Archives For Master of Science

2015-USNews-Web-Hero(NoSwoosh)-1940x746For the fourth straight year, Sam Houston State University has earned national recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs.

2014 was the first year that SHSU was invited to participate in the ranking process for Best Graduate Online Criminal Justice degree programs, and the university came in at #5 in the nation.  In the Student Services and Technology area of the ranking dimensions for this program, SHSU is second nationwide. The Student Engagement and Faculty Credentials and Training dimensions of the rankings also contributed to the program’s overall top-shelf ranking. And the new student retention rate for this program is 85 percent for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Another standout ranking for SHSU was in the Graduate Online Information Technology Program listing. Here the university notched a rank of #7, again with exceptional scores in Student Services and Technology, Student Engagement, and Faculty Credentials and Training. This program has earned similar high rankings in past years in the U.S. News & World Report listings. SHSU’s overall rank of #7 places the school in the top sixth, or top 16 percent, of all schools included in the ranking report for Graduate Online Information Technology Programs nationwide.

In the rankings of Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs, SHSU fell within the top 25 percent of all universities included in the survey. Similarly, in the Best Online MBA Programs rankings, the university’s rank is comfortably in the top third (31 percent) of all schools surveyed.

Bill Angrove, associate vice president for distance learning, says: “The #5 ranking of the Best Graduate Online Criminal Justice degree programs is especially rewarding to me as this is the first program to be put online after my arrival at SHSU Online in 2009. In helping to develop this program, I was honored to work closely with the former Dean of the College of Criminal Justice, Dr. Vincent Webb, and I am sure he is as thrilled as I am to receive this recognition. It’s also an honor to be recognized by U.S. News and World Report with high rankings for so many additional online degree programs.”

SHSU Online’s service plays a key role in the university’s placement regarding U.S. News & World Report’s “Student Services and Technology” indicator by providing student support and highly accessible technologies and services and strong support to its students.

U.S. News & World Report’s “Student Engagement” indicator measures the degree to which programs promote quality participation in courses, allow students opportunities to both readily interact with their instructors and fellow classmates similarly to a campus-based setting, and allow students to complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.

SHSU offers more than 35 fully online degree programs, including two doctoral programs, as well as 24 online certificate programs. For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit

A complete listing of the U.S. News and World Report online rankings can be found at

shutterstock_71599324Sam Houston State University’s acclaimed College of Criminal Justice recently expanded their online programs to include a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies degree and two online certificates, catering to the growing demand for professionals in the field.

The program utilizes a broad educational objective, including national security, cyber security, and emergency management, to develop graduates who can be leaders in the field in theoretical and experiential dimensions of security management.

Following the frenzied events of September 11, 2001, the scope of homeland security was redefined to include both the public and private sector to regulate responses to natural disasters, airborne illnesses, and terrorist attacks. The bridge between the sectors and the united front created a need for professionals prepared to face a multitude of threats.

The degree consists of 36 credit hours, and courses in the Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies include:

  • Intelligence and Counterintelligence in National Security
  • Global Terrorism
  • Security and the Future
  • Digital Forensics Investigation
  • And more

For working professionals seeking to explore online courses for the first time or to add a specialization to their skill set, the College also offers two graduate certificates: Emergency Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection.

Both certificates consist of 18 credit hours, allowing students to complete the program in one calendar year by enrolling in two courses per semester, and places graduates halfway to receiving their MS in Homeland Security Studies.

For more information about the online Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies, or the graduate certificates in Emergency Management and Critical Infrastructure Protection, visit

Sam Houston State University received recognition as having another banner year in quality online education, collectively receiving five national awards throughout 2013 for online educational programs.


In January, SHSU received continued praise in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs from nearly 700 schools across the country.  SHSU’s Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security earned a national ranking of No. 2 among “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs,” and received acknowledgment in three additional categories:

In one of the indicators used in determining schools’ overall rankings, “Student Services and Technology,” SHSU performed especially well. In the case of all the categories reported above, SHSU ranked as high as No. 6, and no lower than No. 23, among all schools.


In July, a new, non-profit site, Affordable Colleges Online, ranked SHSU fourth in the nation in the sites “54 Most Affordable Online Colleges” report.

According to their site, Affordable Colleges Online set out to rank the top 54 colleges who provided students the most affordable online programs combined with successful placement at high-paying jobs upon graduation.

To determine their rankings, Affordable Colleges Online analyzed current and comprehensive national data sets from the most reputable sources. These sources include National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and The Carnegie Foundation.


To finish the year,, a consumer group that publishes online college rankings and online university ratings based on affordability and credibility, ranked SHSU’s Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security #20 among all competing options nationwide.

The site, founded in 1989, established their “Best Buy” ranking on a national survey of 77 regionally accredited universities that offer 115 different online master’s degrees in computer science and IT. The survey covered a wide range of computer science majors, including information systems, database mining, information assurance and technical communication. The rankings highlight the 45 best affordable online degrees in this field.

Congratulations to SHSU faculty and the staff at SHSU Online for their hard work and commitment to quality online education.

The Department of History at Sam Houston State University offers an online Master of Arts in History degree that connects students’ passion for historical events with the convenience of modern-day technology.

SHSU Online Master of Arts in History

Given the flexibility of pursuing an online degree, the faculty of the Department of History established an online master’s degree with the academic credibility of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the ability to follow a range of interests as it relates to the professional ambitions of an individual student’s interests.

“All of our instructors for the online program are resident faculty at Sam Houston State University and hold a Ph.D. in their respective fields, which we feel is important,” says Dr. Jeffrey Littlejohn, associate professor of history. “We also pride ourselves on the flexibility of our program with thesis-track and non-thesis track degrees; no matter what a student wants, we can fit a program to their needs.”

The online graduate degree is presented to students in three different plans, depending on individual student preference.

  • Plan 1 Designed for students wishing to conduct a thesis.
  • Plan 2  Designed for students preferring all coursework to be in History.
  • Plan 3  Designed for students seeking preparation in history as the major field and in a logically-related minor field.

The department is currently working with approximately 100 online students pursuing their graduate degree in History, and Dr. Littlejohn recently collaborated with students to publish a book entitled Historic Walker County: The Story of Huntsville & Walker County, a comprehensive recount of the development of Walker County dating back to the through the 20th Century.

Dr. Littlejohn says the potential for students enrolled in the online master’s program is limited only by their professional ambitions.

“Our program is one where you can study and succeed in many different professional endeavors, and students benefit greatly from the flexibility of the program as it relates to their area of interest.”

Visit to find out more about the Master of Arts in History offered through SHSU Online, and see what you can do to get started today!

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice program at SHSU fosters the growth and professional development of students as they develop advanced knowledge in criminal justice and criminology.

The College of Criminal Justice, one of the largest and most prestigious criminal justice programs in the nation, offers a wealth of information from professors who helped shape criminal justice research.

SHSU Online Program Spotlight: Online MS in Criminal Justice

“Now more than ever, the field of criminal justice recognizes the need for a well-educated workforce, and that is exactly the type of high quality education we will provide through our graduate programs here at Sam Houston State University.”

– Dr. Gaylene Armstrong

“We have a top-ranked program nationally and internationally, as the result of an engaged faculty who have a worldwide reputation for excellence in the field of criminal justice,” says Dr. Gaylene Armstrong, Associate Professor and Director of CJ Graduate Programs for the College of Criminal Justice. “We are setting a higher standard for educating the criminal justice workforce in the United States by offering challenging and cutting edge coursework as the field of criminal justice continues to evolve.”

The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree consists of 36 credit hours of coursework that prepares students to flourish in a variety of criminal justice administration positions, including organizational management and social policy.

Through the quality programming offered by the college and strong faculty relationships with local, state, and national criminal justice agencies, graduates have secured well-respected positions throughout the country.  SHSU graduates from the College of Criminal Justice have gone on to become judges, chief probation officers, police administrators, victim advocates, federal law enforcement agents, and more.

The college continues to build relationships with law enforcement agencies across the world— providing first-class research and resources to assist in advancing knowledge in the field.

“This is an exciting time for criminal justice students because criminal justice agency officials, legislators, and researchers all recognize the importance of translating evidence-based research into practice to affect positive change in our society,” emphasized Dr. Armstrong. “Now more than ever, the field of criminal justice recognizes the need for a well-educated workforce, and that is exactly the type of high quality education we will provide through our graduate programs here at Sam Houston State University.”

Visit to find out more about the Master of Science in Criminal Justice offered through SHSU Online, and see what you can do to get started today!