Security and Resilience Studies, MS

Security and resilience studies is an emerging field of inquiry that focuses on how global, national, and subnational actors manage a range of chronic transnational challenges—such as terrorism, organized crime, weapons proliferation, cyber-attacks, bioterrorism, climate change and catastrophic disasters, migration, and radicalization—that can be destabilizing to societies. It explores how strategic doctrines, organization processes, bureaucratic behaviors, and security tools and tactics are adapting to these challenges by placing greater emphasis on resilience. Resilience is a concept rooted in multiple disciplines that is gaining widespread currency at the community, societal, and global levels given the prevalence of human-made and naturally occurring threats that do not lend themselves to preventive and protective measures. Strategies for dealing with these threats emphasize measures that mitigate, respond to, recover from, and adapt to risk in order to safeguard essential functions and societal values. Many of these measures involve the role of technologies, system design, and engineering as well as policy, regulatory, and governance issues. Students at Northeastern who enroll in the Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies have an opportunity to become prepared to inform and support domestic and international efforts to deal with the major sources of turbulence in the 21st century. 

To earn the Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies degree at Northeastern, you must successfully complete 30 semester hours of credit. Full-time students can expect to complete the degree within one calendar year. Course work is divided between 12 credits in core courses required of all MS students, 12 elective credits within a chosen specialization, and a 6-credit capstone course (with some experiential component). These requirements are described in more detail under the Program Requirements tab. This program can be completed either by students who are in residence at Northeastern University’s Boston campus or by students who live outside the Boston area. The core courses are offered in a hybrid format with much of the course content available online; typically once per month, students and the professor meet in extended face-to-face sessions. Low-residency students have the option of selecting elective courses that are available in a fully online format. Traditional students can select either traditional classroom-based courses or online courses to meet their 12 elective credits.

Academic Standing/Progress

Satisfactory progress in the MS program includes maintaining a grade-point average of 3.000. Students must attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 3.000 in all course work, as well as a 3.000 in all five core requirements (including capstone) to qualify for the Master of Science degree.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

General Requirements

Security and Resilience Policy
POLS 7341Security and Resilience Policy3
POLS 7342Security and Resilience Studies Toolkit1
POLS 7347Controversial Issues in Security Studies1
POLS 7369International Security3
Critical Infrastructure
POLS 7704Critical Infrastructure Resilience4


Complete one of the following specializations:


Requires 6 semester hours:
POLS 7980Capstone Project6

Specialization in Administration, Management, and Policy

Complete 12 semester hours from the following:12
Quantitative Techniques
Techniques of Policy Analysis
Public Personnel Administration
Organizational Theory and Management
Public Budgeting and Financial Management
Economic Institutions and Analysis
Institutional Leadership and the Public Manager

Specialization in Counterterrorism and Conflict Studies 

Complete 12 semester hours from the following:12
Terrorism and International Crime
Sociology of Prejudice and Violence
Hard Power, Soft Power, and Smart Power
Ethnic Political Conflict
U.S. National Security Policy
Politics of Revolution and Change
Terrorism, Violence, and Politics
Totalitarianism and Oppressive Government
Genocide in a Comparative Perspective

 Specialization in Cybersecurity Policy

Complete 12 semester hours from the following:12
Cyberspace Technology and Applications
Foundations of Information Assurance
Security Risk Management and Assessment
Information System Forensics
Cyberlaw: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights
Decision Making for Critical Infrastructure

 Specialization in Resilient Cities

Complete 12 semester hours from the following:12
Dynamic Modeling for Environmental Decision Making
Big Data for Cities
Geographic Information Systems for Urban and Regional Policy
Urban and Regional Policy in Developing Countries
Urban Theory and Science
The Twenty-First Century City: Urban Opportunities and Challenges in a Global Context
Research Design and Methodology in Urban and Regional Policy
Research Toolkit for Urban and Regional Policy: Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Spatial Analysis of Urban Systems
Climate Change and Urbanization in Developing Countries
Cities, Sustainability, and Climate Change

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

30 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required