Bachelor and Master Degrees from Southwestern College - Professional Studies

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Master of Science in Security Administration

Master of Science in Security Administration

Master of Science in Security Adminstration

Program Description

Southwestern College’s Master of Science in Security Administration (MSSA) program prepares learners to take on increasing levels of responsibility and leadership positions as mid-to-upper level managers in the security industry. In addition to knowledge in security-related subject matter, individuals will master problem solving techniques, leadership skills, critical thinking and application of theory to practice.

The program is directed toward those not only entering into, but advancing in the growing security industry in private or government security fields such as physical security, vulnerability assessment, information security, homeland security, emergency management, risk management, contingency and continuity planning and crime prevention. Courses concentrate on business strategies, risk management, planning, assessment, best practices and security concepts and practices.


Admission Process

  1. Complete graduate application forms
  2. Provide current resume
  3. Submit two professional letters of recommendation (at least one from a current or former employer)
  4. Turn in one-page personal essay
  5. Submit an official transcript from a bachelor’s degree-granting institution. Official transcripts must be received within 8 weeks following the start of class.

Core Major Requirements

MSA 500: Contemporary Security Administration

This course provides leading‐edge concepts for Chief Security Officers (CSO) as well as middle to upper‐level security management professionals. The principal focus is emerging criminal and terrorist threats that pose serious challenges to professionals throughout the security industry. Core areas of security are also comprehensively covered as well as business management and leadership competencies.

MSA 505: Security Administration Business Strategies

The primary focus of this course is to direct learners through the entire continuum of management strategies aimed at achieving personal and professional success. Real world concepts and their application to asset protection are illustrated via situational case presentations. The learner is exposed to concepts of advocacy, continuous quality improvement strategies, and a plethora of helpful suggestions designed to deliver organizational results. Measurable metrics, business needs, effective communication, and how to receive the necessary resources for success are also examined. New risk assessment models and proven strategic planning concepts are discussed. A blueprint for business executives and security managers that shows where they are and where they need to be in order to drive their security program to maximize its contribution to their organization is also discussed.

MSA 510: Enterprise Risk Management

Learners in this course will focus on all risks in which an organization may be exposed. A systematic approach to acquiring and analyzing the information necessary to support decision‐makers in the protection of assets and the allocation of security resources is reviewed. The risk management process, asset identification, threat identification, threat assessments, vulnerability identification and assessment, risk management, and cost benefit analysis are also examined.

MSA 515: Physical Security Planning and Vulnerability Assessment

This course emphasizes real‐world concepts, principles, and processes for building security and safety design, including assessing needs and working with security consultants. Security design concepts, security evaluation and planning, building hardening, security technology, and biochemical and radiological protection are covered. Conducting vulnerability assessments of physical protection systems from start of planning through final analysis, including senior management briefing, is examined.

MSA 520: Administration of Information Security

This course provides a management review of information security issues and a thorough treatment of the administration of information security. Topics such as planning for contingencies, policy and programs, models and practices, risk management, threats, protection mechanisms, personnel security, law and ethics, and project management are studied.

MSA 560: Security Law

Learners in this course will review the legal rights available to security officers, corporations, partnerships, and individually owned businesses for the protection of their property from employee and customer theft. It also discusses the legal rights of and responsibilities of security personnel and merchants as they pertain to theft and lawful arrest. Negligence, intentional torts, agency, contracts, alarms, damages, authority of private citizens, probable cause, arrest, search and seizure, interrogation, use of force by the private citizen, deprivation of rights, and entrapment are also examined.

MSA 565: Organizational Security Investigations

The primary concentration for this course covers the essentials of private and public investigations with the comprehensive study of the investigative process, tools of investigations, and types of investigations. A thorough examination of fraud detection, employee theft, embezzlement, accounting improprieties, compliance investigations, internal controls and safeguards to prevent fraud, information access and control strategies, and legal issues in corporate investigations are also reviewed. Other covered areas include surveillance and undercover, violent crimes, property crimes, controlled substances and drug offenses, terrorist activities, computer crime, and private sector investigations.


MSA 570: Homeland Security Defense and Administration

This course provides a comprehensive overview of America's homeland security system, including key federal, state, local, and private organizations. Policy issues, technologies, legislation, preparedness recommendations, and trends are analyzed. Threat assessments, critical infrastructure protection, weapons of mass destruction, cyber‐terrorism, business preparedness, and emergency response and public protection are covered as well.

MSA 575: Best Practices and Special Issues in Homeland Security

Learners in this course will examine the current ability of national, state, and local agencies to respond to terrorism. Lessons learned and best practices from past emergencies and terrorist events are reviewed to identify preparedness and mitigation methods. Individual and local government preparedness, response, and practices are covered.

MSA 580: Terrorism: Perspectives and Consequence Management

Learners in this course will thoroughly examine the complex issues surrounding terrorism via a discussion of theories, domestic and international threats of terrorism, motivations for terrorism, and a review of the various religious, ideological, nationalistic, and ethnic movements taking place around the world. Consequence management is studied with a review of the incident management system, federal response plan, weapons of mass destruction effects, mass casualty decontamination, crime scene operations, and technology and emergency response.

MSA 585: Emergency, Disaster, and Contingency Management

This course outlines the essential roles of corporate and municipal managers and demonstrates the importance of their relationships with federal, state, and local government agencies as well as public and private community sectors. The emergency response plan, hazards, personnel training, and hazard and risk reduction strategies are covered. Contingency planning to protect vital facilities and critical operations is discussed via an implementation strategy, guidelines for minimizing development costs, and proven plan development methodology.

CAPS600: Graduate Project

All learners will prepare and submit a professional electronic capstone portfolio as a graduate requirement in this course. The portfolio serves as an opportunity for the learners to demonstrate their achievement of their respective degree program outcomes through their degree program coursework, and their commitment to lifelong learning through the identification of specific future learning goals. All learners will be required to prepare, conduct, and report on an applied learning project relevant to their degree program as a second graduate requirement in this course. This project will cover theory, concepts, practices, knowledge, and skills covered across the respective degree program courses, and their application to a real‐life or simulated situation. Learners' projects from this course are also included in the final professional portfolio submitted at the end of the course. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all major courses.

Graduation Requirements

Applicants are required to submit:

Graduation Requirements

Applicants are required to submit:

  1. Complete the specific program requirements for the master's program
  2. Have an overall grade point average of 3.0, with no grade below a C (2.0)
  3. Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see Southwestern College Professional Studies Catalog for the most current degree requirements.