Western Kentucky University

HSS Curriculum


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HSS Program

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HSS Program Curriculum

The program curriculum features courses integrated with hands-on research components to enable students to apply their training to real-world problems. The Physical Threats area involves the study of applications of physics, biology and chemistry to detect, quantify, prevent, and decontaminate chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) threats. The Cyber Threats area is under development.

Admission to the program requires a Bachelors degree in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, or Engineering. The program requires a minimum of 31 semester hours beyond a Bachelor degree. The curriculum consists of a 25 credit hour core, divided into three levels; with 6 hours of electives.

Level 1

The 1-hour course PHYS-506 Overview of Homeland Security is required (Lecture).

    • A weekly seminar course available as an in-class group discussion, a real-time webcast, or a downloadable PEG file from the departmental website. Seminar speakers from Department of Homeland Security, businesses, and other recognized national and international experts, will provide an overview of the Homeland Security area. To be taken during the first semester of matriculation.

In addition, 6 hours are required from the following courses:

  • PHYS-560 Introduction to Physics Applications in Homeland Security (Lecture) - 3 hours.
    • A preparatory course in Homeland Security Science for students with limited physics background. An overview of physics applicable to Homeland Security Sciences. Topics include atomic and nuclear physics, optics and analytical techniques.
  • CHEM-560 Introduction to Chemical Agents and Explosives(Lecture) - 3 hours.
    • Required for students enrolled in the graduate Homeland Security Sciences program. Students will be educated in a number of current chemical agents and explosive threats that serve to undermine Homeland Security in the United States. Students will also learn of chemical techniques and countermeasures to address these threats.
  • BIOL-550 Introduction to Biological Applications in Homeland Security (Lecture) - 3 hours.
    • An introductory course in biological principals for students in Homeland Security with a limited biology background. Topics include cell structure/function, cellular information and energy flow, immune function, cellular and population genetics.

 Level 2

8 credit hours required, including two of the following courses:

  • PHYS-570/571 Nuclear and Radiological Detection / Remediation (Lecture/Lab) - 4 hours.
    • Lecture: An advanced study of the fundamental principles of nuclear physics and their applications for detection and remediation of nuclear and radiological threats. Laboratory: Students perform laboratory experiments in applications of nuclear physics for detection and remediation of nuclear and radiological threats. Students will gain experience in computerized data acquisition and data analysis using modern techniques and equipment.
  • CHEM-572/573 Detection and Analysis of Chemical Agents/Explosives (Lecture/Lab) - 4 hours.

Lecture: Students will be educated in a number of current chemical agents and explosive threats that serve to undermine Homeland Security in the United States. Students will also learn of chemical techniques and countermeasures to address these threats. Laboratory: Students will be educated in a number of current chemical agents and explosive threats that serve to undermine Homeland Security in the United States. Students will also learn of chemical techniques and countermeasures used to address these threats.

  • BIOL-552/553 Biological Applications in Homeland Security I(Lecture/Lab) - 4 hours.
    • Lecture: An advanced study of biological phenomena relavent to Homeland Security concerns. The course will focus on the recognized groups of pathogenic organisms to human and selected crops. Topics to be covered are types of pathogens, pathogenicity and virulence, control and detection, and dispersal mechanisms. Also, the immune response to infectious disease will be covered in depth with special attention toward understanding the functionality of the antibody. Laboratory: An advanced study of biological phenomena relevant to Homeland Security concerns. The course will develop laboratory skills for safely manipulating and studying microbial cultures. Course will ocver all forms of pathorgens/parasites relevant to HS concerns.

Level 3

10 hours required; 6 hours for thesis writing and research and at least 4 credit hours from the following list:

  • PHYS 590/591 Detection of Explosive and Chemical Threats(Lecture/Lab) - 4 hours.
    • Lecture: The course explores physical principles behind chemical agent, biological agent and explosives detection and remediation, and examines current detection techniques and systems deployed. Laboratory: Explores physical principles behind chemical agent, biological agent and explosives detection and remediation. Examines current detection techniques and systems deployed.
  • CHEM-592/593 Remediation of Chemical Agents and Explosives(Lecture/Lab) - 4 hours.
    • Lecture: Students will be educated in a number of current chemical agents and explosive threats that serve to undermine Homeland Security. Laboratory: Students will be instructed in remediation techniques for chemical agents and explosive threats that serve to undermine Homeland Security.
  • EHS-572 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology(Lecture) - 3 hours.
    • The course will introduce student to the research approaches for the epidemiologic study of the environmental and workplace hazards. This course involves the study and reasoning of environmental and occupational epidemiologic study designs, basic and novel methods of characterizing exposures, and techniques for designing epidemiologic studies and implementing methods to improve the evaluation of research in these fields.
  • BIOL-555 Biological Applications in Homeland Security II(Lab) - 1 hour.
    • An advanced study of biological phenomena relevant to Homeland Security concerns. The course will focus on basic immunological-based laboratory protocols to allow the student to fully understand human immunity. Also, standardized forensic DNA lab protocol and analysis of data will be covered.

Elective courses are additional courses from Level 2 or 3, and courses provided by other WKU Departments: Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Modern Languages, Political Science, Health, or established 500-level courses from the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Biology, and Chemistry. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize elective courses from other Kentucky colleges and universities such as graduate courses from Eastern Kentucky University's Safety, Security and Emergency Management program such as:

  • HLS-800 Homeland Security Policy Analysis (Lecture) – 3 hours.
  • HLS-810 Critical Infrastructure Protection (Lecture) – 3 hours.
  • HLS-820 Intelligence for Homeland Security (Lecture) -3 hours.
  • HLS-830 Hazards and Threats to Homeland Security (Lecture) -3 hours.

Any course, other than these EKU courses, must receive approval from the graduate director of the program before being considered as an elective.

 

 Last Modified 7/23/13