Penn State Offers New Online Master's Degree in Homeland Security

University Park, Pa. — The Christmas Day attempt to blow up a commercial airplane over Detroit with an “underwear bomb” punctuated the importance of homeland security. As the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies look to hire workers for occupations in security and protection, medicine, public health and information technology, they also face the challenge of an aging workforce. About one-third of federal career employees and more than 60 percent of career executives will be eligible to retire through 2012, according to a Government Accountability Office report. To help prepare workers for existing and new jobs in homeland security, Penn State is launching an online Intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security program this fall: www.worldcampus.psu.edu/securitydegree

“The discipline of homeland security has become a consortium of many different specialties,” said Dr. Robert A. Cherry, program chair for the master’s degree program. Cherry, a trauma surgeon and associate chief quality officer at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, added, “Penn State’s program was created to complement these diverse specialties with a homeland security education portfolio that will suit the needs of many individuals working in this field.”

The new master’s degree will incorporate Penn State’s current online Master of Homeland Security in Public Health Preparedness and add four other specializations.

“This Penn State online degree program draws on the research, scholarship and experience of faculty members in multiple academic colleges to prepare adult learners to become leaders in government, military and civilian organizations involved in homeland security-related work,” said Dr. Wayne D. Smutz, executive director of Penn State World Campus and associate vice president for Academic Outreach.

The colleges of Liberal Arts, Medicine, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Information Sciences and Technology, and Agricultural Sciences, the Graduate School, as well as Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, are partnering on the 33-credit program, which is delivered entirely online through World Campus. The program is designed for emergency management officials, public health personnel, hospital staff, food safety scientists and employees, law enforcement, military servicemembers, policy analysts, and information technology professionals, among others.

Students will participate in a series of core courses from which they will then choose one of five specializations: the base program in homeland security or options in public health preparedness, geospatial intelligence, information security and forensics, and agricultural biosecurity.

Penn State is accepting applications for the online Intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security program. For information, visit www.worldcampus.psu.edu/securitydegree or call 800-252-3592.

Penn State World Campus (http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/) specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 60 of Penn State’s most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs to more than 9,600 students in all 50 states and 62 countries. Founded in 1998, World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, serving more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.

For more information, contact: Deborah A. Benedetti Penn State Outreach Phone: 814-238-4895 Email: dab12@outreach.psu.edu

Dave Aneckstein Penn State Outreach Phone: 814-865-7600 Email: dxa141@outreach.psu.edu