05/25/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Looking For A New Major? Try Counterterrorism

At the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, students can prepare for careers in homeland security by taking classes titled "Threat Assessment and Risk Management'' and evaluating real-life situations using a specialized "risk matrix."

UMass-Lowell's program in Security Management and Homeland Security currently enrolls 528 people.

The Boston Globe has more:

They [students] select from 21 courses in areas such as domestic terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, forensic psychology, and hate crime. A number of courses are offered online to meet the needs of students already working in law enforcement or security-related fields.

Students prepare for jobs in public safety, security management, law enforcement, or homeland security, which, according to the US Department of Labor, will grow faster than all other occupations in the next decade due to the threat of terrorism.

Some academics, however, worry the major lacks an intellectual foundation. UMass-Lowell's Criminal Justice Department Chairwoman Eve Buzawa told the Globe:

"The discipline is struggling, because historically it has not been coupled with any academic disciplines to provide experts with knowledge and experience in order to teach with university and academic criteria. There's not a body of scholars who have been researching this specific area.''

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