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Homeland Security, Doctor of Professional Studies

Criminal Justice and Homeland Security


New Approaches to Security Studies in an Ever-Changing World

Today’s security professionals face a myriad of threats and hazards unimaginable just two short decades ago. This dilemma is compounded by advancements in technology and an increasingly complex threat environment from a wide array of natural, man-made, and technological threats and hazards to people, property, the global economy, critical infrastructure, and computer systems, to name just a few. These threats have taken on a global nature with great interconnectivity, interdependency, and an increasing flow of goods, people, and services across borders. 

Security professionals charged with analyzing risk and implementing well-considered policies face exceptional challenges in dealing with this complex security environment. In addition, decision-making must comply with their nation’s unique legal, political, and social framework. An understanding of the global dynamics undergirding these issues requires a multidisciplinary approach that explores this reality. This reality has created a demand for a new generation of highly educated leaders in both the private and public sectors of the Homeland Security Enterprise, as well as academics who will teach the next generation of security professionals and conduct innovative research in the field.  

You can gain the knowledge, skills, and, credentials to meet these needs, and conduct research more effectively; think both analytically and critically; build and manage teams; and make decisions and apply knowledge to effectively solve real-world security challenges through the Doctor of Professional Studies program in Homeland Security(DPS) at St. John’s University---one of the first nonprofit educational institutions offering doctoral-level studies specifically in homeland security.

Offered by St. John’s Collins College of Professional Studies, this innovative 78-credit program is designed to qualify candidates to fill mid- to high-level executive positions in government, law enforcement, the public and private security industries, nongovernmental organizations, and academia.  Students will research and explore the practice of such collaborative efforts; gain an understanding of the range of local, national, international and organizational security issues faced by public and private actors and entities within the Homeland Security Enterprise; apply this knowledge to issues of policy- and decision-making, organizational design, leadership, and administrative practices; and focus heavily on the practice of emergency and disaster preparedness, including response, recovery, mitigation, and resilience efforts.  The program will focus not just on Homeland Security efforts in the United States but also draw on lessons learned from abroad.

To cater to the scheduling needs of both midcareer professionals and traditional students, the DPS program is offered in both a traditional classroom format and an online/limited-in-residency format. The limited-in-residency program is designed for working professionals seeking to pursue a doctoral degree in Homeland Security on a part-time basis. To accommodate participants' time constraints, the DPS will only require students to be in residency for one week for each academic year of the program.  

The program also includes components unique to St. John’s, including the recently unveiled Homeland Security/Emergency Management Simulation Lab and Cyber Security Lab that offer state-of-the-art laboratory simulations and cyber security exercises, an extensive library collection accessible through the library’s website, a collection of books and other materials found at the main library on the Queens campus and smaller libraries located on other St. John’s campuses, and a wide range of technology and tools to facilitate online learning and support. 

Video of Homeland Security and Cyber Security Labs

Program Benefits

  • Enroll in a program with a unique schedule and structure to accommodate working professionals.
  • Take courses in three delivery modes: conventional classroom; online; and hybrid classes.
  • Participate in classes taught by outstanding faculty, all of whom have been practitioners and leaders in their respective fields.
  • Attend classes with other professionals with similar interests and goals.
  • Join a diverse student body.
  • Attend full-or part-time.
  • Receive one-on-one academic advisement.
  • Participate in internships.
  • Obtain assistance in career planning by visiting University Career Services.
  • Network with alumni for career development and job opportunities.

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Applicants must submit an online application with the following materials:

Evidence of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Scores for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test. (Applicants with at least 30 credits of graduate work and cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater are exempt from the GRE but submission of scores are strongly recommended.)

Three letters of reference, at least one of which attests to the applicant’s research ability.

A personal statement of approximately 300 words describing the applicant’s reason for seeking admission into the program, professional experience, career goals, and research interests.

An interview may be required at the discretion of the Admission Committee.

Application Deadline

  • March 15th for cohort starting August

Scholarships and Grants

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships from the University are available for highly qualified candidates pursuing graduate study.

Please note that California residents in online programs at out of state nonprofit institutions, like St. John’s University are ineligible for all forms of federal aid, including federal student loans based on current federal state authorization rules.


For more information about admission to this graduate program, please contact

Office of Graduate Admission
[email protected] 

Department Faculty

All faculty members teaching in the DPS program hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree and are well-established scholars in their fields of expertise. They also possess extensive professional experience within both the public and private sectors of the Homeland Security Enterprise. The faculty regularly conduct research, publish, and travel to give conference papers and invited lectures. 

Please see a list of our Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security faculty.


Department Contact


Required Core Courses: 28 credits:

  • HLS 102: Intelligence for Homeland Security: Organizational & Policy Challenges (3 credits) 
  • HLS 103: Critical Infrastructure: Vulnerability Analysis and Protection (3 credits) 
  • HLS 106 Ethical Leadership: Principles and Practices (3 credits) 
  • HLS 505 Homeland Security – Enterprise Risk Management 
  • HLS 601/601.1 : Homeland Security Enterprise (4 credits) 
  • HLS 602/602.1: Disaster Management I: Preparedness and Response (4 credits) 
  • HLS 603/603.1: Disaster Management II Operational Continuity and Recovery (4 credits) 
  • HLS 604/604.1: Theories and Concepts of Security (4 credits) 

Required Research Courses: 14 credits 

  • HLS 500: Introduction to Research Methods (3 credits) 
  • HLS 701:Advanced Research Methods I (3 credits) 
  • HLS 702/702.1:Advanced Research Methods II (4 credits) 
  • HLS 703/703.1:Statistical Analysis in Research (4 credits) 

6 Elective Courses: 18 credits (3 credits per class) 

  • HLS 301 Police and Homeland Security Leadership  
  • HLS 203 Critical Issues in Correctional Administration 
  • HLS 232: Organizational Behavior 
  • HLS 280: Organization Development 
  • HLS 301 Police and Homeland Security Leadership 
  • HLS 302 U.S. Constitution and Homeland Protection 
  • HLS 303 Issues in Global Security 
  • HLS 304 Policy Formation and Analysis 
  • HLS 305 Seminar in Global Terrorism 
  • HLS 306 Migration and Border Security  
  • HLS 307 Leadership Issues in Critical Incident Management  
  • HLS 308: Selective Topics in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice I 
  • HLS 309 Selective Topics in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice II 
  • HLS 310  Public Admin/Crim Just Agency 
  • HLS 311 Criminological Theory  
  • HLS 312 Court Administration and Leadership  

Six Internship credits: The DPS requires the completion of six-credit hours of internship experience directly related to the field of Homeland Security under faculty supervision. Students who have significant relevant work experience within the industry will not be required to complete an internship.  The waiver of this requirement must be supported with an experiential learning portfolio submitted by the student and is at the discretion of the program director or his or her designee.

  • HLS 201 Internship in Homeland Security I  
  • HLS 202 Internship in Homeland Security II 

Qualifying Examination: Upon successful completion of the required core courses and prior to starting their doctoral dissertation, students are required to pass a comprehensive examination by demonstrating a mastery of the learning objectives of all core courses.

Dissertation Research: 12 credits (3 credits per class) 

  • HLS 801: Dissertation Research I 
  • HLS 802: Dissertation Research II 
  • HLS 803: Dissertation Research III 
  • HLS 804: Dissertation Research IV 

Dissertation: The degree of Doctor of Professional Studies shall be conferred upon completion and successful defense of the dissertation before the candidate’s dissertation committee.

The candidate’s dissertation must make a significant contribution to the practice of the profession. It requires both a theoretical construct and an applied research approach reflecting a higher level of thinking. The dissertation also must have some practical application (e.g. a dissertation could evaluate a security agency or propose the development of a new security program).

Additional Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 throughout the program.

Program Delivery

The program will be delivered as both an on-campus degree program and in a limited-in-residency format. 

The on-campus program is designed for those students seeking to pursue a doctoral degree in Homeland Security on a full-time basis.  Courses will be delivered in the following instructional modes: in a traditional or conventional classroom setting, fully online, and in a hybrid format.

The limited-in-residency program is designed for working professionals seeking to pursue a doctoral degree in Homeland Security on a part-time basis. To accommodate participants' time constraints, the DPS will only require students to be in residence for one week for each academic year of the program.

The residency requirement will lay the foundation for more advanced scholarship and will provide an opportunity for doctoral students to interact with and network with their faculty mentors.  Following the residency periods, the remainder of the coursework will be completed online using asynchronous learning. Students will be required to read assigned materials, participate in online discussions with faculty and other students, and prepare papers and projects.

The online learning programs portion allows you to take courses electronically. Log in at your convenience to enter our virtual classrooms, learn from our accomplished faculty, and engage with classmates.

Our online courses offer the same high academic quality that students experience on campus. Professors deliver lectures and post assignments via Blackboard, our electronic course management system. Students use it to attend virtual classes, share documents, take exams, and exchange ideas with faculty and classmates.

This flexible delivery allows both traditional students and working professionals throughout the United States and abroad to take advantage of this unique and innovative program.

Career Outcomes

The DPS is designed to prepare candidates to fill mid- to high-level executive positions in government, law enforcement, the public and private security industries, nongovernmental organizations, and academia. If your goal is to work in these professions, this program will provide the skills and academic background necessary for you to take advantage of the many career opportunities available.

Potential Employers

Federal law enforcement agencies
The intelligence community
Department of Defense                 
US Department of Homeland Security
State and local law enforcement agencies
Emergency management agencies
Regulatory and safety agencies
Colleges and universities
Policy think-tanks
Research institutions
Corporate security departments
Business continuity departments
Non-government organizations
International organizations