Security Technologies Curriculum

Curriculum that Confronts Real-World Challenges

MSST students in a classroom, first and most visible row containing five students seated at a row of tables. The first student is in focus and has hands clasped under chin in focus.

The Security Technologies curriculum offers the flexibility to focus on building expertise in one area of specialization or related sub-areas in science, technology and social sciences to complete the 32-credit degree program. Students meet two nights per week on Tuesday and Thursday, with occasional day-long classes on Friday, completing the program in just 22 months.

MSST Curriculum

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Term 1 (Fall)

ST 8109 Cybersecurity Foundations: Technology, Risk & Communication (2 credits)
Explore cyber security risks through evaluation of consumer-driven technology concepts and their applicability to enterprise. Learn how technology works, how to understand and communicate risks to business management, and deliver actionable risk mitigation approaches. Discover core technology concepts that face both consumers and businesses as well as security standards and benchmarks that guide industry.

ST 8110 Security Science & Technology Foundations (3 credits)
Overview of emerging science and pivotal technology disciplines for homeland security (including nanotechnology, sensor networks including biosensing, critical infrastructure protection, food and biosafety, cyber and control systems security, and secure energy technologies). Current state-of-the-art status for each technology, together with barriers and opportunities for commercialization will be addressed.

ST 8330 Critical Infrastructure Protection (2.5 credits)
Discover an overview of risk, its definition and application to critical infrastructures as it relates to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, as well as best practices to reduce the vulnerability of critical infrastructure systems due to accidents, material failure, natural disasters, or terrorist attacks.

Term 2 (Spring)

ST 8111 Methods, Theory, and Applications (2.5 credits)
Focus on methods, theory, techniques, and models including qualitative and quantitative risk modeling, decision analysis (fault-tree analysis and event-tree analysis), and probabilistic risk assessment techniques.

ST 8113 Information and Cyber Security (2 credits)
Develop an understanding of vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems to failure—focusing on cyberterrorism—and recommended security solutions for operational levels of trust.

ST 8221 Communication of Risk and Security (1 credit)
Explore the various aspects of risk communication, public speaking, formal briefings, and writing skills.

ST 8331 Dynamic Systems Modeling and Simulation Tools (2 credits)
Unearth techniques for modeling complex systems and predicting and evaluating risks associated with a variety of sources, pathways, and consequences, as well as a survey of key dynamical equations and non-sensitive databases that are used in computer simulations of linked infrastructure systems.


ST 8661 Securing Cyberspace- Fundamentals (3 credits)
This course is the first of a two-course series that introduces the interdisciplinary field of cyberspace security. In this section, students will explore in-depth the technical foundations which underpin cybersecurity threats and corresponding defenses. Through hands-on training, students will gain the necessary skills to begin supporting and implementing cyberspace security. The technical foundation for the cybersecurity defender is a particular combination of network, operating system, hardware (mobile/desktop/server) and software engineering skills, all which need to be brought to bear to protect and defend modern systems, networks, and information.

Term 3 (Fall)

ST 8220 Vulnerability, Risk, and Threat Assessment and Management (2.5 credits)
Focus on principles, methods, and practices of threat and vulnerability assessment and risk reduction, as well as integration of risk assessment and management principles into strategic planning and decision making.

ST 8510 Psychology/Behavior Intelligence for Homeland Security (2 credits)
Receive a broad overview of intelligence based on political psychology and behavior, as well as psychological effects on terrorism; status of and fallacies related to the interventions applied to victims of terrorism; current government strategies used to disseminate information to terrorist groups; psychological phenomena related to media coverage of terrorism; and misconceptions and inaccuracies relating to socio-political and religious motivations of terrorist groups.

ST 8511 Public Policy (1 credit)
Examine key questions and issues facing the U.S. intelligence community and its role in homeland security and homeland defense, as well as address policy, organizational, and substantive issues regarding homeland intelligence support.

ST 8620A MSST Capstone Project - prep (0.5 credits)
Explore three of the most widely used case study methods for teaching and learning—case study, problem-based, and tabletop exercises—and identify strengths and weaknesses of each as reported in professional literature; then, research and prepare an original problem-based case that incorporates the best qualities of these three approaches while minimizing their limitations.


ST 8441 Security Technologies Internship (0.5 credit) 
Optional internship opportunity at university centers, companies, state and federal agencies such as 3M, ATK, Best Buy, Cargill, Ernst & Young, General Mills, Honeywell, Medtronic, Minnesota Defense Alliance, U.S. Bank, and United Healthcare Group. Those interested in the MSST internship should contact for more information.

ST 8662 Securing Cyberspace - Advanced (3 credits)
This course is the second of a two-course series that introduces the interdisciplinary field of cyberspace security. This series explores the evolution of cybersecurity threats, cybersecurity theory, and the relationship of cybersecurity to nations, businesses, society, and people. Students will be exposed to multiple cybersecurity technologies, processes, and procedures, learn how to analyze the threats, vulnerabilities, and risks present in these environments, and develop appropriate strategies to mitigate potential cybersecurity problems. Through hands-on training, students will gain the necessary skills to begin supporting and implementing cyberspace security.

Term 4 (Spring)

ST 8440 Security Practicum (0.5 credits)
A combination of seminars and focused workshops paired with visits to companies, state and federal agencies.

ST 8512 Security/Privacy Law, Social Responsibility, and Ethics (2 credits)
Explore the challenges to American civil liberties and national security in times of terrorism, ethical and moral concepts underlying American civil rights and acts of terrorism against the U.S., and the application of the U.S. Constitution to Homeland Security laws.

ST 8513 Cyber Threat Intelligence (2 credits)
Learn the foundational theory and applied skills in cyber threat intelligence analysis. This includes all phases of the intelligence lifecycle: requirements development, collection, analysis methods, and reports/briefings for organizational leaders to influence risk-based cybersecurity decisions. Emphasis will be placed on these foundational concepts through an extensive series of cyber exercises through which students will practice and demonstrate competence in core skills. Exercise scenarios will include public and private organizations and across cyber threat categories. 

ST 8620B MSST Capstone (1.5 credits)
Explore three of the most widely used case study methods for teaching and learning—case study, problem-based, and tabletop exercises—and identify strengths and weaknesses of each as reported in professional literature; then, research and prepare an original problem-based case that incorporates the best qualities of these three approaches while minimizing their limitations. This quarter will culminate with the successful defense of the student capstone presentation.


MSST student in professional attire, smiling, standing with arms crossed

During the third and fourth terms of the program, Security Technologies graduate students complete an independent applied investigation on a relevant issue in an area of security technologies or homeland security of particular interest to them. Over the course of the two terms students will:

  • Research and prepare an original problem-based case that incorporates the best qualities of case study method, problem-based method, and tabletop exercise, while minimizing their limitations;
  • Prepare a complete report, along with a set of teaching notes for the original problem-based case;
  • Teach the problem-based case to a group of classmates;
  • Modify the draft case and teaching notes based on feedback;
  • Submit a final report; and
  • Present an oral examination before the members of the capstone committee.

Elective Courses

MSST classroom, focus on three students working together in a group, one gesturing with his hands

As part of the Master of Science in Security Technologies (MSST) degree program, students are required to take at least six elective credits. The internship and special topics courses can count toward the elective requirement (courses marked with an asterisk within the menu below are topic courses). To determine whether an elective course is offered during a specific semester students need to search the University of Minnesota course registration portal. Approved elective courses for the MSST graduate program are listed by department in the menu:

MSST Elective Courses

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Approved MSST Electives

Computer Science (CSCI)
CSCI 5221 Foundations of Advanced Networking (3 credits)
CSCI 5271 Introduction to Computer Security (3 credits)
CSCI 5471 Modern Cryptography (3 credits)
CSCI 5980 Computation Geo-Informatics (3 credits)*
CSCI 8715 Spatial Database (3 credits)

Curriculum and Instruction (CI)
CI 5301 Foundations of Computer Applications for Business and Education (3 credits)

Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management (ESPM)
ESPM 5604 Environmental Management Systems and Strategy (3 credits)

Forest Resources (FR)
FR 5131 Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Natural Resources (3 credits)

Geographic Information Science (GIS)
GIS 5574 GIS and the Internet (3 credits)
GIS 5577 Spatial Database Design and Administration (3 credits)

Geography (GEOG)
GEOG 5561 Principles of GIS (4 credits)
GEOG 5563 Advanced Geographic Information Science (3 credits)
GEOG 5564 Urban GIS and Analysis (credits)

History (HIST)
HIST 5900 European Nationalism and National Identity (3 credits)*

Information and Decision Sciences (IDSC)
IDSC 6040 Information Technology Management (2 credits)
IDSC 6050 Information Technologies and Solutions (2 credits)
IDSC 6423 Enterprise Systems Technology (2 credits)
IDSC 6444 Business Intelligence (2 credits)
IDSC 6481 Managerial Decision Making (2 credits)
IDSC 6490 Information-Based Goods in the Network Economy (2 credits)*
IDSC 8003 Accounting and Information Systems (4 credits)

Law School (LAW)
LAW 6022 Seminar: National Security Law (2–3 credits)
LAW 6103 Privacy (2–3 credits)
LAW 6241 First Amendment Law (3 credits)
LAW 6606 Administrative Law (3 credits)
LAW 6705 Seminar: Information Governance (2 credits)
LAW 6806 Seminar: International Humanitarian Law (3 credits)
LAW 6832 Seminar: Cyberspace and the Law (2–3 credits)

Management (MGMT)
MGMT 6004 Negotiation Strategies (2 credits)
MGMT 6034 Strategic Leadership (2 credits)
MGMT 6084 Management of Groups (2 credits)
MGMT 6402 Integrative Leadership: From Theory to Practice (3 credits)

Mathematics (MATH)
MATH 5248 Cryptology and Number Theory (4 credits)
MATH 5251 Error-Correcting Codes, Finite Fields, Algebraic Curves (4 credits)

Supply Chain Operations (SCO)
SCO 6059 Quality Management and Lean Six Sigma (4 credits)**
SCO 8892 Readings in Operations and Management Science (3 credits)

Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD)
OLPD 5310 Data Driven Decision Making (1 credit)
OLPD 5611 Facilitation and Meeting Skills (1 credit)
OLPD 5619 Planning and Decision-Making Skills (1 credit)
OLPD 6402 Integrative Leadership Seminar (3 credits)

Political Science (POL)
POL 5885 International Conflict and Security (3 credits)
POL 8402 International Security (3 credits)

Public Affairs (PA)
PA 5011 Public Management and Leadership (3 credits)
PA 5105 Integrative Leadership Seminar (3 credits)
PA 5190 Managing Conflict: Negotiation (3 credits)*
PA 5405 Public Policy Implementation (3 credits)
PA 5701 Science and State (3 credits)
PA 5711 Science and Technology Policy (3 credits)
PA 5741 Risk Analysis for Science and Technology Policy (3 credits)
PA 5822 International Security (3 credits)
PA 5890 International Crisis Simulation (1 credit)*
PA 5920 Action-Oriented Strategy Mapping (1 credit)*
PA 5920 Assessing Leadership Capability (1 credit)*
PA 5920 Stakeholder/SWOT Analysis and Casual Mapping (o.5 credits)*
PA 8001 Transforming Public Policy (4 credits)
PA 8201 Environment and Infrastructure Policy (3 credits)
PA 8790 Risk Analysis for Science and Technology Policy (3 credits)*
PA 8821 National Security Policy (3 credits)

Public Health (PUBH)
PUBH 5231 Emergency Preparedness: A Public Health Perspective (2 credits)
PUBH 6103 Exposure to Environmental Hazards (2 credits)
PUBH 6112 Risk Analysis: Application to Risk-Based Decision-Making (3 credits)
PUBH 6123 Violence Prevention and Control: Theory, Research, and Application (2 credits)
PUBH 6182 Emerging Infectious Disease: Current Issues, Policies, and Controversies (3 credits)
PUBH 6571 Principles of Management in Health Services Organizations (2 credits)
PUBH 6702 Integrative Leadership Seminar (3 credits)
PUBH 7200 Best Practices in Emergency Response (1 credit)*
PUBH 7200 Data Driven Decision-Making (1 credit)*
PUBH 7200 Design for Disaster (1 credit)*
PUBH 7200 Disaster 101 (1 credit)*
PUBH 7200 Epidemiology of Foodborne Pathogens (1 credit)*
PUBH 7200 Farm to Table Study Program (2 credits)*
PUBH 7200 Food Defense: Vulnerabilities in Food System and How to Close Them (1 credit)*
PUBH 7200 Food Facility Bio-Security: Cleaning and Sanitation for Food Facilities (1 credit)*
PUBH 7200 Food Systems Biosecurity Action Planning (1.5 credits)*
PUBH 7200 Using Risk Analysis Tools: Estimating Food Safety Risks on the Farm to Table Continuum (1 credit)*
PUBH 7214 Principles of Risk Communication (1 credit)
PUBH 7221 Planning/Urgent Threats (1 credit)
PUBH 7223 Concepts of Disaster Behavioral Health (1 credit)
PUBH 7225 Communication and Information Technology Tools for Public Health Emergency Response (1 credit)
PUBH 7227 Incident Management Systems: The Public Health Role (1 credit)
PUBH 7230 Topics in Infectious Disease (1 credit)
PUBH 7233 Food System Defense (1.5 credits)
PUBH 7242 War and Public Health (1 credit)

Sociology (SOC)
SOC 8412 Social Network Analysis: Theory and Methods (3 credits)

Veterinary Medicine, Graduate (VMED)
VMED 5920 Food Defense: Prepare, Respond, Recover (3 credits)

Writing Studies (WRIT)
WRIT 5001 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Scientific and Technical Communication (3 credits)
WRIT 5112 Information Design: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
WRIT 5561 Editing and Style for Technical Communications (3 credits)

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