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Master of Arts or Master of Science in Security Studies

Part time Full time BA/BS to MA/MS Online Duration: 2 years

With the aim of bringing more security to an insecure world, UMass Lowell’s masters’ programs in security studies tackles the challenge of real-world threats by bringing expertise from all relevant academic programs.

The Master of Science program in Security Studies prepares students for careers in the rapid expanding field of cyber security, as well as weapons of mass destruction (CBRNE) and how to address threats to our critical infrastructure. Faculty from UMass Lowell’s computer science department teach classes such as digital forensics in the cyber security concentration; faculty from the University’s highly regarded Francis College of Engineering teach within both the infrastructure security and CBRNE concentrations, while public health, and radiology programs offer an additional, unique depth to the CBRNE concentration.

The Master of Arts program in Security Studies draws on faculty from psychology, criminal justice, and legal studies to prepare students for jobs in local, state and federal government agencies, as well as with defense contractors, research firms and advanced technology companies. Students may choose one of three concentrations, in industrial and economic security, international security or homeland defense, for which the online program has been ranked one of the ten best in the country.

The university also offers a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Security Studies. Students who earn the certificate may transfer into the Master's degree program, transferring in any courses completed with a B+ or better.

Our faculty include not just top academics in the area of security studies, but also those with security clearances within the U.S. military and those who have worked in local, state, and federal law enforcement and justice agencies such as Homeland Security, ATF, Department of Defense, intelligence agencies and local and state police forces.

Students can draw on the resources of UMass Lowell’s well-funded Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, which offers an internship program. Other student opportunities include hands-on research with academic leaders with outstanding academic credentials, combined with real-world experiences.

The following core classes are required for all Security Studies masters program students:

  • Contemporary Security Studies
  • Intelligence Analysis: Policy and Practice
  • Scientific and Technological Dimensions of National Security
  • Research Design
  • Security Studies Capstone Research Paper

A 30-credit Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) degree offers a choice of these concentrations:

The university also offers a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Security Studies. Students who earn the certificate may transfer into the Master's degree program, transferring in any courses completed with a B+ or better.

The program also includes an accelerated BA/BS to MA/MS track, where students can complete both a Bachelor and Master degrees in 5 years.

For more information on the curriculum including course listings and degree pathways, visit the Graduate Catalog.

  • Submitted online application
  • Completed undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher education, with a final cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
    • MA degree: A wide variety of undergraduate bachelor’s degree programs will qualify, particularly those in the behavioral and social sciences (such as political science, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, history, international relations, and many others)
    • MS degree: Should have a major in a science, technology or engineering discipline - graduates of bachelor's degree programs in behavioral and social sciences will also be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Official transcript from previously earned degrees
  • Official score from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) result is optional.
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • $50 application fee

International Applicants

  • For applicants who earned their degree outside of the US: transcript must be evaluated by a credentialing service such as WES or CED
  • English proficiency testing (can be waived in some cases)
    • TOEFL minimum 79
    • IELTS minimum 6.5
  • International students can also enroll online and complete all requirements to earn a Graduate Certificate without having to meet the admissions requirements for master's or doctoral degree programs

UMass Lowell Bachelor's to Master's Applicants

Juniors and Seniors at UMass Lowell who have a 3.0 GPA or better are eligible to apply for the B.S./M.A. (or B.S./M.S.) program. This program allows for completion of both degrees in five years if desired. No specific undergraduate major is required for the MA/MS options (except for those interested in the Cyber-Security track where some prior knowledge or experience in computer science or IT is necessary).

Admissions Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Security Studies

  • Graduate certificate programs are designed for students holding a baccalaureate degree in a field related to the certificate program
  • No Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required
  • Applicants to the Graduate Certificate programs do not need to meet the admissions requirements for master's or doctoral degree programs
  • Application forms and procedures  are available online
  • $50 application fee

See the Graduate Catalog for additional requirements of the program.

Visit Graduate Admissions for more information.


Cost Per Credit: $575*
Total Tuition (based on 30 credits): $17,250*

On Campus (In-state)

Cost Per Credit: $844.99* 
Total Tuition (based on 30 credits): $25,350*

On Campus (Out-of-state/International Students)

Cost Per Credit: $1,499.44* 
Total Tuition (based on 30 credits): $44,983*

*These estimated graduate charges are for the 2021-2022 academic year. These prices are subject to change by vote of the UMass Board of Trustees.


For more information on tuition and financing, visit Costs & Aid for Graduate Programs.

Many graduates work in government or private sector jobs that require a minimum of a master's degree. Jobs in cyber security are expected to grow 28 percent over the next ten years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who understand the broad range of security challenges local, state and national government’s face can find jobs from specialty policing to state police units to customs and border protection. An alumni network taps into a wide range of organizations.
Gackson Wheeler speaking at podium at UMass Lowell

“The master’s degree will not only give me an advantage in my military career, but it will also will open up more career opportunities and allow me to work in defense agencies.”

Gackson Wheeler ‘17, 2nd Lt., U.S. Air Force, knew that a master’s degree in Security Studies/Homeland Defense will help him to advance his career as an Air Force officer. Read more

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