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Graduate Certificate in Security Studies: Program Information

Graduate certificate programs in security studies develop students' knowledge of potential threats to national security. Threats studied may include terrorism, crime, and natural disasters.

Essential Information

Students in certificate programs are taught how local, state, and federal government agencies respond to threats, as well as how agencies coordinate efforts with each other. Interdisciplinary by nature, security studies programs are drawn from departments including environmental health and safety, public policy, criminal justice, and political science. A graduate certificate program in security studies provides the training necessary for careers in many fields, including government positions in national security, defense, and intelligence gathering.

Programs last approximately four to five courses and can usually be found online. Students will need a bachelor's degree in order to enroll. Specializations exist in the form of economics and criminal justice.


Graduate Certificate in Security Studies

Prior professional experience is beneficial but seldom an essential component of admissions decisions. Security studies programs primarily include lecture and research-based classes. Common core courses include the following:

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

Popular Career Options

Upon completion of a graduate certificate in security studies, individuals may pursue a wide range of careers, including those in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private businesses. Among the possible career fields are the following:

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

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 1% decrease in jobs for detectives and criminal investigators from 2014-2024. The median annual salary for detectives and criminal investigators was $77,210 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

While many individuals pursue a graduate certificate in security studies in order to enter or advance within a security-related field, some potential careers require further education or certification. For example, some branches of law enforcement require specialized training. In addition to career-specific training, graduates may go on to pursue master's degrees in closely related fields, including global security, public policy, and government.

Security studies graduate certificates, general or specialized, teach students about identifying and reacting to threats to national security. While this level of education is sufficient for most jobs, some employers may require a master's degree.

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