Expand AU Menu

Department of Justice, Law & Criminology

MS in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy

M.S. in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy

M.S. in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy

The Master of Science degree in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy focuses on issues of national security (e.g., national and international nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, border security, global trade and environmental issues, economic issues) from the perspectives of criminology and criminal justice. This approach allows students to examine both traditional and non-traditional security issues that strike the balance between safeguarding the population, retaining the constructive flow of people and goods across borders and supporting human rights. The degree prepares students for a variety of practitioner and research positions in the area of prevention and control of terrorism.

Chair's Message

Welcome to the School of Public Affair’s new graduate program, the Master of Science in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy. Admitting its first students in fall 2014, this interdisciplinary program trains students to tackle the persistent problems of terrorism and sub-state threats that endanger the security of the United States. As the name of the degree suggests, our program encourages students to think beyond tactical approaches to develop strategic, policy-based solutions that federal, state and local governments can use to combat terrorism and other current and future security threats.

The M.S. in Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy is based in the Justice, Law and Criminology Department, which has a long tradition of academic excellence. Students are exposed to rigorous intellectual challenges and provided the skills and knowledge needed to successfully compete for jobs in law enforcement, intelligence and homeland security. Our renowned faculty members are international experts in terrorism and national security research, and they regularly work with policymakers and practitioners to craft solutions to homeland security problems. Situated just steps from U.S. Department of Homeland Security offices, the School of Public Affairs at American University is the ideal location to study homeland security policy.

I hope you enjoy browsing the website and learning more about the degree program. If I or my colleagues can answer any questions, please contact us at spagrad@american.edu. We look forward to including you in our program.

Jon GouldJon Gould
Chair, Department of Justice, Law & Criminology
School of Public Affairs

Apply to SPA Graduate Programs

Click below to start or continue your School of Public Affairs application.

APPLY NOW

Take the next step

Attend an information session in Washington, D.C.

Request more information »

News


Foundation-Level Requirements

  • Required research methods courses (6 credit hours):
    • JLC 680 Introduction to Justice Research I
    • JLC 681 Introduction to Justice Research II
  • Two foundation-level courses chosen from the following (6 credit hours):
  • GOVT 529 Principles of Homeland Security
  • SPA 5xx Intelligence Analysis
  • JLC 596 National Security Law and Policy
  • JLC 596 Seminar in National Security Policy
  • JLC 601 Law and Social Sciences
  • JLC 607 Concept of Justice
  • JLC 609 Criminological Theory
  • JLC 610 Current Controversial Issues in Justice and Public Policy
  • JLC 643 Advanced Seminar in Policing
  • JLC 672 Terrorism, Crime and Public Policy
  • Two interdisciplinary foundation-level courses chosen from the following (6 credit hours):
    • GOVT 529 Principles of National Security
    • GOVT 635 Social Movements and Contentious Politics
    • GOVT 696 Political Violence
    • PUAD 603 Policy Process
    • PUAD 604 Public Policy Evaluation
  • Elective Requirements Five elective courses selected from the following list, or from other approved courses in the School of Public Affairs (15 credit hours):
    • GOVT 526 U.S. Intelligence Community
    • GOVT 529 Principles of National Security
    • SPA 5xx Cyber Threats/Security
    • SPA 5xx Crime/Conflict Nexus
    • JLC 585 Evolution of the Global Jihad
    • JLC 585 Security Challenges in South Asia
    • JLC 596 Domestic Terrorism and Political Violence
    • JLC 596 Investigating Domestic and International Terrorism
    • JLC 596 Prosecuting Domestic and International Terrorism
    • JLC 607 Concept of Justice
    • JLC 608 Constitution and Criminal Procedure
    • JLC 691 Internship in a Justice Setting (Maximum: 3 credit hours)
    • PUAD 603 Policy Process
    • PUAD 604 Public Policy Evaluation
    • REL 675 Religion and Violence
    • SIS 609 Conflict Analysis and Resolution
    • SIS 610 Theory of Conflict, Violence and War
    • SIS 619 International Security
    • SIS 619 Transnational Crime and Terrorism
    • SIS 619 Cybercrime, Espionage and Warfare
    • SIS 619 Corruption, Development & Democracy
    • SIS 619 Political Risk Analysis
    • SIS 619 Insurgency and Counterinsurgency
    • SIS 653 US Foreign Policy: Countering Terrorism
    • SIS 653 US Foreign Policy: U.S. National Security Strategy
    • SIS 653 US Foreign Policy: U.S. Policy Toward Weak States
    • SIS 653 US Foreign Policy: National Security and Proliferation
    • SIS 653 US Foreign Policy: Transnational Security Challenges
    • SIS 653 US Foreign Policy: Bioterror in the 21st Century
    • SIS 653 US Foreign Policy: Homeland Security

Faculty in the media

Jon Gould, professor of justice, law, and criminology, contributed an article to The Hill on August 13 arguing that the prevailing wisdom that judges are "neutral umpires" is incorrect and that non-legal factors motivate their work.

Brian Forst, professor of justice, law, and criminology, spoke with Mother Jones on August 4 about the increasing threat of homegrown terrorism as young Westerners join ranks with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusrah.

Jessica Waters, assistant dean of the School of Public Affairs, appeared on Hearst TV and WUSA9 on June 30 to discuss the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision expected today. Hearst owns more than 20 affiliates around the country.

Edward Maguire, professor of justice, law, and criminology, was interviewed by the international newspaper, Trinidad Express, on June 19 regarding his expertise and advise on protecting children from the dangers of gang violence.

Joe Young, assistant professor of justice, law, and criminology, was quoted in an NBC News online article on June 9 regarding the upcoming Blackwater trial that dates back to a 2007 firefight in Baghdad.

Jon Gould, professor of justice, law, and criminology, spoke with South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Cassie Bartlett on April 4 about his research on wrongful convictions. He presented his findings, as well, for students at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Joe Young, assistant professor of justice, law and criminology, spoke with the Washington Post’s Express on February 10 about graduate programs focused on homeland security.

Recent Publications

Joe Young: "Repression, Dissent, and the Onset of Civil War," Political Research Quarterly 66(3): 516-532.

Steven Tankel: "Domestic Barriers to Dismantling the Militant Infrastructure in Pakistan," USIP Peaceworks 89 (2013).
"Jihadist Violence: The Indian Threat," Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2014).

Brian Forst: "Criminologists on Terrorism and Homeland Security," book of original essays co-edited with Jack R. Greene and James P. Lynch (2011).