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Online Graduate Certificates in Security Studies

  • Introduction

    All security studies graduate certificates consist of 12 credit hours, or four courses. Students can be admitted to the university as graduate certificate-seeking only. You can choose one of these areas of specialization:

    • Global Security Issues
    • International Conflict Studies
    • Terrorism and Counterinsurgency Studies

    Classes earned toward a certificate can also be used toward a graduate degree if you choose to continue into the 36-credit-hour graduate program. To apply for admission into the graduate certificate programs, students should still fulfill all graduate admission requirements and follow all graduate admissions application steps.

    All graduate certificate programs require an overall 3.0 grade point average and a grade of at least a “B” in each required class. All course work for certificates must be taken in-residence; transfer credits from other institutions will not apply toward certificate programs.

  • Certificate Plans
    Certificate in Global Security Issues
    12 Credit Hours
    Course Number Course Description Hours
    SEC 6312 Globalization and International Security 3
     SEC 6320 Human Rights and National Security 3
     SEC 6321 Energy Security Studies 3
     SEC 6322 Transnational Issues and National Security 3
    Certificate in International Conflict Studies
    12 Credit Hours
    Course Number Course Description Hours
     SEC 6309 Grand Strategy and National Security 3
     SEC 6315 Rogue Nations and National Security 3
     SEC 6318 Weak and Failing States and National Security 3
     SEC 6317 Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and National Security 3
    Certificate in Terrorism and Counterinsurgency Studies
    12 Credit Hours
    Course Number Course Description Hours
    SEC 6309 Grand Strategy and National Security 3
    SEC 6314 Terrorism and National Security 3
    SEC 6316 Peacekeeping and Stability Issues 3
     SEC 6313 Intelligence and National Security 3
  • Courses
    • SEC 6322 Transnational Issues and National Security (3-0). With the advent of more societies around the world and more open trade, a variety of transnational issues have become important for American national security. The role of NGO’s in dealing with a variety of issues, the role of the many powerful transnational corporations, and the interesting aspect of transnational crime have changed the role of nation-states (somewhat) in how they deal with both state and non-state actors. This course examines the key transnational issues that are important for U.S. policy and also analyzes a series of case studies dealing with important issues such as transnational crime, transnational corporations, and other issues that cross borders between states and regions.

    • SEC 6321 Energy Security Studies (3-0). This course examines the relatively new concept of the importance of the relationship between energy and security in the 21st century. Students conduct analyses of important policy challenges including, but not limited to, economic, geopolitical, and environmental issues. The United States and its key allies (not to mention its competitors—such as China) have huge concerns about vulnerability to disruptions in supply, price volatility, and environmental degradation. U.S. national security interests also can potentially be in peril if such issues as unequal access to energy sources and instability in key energy-producing regions arise.

    • SEC 6320 Human Rights and National Security (3-0). This course gives students a clear understanding of what constitutes human rights. The course also explores why human rights and human security have become such major players in policy, as well as important aspects of the work that NGO’s and other non-state actors conduct. Of particular importance to this course is conducting an analysis of the role of civil society (human rights NGO’s, church groups, and grassroots groups). The course features important writings by practitioners and experts in the field.

    • SEC 6318 Weak and Failing States and National Security (3-0). For many years following the end of the Cold War, weak states, failing states, and failed states, received little or no attention from the United States. With the exception of the Somalia case study (a failed state), the United States tended to ignore states that were either weak or on the brink of being failed states. The events of 9/11 ended this for the most part. Because Afghanistan was essentially a failing state and supported terrorism, this issue has now become one that is ripe for examination. What constitutes a weak state? A failing state? A failed state? Are failed states a threat to U.S. security? If so, why is this the case? Which states are these, and what can be done to remedy the ominous (and often unique) threats they pose? All these issues are examined in this course, which will provide current and recent case studies as a method for conducting analysis of an issue that has only recently come to the forefront of Washington’s foreign policy.

    • SEC 6317 Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Proliferation, and National Security (3-0). As the United States looks to an uncertain future in the 21st century, control of weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation have become two of our most important national security issues. Because many nations are not transparent about either their capabilities or intentions, this is also a very difficult issue to analyze for American policy makers and their staffs. This class examines important case studies such as the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the role of the IAEA and other elements of the UN in countering WMD and proliferation, and key state actors that pose the greatest threat to American security because of their pursuit of WMD capabilities and/or proliferation.

    • SEC 6316 Peacekeeping and Stability Operations (3-0). Stability and peace operations have become an integral part of United States foreign and military policy. This course analyzes several concepts, including nation building, stabilization, and reconstruction. The course also examines the roles of various groups that have become important to these types of operations in the 21st century, including nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and governmental organizations. The course examines the roles and missions of the many new players who have become integral to stability and peacekeeping operations.

    • SEC 6315 Rogue Nations and National Security (3-0). The end of the Cold War brought in a new era of world politics and security issues for the United States. But with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union also came a new phenomenon—Rogue States. Countries such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and others have refused to change their governments in modern times and continue to conduct policies that are hostile to the United States and its allies. This course examines exactly what it is that makes up a rogue state, why the politics of rogue states are dangerous to the United States and its allies, and how these hostile policies can be countered. The course also examines several important recent case studies.

    • SEC 6314 Terrorism and National Security (3-0). This course examines the impact of terrorism on national security policy. The course profiles terrorists and terrorist groups, and also analyzes potential future forms of violent action that could be taken by non-state actors. The course also examines and outlines the past practices of counterterrorism in other countries. Finally, students focus on United States policies and the roles and missions of both military and interagency commanders who are currently dealing with or have in the past dealt with terrorism as part of their assigned tasks.

    • SEC 6313 Intelligence and National Security (3-0). The intelligence reform mandated following the attacks on 9/11 created the most fundamental structural change in the National Intelligence Community in its history. The National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), as updated, will provide the framework of analysis for this course. The integration of the National Intelligence Community, and the complexities this integration brings, will be analyzed. This course covers the intelligence cycle (planning and direction, collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination). It also covers key aspects of intelligence such as warning and surprise; denial and deception; covert action; oversight and civil liberties; role of policymakers; and intelligence reform. Students will evaluate how changes in the national intelligence community are meeting the objectives of the war on terrorism and contributing to more effective intelligence. (Credit may not be earned for this course and ISSA 6300.)

    • SEC 6312 Globalization and International Security (3-0). This course examines how globalization affects the policies, economics, societies, and militaries of both state and non-state actors on the regional and world stage. While globalization has had many benefits since the end of World War II, it has also created “haves and have nots,” radical religious and political ideologies, and ethnic conflict in regions affecting the national security of the developed world. This course will conduct studies examining how the interconnected world creates differing realities for different nation-states and regions and what the potential is for the future.

    • SEC 6309 Grand Strategy and National Security (3-0). This course gives students key insights into the basic elements of grand strategy and how these tie into Security Studies. The course gives students a unique baseline of knowledge that will be important as students move into the other aspects of the Security Studies program. Key issues addressed in detail include: 1) The national security decision making process, particularly as it relates to issues of international and homeland security; 2) Civil-military relations as applicable in the development of strategy and statecraft; 3) An analysis of how nation-states develop military operational capabilities and readiness; and 4) The differing strategies for international conflict, including both conventional and unconventional warfare.