Lock and credit cards on keyboard

Make security a type priority

Develop competencies to protect and manage risks effectively

Security Studies (Online)

Offered by: Criminology and Security Studies

National and homeland security is a top priority in today's societal concerns. In 2014, a nationwide survey of security managers and directors was conducted by Securitas USA and showed that the single most important management issue of concern was building and maintaining security staffing effectiveness. New security organizations within companies will need a properly-educated staff to protect the company and to manage risk efficiently.


The region around SRU plays an important role in defending and securing the United States. According to the FedScope data tool from the Office for Personnel Management, in March 2015, one in five Department of Defense employees worked in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or New York. In particular, Western PA is on the forefront of security partnerships between universities, businesses, and government agencies such as the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance and the Pittsburgh Regional Business Coalition for Homeland Security, bolstered in part by the presence of an FBI field office in Pittsburgh. A Wall Street Journal article from August 2015 points out that the western PA region is successful in building private-public security partnerships because the relatively stable labor force gives government agencies the opportunity to develop lasting, trusting relationships with businesses and institutions in the region.

SRU's Criminal Justice Department offers a certificate in Security Studies. The certificate is 12 credits and provides advanced credentialing in selected core security competencies. The certificate includes graduate level classes on Terrorism, Terrorism Law, White Collar Crime, Forensic Behaviors (which includes workplace violence; terroristic behavior, and general crime causation theories); Law and Ethics in the Workplace; Fraud and Transnational Crime. These courses are drawn from established competencies of both private/corporate and homeland security.


SRU's certificate in Security Studies offers:

  • 100% online courses
  • A 12 credit curriculum that can be completed in a year and all courses transfer into the M.A. in Criminal Justice
  • A combination of coursework that spans both corporate and national security issues, including terrorism, terrorism law, white collar crime, violent behavior and fraud.
  • Faculty with terminal degree and experience in the field of criminology


  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Essay - (Approximately 600 words) on a specific topic of interest to you in the field of Security Studies
  • Two letters of Recommendation  (Student is responsible for sending form link to evalutor) 
  • Reference Release Form
  • Resume
  • Official Transcripts- Undergraduate/Graduate (Official transcripts must be sent by institution via electronicA transcript e-share to graduate.admissions@sru.edu or via mail- faxed copies will not be considered official) Students with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 will be considered for unconditional admission. Students with a grade point average below a 3.0 must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Millers Analogies Test (MAT) scores to the Graduate Admissions Office. SRU's GRE code is 2658 and MAT code is 1660.

*Applicants may submit supplemental application materials as a PDF or JPEG file via email (graduate.admissions@sru.edu), fax (724-738-2146) or mail. Applicants may also choose to submit their supplemental materials via the electronic forms linked above. 

* If you are not a resident of Pennsylvania, please check the list of most recent states approved for online classes and internships by clicking here to see if SRU is authorized to offer distance education or field experiences in your state of residency.