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The DeSales University Center for Homeland Security

This one-of-a-kind collegiate center brings together highly-experienced working professionals and students for education, collaboration, and professional development.

Serving the Northeast region of the United States from its home at DeSales University, in Center Valley, PA, the CHS provides hands-on, science-based, and practitioner-informed training, research, and educational opportunities.

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Learn More About the Center for Homeland Security

  • About CHS

    Unique in the region, the CHS serves as a one-of-a-kind resource for DeSales University students, industry professionals, and members of the surrounding community.  Programs and initiatives include:

    • Practical education and training for current and future homeland security professionals that is hands-on, research-based, and informed by the real-world experiences of practitioners in the field;
    • Opportunities for students to network, collaborate, and intern with leading thinkers and professionals in the field of homeland security, expanding career options after graduation;
    • Opportunities for students and professionals to collaborate with university faculty from related fields such as Computer Science, Nursing, and Psychology;
    • Grant-funded research projects in which students can participate; and
    • An annual homeland security and counterterrorism conference 

    Students and professionals are offered a variety of programs and curriculum in the field of homeland security including an undergraduate degree in homeland security, a master of arts in criminal justice with a homeland security concentration, and a variety of graduate certification programs in contemporary aspects of homeland security. All of these programs prepare students and professionals for their future with a strong foundation of knowledge, an analytical mindset, and practical skill sets.  

    CHS specifically aims to establish partnerships with local and regional law enforcement and government agencies, private businesses, and international organizations. These relationships also provide inspiring opportunities for students in the form of internships and fieldwork opportunities. These partnerships not only to provide an easy transition to professional life after graduation but also mentally and physically prepare the students for their future lives.   

    The following are some of the locations DeSales University students have worked as interns: 

    • The Officer David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory of Lehigh County Regional Intelligence and Information Center 

    • Allentown Police Department 

    • Bethlehem Police Department 

    • Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office  

    • Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office 

    • Montgomery County Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office 

    • Northampton County Prison 

    • The US Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania 


    Students have the opportunity to enhance their horizons by rethinking traditional solutions and asking questions beyond traditional homeland security coursework. They are encouraged to take courses like artificial intelligence, digital forensics, and data analytics and to carry out research in the field of homeland security by applying new technologies and techniques to generate actionable scientific research outcomes. 

  • Education

    DeSales is a regional leader in homeland security education, offering bachelor's degrees  — both traditional and online — minors, master's degree concentrations, and certificate programs.   

    Our faculty are nationally-recognized professionals in the field who are professionally active. They connect textbook theory with real-world application of tools, processes, and methodologies. 

    At DeSales University, students have the opportunity to engage with a faculty of leading and experienced scholars, professionals, and practitioners who expose their students to best practices within the field of homeland security. Students have the opportunity to learn from real-life scenarios and case studies with the latest technologies applied in the industry.  

    A unique and flexible class and program schedule allow students and professionals the option of either full or part-time study through in-class, hybrid (flex), or online education. 

    See individual degree and program information below for additional details.

  • Research

    Our goal is to partner with practitioners of law enforcement, government agencies, private businesses, and international organizations on scholarly research and grant opportunities that could result in practical forward-thinking literature for use by professionals and policymakers.

    Through these research activities, the CHS can assist our partners in translating emerging academic research outcomes to real-life scenarios or policies.

  • Outreach

    Connections with regional agencies

    The CHS aims to establish relationships with professionals in law enforcement, government agencies, private businesses, and international organizations. These relationships will provide inspiring opportunities for students in the form of internships and fieldwork opportunities.

    The annual homeland security and counterterrorism conference at DeSales

     The CHS plans to hold an annual conference focusing on homeland security. The primary goal of the conference will be to bring together individuals from homeland security, law enforcement, first responders, and the local community to learn about emerging trends in homeland security.

    Collaboration with healthcare programs

    The Center will involve our healthcare programs with local healthcare providers to address security concerns and be part of a network to provide knowledge and expertise in preparation for rapid response efforts.

  • Our Mission

    The mission of the Center for Homeland Security is to prepare students and professionals to prevent and protect against new and emerging threats to the homeland. We emphasize training that is hands-on, research-based, and informed by the experiences of practitioners. In the spirit of St. Francis de Sales, the patron of the University, the Center seeks to serve the common good with transformative learning experiences and to foster dynamic communities that advance the dignity of each person.

Center for Homeland Security @DeSales - Lex Photography (Pexels)

Practical education and training for current and future homeland security professionals that is hands-on, research-based, and informed by the real-world experiences of practitioners in the field.

Degrees & Certificate Programs

DeSales is a regional leader in homeland security education, offering bachelor's degrees  — both traditional and online — minors, master's degrees, concentrations, and certificate programs. 

Homeland security students are taught to think critically, lead decisively, and act ethically while learning to understand, recognize, and prevent domestic and international terrorism threats; coordinate homeland security measures between local, state, and federal stakeholders; and use state-of-the-art technologies for digital forensics investigations in homeland security and counterterrorism.

"The instructor's stories are exciting to listen to and they relate to real world scenarios. I believe the homeland security program and certifications will help me become successful to make a difference. The experience you get at DeSales University is like no other." - Kwamaine Blake

The Faculty

Our faculty are working professionals with years of experience in homeland security and counterterrorism.  At DeSales, you'll go beyond textbook theory and learn practical, tactical skills that translate into real career opportunities. 



There is a huge demand for homeland security related jobs—from the private sector to local, national, and government agencies.
Dr. Ahmet Yayla Director of the DeSales Center for Homeland Security
Meet Dr. Yayla

The Homeland Security Center is designed to work with our partners at the local, state, federal and even international levels.  We also want to work closely with our partners in the private sector, ranging from health care to business to cybersecurity.  It is a collaboration where we all work toward our common goals of education, outreach, and research.

— Jennifer Moore, JD , Professor; Chair of Social Sciences Department

Some of the industry's most experienced professionals will present on terrorism, counterterrorism, and the importance of homeland security training and education.

Contact Us

The DeSales University Center for Homeland Security