Homeland Security professionals in the field

Master of Professional Studies inHomeland Security – Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention Option

Program summary

Acquire a broad base of knowledge relevant to the current policies and programs of the homeland security administration with a focus on preventing cyber attacks and understanding cyber laws in this online program.

Application deadline

Apply by April 15 to start May 13

Credits and costs

33 Credits$1,017 per credit

Nationally Recognized

US News and World Report CIT badge
Our graduate IT programs are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

Learn to Prevent, Detect, and Neutralize Cyber Attacks

With an ever-expanding reliance on digital technology in many people's professional and personal lives, there is a sharp increase in the risk of cyber attacks on personal information, financial security, and physical safety. Skilled cybersecurity professionals are in demand now, more than ever before, to prevent the catastrophic damages that can be caused by cyber threats and cyber terrorism.

Who Should Apply?

The online MPS in Homeland Security - Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention (CTAP) option, offered in partnership with Penn State Great Valley, is ideal for professionals who are either working in or would like to transition to a career in homeland security or cyber threat analysis and prevention. Individuals who are responsible for technical analysis and solutions to hacking, espionage, security, and counterterrorism over networks and the internet may be particularly interested in this program.

Penn State's MPS in Homeland Security - CTAP Curriculum

The course work in the MPS in Homeland Security - CTAP option can help you acquire a broad base of knowledge relevant to the current policies and programs of the homeland security administration. It can further provide you with a focus on preventing cyberattacks and understanding cyber laws, as well as addressing network vulnerabilities, system threats, and cyber terrorism. With this curriculum, you can build on your expertise in these key areas:

  • social and ethical issues relating to homeland security
  • domestic and global views of violence and terrorism
  • data collection and analysis
  • security and privacy in the digital age

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions. 

Courses

The Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention (CTAP) option within the 33-credit online Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security program may help students acquire a broad base of knowledge relevant to the current policies and programs of the homeland and cybersecurity administration. The courses in the option help students focus on preventing cyberattacks and understanding cyber laws, as well as addressing network vulnerabilities, system threats, and cyber terrorism.

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 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.

Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention Option Prescribed Courses (select 12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Practical benefits of data mining will be presented; data warehousing, data cubes, and underlying algorithms used by data mining software.

  • 3
    credits

    A web-centric look at the latest techniques and practices in computer security as they apply to the internet.

  • 3
    credits

    This course will investigate the evolution of information systems architecture.

    • 3
      credits

      This course will employ several methods and measures from the area of social network analysis to study the interrelatedness of cyber-social and cyber-technical aspects of an organization or the society as a whole to detect and capture the dynamic patterns of group membership and structure. This type of analysis can be useful in uncovering potential threats and attacks and predicting criminal behavior and evolution of criminal networks.

    • or:
      3
      credits

      This course will study the inter-relatedness of cyber-social and cyber-technical aspects of an organization or society as a whole.

  • 3
    credits

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

Electives (select 9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course focuses on the tools and techniques required for collecting data and preparing them for further analysis.

    • Prerequisite

      STAT 500 or Program Permission

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of large-scale data storage technologies including NoSQL database systems for loosely-structured data, and warehouses for dimensional data.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides a foundation in the principles, concepts, techniques, and tools for visualizing large data sets.

  • 3
    credits

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

  • 3
    credits

    This course assesses the controlling authorities that pertain to homeland security, from the U.S. Constitution to major federal statutes, court decisions, and executive directives.

  • 3
    credits

    Fundamental issues and concepts of computer forensics; aspects of computer and cybercrime; methods to uncover, protect, exploit, and document digital evidence; tools, techniques, and procedures to perform computer and cybercrime investigation.

  • 3
    credits

    Essential skills and knowledge for effectively utilizing networks and internet technologies to facilitate, manage, and secure data communications and applications.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides theoretical and applied foundations of fundamentals of network security, data sources, data collection techniques and tools, cybersecurity analytics infrastructure, machine learning and data mining, network forensics, anomaly and malware detection, security data visualization, and security dashboard design and implementation.

  • 3
    credits

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

  • 3
    credits

    Investigates the role economic, political, and social factors play in determining patterns of international and domestic terrorism and terrorist activity.

Capstone Experience (3 credits) 

  • 3
    credits

    Master Research Paper/Project - Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis. For example, application of homeland security studies in the form of a graduate-level project relating to emerging cyber threats; analytical tools and methods; and security, prevention, and protection.

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.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,017 per credit
12 or more$12,203 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,027 per credit
12 or more$12,325 per semester

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Your degree application, including receipt of all application materials, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.

Recommended deadlines:

  • Summer DeadlineApply by April 15 to start May 13
  • Fall DeadlineApply by July 15 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by October 31 to start January 13
 
Applications are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis — please begin your application early. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

 

For current and future course registration deadlines, visit the Registrar's website to view the academic calendar by semester. 

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.

Admission Requirements 

For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GPA and Test Scores — Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required.

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

References (3) — you will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names, email addresses, and mailing addresses of three references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Résumé — Upload your résumé to the online application.

Statement of Purpose — A statement of no more than 500 words explaining to the admissions committee how your professional experience and goals relate to the program to which you are applying. Your statement could include aspects such as the following: Your reasons for pursuing the degree; why you feel you are a good candidate for the program; and any information you would like the admissions committee to know about you personally and/or professionally.

Start Your Application

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

Begin the graduate school application

  • Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
  • Choose "HOMELAND SECURITY" as the major
  • Choose "MASTER OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES (MPS)" as the degree
  • Choose “CYBER THREAT ANALYTICS AND PREVENTION" as the option

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this degree program.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

* required1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. I understand my information may also be shared with select providers to offer ads that may be of interest to me.Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Learn more about this program

Download Program Brochure All my programs

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

A homeland security professional working at a computer

You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

The following roles are often held by people with this type of degree:

  • Cyber Analyst
  • Information Systems Security Analyst
  • Network Security Analyst
  • Security Analyst
  • Threat Intelligence Analyst

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Information Security Analysts

31.5%
employment growth (10 years)
163,690
total employment

Computer Network Architects

3.5%
employment growth (10 years)
173,920
total employment

Detectives and Criminal Investigators

1.5%
employment growth (10 years)
107,400
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Earn a Valuable Credential along the Way

A figure walking on a path that includes a certificate part of the way through their progress

Show mastery of specific subjects before your degree is complete. Thanks to shared courses across programs, students can often earn a certificate along with their degree in less time than if they earned them separately.

Certificate Program Related to This Degree

The following certificate can be earned while completing this degree program:

Enhance your understanding of cyber threat attacks, laws, analytics, and terrorism, as well as network vulnerabilities, system threats, and surveillance protocols with the courses in this online graduate certificate program.

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention

Contact Us

To learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security — Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention Option, offered in partnership with the Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies, please contact: 

For questions about the program:
Robin G. Qiu, Ph.D.
Professor of Information Science
[email protected]

For general questions about Penn State World Campus:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
[email protected]

 

Faculty

  • Youakim Badr

    • Degree
      H.D.R., University of Lyon
    • Degree
      Ph.D., Computer Science, National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA-Lyon)
    • Degree
      M.S., Mathematical Modeling and Scientific Software Engineering, Francophone University Agency
    • Degree
      M.S., Computer Science, Lebanese University
    • Degree
      B.S., Computer Science, Lebanese University

    Dr. Youakim Badr, professor of data analytics, teaches courses in analytics programming, analytics systems design, data mining and predictive analytics. His research interests include smart service computing, IoT, information security, big data, machine learning, and built-in analytics. Dr. Badr is a professional member of IEEE, a lifetime member of ACM, and associate member of the ACM special interest group on knowledge discovery and data mining (SIGKDD).

  • Adrian S. Barb

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Missouri
    • Degree
      MBA, Finance and Management Information Systems, University of Missouri
    • Degree
      B.S., Industrial Engineering, University of Bucharest

    Dr. Adrian S. Barb, associate professor of information science, teaches databases, data mining, and big data courses. He has worked as a database programmer analyst as well as a web developer at University of Missouri. His research interests include data mining, knowledge discovery in databases, knowledge representation and exchange in content-based retrieval systems, semantic modeling and retrieval, conceptual change, ontology integration, and expert-in-the-loop knowledge generation and exchange.

  • Joanna F. DeFranco

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Computer and Information Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology
    • Degree
      M.S., Computer Engineering, Villanova University
    • Degree
      B.S., Electrical Engineering and Math, Penn State

    Dr. Joanna F. DeFranco is an assistant professor of software engineering. She has worked as an electronics engineer for the Navy and as a software engineer at Motorola. Her research interests include software engineering teams, effective teamwork, Internet of Things, and software-intensive critical systems.

  • Robin G. Qiu

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, Penn State
    • Degree
      Ph.D., (Minor), Computer Science, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S., Numerical Control, Beijing Institute of Technology, China
    • Degree
      B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, China

    Dr. Robin G. Qiu is a professor of information science at Penn State. He teaches courses on data analytics, information science, software engineering, and cyber security. Dr. Qiu's research includes smart service systems, IoT, big data, data/business analytics, information systems and integration, supply chain and industrial systems, and analytics. He served as the editor-in-chief of INFORMS Service Science. He is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics and IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, and has more than 160 publications.

  • Raghvinder S. Sangwan

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Computer and Information Sciences, Temple University
    • Degree
      M.S., Computer Science, West Chester University
    • Degree
      B.S., Genetics and Plant Breeding, Haryana Agricultural University

    Dr. Raghvinder S. Sangwan is a professor of software engineering. His teaching and research involve analysis, design, and development of software-intensive systems and their architecture, and automatic/semi-automatic approaches to assessment of their design and code complexity. He actively consults for Siemens Corporate Technology in Princeton, New Jersey, and holds a visiting scientist appointment at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a senior member of the IEEE and ACM.

  • Satish Srinivasan

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Information Technology, University of Nebraska at Omaha
    • Degree
      M.S., Industrial Engineering and Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
    • Degree
      B.S., Information Technology, Bharathidasan University

    Dr. Satish Srinivasan is an associate professor of information science in the engineering division at Penn State Great Valley. He teaches courses related to database design, data mining, data collection and cleaning, design and implementation of predictive analytics system, network and web securities, and business process management. His research interests include social network analysis, data mining, machine learning, big data and predictive analytics, and bioinformatics.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?

Apply by April 15 to start May 13. How to Apply