Master of Science

MS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security Administration

We must take steps to ensure the safety and security of our homeland. TU’s homeland security program is one of the best in the nation. With our faculty’s expertise and commitment, you can explore contemporary security including current threats, strategic planning, budget & finance, policy formulation, leadership and ethical issues and practices. Only then will you be able to foresee risks and resolve threats before they grow into crises.

Graduate Program Tabs

Bringing The Real World Into The Classroom

The completion of 30 semester hours of course work is required for the MS degree with a concentration in Homeland Security Administration, offered in a 3-semester format if taken full-time. The emphasis of the Homeland Security Administration concentration is to provide students with a specific area of expertise for criminal justice personnel. Students will develop their cognitive skills for application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the significant data and materials this course of study will provide to them.

What Is TU’s MS?

The Master of Science (MS) in Criminal Justice is a professional practical degree program that attracts skilled managers, agents and clinicians from many components of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems. Combined with the faculty who direct and facilitate the educational experiences in the MS program, the school's talented and multifaceted students complete the mixture and create an intellectual synergy that’s found in very few graduate programs.

Our faculty bring years of executive, operations-level, clinical, academic and research experience in criminal justice to the graduate learning process in a way that sparks debate, fosters insight and elicits innovation. Joint student-faculty collaboration on learning projects is a common occurrence.

The Homeland Security Concentration

The homeland security administration concentration will be beneficial to students who wish to advance their career in the homeland security field. Specifically, students seeking to advance and be promoted into leadership and administrative roles within the homeland security field in the future. Finally, graduates of this program may be qualified to teach criminal justice courses in community colleges or may be eligible to advance to a Ph.D. program.

As a student in the program, you will develop a broad foundation of knowledge as it relates to homeland security administration in the 21st century, including current threats, strategic planning, budget & finance, policy formulation, leadership, and ethical issues and practices. This applied foundation of knowledge, coupled with your refined
leadership and communication skills, will assist you in assuming leadership roles in the homeland security field.

Throughout the program, you will:

  • Examine legal and ethical issues in order to practice legal and ethical integrity in your professional work
  • Gain exposed to and have an understanding of homeland security issues from a global perspective
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically, pragmatically and strategically in the completion of a capstone project that will apply your learning to specific homeland security administration issues and challenges in your workplace and professional settings

The program will culminate in a Leadership & Application Capstone Project. The goal of this course is to ensure that you are able to synthesize the knowledge, skills and understanding you have gained through course work, and are able to apply your skills and acquired knowledge in carrying out a project that demonstrates application to the homeland security field.

Transfer Credit Opportunity

For the MS in CJ in Homeland Security Administration prospective students, who have completed the Certified Law Enforcement Executive Certification (CLEE), may receive up to three (3) credit hours of transfer credit into this program.

Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA)

To be a sworn police officer in Ohio, you must successfully complete the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy (OPOTA). Tiffin University partners with Terra State Community College to include the cost of the academy in tuition and can be earned in just one semester.

This unique training academy is state mandated for all police officers and covers firearms, legal administration, human relations, traffic, patrol, driving, subject control, investigations, civil disorder, physical conditioning and other aspects of law enforcement. Students apply direct, hands-on practice in the crime lab, firing range and police cruisers. With experienced, certified instructors and hands-on application, our students consistently achieve passing rates on the state-certified exam.

Once graduates of the program earn the certification, they are immediately eligible for full-time employment.


“Tiffin University gave me my best friend and pushed me to my highest potential. The OPOTA program put me ahead in the hiring process and my bachelor’s degree set me apart from other candidates.”

Cassidy Ralph
Hometown: Marion, Ohio
Graduation: Spring, 2019
Major: Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Law Enforcement
Position: Police Officer with the City of Marysville Division of Police

Homeland Security Administration Concentration 

JUS510 Contemporary Criminal Justice: Issues and Trends    3 hours

JUS515 Research Design and Analysis    3 hours

JUS520 Statistical Applications in Criminal Justice    3 hours

JUS526 Legal and Ethical Issues in Homeland Security    3 hours

JUS612 Strategic Planning, Cooperation & Coordination    3 hours

ENF520 The Intelligence Community    3 hours

ENF575 Focus Areas in Homeland Security Administration    3 hours

ENF620 Policy Formulation & Analysis in Homeland Security    3 hours

ENF625 Federal Budgeting for Homeland Security Administrators    3 hours

ENF685 Leadership and Practical Application in HSA (Capstone)    3 hours 

Total    30 hours

Total MS in CJ – 30 hours


This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

Online - Offered in two terms per semester starting in January, March, May, July, August and October

The Intelligence Community (ENF520) - Provides an examination of the creation and continuing evolution of the US Intelligence Community (IC) in the post 9/11 era. The IC’s missions, responsibilities and legal authorities will be explored. Students will hold an in-depth discussion on the IC’s successes, failures, and purported controversies. An assignment using the entire intelligence cycle will be developed throughout the course; students will present their findings and develop follow on intelligence requirements based on evaluations from their peers.

Strategic Planning, Cooperation & Coordination (JUS612) - In an increasingly complex world, leaders and administrators in criminal justice and homeland security agencies need skills that will enable them to successfully prepare and use a strategic plan. Students in this course will address the fundamentals of strategic planning: what it is, why it is important, how it is done, who should be involved, and why many organizations struggle with it. The focus will be on community and interagency strategic planning because a successful strategic plan for a criminal justice agency is firmly rooted in community needs and priorities. The course will also focus on the importance of mission-focused collaboration in the strategic planning process as it specifically relates to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS was created through the integration of all or part of 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified integrated department. The concepts of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration will be used to address alignment of people, resources, and processes to the agency mission, vision and purpose of the organization.

Focus Areas in Homeland Security Administration (ENF575) - The purpose of this course is to prepare Homeland Security professionals to analyze, interpret and understand various policies and procedures related to the management and administration of Homeland Security affairs. Through evaluation and discussion of a wide range of multidisciplinary topics and issues, students will gain an appreciation for the threats, vulnerabilities and hazards which face Homeland Security practitioners. Students will also learn to identify and engage appropriate assets, capabilities and resources to mitigate and remediate these threats. Civil liberty protections guaranteed to us by the Constitution have a bearing on U.S. Homeland Security policy, and this course will examine the delicate balance of civil-military relations and the impact of Federalism, States’ Rights and Tribal Sovereignty on the preparation for, response to and recovery from man-made and natural disasters. The course will review policies and procedures related to Homeland Security grants, disaster declarations and other financial and operational crisis response resources. Additionally, students will be introduced to the importance of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) in the planning and preparation for all-hazards events. Finally, the course will examine assessment criteria and resources available to Homeland Security professionals responsible for Critical Infrastructure Protection activities.

Policy Formulation & Analysis in Homeland Security (ENF620) - Details the research and planning process leading to the formulation of homeland security policy which enhances the preparedness, protection and collaborative response efforts and capabilities between the local, state and federal government against terrorist based incidents. Participants will research, develop and evaluate homeland security policy that effect the U.S on a domestic and international level.

Leadership & Practical Application in Homeland Security Administration (ENF685) - This course will provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to synthesize the knowledge gained through the balance of the program in a capstone seminar. Students will be provided a series of contemporary case studies for their analysis, in critical areas such as homeland security legal and regulatory authorities, risk assessment, strategic planning, budget formulation, program planning, and program assessment with the intent of understanding how such functional areas of administration are currently applied in the homeland security enterprise, to what effect, and under what limitations. They will then pursue a capstone project in which, as individuals or teams, they will evaluate a pressing homeland security policy issue, and conduct analysis required to develop a comprehensive proposal for operational application, including all aspects of its implementation and management. In general, this course is intended to provide students the opportunity to evaluate the reality of homeland security policy development and administration, and how it exists in an open, ill-defined, and still maturing environment. Through their own original analysis, writing and oral presentation, the students will also gain an appreciation for how such open questions of homeland security policy development can be addressed through innovation, collaboration, and persistence.

If you want to learn more about our online or on-campus programs for working adults, click here.


Kevin Cashen
Kevin Cashen

Kevin Cashen
(419) 448-3322

Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice & Security Studies

NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., The Ohio State University
  • M.C.J., The University of Alabama
  • M.A., The Naval Postgraduate School

Kevin Cashen

Assistant Professor Kevin Cashen teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in criminal justice and homeland security and has actively been involved in online learning. Mr. Cashen earned a B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from The Ohio State University, a Master of Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense) through the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Assistant Professor Cashen started his career in criminal justice as a correctional worker with the Lucas County Department of Work Release in 1983 and retired in August 2009 as the Chief of Police with the Norwalk Police Department. Mr. Cashen held various positions within the Norwalk Police Department to include patrol officer, detective, sergeant, captain, executive officer and chief. Assistant Professor Cashen attended the FBI National Academy and is a Certified Law Enforcement Executive through the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Assistant Professor Cashen is a member of various local and state boards and committees.

Kevin Cashen
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Kevin Cashen
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice & Security Studies
Dr. Lacy Ellis
Dr. Lacy Ellis

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Assistant Dean for Criminal Justice

Department Chair, Criminal Justice

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.C.J., Tiffin University
  • M.S., Tiffin University
  • Ph.D., in Public Policy and Administration, Walden University

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.

Dr. Lacy Ellis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Tiffin University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University focusing her studies on women in law enforcement. Dr. Ellis comes to Tiffin University with previous teaching experience in both online, hybrid, and traditional seated classes.

Before pursuing academics, Dr. Ellis received her OPOTA Certification and served in a variety of positions within the criminal justice community. She started her career as an undercover narcotics agent working cases from street level to deep cover operations. She served as an intelligence specialist, training at the DEA Academy in Quantico, Virginia, receiving the Federal Law Enforcement Analytical Training Certification. She also has experience in death investigation working as an investigator for Wayne County Coroner's Office. Dr. Ellis currently holds her commission with a local Sheriff’s Office. She is an ALICE Certified Instructor and conducts trainings for Active Shooter Response.

Dr. Ellis is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society for Public Administration. Her research interests include the psychological effects of law enforcement, gender studies in law enforcement, motherhood and policy, active shooter response, and physical fitness. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband Charles, also in law enforcement, and their three children, Hunter, Olivia and Rayne.

Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Assistant Dean for Criminal Justice
Lacy Ellis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Assistant Dean for Criminal Justice
Pete Piraino
Pete Piraino

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Security Studies & Interim Dean School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences

Department Chair Criminal Justice Graduate Programs and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice & Security Studies

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • Ph.D., Public Policy and Administration, Walden University
  • M.A., Governors State University
  • B.S., Western Illinois University

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.

Pete Piraino joined Tiffin University as a full-time Instructor in January, 2012. Professor Piraino teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in criminal justice and homeland security. Prior to becoming a full-time faculty member, he served at Tiffin as an adjunct instructor for three years.

Professor Piraino recently retired from the United States Secret Service, as Resident Agent in Charge of its Toledo Resident Office, overseeing Secret Service operations for the 21 counties of Northwest Ohio. Throughout his 23-year career with the Secret Service, he served in a variety of protective and investigative assignments that have taken him to over 40 countries on six continents.

Some of his managerial assignments in the Secret Service included positions in the Vice Presidential Protective Division in Washington, D.C. under then Vice President Cheney, as Protective Detail Leader for Mary Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President, and in the Intelligence Division. Professor Piraino also served in the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division under Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Prior to his 12-year assignment in Washington, D.C., Professor Piraino served as Special Agent in the Chicago Field Office of the Secret Service investigating a variety of federal criminal violations including counterfeit currency, financial fraud, and threats against Secret Service protected persons. While assigned to the Chicago Field Office, he served as a supervisor on a year-long multi-agency undercover task force investigating USDA food stamp fraud throughout the Chicago area.

Prior to joining the Secret Service, Professor Piraino was a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) investigating arson for profit and federal firearms violations. Prior to that, he was a police officer in suburban Chicago for eight years.

Professor Piraino received a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Governors State University, University Park, Illinois. Professor Piraino earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. He is the recipient of numerous awards and citations throughout his 33 years as a sworn law enforcement officer.

Pete Piraino, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Security Studies & Interim Dean...
Pete Piraino, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Security Studies & Interim Dean School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences
Craig Stapley
Craig Stapley

Craig Stapley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Homeland Security and Terrorism

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • Ph.D., in Political Science, University of Oklahoma
  • Master of Public Administration, University of Oklahoma
  • B.A., in Japanese, Brigham Young University

Craig Stapley, Ph.D.

Dr. Stapley has been involved in the field of security studies for over 15 years and in International Relations and Comparative Politics for over 25 years. In that time, he has travelled extensively, spending time in Japan, China, the Soviet Union (in 1989), and Israel. He has also worked in government and casualty insurance fields.

Dr. Stapley received his B.A. in Japanese from Brigham Young University and was working in Oklahoma City when Timothy McVeigh staged the Oklahoma City Terrorist Bombing. Based on that experience and others, he returned to school to pursue graduate work. He completed a Master of Public Administration in 2001 and a Doctorate in Political Science with an emphasis on terrorist targeting from the University of Oklahoma in 2004.

Dr. Stapley taught at the University of Oklahoma from 2001 to 2004 as a Graduate Teaching Associate, teaching independent classes of American Government and International Relations in both traditional and online settings. He then taught at Kansas State University from 2005 to 2016 in traditional, online and video teleconference settings. While at Kansas State, he also directed the graduate program in Security Studies. Also while at Kansas State University, Dr. Stapley guest-lectured and conducted classes at the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He is currently an Associate Professor at Tiffin University. Dr. Stapley also has an unusual teaching background including teaching English as a Second Language as well as university classes in dance.

Dr. Stapley has presented scholarship at The Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, and at professions conferences including the International Studies Association, the Peace Science Society, and the Southwest Social Science Association Conference.

His scholarship has appeared in such peer reviewed journals as the Open Journal of Political Science (2014), Journal of Politics (2014), International Interactions (2014), Global Security Studies (2012), and Contemporary Security Policy (2006). He has also contributed to the edited volumes Terrorism’s Unanswered Questions (2008), and The Handbook of Security (2006). Dr. Stapley has also published book reviews in the American Political Science Association Legislative Studies Section (2001).

Dr. Stapley has been a member of the editorial board of the refereed journal Global Security Studies as well as Research Associate at the Consortium for Small Arms Research, and Academic Fellow for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He has won and been nominated for University wide awards for teaching and advising.

Craig Stapley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Homeland Security and Terrorism
Craig Stapley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Homeland Security and Terrorism


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    Class of 2013
    Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Students in game room
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    John Carpenter
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    - Omar Alfehri, Saudi Arabia

    Omar Alfehri
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    – Ivan Santiago, Class of 2015

    Ivan Santiago - Class of 2015
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    – Jessica Paule, Class of 2015

    Jessica Paule - Class of 2015

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