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Homeland Security Policy (HSP) Graduate Certificate

Faculty Coordinator: Patrick Roberts

CPAP offers a graduate certificate in homeland security policy focusing on domestic security and emergency management issues. The certificate serves either as a stand-alone credential of advanced educational achievement for non-degree students or as a supplement to a master’s or doctoral degree. Taking four homeland security courses will introduce students to the complexity and diversity of the homeland security environment. This includes:

  • analyzing threats from terrorism, cyberattacks, and infectious disease, and the importance of critical infrastructures;
  • considering questions of natural hazard (disaster) mitigation, preparedness, and resilience;
  • and investigating response and recovery strategies and outcomes. 

Taught by a mix of scholars and practitioners, the certificate addresses issues of homeland security strategy, policy design and implementation, planning, operations, and management across and among governmental and private-sector levels and networks.

Eligibility and How to Apply 
The certificate is open to non-degree students (through the Commonwealth Campus program) as well as degree-seeking graduate students across Virginia Tech. Anyone wishing to apply for admission to the certificate program should use the Virginia Tech Graduate School’s application form or contact graduate student coordinator Elia Amegashie at or certificate coordinator Dr. Patrick Roberts at

MPA students may use the certificate as their concentration and reflect upon the certificate and homeland security issues in their portfolio or internship. Ph.D. students may use the certificate as a foundation for dissertation research in homeland security policy and management.

Time to Complete
 Typically, one certificate core course is offered per semester. Students often complete the certificate while completing their degree requirements.

Students must take four courses (12 hours), including three required classes to receive the certificate.


  • PAPA 5254: Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat
  • PAPA 6264: Advanced Topic in Policy Systems Management *or when the topic is focused on homeland security
  • PAPA 5354: Homeland Security Response and Recovery

Electives (choose one)

  • PAPA/STS 6664: Advanced Topics in Science and Technology: Complexity, Emerging Policy, Doctrine, and Reality
  • PAPA 6254: Advanced Topics in Homeland Secuirty Policy: Critical Infratructure Protection and Resiliency
  • GIA 5514: Global Security
  • PAPA 5904/5974: Independent Study, Project and Report