Sandia LabNews

Sandia to host on-site master¹s program in national security

Sandia to host first on-site master’s program in national security

Developing new leaders is a goal of a unique advanced-education program that is placing graduate-level courses at the Sandia/California site for the first time.

Beginning Jan. 6, 15 or more students are expected to begin taking courses on-site in the National Security and Public Safety Program offered by the University of New Haven, which has campuses in New England and Sacramento.

"We’re offering unique courses to produce the next generation of leaders in the intelligence community," said Tom Johnson, dean of the School of Public Safety & Professional Studies.

The private university’s graduate school focuses on offering career-oriented credentials and continuing education for mid-career professionals to respond to changes in the work environment.

The Sandia-based program is "so timely with what is going on in the world," says Sheryl Stewart (8522), who has worked for the last year to bring the program here. "Only 35 universities offer any national security-type programs."

The course of study, with evening, weekend, and some online classes, leads to three possible diplomas: a Masters of Science degree in National Security and Public Policy, a Masters of Science degree with a concentration in Information Protection and Security, or a professional certificate in National Security.

In the first trimester, from Jan. 6 through April 5, three core and three elective courses will be offered on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evening. (A fourth course on military tribunals will be offered in March, and an online elective is also slated for the first trimester.)

Students apply to the University of New Haven to be admitted to the graduate school. Requirements include a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a "B" average. To attend at the Sandia site, students must also be US citizens. The program is open to the public as well as laboratory employees. A clearance is not required; classes will be held in training rooms located in the Redwood Center. Sheryl encourages interested Sandians to complete their applications by Dec. 1 to ensure processing time before classes start in January.

Applicants and potential students say they see the program as both intrinsically interesting and a potential enhancement to their future work activities. Dee Dee Dicker (8516) received her bachelor’s almost two years ago in management information systems (MIS). Among the first applicants to the Sandia-based program, she sees a partial tie-in to her work in handling increased security concerns regarding hazardous and radiological waste. She also was excited to potentially expand her career opportunities.

Todd Howe (8945), who also received a bachelor’s degree in MIS, sees a tie between his interest in a concentration in information protection and his current assignment in computer support, as well as a potential preparation for moving within Sandia. "I’d rather be part of the big picture," he says. "I’m not so concerned with having a degree at the end as to learning something that I can apply."

Sandians pursuing a work-related degree can apply for the special degree program benefit through Education & Training (contact Ta’Rhonda Mayberry at or 294-3142). By taking a full-time load of nine semester hours and working 20 hours a week, successful applicants receive their full salary and benefits and have tuition covered. Or, Sandians who take one or two classes can seek tuition assistance, for which they are reimbursed for up to $6,000 annually. (The University of New Haven program runs $475 per credit hour, and requires 36 credit hours to complete the master’s degree.)

In addition to expanding educational experiences, the conveniently located courses were approved by Sandia management to help staff members gain a broader perspective of the national security context in which we carry out our mission, Sheryl says.

Classes will be taught by a diverse team of professors, instructors, and experienced professionals addressing national security from many perspectives. Sandians who are among the faculty for the upcoming program include researchers Fred Cohen, John Howard, and Gary Blair of Information Security Dept. 8910.

Applications are available online at Information is available from Sheryl Stewart, (800) 472-6342, extension 4-2428,; or University of New Haven Dean Tom Johnson, Ph.D., (916) 962-3136 or (203) 932-7260,; or Colleen

Johnson, University of New Haven’s Director of California Enrollment

Management, (800) 664-9368 Pin 00,