The University of Texas at El Paso National Security Studies Institute National Security Studies Institute
   
Bachelor of Arts in Security Studies (120 hours)    

The online Bachelor of Arts in Security Studies is designed to provide students with a comprehensive, critical examination of the contemporary security environment and the ability to understand and analyze complex security problems confronting the United States and international community.  This specialized online degree has been developed primarily with active homeland security, intelligence, law enforcement, and military professionals in mind; and who are seeking undergraduate degree completion in a field of study highly relevant and practical for their careers.  This undergraduate program is also very useful for students wanting to enter into these fields.  All qualified prospective students are welcome to apply for admission.  Students completing this rigorous undergraduate program are well prepared for graduate study in Security Studies or a closely related field and/or are equipped academically and professionally to make an immediate impact in a host of security-related careers. 

NOTE:  THIS PROGRAM IS OFFERED ONLY IN THE DISTANCE LEARNING / ONLINE FORMAT.
 



   
Major Requirements (48 semester hours) Minimize    

The major requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Security Studies consists of 16 required courses (48 semester hours).  This total is exclusive of UTEP's Core Curriculum requirements and the College of Liberal Arts General Education block elective and language requirements. 

All courses are offered in an intensive, 7 week online format for maximum scheduling flexibility for full-time, working students.  This rigorous, but ultimately convenient undergraduate program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. 

This undergraduate program consists of required major courses at the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior levels.  There are no major course electives.  All students take a standard program of required major courses.  This highly specialized online undergraduate degree does not have a minor requirement.

  • Freshman level:

INSS 1301 - History and Security (3)

INSS 1302 - Geography and Security (3)

  • Sophomore level:

INSS 2302 - Security Studies (3)

INSS 2303 - Writing for Security Professionals (3)

INSS 2304 - Statistics for Security Studies (3)

INSS 2305 - Modern Strategy (3)

  • Junior level:

INSS 3302 - Seminar in Intelligence and National Security (3)

INSS 3340 - Seminar in Homeland Security (3)

INSS 3348 - Cyberspace and National Security (3)

INSS 3349 - Security Operations (3)

  • Senior level:

INSS 4301 - Intelligence Collection and Analysis (3)

INSS 4302 - Intelligence and Transnational Threats (3)

INSS 4303 - Ethics and Security (3)

INSS 4347 - Critical Infrastructure Protection (3)

INSS 4380 - Cybersecurity (3)

INSS 4390 - Senior Capstone (3)

   
Academic Standards Minimize    

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in order to earn the Bachelor of Arts in Security Studies.  Students with a semester GPA below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation by the program.  Students will have only twelve (12) semester hours (four courses) to return to “good” academic standing with a GPA of 2.0 or better.  Those students failing to return to good academic standing after 12 semester hours may be dismissed from the undergraduate program.

   
Course Descriptions Minimize    

INSS 1301 - History and Security (3)

This undergraduate survey course provides an introduction to history and security in the long twentieth century (ca.1870-2000). In particular, the course examines major wars, diplomatic initiatives, and military developments that proved significant to the international state system. It provides a critical foundation for more advanced courses in security studies.

 INSS 1302 - Geography and Security (3)

This undergraduate survey course examines why geographic knowledge is critical to U.S. national security. The course analyzes a wide variety of geographic issues including demography and climate change. The geographic manifestations of terrorism are examined. The geographic importance of China, Russia, and Africa in the contemporary security environment is also discussed in detail.

INSS 2302 - Security Studies (3)

This undergraduate survey course examines security from a global perspective and discusses security issues that transcend borders and which can only be adequately addressed through global security cooperation. Most of these global security issues are non-traditional in the sense that they are not directly related to traditional nation state competition and interstate war. The course introduces the concept of "global security" and discusses the key theories, concepts, and issues that fall under its domain, such as realism, liberalism, great power politics, regional issues, and asymmetric conflict.

INSS 2303 - Writing for Security Professionals (3)

The undergraduate writing course addresses specific stylistic requirements and use of lucid prose in order to communicate efficiently and clearly as a security professional. Students use a “learning by doing” model to become skilled at conveying information to national security consumers in writing using both the Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) paragraph format and the Conclusion Centric report format. Students learn to employ a writing style that is accurate, brief, and coherent.

INSS 2304 - Statistics for Security Studies (3)

This course examines the basic statistical methods and the analytical techniques highly useful in security studies. Applications come from relevant intelligence and security examples. The aim is to illustrate the benefits of statistical thinking and as a result develop a deeper conceptual understanding of complex security problems.

INSS 2305 - Modern Strategy (3)

This undergraduate survey course focuses on the application of power through strategy. Informed by theory and history, the use of military power is the primary focus, but three other primary instruments of power are discussed and applied: diplomatic, economic, and informational. Hard versus soft power is one key area of distinction in the conduct of strategy that will be covered. The course also looks at major challenges that impact the making of strategy: nuclear warfare, asymmetric warfare, and the changing environments across the domains of land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.

INSS 3302 - Seminar in Intelligence and National Security (3)

This seminar examines the process of intelligence and its role specifically in U.S. national security. Students are exposed to the theory and practice of intelligence. Special emphasis is placed upon understanding the major issues and challenges associated with the various intelligence disciplines and the organization of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Students will come away from the course with a better understanding of intelligence and prepared to conduct more advanced study as it pertains to intelligence and national security.

INSS 3340 - Seminar in Homeland Security (3)

This course introduces students to the history and organization of the Homeland Security Enterprise, particularly in terms of national, state and local policymaking. The course examines all threats and hazards that confront the United States. A special emphasis is placed on specific responses to terrorism, but broader issues of emergency planning, risk analysis, incident command, and the protection of civil liberties are also covered.

INSS 3348 - Cyberspace and National Security (3)

This course examines critically the ubiquitous nature of the cyber domain in U.S. national security. Fundamental principles and case studies in cyber warfare are covered in order to explain the importance of cyber power in national military strategy and in joint and combined operations, including defensive and offensive operations in cyberspace. There is a particular emphasis on Russian and Chinese cyber warfare capabilities and operations in addition to newly emerging threats from non-state actors.

INSS 3349 - Security Operations (3)

This course examines the fundamental principles of security operations and security management in the post-9/11 era. Special emphasis is placed on personnel security, physical security, information security, and industrial security. Risk assessment and management strategies within the context of homeland security environment are also covered in significant depth.

INSS 4301 - Intelligence Collection and Analysis (3)

This course examines the collection methodologies and analytic processes of U.S. intelligence agencies. The course begins with a description of the basic collection disciplines and examples of their application in the field. Then the course examines the processes and products of intelligence analysis. Students will also apply the tools of analysis, including structure analytic techniques, to a current national security issue.

INSS 4302 - Intelligence and Transnational Threats (3)

This course examines a wide variety of transnational threats/dangers and the actors, activities, or forces involved in their conduct. The course explores their impact on U.S. national security and the special challenges they pose for the Intelligence Community. Specific transnational threats such as WMD proliferation, terrorism, narcotics, and financial crime are examined as both unique and interrelated phenomena. The course concludes with an assessment of the Intelligence Community’s attempts to deal with these fluid and adaptable threats to our security.

INSS 4303 - Ethics and Security (3)

This is an ethics course for current and aspiring security professionals. The course gives a brief introduction to moral philosophy, but focuses primarily on applied ethics relevant to many aspects of national security. There is a particular emphasis on military ethics, intelligence ethics, and bioethics. The main purpose of this course is to make future and current security professionals aware of and sensitive to ethical issues that they can encounter in their daily work and give them guidance in how to resolve these complicated moral issues.

INSS 4347 - Critical Infrastructure Protection (3)

This course examines the various fields of security protection, corporate security, asset protection, vulnerability and risk assessments. Emphasis is placed on security management concepts, target hardening and other proactive activities for protecting critical infrastructures: the people, physical assets, and the communications/cyber systems that are indispensably necessary for both homeland and national security.

INSS 4380 - Cybersecurity (3)

This course examines a wide range of cybersecurity concepts and it is targeted for students entering non-technical security careers, but who still need a basic understanding of how to protect information systems. Topics include: computing, networking, and internetworking fundamentals; cyber threats and attack vectors; malware; risk analysis; and continuity planning. Information security concepts such as access control, authentication, encryption, computer and network forensics, and security in Linux and Windows environments are covered. Important legal issues related to information, computer, and network security are also examined.

INSS 4390 - Senior Capstone (3)

This capstone course synthesizes student learning across the entire Security Studies curriculum. Students must demonstrate a broad understanding of the theories, facts, and methods in this discipline through the production of a formal research paper with distinct applicability for U.S. national security. This course is a vehicle for students to focus their research on a critical security issue as a final preparation for future graduate studies or employment.