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Texas State introduces Global Security Studies major

Sophie Peckerrell

The Center for International Studies will offer Global Security Studies as a new major concentration starting fall 2024 in response to heightened student interest in the field.

“Students have been very excited,” Academic Program Coordinator for the Center for International Studies Amy Oakes said. “Before the major was even officially announced, we had students that somehow heard it from the grapevine coming in and asking if they could switch over to it.”

Director of the Center for International Studies Paul Hart said he thinks Global Security Studies has the potential to elevate the center’s profile because there are few majors like this one in the southwest region.

Global Security Studies is for students interested in working in fields such as Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and foreign services. It can also be for smaller scale fields such as providing security for human rights nonprofits. The jobs one can get with a Global Security Studies major include Intelligence Officer, Security Analyst and United Nations Security Strategist.

Hart said global security programs that exist are in expensive private universities and not available at large public universities.

“So we were one of the first… I think it makes the program keep pace with the changing career opportunities, especially with Artificial Intelligence and mass and data storage,” Hart said.

The Center of International Studies worked with Hanover Research to help identify Global Security Studies as an area of high growth. Most programs have a 6% growth rate per year based on the outlook assessment done by Hanover. However, Oakes said Global Security Studies has an almost 23% growth rate.

“While the majors that we had were an okay set up for it, it wasn’t the best it could be,” Oakes said. “So we wanted to build something that would help out these students, especially since it is such a growing entrance area.”

The Global Security Studies curriculum will be sourced from existing coursework at Texas State. According to Oakes, this allowed the center to expedite the major’s launch.

Students will have the ability to customize their degree with a variety of electives and the opportunity to take a critical language such as Russian, Chinese or Spanish.

“They’re getting a very holistic perspective, rather than a very niche perspective that might limit them in the job force afterwards,” Oakes said. “Because it’s multidisciplinary, they’re able to elicit more transferable skills that are going to serve better.”

This new major requires an internship that is built into the curriculum. The Center for International Studies plans to utilize similar internship opportunities already offered such as working with Homeland Security or with the International Police Force.

Oakes said they are expecting to see quite a few students move over into this new program over the years. The goal is to increase partnerships with organizations like the Foreign Service to guarantee particular internship opportunities to students.

“We have to have enough students to solicit [those internship opportunities] first so since we anticipate there’s going to be a large number of students related to this major, we’re hopeful for those opportunities in the future as well,” Oakes said.

Texas State University requires a 2.25 GPA for most degrees. Due to the highly competitive nature of global security, this new major will require a 3.0 GPA.

“We have a slightly higher GPA requirement to try and make sure that our students are a little bit more competitive, just on that numbers front,” Oakes said.

Hart said the origin of this new major is a response to doing research, hiring professionals to keep track of career trends and keeping in mind what students say they are interested in and what they think will help them.

One of those students is Teagan Wharton, an international studies freshman, who said global security is something all students should be aware of, beyond international studies majors.

“I think it is huge to understand how the security of the world is like… and I think that everyone needs to learn about it because we need to be able to make sure that in the future America and other countries are secure but also together as a united,” Wharton said.

For more information about the Global Security Studies major, visit Texas State’s website.

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