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Advising & Curriculum Overview


Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. To learn more about the program, prospective students should contact the program director, Dr. Marcus Allen Boyd, via email: education-start@umd.edu

Graduate Programs in Security and Terrorism Studies offers a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) and a Graduate Certificate (GC). The programs are appropriate for individuals interested in (and/or currently) working in fields related to intelligence analysis, homeland security analysis, or analysis of other relevant topic areas; and individuals interested in (and/or currently) conducting scholarly research on terrorism and security.

MPS-Security & Terrorism Studies

  • A 36-credit, 12-course curriculum that provides students with advanced education on the causes, dynamics, and impacts of terrorism and wider issues related to human security in a complex world.
  • Uses a "whole of social sciences" approach to prepare students to examine the complex social, political, economic, and psychological underpinnings of terrorist and security threats and is designed to meet the following objectives:
    • Provide a rigorous theoretical background for security, defense, and intelligence professionals.
    • Introduce and further develop students’ methodological skills as analysts and researchers in security, defense, and intelligence.
    • Foster cross-cutting student research in security, defense, and intelligence.
    • Inculcate comprehensive ethical standards in security, defense, and intelligence analysis.
    • Introduce students to a variety of data collection, analysis, and interpretation strategies.

GC-Terrorism Analysis

  • A 12-credit, 4-course curriculum that provides participants with advanced education on the causes, dynamics and impacts of international and domestic terrorism. Participants also develop the methodological skills necessary to pursue advanced research on and analysis of terrorism.
  • Plan of study is designed to meet the following learning objectives.
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of social science terrorism research, including psychological, social, political, and economic aspects of terrorism from both practitioner and academic research perspectives.
    2. Develop a research design to test hypotheses in a given analytical framework.
    3. Identify and understand key challenges in the analysis of terrorism threats.
  • Students who successfully complete requirements for the graduate certificate may apply these credits towards the Master of Professional Studies if the student applies and is admitted.

The program features 100% online instruction with engaging and interactive learning. Instruction provided by University of Maryland faculty and professionals in the field. Courses are scheduled for weekday evenings (e.g., after 5:30 p.m.).

  • Using advanced audio and video technology, UMD’s online learning environment delivers dynamic and interactive content.
  • Featuring convenience and flexibility, online instruction permits asynchronous or synchronous participation.
  • Students attend in real time via the use of webcams and headsets with microphones. Through synchronous participation, students see slides, see and hear instructors speaking, and also ask questions.
  • Lectures are video archived. Students who are unable to attend in real time can review the session through asynchronous participation.

MPS-Security & Terrorism Studies

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various roles and responsibilities of security and intelligence agencies at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels.
  • Develop a research design to test hypotheses in a given analytical framework.
  • Recognize relevant ethical argumentation for and against security and intelligence gathering and analysis activities.
  • Identify and understand key challenges in the analysis of security and terrorism threats.

GC-Terrorism Analysis

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Review academic literature from across the social sciences as they relate to terrorism analysis. (Learning Objective #1)
  • Use case studies to examine weaknesses and identify potential policies and procedures that could strengthen relationships. (Learning Objective #1)
  • Explain how the social science theories and methods work with each other to identify trends in terrorism. (Learning Objective #1)
  • Design, implement, and deploy an effective research design appropriate to a given research question within terrorism analysis. (Learning Objective #2)
  • Ascertain the present and future challenges facing human and national security. (Learning Objective #3)
  • Document and effectively communicate potential future outcomes of pressing national security issues. (Learning Objective #3)
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