Foundations of Homeland Security

White House, Black and White

IWP 664
Four credits 

Foundations of Homeland Security provides students with an intellectual foundation for understanding the concepts underpinning homeland security, as well as an overview of the U.S. national homeland security framework, including organization and policies. It examines the underlying intellectual constructs used to frame the comprehension of security issues and to develop the policies and strategies that lead to implementing programs that keep a society safe, free, and prosperous.

The issues addressed include: Threat, Threat Definition and Assessment; Means and Methods for Securing the Homeland; Introduction to Organization and Coordination Issues; and Law, Legal Institutions, and Legal Constraints on Roles & Missions. 

Three substantive topics are covered:

  1. The Conceptual Framework of Homeland Security
  2. The Players in Homeland Security and Their Current Roles
  3. Current Challenges of Homeland Security

The course consists of lectures, practical exercises and class discussion.

Course objectives

The goal of the course is to empower students to make better homeland security decisions, to support academic, national, institutional and personal goals, including professional growth. The study of homeland security seeks to make us insightful thinkers, informed analysts and effective foreign policy actors. Such study also assumes that greater insight about homeland security will increase our awareness of our own biases. In the "real world," this study is worthwhile because if we get homeland security wrong, the political and economic consequences could be monumental.

Semester Available


Summer Semester

Principal Professor


   James Jay Carafano
Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies and Director of The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at The Heritage Foundation {read more}