Towson University recognizes that classroom instruction can only take you so far. The
best learning opportunities are those when you must apply your skills in the real world.
The Graduate Project course - IHSM 881 - requires you to tackle a real-world issue that
"synthesizes" your coursework in the homeland security program. The project should be on a
topic in an area of research or application that is interesting and relevant to homeland security.
The project work will be guided - and challenged - by a faculty advisor. Students will frame the
problem, conduct the analysis, make recommendations and present their findings.
IHSM 881 - Graduate Project
- can be taken after completing 15 credits in the program.
If you are unable to complete the project in one semester, then you will have to register
for IHSM 885 - IHSM Project Continuum
(1 credit) in order to continue the project into the next semester. Prior to registration
for the IHSM 881 course, the student needs to obtain approval from a Faculty advisor and
the IHSM Program Director. Further instructions are given below.
Each student will contact a government agency or company in their quest to identify and
research/apply a topic, preferably, in their area of specialization. They will draw upon
prior course work and other materials as necessary. The student will prepare a 3-5 page,
double-spaced project proposal describing the project and ensure that it is approved by
their advisor and the Program Director before they begin the project. The student
will routinely keep their advisor informed on the status of their project.
A final project report will be prepared based on the results of the project being implemented.
Necessary elements of the project proposal are described below. These need to be vetted by
the agency/company supervisor and the faculty advisor.
Here are the basic steps for doing the Project Course:
Contact an agency/company (local, regional or national) and identify a project.
Project ideas may emerge from your coursework.
Project ideas may be from your workplace.
Local emergency management agencies, hospitals, local government homeland security Offices, local
sheriffs' office etc. might all be good places to start.
Other Friends/contacts working with such agencies might be a good idea.
Project ideas from faculty members or the program director.
Choose a faculty advisor from list of advisors listed below.
Create project proposal in collaboration with your faculty advisor and agency supervisor.
Send your proposal and your faculty advisor's approval to the Program Director.
You will be registered for the course, once the proposal is approved by the Program Director.
Note: Since this process might take some time, you should initiate this process at least a
month or two in advance of the semester that you would like to do the project.
Elements of the Project Proposal
Project Description: In this section you
will include the project description and outline the broad scope of the project
Project Justification: Provide justification to support that your project is built
upon the knowledge acquired from courses within the program or your particular concentration.
At a minimum, material from some of the core courses in the program should be applied to
Reading List: Prepare a list of requirements needed in order to achieve the
objectives of the project proposal.,
Expected Outcome: This is where you describe the end result of your project. What will you
have accomplished after finishing the project?
Implementation Plan: Prepare a list of tasks that will comprise the project and the
associated timeline for each. Thus, for example, collecting data/requirements from the
agency/company, reading additional material needed for the project, completing specific
components of the project, writing various modules/chapters of the project report, final
submission of the report etc.
Final Product: This is where you delineate what will be included in your deliverable, i.e. the
final project report. Below is a suggested outline.
Final Project Report
Below is a suggested outline of what should be included in your final project report.
Table of Contents
Table of Figures
Project Description and Scope
Literature Review (if applicable)
.... Other sections as specific to the project.
Recommendations and Summary
List of Project Advisors
The following IHSM faculty have agreed to serve as faculty advisors for the IHSM 881 course.
Of course, if you cannot find a willing advisor, the Program Director will either assign
another available faculty member or perform the role himself.