Campus: San Diego State University -- January 23, 2004

New SDSU Program To Study Homeland Security

San Diego State University announced today it will offer an interdisciplinary master’s program in homeland security starting this fall. The program, which is among the first of its kind in the western United States, involves five different departments and colleges, and it will enable students to choose security-related specialties in areas ranging from public health to political policy.

“Universities have a responsibility to respond to the needs of the nation, and we have the intellectual resources here to answer the call to educate a workforce that’s educated in homeland security,” said Dolores Wozniak, dean of SDSU’s College of Health and Human Services and coordinator of the program’s development. “Our intent is to produce graduates who will become leaders in making our community and nation more secure, whether they work in a hospital, in business, in government, in law enforcement or in other fields.”

Wozniak said the homeland security program will not just focus on countering terrorism, but will help address other community-wide public safety needs, including preparing for and responding to natural disasters such as last fall’s firestorms.

SDSU’s 30-unit program will bring together existing courses and faculty from schools and departments across the university, including Public Health, Geological Sciences, Criminal Justice, Communication, Political Science, and International Security and Conflict Resolution (ISCOR). Planned class subjects range from bioterrorism to threat assessment to sensor and communication technology. The first 15 units of the program will give students an overview of homeland security-related issues in each of the above areas. Students will work with faculty advisors to customize the final 15 units to specialize in a particular discipline.

SDSU Criminal Justice professor Jeffrey McIllwain said the impact of homeland security is so broad and so complex that it’s a must for future leaders in all sectors of society to know how to work together.
“What is evident post 9-11 is the importance for all the key players to know the role and function of other key players. This makes for better communication, planning, coordination and, in the end, security on the part of the military, police, public health, IT specialists, policy makers, and so on,” McIllwain said.
Students interested in the program are encouraged to apply before May 10, 2004, for Fall 2004 admission. For more information about the program, contact Florencia Davis, College of Health and Human Services, at (619) 594-2743.

Media Contact: Jennifer Zwiebel, SDSU Marketing & Communications, (619) 594-4298,

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