UHV offers new master’s concentration in international and homeland security

A new crop of agents protecting the U.S. will carry diplomas from the University of Houston-Victoria.

To prepare students for careers in intelligence, federal law enforcement or the diplomatic corps, UHV is offering a new master’s-level concentration in international and homeland security this fall.

“This program will make students in high demand in very rewarding career fields that serve everyone,” said Keith Akins, coordinator for the new concentration and an assistant professor of criminal justice.

The new 15-hour concentration is offered under the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Arts & Sciences. Among other requirements, students must take at least nine additional hours in a second concentration, which could be computer science or criminal justice, for a total of 36 graduate-level hours.

The core courses will cover topics including intensive study of the Koran and the Bible to learn the roots of religious terrorism and insurgent movements dating back to World War II.

“Every major industrial country on Earth has, at some point, been defeated by people fighting with bows and arrows,” Akins said.

Courses also will review the techniques that have been used to fight terrorism, including which methods have been effective and which ones haven’t.

In addition to their master’s course work, students must complete 12 hours of language classes or demonstrate proficiency in a language other than Spanish.

“We are encouraging students to take Arabic,” Akins said.

There is a high demand for Arabic speakers in most intelligence, diplomatic and law enforcement communities, he said. UHV will begin offering Arabic courses in the near future.

“Students can serve their country by gaining this knowledge and putting it to use in the right places,” Akins said.

The new program is an example of one of the ways universities serve the public.

“One of our major goals at UHV is to spot growing needs in the professional world and create courses of study that will prepare our graduates to meet those needs,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “This need is particularly important because these students will go on to help keep us all safe and secure from the growing threat of international terrorism.”

Classes will be available face to face in Sugar Land, via interactive TV in Victoria and Cinco Ranch, and online everywhere. Akins encouraged students to take classes face to face or via ITV because of the intensive nature of courses.

For more information about the new concentration, contact Tracey Fox, senior recruitment coordinator for the School of Arts & Sciences, at 361-570-4233 or visit

Registration for the fall semester ends Aug. 20.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342