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Master of Professional Studies in
Homeland Security - Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option


Penn State's 33-credit online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense option prepares students to understand diverse agricultural and food supply systems, vulnerabilities, public health, and surveillance systems while gaining the skills to protect, detect, mitigate, and treat widespread agricultural infectious disease.

Use the Course List to find course information, including course descriptions and prerequisites.

Course List - Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option 

All students are required to complete the HLS Orientation (non-credit) as part of the HLS core curriculum before the end of their first semester. This orientation provides an overview of the HLS program and the field of homeland security.

Required Curriculum (9 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Homeland Security Administration: Policies and Programs HLS 801 Foundation for understanding homeland security history, the development of homeland security policies and organizations, and current management approaches. 3 credits
Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues HLS 803 This course will examine the social, political, legal, and ethical issues that arise in the context of homeland security. 3 credits
Violence, Threats, Terror, and Insurgency HLS 805 Provides an overview of the domestic and global issues related to homeland security. 3 credits
Required Courses (12 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Agricultural Biosecurity: Protecting a Key Infrastructure AGBIO 520 This course will explore intentional and unintentional threats to the agriculture food system, history, and current approaches for safeguarding this key infrastructure. 3 credits
Food Defense: Prevention Planning For Food Processors AGBIO 521 This course will focus on hazards associated with the food supply, explore risk analysis/assessment systems and exercises, examine prevention strategies for intentional contamination of the food supply, develop a food defense plan, and examine crises management systems. 3 credits
Veterinary Infectious Disease Diagnostic and Surveillance Systems AGBIO 801 This course will examine a wide range of animal health topics as it relates to infectious diseases, diagnostic systems, surveillance systems, epidemiology of those diseases, and effective responses in the case of an outbreak either naturally or intentionally caused. 3 credits
Plant Protection: Responding to Introductions of Threatening Pest and Pathogens AGBIO 802 This course provides knowledge of plant biosecurity, plant disease, regulations, and technologies using case study examples. 3 credits
Electives (9 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Disaster Communication CAS 553 This seminar provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of disaster communication across phases of a disaster. 3 credits
Exploring Imagery and Elevation Data in GIS Applications GEOG 480 An introductory-level course focusing on the use of remotely sensed imagery and elevation data in GIS applications. 3 credits
Intelligence Analysis, Cultural Geography, and Homeland Security GEOG 571 The application of cultural geography in the intelligence analysis and synthesis process by identifying prominent threats to civil security. 3 credits
Natural Disasters GEOSC 402Y Case studies of the causes and consequences of natural disasters; analysis of disaster impact in different economic, cultural, and social conditions. 3 credits
Introduction to Homeland Security  HLS 401 This course provides foundational knowledge about homeland security, including policy, organization, and legal issues in the American context.  3 credits
Comparative Homeland Security and Related Methods HLS 540 The course will address international cooperation in homeland security, compare select national approaches, and teach related practical methods of analysis.

Prerequisites: HLS 801, HLS 803, HLS 805, and P ADM 802 (In certain cases, students may be eligible for a prerequisite waiver based on prior academic or professional experience.)
3 credits
Whole-Community Disaster Preparedness HLS 558 Explores psychological impact of disasters and terrorist attacks on victims, families, rescuers, and society and methods of reducing negative effects.

Prerequisite: permission of the program
3 credits
U.S. Homeland Security Law HLS 575 Analysis of Constitutional provisions, legislative enactments, executive directives, and judicial decisions relating to homeland security. 3 credits
Internship Experience in Homeland Security Enterprise HLS 595A Provides real-world experience in the Homeland Security Enterprise. Supervision/support is provided by site personnel and Penn State graduate faculty.

Prerequisites: HLS 801, HLS 803 and HLS 805
3-6 credits
U.S. Military’s Domestic Imperative: Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities HLS 832 Provides an overview of the homeland defense mission and domestic support of civil authorities during disasters, and the distinctions between the two.

Prerequisite: HLS 801
3 credits
Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management IST 564 This course examines the fundamental elements of crisis, disaster, risk, and emergency management. 3 credits
Introduction to Multisensor Data Fusion IST 885 Understanding the concepts, techniques, and issues surrounding the fusion of information from multiple sensors and sources of data. 3 credits
Topics in Visual Analytics for Security Intelligence IST 868 Introduces visual analytic techniques for security informatics and intelligence. Survey technical approaches for data analysis and threats and vulnerability, communicating risk.

Prerequisites: IST 516 or IST 552 or IST 554 or IST 562
3 credits
Project Management MANGT 510 A problem-based, interdisciplinary course in project management skills and techniques needed to manage projects in a modern business environment. 3 credits
Public Health Evaluation of Disasters and Bioterrorism PHP 527 Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

Prerequisite: CRIMJ 100 or PL SC 014 or permission of program
3 credits
Capstone Experience (3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Research Project AGBIO 594 Culminating course; application of your homeland security studies in the form of a graduate-level project relating to agricultural biosecurity. 3 credits

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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