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M.S. in Strategic Studies in Weapons of Mass Destruction

The College of Health and Human Services offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Strategic Studies in WMD. This degree is designed for those individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree and have experience in the criminal justice field. The M.S. in Strategic Studies in WMD is a 30-credit program designed to prepare graduate students for careers in areas such as emergency management, national security, disaster preparedness, security engineering, etc. The program provides students with structured opportunities to learn about a wide variety of areas associated with Strategic Studies in WMD.

Admission Requirements

The Master of Science Program in Strategic Studies in WMD (SWMD) offers full or part time study. In addition to meeting the requirements for the School of Graduate Studies and Research and the College of Health and Human Services, students in the SWMD program will be required to possess the following prerequisite academic and/or professional preparation: 

  • Completion of undergraduate degree with a G.P.A. of 2.6 or higher (3.0 recommended) 
  • Completion of the following courses or approved course substitutions: 
    • 6 credits of mathematics (statistics recommended)
    • 3 credits of English composition 
    • 6 credits of science and/or engineering (physics recommended)

If the SWMD program graduate committee believes that an applicant is lacking necessary skills in one of the above-referenced areas, it may require him/her to enroll in the appropriate undergraduate course(s) to acquire these skills/this knowledge.

Program Requirements

Core/Required Courses (15 credits)

 SWMD 600 Theoretical Perspectives and Threat Assessment in Strategic Studies in WMD  3 credits
 SWMD 605  Research Methodology in Strategic Studies in WMD  3 credits
 SWMD 610  Legal Issues in Strategic Studies in WMD and Terrorism 3 credits
 SWMD 618  Design and Evaluation of Critical Asset Protection Systems 3 credits
 SWMD 791  Synthesis Project in Strategic Studies in WMD  3 credits


Electives (15 credits)

Must be approved by advisor

 SWMD 612  Advanced Biological Terrorism for Law Enforcement 3 credits
 SWMD 614     Advanced Chemical Terrorism for Law Enforcement 3 credits
 SWMD 681  Special Topics in Strategic Studies in WMD  3 credits
 SWMD 698  Directed Readings in Strategic Studies in WMD  3 credits
  Other approved electives

3-6 credits


Total credit hours: 30

Program Objectives:

After completing the M.S. in Strategic Studies in WMD students will be able to:

  • Identify, prioritize, and assure the protection of assets that are the most critical in terms of loss of life and property, public health, governance, economic vitality, national security, public confidence, and quality of life in accordance with Critical Asset Vulnerability and Risk Assessment – Performance-Based Evaluation Methodologies (CAVRA-PBEM) 
  • Prevent, delay, and efficiently and effectively react to attacks on critical assets and infrastructures in accordance with CAVRA-PBEM 
  • Explicate possible motivations behind and contributing factors to political violence and terrorist activities and incorporate this knowledge into prevention and intervention strategies. 
  • Address challenges and issues that emerge in the field of Strategic Studies in WMD through research, communication, structural design, policy creation, implementation, and evaluation. 
  • Design physical and/or cyber protection systems that will minimize identified vulnerabilities of a variety of critical assets. 
  • Work with public and private stakeholders, federal departments and agencies, state and municipal governments, professional organizations, and other people and institutions to protect critical assets by providing and sharing information, promoting awareness, and by creating, implementing, and carrying out the necessary policies, strategies, and projects.
  • School of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Stright Hall, Room 101
    210 South Tenth Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1048
  • Phone: 724-357-2222
  • Fax: 724-357-4862
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Summer: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.