary objective of the course is to help the students recognize the possibilities of new technology and novel applications of policies or laws to address threats. The knowledge and skills acquired will make students more effective technology users and help them to recognize opportunities where the application of technology solutions can provide a strategic advantage and therefore make a contribution to homeland security. The ultimate objectives are to show students how homeland security professionals can exploit technology and to use technology in the most efficient, innovative and productive manner.


NS4156: Intelligence for Homeland Security: Organizational and Policy Challenges

The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the ensuing War on Terror have focused the nation’s attention on homeland security. This course examines key questions and issues facing the U.S. intelligence community and its role in homeland security and homeland defense. Students will have the opportunity to fully address policy, organizational and substantive issues regarding homeland intelligence support. Course reference materials will provide an overview of diverse intelligence disciplines and how the intelligence community operates. Course emphasis will be on issues affecting policy, oversight, and intelligence support to homeland defense/security and national decision-making. The 2004 Intelligence Reform and Prevention of Terrorism Act is addressed and the course is shaped to focus on homeland intelligence support issues at the State/Local/Tribal levels.

CS3660: Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability Analysis and Protection

Critical Infrastructure protection is one of the cornerstones of homeland security. While PDD-63 lists 8 sectors, the National Strategy for Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Key Assets lists 11 sectors: Water, Power & Energy, Information & Telecommunications, Chemical Industry, Transportation, Banking & Finance, Defense Industry, Postal & Shipping, Agriculture & Food, Public Health, and Emergency Services. For the purposes of this course, we have divided these into levels with Water, Power & Energy, and Information & Telecommunications forming the first – or foundational – level. Chemical Industry, Transportation, and Banking & Finance are assigned level 2, and the remaining sectors are designated level 3 infrastructures. These levels indicate dependencies – higher levels are dependent on lower levels. Thus we focus most attention on the most fundamental critical infrastructures. This course develops a network theory of vulnerability analysis and risk assessment called “model-based vulnerability analysis” used to extract the critical nodes from each sector, model the nodes’ vulnerabilities by representing them in the form of a fault-tree, and then applying fault and financial risk reduction techniques to derive the optimal strategy for protection of each sector. At the completion of the course, students will be able to apply the model-based vulnerability technique to any critical infrastructure within their multi-jurisdictional region, and derive optimal strategies and draft policies for prevention of future terrorist attacks.