Ancell School of Business : Graduate Programs

Master of Science in Homeland Security

Why study homeland security master’s at WCSU?

The Online Master of Science in Homeland Security at Western Connecticut State University can help you advance your career in law enforcement, public safety, and emergency management. Our program will prepare you for the future workforce of the local, state, and federal institutions. A master's degree equips you with advanced skills and knowledge to position yourself better for high-level job opportunities. A graduate degree in this field is designed to prepare the next generation of homeland security professionals for leadership positions across the public and private sectors.


Homeland security professionals work in local, state, and federal governments. Dozens of federal agencies employ graduates with a master's degree in homeland security. The DHS employees work at

  • Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Federal Emergency Management (FEMA)
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC)
  • Federal Protective Service (FPS)
  • Transportation Security Agency (TSA)
  • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • U.S. Secret Service (USSC)

According to the DHS website, "DHS offers talented new professionals flexible work schedules, student loan repayment, tuition reimbursement programs and more in a generous benefits package."


Our course curriculum is designed to be aligned with the DHS missions and practice; so that our graduates can be better prepared to serve in this field.

  • Each course will include real-life case studies. Graduate students are encouraged to write threat assessment scenarios, prevention methods, and response strategies. Students must collect their own data or work with the official secondary data to run those scenarios.
  • Candidates must develop capstone projects based on the five missions of the Department of Homeland Security using real-time data and geo-mapping to address the DHS's principles of emergency management scope: 1) Mitigation, 2) Preparedness, 3) Response, 4) Recovery.
  • The Masters' program also emphasizes the data-driven instructional approach and data analytics and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) methods in its Capstone projects.
  • On its website, the DHS provides a list of resources. The Independent Study Program (IS) - Emergency Management Institute offers a range of free-of-charge courses to those who qualify for enrollment. Our graduate students will be encouraged to complete the relevant active courses as part of their course requirements.

Our Master of Science in Homeland Security Program is now part of the University & Agency Partnership Program (UAPP). This means that both the faculty and graduate students can benefit from resources that are available by the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) through the UAPP partnership, its curriculum, Homeland Security Digital Library, and all other learning materials and resources.

Collaboration with Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation: 
In July of 2021, WCSU received appropriations from the State of Connecticut to establish the Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation. In December of 2021, Amery Bernhardt was hired to be the first Director of the Center. Dr. Bernhardt was a recent retiree from the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, where he supervised the School Resource Officer program. Additionally, Bernhardt completed graduate studies in Homeland Security and completed a dissertation on multidisciplinary school threat assessment teams.
It is mutually agreed that the Online Homeland Security Master's program at Ancell School and the Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation ( will collaborate in research, policy development, and prevention strategies regarding school safety.
  • Graduate students of the master's program can apply for available internships at the Center.
  • Graduate students can also use the resources available from the Center to complete their Capstone projects."

Program Overview and Requirements

Course Information

The program consists of 12 courses totaling 36 credit hours.

See our Homeland Security Courses page for a full list and course descriptions.



The program is taught by 11 instructors.

See our Homeland Security Faculty page for details on their backgrounds, interests, and courses that they teach.



For a break down of the Tuition and Fees, please see the Registrar's site.


Resources for Graduate Students

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