When Georgetown University launches its Master of Science in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases this fall, it will be the second such degree-granting program in the Washington, DC, area to capitalize on the region's multiple research institutions, such as the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick and the National Institutes of Health.

Georgetown joins George Mason University, 40 miles south of Washington, DC, in Manassas, Va., which runs the Biodefense Degree Program. Led by Ken Alibek, executive director of George Mason's National Center for Biodefense, the program started last year with 90 master's and PhD students and has already grown to more than 200.

Georgetown's program, which consists of 30 credit hours over two semesters, will include courses on biosurveillance, the microbiology of infectious agents, and chemical threat agents. The program will partner with the Homeland Security Institute, a division...

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