Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security: Frequently Asked Questions

What is counter-terrorism?
Counter-terrorism includes the practices, tactics, techniques and strategies that government, military, law enforcement, business and intelligence agencies use to combat or prevent terrorism.

What can you do with a homeland security degree?
Sample job titles graduates may pursue include law enforcement officers, analyst and support personnel positions as well as intelligence officer, analyst and support personnel roles. Target employers often include U.S. federal government agencies and intelligence communities, though federal agency jobs are highly competitive and sometimes take years to gain entry.

What are your admissions requirements for the online Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security?
You will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a satisfactory grade point average.

Can I be admitted to the program if I do not have a Bachelor’s degree in Counter-Terrorism or Homeland Security?
Yes, it is not a requirement to have an undergraduate degree in homeland security or counter-terrorism.

How long does it take to complete the Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security?
The program can be completed in as little as 24 months.

Does the internship have to be taken in D.C.?
No. The internship can be taken in your local area.

Do you require submission of GRE or other test scores?
Yes, GRE test score is required when applying.

What are the admission requirements for international students?
A TOEFL score of 600 (or 100 on the Internet-based test), a minimum score of 68 on the Pearson Test of English, or a minimum IELTS score of seven (7) is required. Additionally, applicants with international transcripts must have them evaluated course-by-course. For a list of acceptable evaluators, go to

What documents are required when applying?
The required application documents include:

  • A completed graduate application
  • A $55 application Fee
  • Phone Interview with Admissions Adviser
  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation, which may be from former professors as well as current or former employers
  • Transcripts from previous undergraduate and relevant graduate coursework (If a degree was earned outside the U.S., a course-by-course evaluated transcript is required.)

When is the deadline for application?
Our application deadline varies based on the term you are applying for. Please contact our online admissions advisers for a specific timeline your application file needs to be fully submitted.

Is financial aid available?
Graduate students enrolled at least part time in a Master's program may be eligible for federal loans. To apply, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Will I be able to take advantage of the same resources as on-campus students do?
Yes, online students are encouraged to obtain a Student ID and take advantage of all the same resources as our on-campus students.

If you have additional questions or would like 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.