Online Master of Arts in Security Studies: International Security Concentration

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Available entirely online!

UMass Lowell's Online Master's Degree in Security Studies, International Security Concentration provides students with a comprehensive understanding of complex, intersecting global threats like organized criminal and terrorist networks, and the various policies, strategies and mechanisms to combat these threats.

Program Outline

Total Credits: 10 courses / 30 credits

Required Core Courses

Total Required: 5 courses

  1. CRIM.5750 Contemporary Security Studies - Available Summer 2017!
  2. CRIM.5780 Intelligence Analysis Policy and Practice - Available Summer 2017!
  3. CRIM.6680 Scientific & Technological Dimensions of National Security - Available Summer 2017!
  4. CRIM.5910 Research Design - Available Summer 2017!
  5. CRIM.6990 Security Studies Capstone Research Paper - Available Summer 2017!
Concentration Elective Courses

Choose 5 of the following

  1. CRIM.5720 Comparative Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  2. CRIM.6640 Weapons of Mass Destruction - Available Summer 2017!
  3. CRIM.6650 Global Trafficking and Criminal Networks
  4. CRIM.5900 Descriptive & Inferential Statistics - Available Summer 2017!
  5. CRIM.5730 Threat Assessment and Risk Management
  6. CRIM.6580 Issues in Computer Crime and Cyber Security
  7. CRIM.6660 Terrorism Networks

*Note: A larger selection of elective courses is available with courses held on-campus and at corporate locations, for those students who are interested in taking a mix of on-campus and online courses. Call 978-934-4106 or send an email to for the extended list of on-campus courses. Additional electives may be available online at a later date. Check back periodically for program updates.

How to Apply

Applications to the Graduate Program in Security Studies are accepted and processed year-round. Students accepted into the program can begin their courses in the Fall, Spring or Summer terms. To be considered for admission to this program, applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher education, with a final cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. A wide variety of undergraduate degree programs qualify as an appropriate foundation for this master of arts degree, particularly those in the behavioral and social sciences such as political science, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, history, international relations, and many others.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed application - Apply Online or use the paper application form (pdf) plus the $50 application fee.
  • Official transcripts
  • A statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation (3)
  • Official test scores for either the GRE or MAT. Have your official test scores sent to UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions at the address below. UMass Lowell's school code is 3911.
  • International students: Submit your official test results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. See Graduate Admissions International Graduate Application Requirements page for additional details.

Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions website for detailed information about each of these requirements.

Submit all required items to:
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Office of Graduate Admissions
1 University Ave Cumnock Hall Suite 110
Lowell, MA 01854

Course Descriptions

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.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.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.5900 Descriptive & Inferential Statistics

This course is a rigorous introduction to statistical inference: probability theory, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests. The course also covers regression analysis, which is developed in a non-technical way, with an emphasis on interpretation of regression results, using examples from recent research. 3 credits.

CRIM.5910 Research Design

Research design is a graduate-level introduction to methodology as used in criminology/criminal justice. The course surveys the research design enterprise and covers a host of issues on the measurement and collection of data, and other procedures that influence whether a research study will lead the investigator to scientifically rigorous information. This course explains various strategies for devising social science studies, compares the relative benefits of various designs, and identifies the tools necessary to conduct studies that will yield data worthy of analysis and interpretation. This material will be valuable for students who will conduct research and administrators who must evaluate the research of others. 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.6650 Global Trafficking and Criminal Networks

Illicit economic activities are a global phenomenon with local impact. This course will examine the threat that global trafficking poses to a nation's security, political stability, economic development, and social fabric. The lessons in this advanced graduate-level seminar are organized around the trafficking activities of greatest concern to the United Nations, Interpol, IAEA and other international agencies as well as to the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Students with a CSCE or UGRD career need permission to take Graduate Level Courses.

CRIM.6660 Terrorism Networks

This course will explore the dynamics of terrorist networks and will equip students with an understanding of the drivers of terrorist network formation, development and disintegration. The course will also provide students with knowledge and understanding of how, why and when networks expand, affiliate, and occasionally splinter. And finally, students will be guided through the applicability of network theory and analysis to the design of hypothetical operational responses and contingency planning surrounding the disruption or containment of terrorist networks. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

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.6990 Security Studies Capstone Research Paper

This course represents the culminating capstone experience for students in the MA in Security Studies program at UMass Lowell. Incorporating the tools learned in 44.590, Research Design and Methods, students are required to design a research question, gather and analyze information, and write a Masters level research paper of at least 50 pages on a topic of their choosing related to security studies. Students will provide drafts of their paper to their faculty supervisor periodically during the semester, and the final version will be submitter for grading on the basis of quality research and writing. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

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Approximately 2 months prior to the start of each semester, Online and Continuing Education posts the new course schedule to the website. Once you've decided which course(s) you would like to take, returning students can register using SIS Self-Service, while new students must use the Non-Degree Registration Form.
Note: If you previously completed an academic program through UMass Lowell
but haven't already applied and been accepted into this program, please use the Non-Degree Registration Form to register.

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