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Public Affairs, School of 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Shape Policy to Strategically Fight Global Terrorism

Today’s terrorist and homeland security threats are growing increasingly complex. To counter them successfully as a law enforcement or intelligence professional, you need interdisciplinary skills and focused expertise in terrorism as a social and psychological phenomenon. American University’s online Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security builds these capabilities and prepares you to make a difference keeping your fellow citizens safe as a homeland security specialist.

This flexible online program focuses on counter-terrorism across areas that include national security, law and policy, cybersecurity, and theories of political violence. Students will learn how to develop strategic, policy-based security solutions at all levels of government. This program is different from the typical online master’s in homeland security or online master’s in counter-terrorism program. It is unique in its focus on law enforcement as both a national and international factor. This focus naturally leads to an interdisciplinary approach that addresses both law and criminology and offers the flexibility to address emerging trends.

The program combines the benefits of convenient online learning and a practice-based curriculum with a brief onsite residency in Washington, D.C. This unique opportunity allows students to see and interact with members of the Washington, D.C., national security policy world up close and builds on concepts and ideas discussed in the online environment. It supplements the strong grounding in the course curriculum with real-world applications of course concepts as presented by faculty who are leading practitioners in the field.

In this MS in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security program, you will learn to:

  • Analyze and discuss national and homeland security problems through the application of acquired knowledge of criminology, social science, legal systems, policy, terrorism studies, and intelligence analysis.
  • Formulate, evaluate, and communicate public policies and programs related to counter terrorism while using acquired analytic frameworks and methodological skills, including statistics, economics, criminology, and law.
  •  Apply empirical and data-driven solutions to analyze domestic threats to US homeland security.
  •  Apply acquired skillsets, expertise, and values to real-world policy problems in a collaborative manner.

Advance Your Career in Homeland Security

The MS in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security will prepare you to pursue positions focused on law enforcement and intelligence at U.S. federal government agencies and intelligence communities. In addition, American University positions students well to compete for government internships, in your local area or in D.C. These include those offered through the U.S. Government Pathways program as well as the post-graduation internships in the Presidential Management Fellows program, a flagship two-year leadership development program in the Federal government.

  • For the past two years, American University has produced more PMF finalists than any other university in the country.
  • AU has a 98 percent success rate of its finalists becoming fellows.
  • Fellows receive 160 hours of intensive management and leadership training at one or more federal agencies, complete a four-to-six-month developmental assignment, and are eligible for full-time positions upon completion.

School of Public Affairs graduates also have a track record of success:

  • Within six months of graduation, 94% of AU School of Public Affairs students are working, in grad school, or both
  • 39% work for the government, 33% for nonprofits, and 27% at for-profits
  • 68% of master’s graduates participated in an internship

While jobs at federal agencies are competitive, and may require years to gain entry, graduates of the School of Public Affairs work at agencies that include:

  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. Navy
  •  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  •  U.S. Department of Defense
  • Interpol
  • FBI
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Defense Advanced Research Project Agency

A Leader in Public Affairs Education

In addition to being ranked the No. 69 “Best National University” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best Northeastern College” for 2017 by Princeton Review, we are also one of the nation’s top institutions for public affairs education. Located in Washington, D.C., and featuring respected leaders in the field as professors, our School of Public Affairs has received rankings that include:

U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools, 2018

  • No. 5 Top Public Management/Public Administration Program
  • No. 19 Top Schools: Public Affairs
  • No. 23 Top Public Finance and Budgeting Program
  • No. 26 Top Public Policy Program

The Princeton Review, 2017

No. 4 Most Politically Active Students

Journal of Public Affairs Education

  • Ranked 1st in D.C., 3rd in the U.S. and 5th worldwide for institutional impact on research in the field of public administration

The American University Student

A passion for public service, an emphasis on active leadership and a global outlook are the hallmarks of the American University learning experience. We create graduates who stand out from their peers as active, socially aware and compassionate leaders who work toward creating meaningful change in our world.