Dr. Phil Jones, Professor Robert Baker, and many other members of the university’s Global
Security and Intelligence Studies program have been hard at work developing a master’s degree for this sought after field. With their proposition accepted by the board of trustees, they have moved into the planning and development stage, and will soon have an exciting new master’s program to offer both current students and professionals in the intelligence and security industries.
The GSIS master’s program will require participants to complete 36 credits, 18 of which are
electives chosen by the student. During its debut, the GSIS master’s degree will only be offered to residential students, but as time goes on and interest grows, Dr. Jones hopes to develop a unique hybrid program. This program would allow students to take courses towards their degree online, but would also bring them to the campus for three colloquiums.
The first colloquium a student would attend would be in August of the year they began, and
focus on introducing distance learners to residential students and faculty, as well as outline the entire program. Their next trip to Prescott would happen after their first fall, where students would listen to professors and outside experts lecture on a critical international topic, such as the rise of China or the Arab Spring. The final colloquium, after the students’ Spring semester, would prepare participants for their master’s project or thesis. Each colloquium would last a week to ten days, and be worth one credit towards the students’ degree. The excellent student-teacher relationship at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has long been a selling point for the college, and these colloquiums are essential in maintaining that relationship, even for online students.
The GSIS master’s degree also offers students a chance to blend traditional intelligence and
security concepts with technology and science. The curriculum is designed to educate students on topics like cyber warfare, UAVs, and even future space conflict as these issues affect the intelligence and security communities. Some specific courses include “Science, Space, Technology, and Intelligence”, “The Security Implications of Climate Change”, and “Cyber Warfare: Threats and Counter-Operations.”
With the advent of this new degree come many changes at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
University Prescott campus. To offer students a well-rounded education blending intelligence, security, and technology, interdepartmental cooperation is key, and professors from both the GSIS department and others around campus will be working together to develop the program. Additionally, new faculty will be hired. ERAU’s commitment to hiring professors with both real-world experience and academic bona fides will ensure that students get a relevant, thorough grasp of the intelligence and security industries. The GSIS department hopes to hire two new professors for the launch of the master’s degree, and at least one more shortly thereafter.
When it is established, the GSIS master’s degree will appeal to both recent graduates and
industry professionals, but to get it off the ground, the GSIS department is looking for support from current ERAU students. With enough interest from current students, the program may begin as early as Fall 2014. If you are interested in pursuing this degree, contact Dr. Phil Jones [firstname.lastname@example.org] or Professor Robert Baker [email@example.com].