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Program Overview

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The Graduate Program in Security Studies offers many options tailored to fit the wide range of needs and interests of students and professionals. 

The Master’s degree program in Security Studies is highly interdisciplinary, integrating both the research/policymaker dimensions and the technical/practitioner dimensions of security studies. The program was designed to provide an intense and rigorous graduate educational experience that will benefit working professionals as well as recent undergraduate degree recipients from a wide array of disciplines.

Students can pursue a 30-credit Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) degree, with a choice of concentrations:
  • Master of Arts degree concentrations include homeland defense, industrial and economic security, and international security.
  • Master of Science degree concentrations include CBRNE security, critical infrastructure protection, and cybersecurity.
These degree programs can be completed on campus or through the Division of Online and Continuing Education.

The university also offers a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Security Studies. Students completing the Security Studies certificate program can transfer into the Master's degree program and any courses completed with a B+ or better can be counted toward completion of the MA or MS degree.

Students can earn their Master's degree or Graduate Certificate through courses on-campus or online. The UMass Lowell Division of Online and Continuing Studies has more information about online Master's Degree courses offered, and online Graduate Certificate courses offered.

Finally, UMass Lowell also offers a Graduate Certificate in Network Security, which can be complete through online courses. Student completing the Network Security program can transfer into the MS in Security Studies: Cybersecurity  concentration and have those courses count toward the completion of the Master's degree.

There is no residency requirement and qualified international students are accepted into the master's degree or graduate certificate programs.


The curriculum of the MA and MS programs reflect the interdisciplinary nature of security studies, integrating and amplifying the expertise of faculty in many departments and colleges throughout UMass Lowell, and building upon the well-established reputation of our graduate programs in the sciences, technology, and behavioral sciences. 

Of the 10 courses needed to fulfill degree requirements, four are core courses that cover topics such as intelligence analysis, scientific and technological dimensions of national security, research design and methods, and a survey course of contemporary security studies literature. A fifth core course requirement involves a Security Studies Capstone Paper (for the MA) or a Security Studies Capstone Project Design (MS). The remaining five courses are selected from a list of electives within a specific area of concentration. MA degree concentrations include homeland defense, industrial and economic security, and international security. MS degree concentrations include CBRNE security, critical infrastructure protection, and cybersecurity.

Courses can be taken on-campus or online to meet the requirements for the master's degree or the graduate certificate in Security Studies.

Bachelor's to Master's Option

Undergraduate majors in related fields at UMass Lowell may enroll in a Bachelor's-to-Master’s program that allows eligible students to complete both degrees in five years. Application for this program typically occurs in the junior year, and applicants must meet all eligibility requirements including a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Additional information is available from the graduate coordinator. 
Please follow these links for more information:

These graduate programs are affiliated with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at UMass Lowell, which offers students opportunities to engage in research projects and technology development initiatives with real world security relevance.


UMass Lowell’s Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS) conducts scholarly research on all aspects of terrorism, political violence and issues of domestic and international security. The Center’s work is multidisciplinary, drawing on many perspectives, research methodologies, and analytic frameworks in order to better understand the causes and consequences of new and emerging security challenges. CTSS is seeking highly motivated students to work on one of two research projects aimed at understanding the activities engaged in by members of terrorist groups. Students may identify specific interests in their applications, but this will not ensure final placement as project needs are subject to change. For more information, please see visit the Internship & Employment page of the CTSS.