American University’s Master’s curriculum features a mix of homeland security courses and counter-terrorism courses that build interdisciplinary knowledge in counter-terrorism and its details, including national security law and policy, cybersecurity, and the theories of political violence.
The two-year, 36-credit program consists of 12 courses and an internship (option in local area or in D.C.), including:
Core Course Toolkit – 5 Courses
JLC 621 Justice in the Face of Terror
This course provides an introduction to the key concepts that you will cover in this program including a high level discussion of defining and understanding terrorism, types of national, international, and transnational threats, and frameworks for legal, intelligence, and community based responses to these threats.
JLC 670 Causes of Terrorism and Political Violence
An introduction to the study of terrorism and political violence through multiple lenses, including psychology and rational choice theories. Examine why people join violent organizations to further political aims and how tactics are influenced by choices and motivation.
JLC 674 Domestic Terrorism and Political Violence
Investigate the causes and consequences of domestic terrorism and political violence using insights from psychology, political science, economics, history, and other disciplines.
JLC 684 Intelligence Analysis
First class of two focused on aspects of intelligence analysis. This course will focus on the role of intelligence in an operational and tactical manner in both the law enforcement and intelligence communities. Students will learn and be able to practice hands on skills with access to recognized analytic software.
JLC 689 Counter Terrorism Law & Policy
Counterterrorism Law and Policy will provide an overview, discussion and assessment of the legal and policy construct used by the United States to combat terrorism. The course will begin with a discussion of the legal and policy principles that inform decisions made by the executive and legislative branches of the United States government to respond to terrorists and terrorism. Students will then apply those laws and policies to various debates on use of force, detention, and treatment of detainees. Topics are subject to change to reflect current topics.
Research Methods - 2 Courses
JLC 687 Introduction to Counter Terrorism Research I
The logic of scientific inquiry and the nature and process of social science research as applied to counterterrorism and homeland security. Theory, concepts, practices, and the demonstration of their reliability and validity. Attention is also given to methods of sampling design and techniques of data collection.
JLC 688 Introduction to Counter Terrorism Research II
Methods of data analysis applicable to research in the counterterrorism and homeland security fields. The course examines the link between research design and empirical analysis, the role of probability in hypothesis testing, and the concept and techniques of descriptive and inferential statistics.
Residency - 1 Course
JLC 673 Seminar on National Security Policy
Gain a foundation for understanding how policies related to contemporary security issues are made and executed, with a primary focus on terrorism and insurgency. Anyone taking his course within the academic year will be invited to attend an annual residency in D.C. hosted by American.
Selected Topics - 4 Courses
JLC 678 Investigating Terrorism
An overview, discussion, and assessment of the legal, sociological, and policy constructs used by federal U.S. law enforcement to detect and investigate terrorism through a study of parameters of identifying, assessing, and surveilling threats.
JLC 682 Crime and Conflict Nexus
This course looks at the relationship between criminals and terrorists by examining the nexus of terrorists and criminal networks, their commonalities, affinities, and disparities, along with implications for policy responses.
JLC 683 Cyber Threats and Security
This course provides students with the tools necessary to understand the nature of the cyber threat to government and private sectors and to understand and evaluate proposed cybersecurity policies for addressing the threat.
JLC 685 Foreign Fighters
This course provides an in-depth look at foreign fighters and policy responses to them. It focuses on jihadi militants but examines transnational volunteers for other religious, ethnic, and ideological causes as well. The course examines competing perspectives on radicalization, the internet, and the likelihood of blowback attacks by returnees.
Non-Credit Internship requirement, completed in your local area.
The internship helps you to further connect coursework to real-life opportunities and get back valuable feedback to your performance. It helps to build your resume and can increase the GS status you receive if you work for the government. The internship can be completed in your local area if you wish. Internship sites include research centers, police departments, cybersecurity, and Federal Government agencies such as DHS, the CIA, and FBI. To learn more about American University’s online Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security, call 855.725.7614 to speak with an admissions adviser or request more information.