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Master of Professional Studies in
Homeland Security - Intelligence and Geospatial Analysis Option

Courses

Courses in Penn State's 33-credit online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security – Intelligence and Geospatial Analysis option helps analysts develop knowledge and skills to disseminate accurate intelligence that may save lives, improve governments’ ability to prepare for and respond to disasters, and assist businesses.

All courses are asynchronous, meaning you are not required to log in at a particular time each week. You will have the flexibility to complete weekly assignments online at your preferred pace from anywhere in the world, while still having the opportunity to engage with Penn State faculty and program peers.

Courses designated with the GEOG prefix are delivered in one of five 10-week compressed semesters. Non-GEOG courses, however, typically follow a traditional semester schedule.

All students are required to complete the HLS Orientation (noncredit) 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 Courses (9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Foundation for understanding homeland security history, the development of homeland security policies and organizations, and current management approaches.

  • 3
    credits

    This course will examine the social, political, legal, and ethical issues that arise in the context of homeland security.

  • 3
    credits

    Provides an overview of the domestic and global issues related to homeland security.

Intelligence and Geospatial Analysis Option Prescribed Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Examines the nexus of geospatial intelligence analysis with cyberspace, the geopolitics of cyber threats, the politics of censorship and hacking, public safety, disaster response, and humanitarian relief; students will utilize a range of cyber data, systems, and spatial sciences to examine human social networks of the internet.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 160 or GEOG 482 or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    How geographic information systems facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 482 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Orientation to the geographic foundations of geospatial intelligence and its applications in national security, international relief work, and disaster management.

  • 3
    credits

    Prepares current and aspiring geospatial intelligence professionals to apply and interpret results of non-quantitative analysis and modeling techniques.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 882

Electives (select 9 credits)

All students are required to take at least one elective that is a 500-level course in addition to the Capstone Experience (GEOG 594) to satisfy the degree requirement of 6 credits at the 500 level.

  • 3
    credits

    This course will explore intentional and unintentional threats to the agriculture food system, history, and current approaches for safeguarding this key infrastructure.

  • 3
    credits

    This seminar provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of disaster communication across phases of a disaster.

  • 3
    credits

    Using imagery and terrain data in typical application scenarios faced by the geospatial professional.

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding lidar systems; design, operation, data processing techniques, and product generation to address typical application scenarios faced by the geospatial professional.

  • 3
    credits

    Case studies, student investigations, and projects reveal the scope, impact, and character of the Geospatial Revolution.

  • 3
    credits

    Database design, creation, maintenance, and data integration using desktop GIS software.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 483 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Customizing GIS software to extend its built-in functionality and to automate repetitive tasks.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Theory and practice of cartographic design, emphasizing effective visual thinking and visual communication with geographic information systems. Technologies: ArcGIS Pro, Mapbox Studio, QGIS

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Real-world applications of GIS and spatial analysis to investigate a variety of current environmental issues.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, and solving complex geoprocessing tasks using both proprietary and open source platforms. Technologies: ArcGIS Pro, ArcPy, Jupyter Notebooks, ArcGIS API for Python, QGIS, GDAL/OGR.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 485 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding location technology and geospatial analysis to support an efficient and effective pathway to better business decisions.

  • 3
    credits

    The application of cultural geography in the intelligence analysis and synthesis process by identifying prominent threats to civil security.

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on the science of analytical reasoning mediated through human-centered interactive geographic visualization and computational methods; provides students with hands-on experience solving complex problems through the design, implementation, and application of geovisual analytics tools.

  • 3
    credits

    Traces the roots of Spatial Data Science Ethics in moral philosophy, professional ethics frameworks, and critical studies in the geospatial field.

  • 3
    credits

    Systematic approach to requirements acquisition, specification, design, and implementation of geospatial information systems.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484

  • 3
    credits

    Design, development, and implementation of web mapping applications using OGC standards and open source software. Technologies: JavaScript, QGIS, GDAL, OGR, GeoServer, TileMill, Leaflet, and OpenStreetMap

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 485

  • 3
    credits

    Choosing and applying analytical methods for geospatial data, including point pattern analysis, interpolation, surface analysis, overlay analysis, and spatial autocorrelation.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 485 or GEOG 486 or GEOG 487

  • 3
    credits

    Conservation GIS applies geospatial problem-solving to ecological research and resource management issues to enhance conservation planning.

  • 3
    credits

    Advanced topics in remote sensing and image processing, including new sensors, applications, and decision-making.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 480 and GEOG 883

  • 3
    credits

    The role of geographic information systems in understanding disease, including relevant spatial analysis and cartographic visualization techniques.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 1–3
    credits

    Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

  • 3
    credits

    Addresses cutting-edge geospatial intelligence topics that impact the global academic and professional community.

  • 3
    credits

    Requirements analysis and proposal writing to plan and implement GIS solutions supporting emergency management activities of government agencies and contractors.

    • Recommended Preparation

      GEOG 483

  • 3
    credits

    Explores three important topics related to georeferenced data: datums, map projections, and grid systems.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 483 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Cultivates a working knowledge of current and future capabilities of GPS and the emerging Global Navigation Satellite System.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Focuses on how geospatial professionals can create applications using industry-related geospatial APIs. Students will build applications using the core web technologies of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Technologies: JavaScript, ArcGIS API for JavaScript, ArcGIS Online, CSS

  • 3
    credits

    Theory and practical applications of using cloud computing and server resources to solve geospatial problems. Technologies: ArcGIS Server, Portal for ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, GeoServer, CARTO, Amazon Web Services, Mapbox, Google Fusion Tables Theory.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 484 or permission of the program

  • 3
    credits

    Advanced topics in the storage, management, and retrieval of geospatial data using common proprietary and open-source relational database technologies. Technologies: SQL, PostGIS, ArcSDE/Multiuser Geodatabases, QGISAdvanced.

  • 3
    credits

    Principles of effective project management applied to the design and implementation of geospatial information systems.

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding remote sensing systems' operation, data products, and processing techniques to address typical problem scenarios faced by the GEOINT professional.

  • 3
    credits

    How geographic information systems facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems faced by the geospatial intelligence professional.

    • Prerequisite

      GEOG 882

  • 3
    credits

    Common platforms, analytical strategies, and policy dimensions of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in public, private, defense, and humanitarian applications.

  • 3
    credits

    Case studies of the causes and consequences of natural disasters; analysis of disaster impact in different economic, cultural, and social conditions.

  • 3
    credits

    Fundamentals of Homeland Security provides foundational knowledge about homeland security policy, strategy, organization, and legal issues in the U.S. context.

  • 3
    credits

    This course examines the fundamental elements of crisis, disaster, risk, and emergency management.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides theoretical and applied foundations of information security and assurance.

  • 3
    credits

    Understanding the concepts, techniques, and issues surrounding the fusion of information from multiple sensors and sources of data.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces students to the design of exposure assessment and health effect studies applicable to disasters and terrorism.

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of political terrorism as a violent alternative for peaceful change and traditional warfare in the nuclear age.

    • Prerequisite

      CRIMJ 100 or PLSC 14 or permission of program

Capstone Experience (3 credits)

  • 1
    credit

    Culminating experiences in current professional and ethical problems facing the geospatial intelligence professional.

  • 2
    credits

    Culminating experience in the iMPS-HLS for the Intelligence and Geospatial Analysis option.

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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