UCF creates Security Studies Ph.D.

By Austin Castle
Special to the Sentinel, UCF Student

The growing demand for qualified professionals to address issues of international security and counterterrorism has prompted the creation of a new Ph.D. program at the University of Central Florida.

The Security Studies Ph.D., set to launch in the fall semester of 2013, will “produce specialists capable of analyzing and communicating security issues to policy makers, the general public and the government,” according to UCF’s proposal.

The program is expected to produce security experts who can seize opportunities generated by a defense industry that has a yearly impact of over $52 billion in Florida, supporting over 723,000 jobs, according to a 2008 study released by Enterprise Florida.

The new Ph.D. will be offered by the Political Science Department of UCF’s College of Sciences, taking advantage of a large faculty and student body already pursuing studies in international relations and global policy.

Department Chair Kerstin Hamann said this is the first program of its kind offered by a Florida university.

“It’s really an underserved and underprovided specialization within the Ph.D. in the political science discipline,” Hamann said. “Given the concern with security nationally and internationally, we think we can actually make a real contribution by producing Ph.D.s in this area that cannot just take academic jobs, but also work in the security sector, both in public and in private settings.”

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