Homeland Security Policy Minor

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— A minor for the 21st century —

Worldwide, issues of war and terrorism have redefined both how nations and we as individuals act. Rider University’s Homeland Security Policy minor is a multidisciplinary program that goes beyond conventional studies of the subject to explore:

  • Underlying causes and motivations behind terrorism
  • How the global external environment impacts a country’s internal environment
  • Critical role of the intelligence community
  • Potential actions governments can pursue
  • Consequences of threats and countermeasures within the context of our globalized world and the impact on civil liberties in the U.S. and other democracies


Events of the past 30 years — including the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 — have heightened America’s awareness of terrorism and made homeland security a national focus.

It is a subject, though, that has long been of concern to other countries around the world.

Open to all majors, this minor offers students the opportunity to add a focus in homeland security to their professional or academic plans. Homeland security is a rapidly growing field with a high demand for skilled professionals in both government and private industry.

This minor also is a valuable option for students whose careers would benefit from an understanding of such issues as risk assessment, world politics and civil liberties, including:

  • criminal justice
  • economics
  • finance
  • global supply chain management
  • international business
  • journalism
  • law
  • political science
  • social studies
  • sociology

Program Description

Rider’s undergraduate minor in Homeland Security Policy is a broad, theory-based program housed in the Department of Political Science. Coursework focuses on the theory behind terrorism and national security, and is not intended as a field training program for operatives or law enforcement officers. Courses will draw upon the expertise of Rider faculty from multiple disciplines.

The minor provides students an in-depth understanding of the mission, challenges, and methods behind homeland security.

Students are encouraged to look beyond American issues and think globally about the origins and motivations of terrorism, how and why they are "imported," and how measures taken to counteract threats impact U.S. civil liberties as well as relationships with other nations.

Students will have the unique opportunity to explore how other countries, such as Israel and Northern Ireland, deal with the threats and consequences of terrorist acts.

Optional internships with a related organization will be available.

Program Requirements

To earn a minor in Homeland Security Policy, students must complete a total of 21 credits from a variety of courses. In addition to the two core political science courses, the curriculum for the minor enables students to tailor coursework to their interests. It includes advanced courses focusing on U.S. Intelligence and national security, presidential and Congressional powers, human rights and global security.

Students are required to take two foundation courses:

POL/HLS 100 | Introduction to American Politics (3 credits)

POL/HLS 202 | The Political System: Theories & Themes (3 credits)

And three of the following courses:

POL/HLS 203 | Homeland Security (3 credits)

POL/HLS 204 | Development & Structure of U.S. Intelligence Agencies (3 credits).

POL/HLS 301 | Civil Liberties in the United States (3 credits)

POL/HLS 325 | Public Sector Policy Analysis (3 credits)

In addition, students are required to choose two courses from the following:

POL/HLS 219 Terrorism, Revolution & Political Violence

POL/HLS 220 Terrorism & Counter Terrorism

POL/HLS 300 U.S. Constitutional Law

POL/HLS 304 Political Behavior: Fear, Risk & Crisis

POL/HLS 308 Political Communication in Times of Crisis

POL/HLS 314 Congressional Power & Security Policy

POL/HLS 316 Presidential Power & National Security Policy

POL/HLS 346 Democracy in Times of Crisis

POL/HLS 350 U.S. Foreign & Security Policy

POL/HLS 351 Critical Views of Global Security

POL/HLS 361 The Judicial Process

POL/HLS 363 Human Rights in a Global Context

POL/HLS 491* Internship in New Jersey Homeland Security Policy

* Based on student eligibility and availability


Jonathan Mendilow
Professor of Political Science (Ph.D., The Hebrew University in Jerusalem)

Chair of the Political Science Department, Dr. Mendilow is a London-born South African. A recipient of the British Academy Award and a Fulbright Scholar, he has published extensively in political theory and comparative politics. He is a former visiting professor at the University of Southern California and visiting scholar at Yale University, and held teaching positions at the University of Tel Aviv and University of Witswaters and in Johannesburg.

Additionally, he is the former manager of public relations for the City of Jerusalem.

Dr. Mendilow’s latest book, Money, Corruption and Political Competition in Established and Emerging Democracies, was published by Lexington Press. His research interests include Middle Eastern politics, political campaigns, and the problems of democracy in the age of the Internet.

Michael J. Brogan
Associate Professor of Political Science (Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Dr. Brogan’s research interests focus on political behavior at times of crisis, forecasting and environmental politics, including security aspects. His latest book, Modern Budget Forecasting in the American States: Precision, Uncertainty and Politics, was published in 2013 by Lexington Books. He also has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Barbara Franz
Professor of Political Science (Ph.D., Syracuse University)

Dr. Franz’s research interests juxtapose the phenomenon of mass migrations and refugee movements and what they mean for the security and stability of nations, the increasing potential of culture clashes within societies, and the root causes of violence, terror and genocide. Dr. Franz has published extensively on security issues in such journals as New Political Science, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, European Journal of Women Studies, Feminist Review, AWR Bulletin and International Studies Perspectives.

Frank Rusciano
Professor of Political Science (Ph.D., University of Chicago)

Dr. Rusciano’s interests include American and comparative politics, and political communication with an emphasis on communications in times of crisis and ethnic violence. Currently director of Rider’s Global Studies Program, Dr. Rusciano has authored numerous books, articles and book chapters. In 2012, he spent four months conducting research on conflict resolution and world opinion in Northern Ireland as recipient of the prestigious Fulbright – University of Ulster Policy Studies Award. The author of Global Rage After the Cold War (Palgrave, 2006), Dr. Rusicano is currently completing a book on world opinion and the Northern Ireland peace process.

Barry Seldes
Professor of Political Science (Ph.D., Rutgers University)

Dr. Seides’ interests focus on the effects of political power and social forces on cultural expression. He has published widely on topics of politics and culture. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician (University of California Press, 2009). His current research includes security and loyalty, and the political thought of the late critic Susan Sontag.

For More Information

To learn more about the Homeland Security Policy minor, please contact:

Headshot of Adam McMahon
Assistant Professor of Political Science
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Adam McMahon is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Homeland Security Master’s program. His research interests include American political institutions and American political development, U.S. foreign policy, and LGBTQ politics. He received his Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.