FBI teams with university for WMD studies degree

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Indiana University of Pennsylvania are collaborating to create a new graduate degree, the Master of Science in Strategic Studies in Weapons of Mass Destruction.

IUP criminologist Dennis Geiver has had help from government threat analysts and federal law enforcement in creating the 30 credit, multi-year course focus on scenarios that include radiological dirty bombs, power grid disruptions and biological attacks on food and water supplies, according to PittsburghLive.com.

"It's not going to be open enrollment (or) traditional students," Giever said, PittsburghLive.com reports. "You worry about whether you might be teaching the wrong person this stuff."

In the beginning, the FBI will choose which students can attend the program, but Giever hopes to eventually open it up to other law enforcement agencies. The agencies will contract with the school, paying $300,000 every year for groups of 15 to 20 full-time students.

"The program has been kind of a dream a number of folks at Sandia (National Laboratories) and I have had for a number of years," Giever said, according to PittsburghLive.com. Sandia Labs has conducted national security research for 60 years.

The FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate approached IUP about creating a graduate program in 2008.

"We went to several different universities, but none had a program focusing on protecting national assets from WMD attacks,” Doug Purdue, the chief of the FBI's Countermeasures and Preparedness section of the WMD directorate, said, PittsburghLive.com reports.