May 21, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Homeland Security

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Graduate Information

OFFICE: Chemical Sciences Laboratory 120
TELEPHONE: 619-594-5960


Directors of Homeland Security Program:

Frost, Eric G., Professor of Geological Sciences, Co-Director of Homeland Security Program (B.S., University of Washington; M.S., University of Arizona; Ph.D., University of Southern California.)

Larson, Lance W., Ph.D., Lecturer of Homeland Security, Co-Director of Homeland Security Program (M.S., San Diego State University; Ph.D., Walden University)

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:

Elkins, Aaron C., Associate Professor of Management Information Systems (B.S., San Diego State University; Ph.D., University of Arizona)

Kanaan, David, Chair of the Division of Professional Studies, SDSU Imperial Valley; Assistant Professor of Public Administration (B.S, M.P.A., Eastern Michigan University; Ph.D., University of Central Florida)

Kimbrough, David L., Professor of Geological Sciences (B.S., University of California, Santa Cruz; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara)

Maloy, Stanley R., Professor of Biology, Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation of Graduate and Research Affairs (B.S., University of California, Irvine; M.S., California State University, Long Beach;Ph.D., University of California, Irvine)

Marcelli, Enrico A., Associate Professor of Sociology (B.A., Messiah College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California)

Mohammed, Khaleel, Professor of Religious Studies (B.A., Universidad Interamericana, Saltillo, Mexico; M.A., Concordia University; Ph.D., McGill University)

Ornatowski, Cezar M., Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies (B.A., Mickiewicz University; M.A., Boston College; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego)

Osborne, Jeffery R., Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, SDSU Imperial Valley (B.S., University of California, San Diego; M.A. John Jay College; Ph.D., City University of New York)

Papin, Patrick J., Professor of Physics, Emeritus (B.S., Cleveland State University; M.S., San Diego State University; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)

Schmitz Weiss, Amy, Professor of Journalism and Media Studies (B.A., Butler University, M.A., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin)

Sweetser, Kathleen D., Professor of Journalism and Media Studies (B.A., Old Dominion University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Florida)

Tong, William G., Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Interim Vice Provost (B.S., Mandalay University, Myanmar; Ph.D., Iowa State University)

Wheeler, Mark R., Interim Chief Administrative Officer and Dean of Imperial Valley; Director of the SDSU Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs; Professor of Philosophy (B.A., Colgate University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Rochester)

General Information

The homeland security program emphasizes international and collaborative approaches in the educational process and study abroad is required for all students in the program. Semester, short-term (one to two weeks), and summer study abroad opportunities are provided by the college and university in countries depending on the interests of students. Topics include art and antiquities smuggling and fraud, collaboration, communications, counter human trafficking, law enforcement, locations of major disasters, nation building, opportunities to assist other countries in their efforts with disaster response, security diplomacy, technology, and other interest areas. Study abroad is a research component for the thesis or thesis project and develops student credibility and capability for eventual career advancement.

Of particular note, the homeland security program sponsors collaborative study abroad efforts in Mexico that builds positive relationships with government, non-government, and the private- sector in Baja California who work together to make the border region a productive, secure, and vibrant partnership. Working with Mexican officials to solve shared problems offers opportunities to build solutions to complex problems as models for problems and opportunities worldwide.

With the launch of the Homeland Security program at SDSU Imperial Valley (HSEC-IV) in Fall 2021, opportunities to reach homeland security professionals in the border region of Imperial County now exist, as well as the prospect to conduct research on vital sustainability issues unique to the region. HSEC-IV students will have the exclusive experience of entering a cohort together and following the same course sequence at the Imperial Valley campus over a 2½-year schedule (2 Fall, 2 Spring, and 2 Summer semesters) with Summer semesters dedicated exclusively for the Study Abroad and Practicum (internship) required courses. The first HSEC-IV cohort began in Fall 2021 with the completion of the course sequence by Summer 2023. The next available HSEC-IV cohort will begin in Fall 2022.

Contact a homeland security academic adviser for evaluation and approval of a program of study and information on study abroad opportunities. The primary focus is to build classes, research, and study abroad for a career preparation portfolio.

Admission to Graduate Study

The homeland security program accepts admission for both the fall and spring semesters. The application deadlines are posted on the website at or can be obtained from the homeland security program directors or graduate adviser. All students must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing as described in Admission and Registration . In addition, students must demonstrate sufficient preparation for the program. This may include a bachelor’s degree in sciences, engineering, law enforcement, international security, public policy, or a related discipline providing educational preparation for a career in homeland security. The degree must be from an accredited institution or indicate completion of equivalent academic preparation as determined by the Graduate Dean. Evaluation of a student’s transcript will be made on an individual basis by the admissions committee to determine whether evidence of sufficient preparation can be demonstrated. A student whose preparation is deemed  insufficient by the admissions committee may be admitted as conditionally classified and will be required to complete specified courses in addition to the minimum of 30 units required for the degree.

The grade-point average required for admission to the master’s program in homeland security is 2.85 in undergraduate coursework. An interview by the admissions committee may also be required.

Students applying for admission should electronically submit the university application available at along with the application fee.

All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to SDSU Graduate Admissions and to the homeland security program. For information about specific admissions requirements, visit

Graduate Admissions

The following materials should be submitted as a complete package directly to:

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

  1. Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all postsecondary institutions attended;

    • Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance.
    • Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  2. English language score, if medium of instruction was in a language other than English ( SDSU institution code 4682).
Homeland Security Program

The following materials should be submitted electronically to the homeland security program admission committee. Submission instructions are available at

  1. Two letters of recommendation from persons in a position to judge academic ability (in sealed, signed envelopes);
  2. One letter of recommendation from a person in a position to judge professional ability and potential (in sealed, signed envelope);
  3. A two-page maximum personal statement giving reasons for choosing homeland security as a degree objective;
  4. A two-page maximum personal statement summarizing applicant’s qualifications, skill sets, and life experiences as they apply to the homeland security degree;
  5. A current resume or curriculum vitae.

Advancement to Candidacy

All students must satisfy the general requirements for advancement to candidacy as described in Requirements for Master’s Degrees .


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