Homeland Security: Master of Science Degree

Homeland security is a swiftly evolving field, with constantly emerging areas of concern and new technologies. UDC’s location in Washington, DC, gives students exclusive opportunities to learn from the thinkers and policy-makers shaping the nation’s homeland security strategies. Students will learn from active practitioners who provide unique, real-time insight into the field of homeland security and serve as mentors to students seeking employment.

The Master of Science in Homeland Security examines the effort by governments to protect their territory and interests from hazards and disasters, whether internal or external, natural or human made. Aligned with the university’s land-grant mission of service to the community, the Homeland Security program focuses on community preparedness, response, and recovery from catastrophic events. On the UDC campus, the Homeland Security curriculum emphasizes the use of computer-based models to analyze issues in homeland security, with coursework that is grounded in contemporary methods and strategies. The program’s focus on research allows students to develop skills in quantitative and qualitative research methods, and prepares them for careers in analytics and operational work.


Homeland Security: Vision, Mission, Goals & Student Learning Objectives


To become an integral part of the university’s overall enduring institutional infrastructure in the homeland security and STEM areas by supporting homeland security science and technology research, education, and awareness.


To impact homeland security efforts on a national and international scale through research, education, and training that produces graduates who are prepared to enter the field or to enroll in doctoral programs.


Maintain an academic program organizational structure that includes:

  • Clearly defined outcome objectives
  • Courses with content that is clearly connected to the outcome objectives
  • Experiential case study curricular activities that are practice oriented and consistent with literature and best practices
  • An emphasis on technology and writing skills
  • Core and elective course offerings that are continuously updated reflecting the ever evolving nature of the field
  • Support a research agenda addressing key issues and problems in the field
  • Attract full-time faculty who are research oriented, and adjuncts who bring professional perspective and experience to the classroom
  • Produce graduates who can make a significant contribution to the field
  • Offer course concentrations that allow students to pursue additional study around specialized areas such as: cybersecurity; emergency management; global institutions and security; terrorism and counterterrorism; intelligence analysis; and weapons of mass destruction

Student Learning Objectives

Upon completion of requirements in the Homeland Security program, students will be able to:

  • Differentiate between the diverse branches of homeland security and their applicable governing laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and issues;
  • Identify and analyze the ethical consequences of action (or inaction) in situations that impact homeland security;
  • Evaluate the tension between national security concerns and the constraints imposed by constitutionally based individual rights and liberties; and
  • Utilize quantitative, qualitative, or computational research methodologies to plan and carry out a comprehensive original capstone-type research project in their selected homeland security area.


Curriculum and Requirements

Program of Study

The MS in Homeland Security requires 36 credit hours for completion and includes three curricular components:

  • A degree core required of all students matriculating in the homeland security program;
  • A concentration consisting of elective courses either in the department or in another STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) discipline with permission of the host department;
  • A thesis, public policy project or other comprehensive research-based capstone project

The common thread running through each component is a strong research interest. As a multidisciplinary degree program, students are accepted from any undergraduate major. In consultation with faculty, students are able to create a specialized academic concentration within the Homeland Security Graduate Program that suits their needs and interests. Examples of selected concentrations include:

  • Emergency Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • Peacekeeping and security
  • Epidemiology
  • Intelligence

The program typically requires 18-24 months to complete as a full-time student. However, the degree can be pursued on a part-time basis. A positive feature of the Homeland Security program is evening classes that are convenient for students who are working full-time while pursuing a degree.


Student Organizations and Activities

The Homeland Security Program is a member of Omicron Sigma Sigma, the Homeland Security National Honor Society.
Co-curricular opportunities include forums, symposiums, conferences, and internships that take advantage of the central location of the Homeland Security program in the nation’s capital. Events and other program information are frequently posted to the program blog and the program Twitter account.

Students observe and participate directly in government activities, such as State Department security briefings. They also work with faculty on both funded and unfunded research projects addressing a range of homeland security areas directly for government agency clients.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Homeland Security Program

Angelyn Flowers, J.D., Ph.D.Program Director, is a computational social scientist. Her recent publications on cybersecurity have appeared in IEEE journals, the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other noteworthy publications. She has previously served on the Academic Advisory Board for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism for McGraw-Hill Publishing Company’s Contemporary Learning Series and as the project director for the National Legal Preparedness Training Program. She is admitted to practice law before several courts in the United States, including the United States Supreme Court.  Research interests include cybersecurity, multi-agent modeling, complex systems analysis, and critical infrastructure protection.

Andrea Adams, PhD, JD, MBA is an emerging “ethicist” with over 25 years business/legal experience and 10 years in senior management roles. She also has several years of experience as a practicing attorney in labor and employment law. In her current executive coaching practice, she focuses on leadership integrity and values. She also works closely with other major coaching firms and has membership in several prominent coaching associations.

Professor Cotina Lane Pixley has a background in research, training and evaluation, service, outreach to government agencies, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and other non-profit entities.  Her research interests include risk communication and community resilience, and the impact of disasters on underserved populations.  She serves as the early career faculty support for the DHS Scientific Leadership Award Scholarship to the University of the District of Columbia.

Professor Anthony Maaza is an Assistant Professor of Crime, Justice, and Security Studies. Professor Maaza has earned degrees in law, Homeland Security, and business, from New York Law School, the University of the District of Columbia, the University of the People, and City College of New York. He has a broad swath of expertise including commercial law, IT strategy and security, investigatory/ forensic examinations, cyber security risk, and cyber law and policy.

Adjunct Faculty

John Vocino is currently a Senior Analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in the Homeland Security and Justice division, as an expert on emergency management issues. In addition, he served a congressional detail to the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, supporting the Committee’s oversight of issues such as Superstorm Sandy and disaster management in the National Capital Region.  Prior to joining the GAO, he served as a county planner and project administrator for St Bernard Parish, Louisiana, where he was St. Bernard’s first emergency management planner and helped develop the first hurricane evacuation plans for the 10 parishes that make up southeastern Louisiana.

Ambassador Curtis WardEsq., former ambassador of Jamaica to the United Nations, is an expert in national and international security law and policy; counter-terrorism legal and operational capacity assessments and solutions; international sanctions; rule of law and governance and geopolitical strategy analyses. As ambassador, he served for two years on the UN Security Council.

Career Pathways and Prospects

UDC’s Homeland Security program prepares students for employment or advancement at government agencies such as FEMA, FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Graduates enter the workforce with a competitive advantage that allows them to pursue careers in today’s most in-demand fields such as:

  • Emergency Management
  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Counter-terrorism Research
  • Human Rights Research and Advocacy
  • Disaster Relief
  • International Peacekeeping

Graduates may also pursue careers in the private sector, non-academic research bodies, and international non-governmental organizations. They may also pursue a Ph.D. in a related field such as international affairs or global studies.

Contact info:

Dr. Angelyn Flowers, Program Director
E: MSHS@udc.edu  | T: 202.274. 5494