Homeland Security 101

Universities offer courses on the changing nature of global security

Undergrads at Ohio State University have been so gung ho about an international-studies course called Terror and Terrorism that the school added another frighteningly current class last spring: the Development and Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction. For their term papers, students must assess the potential damage of an atomic, biological or chemical attack--and offer solutions. "I had students e-mailing airport and nuclear-power-plant officials," says Professor Jeff Lewis. "I had to restrain their enthusiasm."

Three years after the al-Qaeda attacks, academia is embracing the post-9/11 world. Some 200 colleges and universities offer homeland-security studies much as, decades ago, national-security programs sprang...