Homeland Security Program Overview

We exist to develop professionals who help ease human suffering, respond to emergencies, and increase global security. The active participation of our graduate students and or faculty with community partners is a primary focus of the HSEC Program. Therefore, the program has established a number of collaborative relationships with public, private, and non-profit sector partners on the international, federal, state, and local levels. These relationships are evident in both the classroom and through the HSEC Program’s research initiatives and they allow the homeland security graduate student to engage in a number of service-learning opportunities that make a real-world difference to the safety and security of people and communities around the world.

The HSEC Program provides an intellectually and professionally vibrant educational environment that welcomes students with a strong desire to engage in interdisciplinary study, critical thinking, and research. Our alumni are found in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in diverse career fields such as humanitarian assistance, the military, public health, public safety, science and technology, intelligence, emergency management and response, higher education, information decision systems, project management, journalism, public administration, and politics. Many continue to be an active part of the HSEC Program after graduation, providing networking and job opportunities for current students and over 1000 alumni working at hundreds of companies and careers.

The SDSU Graduate Program in Homeland Security provides a learning environment where scholarly, educational, and research endeavors are applied to real-world challenges.  HSEC Faculty strive to link classroom learning with real-world service opportunities.  All of our students experience an internship, work experience, or fellowship in diverse areas such as emergency response through the Red Cross Disaster Worker and Duty Officer assignments, summer work experiences in law enforcement or the intelligence community, or realize new pathways in already existing professional careers.  The SDSU HSEC MS program has proudly served in response to critical incidents and crises on the local, national, and global levels. 

The best part of our program is the body of people involved.  This program is part of a vast global network which seeks to eliminate threats to human well-being and safety by not only stopping terrorist and organized crime networks, but also by working to improve the daily living conditions and opportunities of all human beings, locally, and globally.  We invite you to explore our program, our process, and our people.

Imperial Valley Campus

With the launch of the Homeland Security program at SDSU Imperial Valley (HSEC-IV) in Fall 2021, opportunities to reach homeland security professionals in the border region of Imperial County now exist, as well as the prospect to conduct research on vital sustainability issues unique to the region. HSEC-IV students will have the exclusive experience of entering a cohort together and following the same course sequence at the Imperial Valley campus over a 2½-year schedule (2 Fall, 2 Spring, and 2 Summer semesters) with Summer semesters dedicated exclusively for the Study Abroad and Practicum (internship) required courses. The first HSEC-IV cohort is now complete and begins in Fall 2021 with the completion of the course sequence by Summer 2023. Subsequent HSEC-IV cohorts will begin once the previous cohort has successfully completed (every two years). The next available HSEC-IV cohort will begin in Fall 2023.

Listen as SDSU HSEC Co-Director, Dr. Larson, gives an overview of the SDSU M.S. Homeland Security Program as part of an effort to encourage K-12 students to pursue a career in this field. In this video, he presents the specialized tools and skills that students walk out with and bring to the professional workforce after completing this unique graduate program. Then, listen as three current HSEC students follow-up by giving their perspective of the M.S. Homeland Security program and sharing what they have learned from the program, as well as how they plan to utilize their degree upon graduation.



According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a 37% projected job growth from 2012 to 2022 for information security professions. The SDSU M.S. in Homeland Security program enriches graduate students’ knowledge in cybersecurity through two exciting and engaging courses: Cyber Warfare & Terrorism (Fall), and Cyber Crime & Industrial Security (Spring).

These courses are fundamental in preparing those interested in the field of Cyber Security to play vital roles in protecting the integrity of computer systems and critical infrastructure from adversaries. K-12 students were educated on how they can play a vital role in information security by pursuing their education at SDSU HSEC M.S. program.