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Information on Graduate Certificate Programs in Security Studies

Majors Overview September 19, 2015

Those interested in receiving the necessary training for careers in various fields, including government positions in defense, intelligence gathering, and national security, should look into a graduate certificate program in security studies. This article talks about these programs and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Information on Graduate Certificate Programs in Security Studies

Students seeking to enhance their knowledge of potential threats to national security would benefit from enrolling in the graduate certificate program in security studies. They learn about various threats, including natural disasters and terrorist and criminal acts. Students learn about ways in which federal, state and local government agencies deal with these threats; they also learn how the efforts of various agencies operate and work.

Interdisciplinary security studies programs feature numerous departments including public policy, environmental health and safety, political science and criminal justice. Schools offer these programs in distance learning or campus-based formats. Coursework incorporates five courses at most, and admission criteria typically require students to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, though not necessarily in a related field.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree. Students who have done prior coursework in public policy or security studies would find such courses useful. They may also benefit from any prior professional experience, which is not compulsory.


Research and lecture-based courses are mainly in program coursework. Though specializations may commonly be in areas such as criminal justice or economics, core coursework may commonly cover topic areas such as:

•Global terrorism
•Terrorism response theory
•U.S. foreign policy
•History of U.S. national security
•Assessing security risks

Career Choices

Program graduates may pursue various career options, including jobs in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private businesses. They may choose from possible job options such as:

•Border patrol agent
•Immigrations Officer
•Criminal investigator
•U.S. Department of Homeland Security specialist
•Intelligence Analyst

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of eleven percent has been predicted for criminal investigators and detectives (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The growth is due to an increased need for public safety. In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $45,740 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may either seek entry-level careers or career advancement within a security-related field; alternatively, they may opt for continuing education or certification. For instance, those employed within some branches of law enforcement may seek specialized training. Apart from career-specific training, graduates may seek master’s degrees in closely related fields, such as global security public policy and government.

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