A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Through curricular and experiential learning, START educates, mentors and trains the next generation of national security scholars and practitioners.

Graduate Certificate (online)

Graduate Certificate (online)

START offers a fully online Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis through the University of Maryland's Graduate School.

Program Description

Upcoming Virtual Information Sessions
Contact the Education Team at education@start.umd.edu to participate!​

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 6:00-6:30PM EST

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 6:00-6:30PM EST
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 6:00-6:30PM EST
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 6:00-6:30PM EST
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 6:00-6:30PM EST
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 6:00-6:30PM EST

START's Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis 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. Our certificate program is appropriate for both academicians and practitioners, is flexible in structure, and will provide students with a thorough understanding of terrorism studies and terrorism analysis. Students can complete the program in as little as one academic year. For a more detailed virtual information packet, please fill out the request form.


The admissions process for the Graduate Certificate program in Terrorism Analysis is designed to determine whether the program is a good fit for your background, education, and professional development goals. 

Domestic students must have: 

  • Received at least a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university with at least a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale);
  • Experience, education, and/or substantial interest in terrorism and counterterrorism studies and research; and
  • GRE scores or any other standardized scores are not required for this program.

International students must have: 

  • Received at least a baccalaureate degree at a foreign university or college equivalent to that of a U.S. institution;
  • A TOEFL score of 100 or higher unless otherwise exempt*; and,
  • GRE scores are not required for this program.

*All International students must show evidence of acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Pearson's (PTE), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). See information on the University of Maryland Graduate School website for specific admissions requirements, including minimum scores. If admitted with an English language requirement provision, the graduate student must complete an English course available only at the University of Maryland, College Park. Please visit the University of Maryland Graduate School website for more information regarding these coursesThe exempt countries and minimum scores are found here.

Note for International Graduate Students: University of Maryland is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant international graduate student community. We encourage applications from international students, however as a fully online program we are not able to sponsor any educational visa for travel to the University of Maryland. 

Application Information

Download the Virtual Information Packet

Deadlines (Both Domestic and International Students)

  • Spring 2018: Friday, January 12, 2018
  • Fall 2018: Thursday, July 26, 2018

University of Maryland's Graduate Application Process 

The application is available through University of Maryland, Graduate School's ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system. Before completing the application, applicants must check the Admissions Requirements site for specific instructions for this program.

As required by the Graduate School, all application materials are to be submitted electronically:

  • Graduate application
  • Unofficial Transcripts (for all college-level coursework outside the University of Maryland, College Park) *Official transcripts will be requested if admitted
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Two letters of recommendation (professional and/or academic)
  • Non-refundable application fee ($75)

Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in each graduate degree program. The recommendations of the committees are submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final admission decision.


For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact Joyce Rasing (jrasing@umd.edu) with any questions. 

Required Coursework 

Each course listed below is 15 weeks in a standard Fall or Spring semester. 

Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors

Offered during Fall semesters: August-December
Link to Testudo: BSST630

This course will provide an introduction to the study of terrorism, and will focus on explaining the formation of terrorist groups and the motivations behind terrorist behavior. To do so, it will draw upon theories from social psychology, sociology, political science, criminology, and history. The course will draw heavily from historical examples as well as current examples of international and domestic terrorist groups around the world.

Societal Impacts of and Responses to Terrorism

Offered during Spring semesters: January-May
Link to Testudo: BSST631

This course will address the manners in which a variety of different actors respond to both terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorism. The course will examine local responses to terrorist incidents (9/11 and other events) through emergency response organizations, community organizations, and volunteerism. The course will also look at local impacts of terrorism including effects on individual and group attitudes and behaviors. The course will then move to policy decisions made in response to both terrorist attacks and the threat of terrorism, addressing such issues as homeland security planning, border security, and surveillance. Finally, the course will address individual and community recovery from terrorist attacks, looking at such issues as psychological impacts of trauma, historical memory, and effects of disaster on civil society. The goal of the course will be to develop a multifaceted perspective on individual and community resilience in the face of terrorist threats.

Development of Counterterrorism Policy and Programs

Offered during the Fall semesters: August-December
Link to Testudo: BSST632

This class will explore counterterrorism (CT) policies and policy making since 2001 as well as the programs developed by Departments and Agencies to implement these policies. This course draws from the current policy making process in the Federal government focusing on the National Security Council at the White House. The class will provide insight into Federal Departments and Agencies in the CT community focusing on how they interact in the policy making process, their major CT equities, and how these policies have been translated into real-world programs and applications. The course will challenge the students to consider problems and solutions for homeland and national security not only today, but ten to twenty years from now as well. This course will emphasize the need for students to be creative and forward looking in their analysis and not accept the status quo as the correct answer.

Research Methods in Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Offered during Spring semesters: January-May
Link to Testudo: BSST633

This course involves the practical aspect of the role quantitative research methods and statistics play in understanding terrorism by the scientific and intelligence communities. The course should provide students with 1) a basic understanding of the methods of quantitative research available to social scientists studying terrorism, 2) the connection between information and data, and 3) how to make sense out of a body of data. It will cover a variety of design issues, methodological issues and analytic techniques. The techniques provide a springboard for the discussion of important methodological issues: the relationship between theory and data, the logic of inference, causality, data collection, model specification, standardized versus unstandardized data and many others.

Prerequisite(s): Motivations and Intents of Terrorists and Terrorist Groups; OR Societal Impacts of, and Responses to Terrorism; OR Development of Counterterrorism Policy and Programs

In order to complete the program, students must complete all four of the courses above.

All the courses are taught online in a synchronous format. This means students will be required to attend the classes at the times scheduled. Classes are scheduled once a week and start after 5 p.m. EST.


Initial application fee: $75 USD

Tuition per course: $2,100 USD

Please note: Students are responsible for purchasing their own books, software, and other supplies as required by each instructor. Students may be required to pay additional UMD student fees (which range from around $60 USD-$80 USD per semester).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I am accepted to the program, would I be considered a full-time student?

A: No. All students in the Graduate Certificate program are considered part-time students (if registered for six credit hours a semester) or less-than-part-time students (if registered for three credit hours a semester).

Q: Do I have to complete the program in one year? 

A: No. It is up to you to determine your coursework plan that best fits with your goals and other commitments. Students will work with the program coordinator before the start of each semester. Students will have up to 5 years from the time of admittance to complete the program. The coordinator will work with you to accommodate any registration issues that may arise during the time you are enrolled in the program. 

Q: I live in Maryland. Will I be charged in-state tuition even though the program is online?

A: No. In-state residency will not affect the cost of tuition for this program. All students will pay $2,100 USD per course.

Q: Is financial aid available for this program? 

A: No merit aid is available for Graduate Certificate students. However, students can use employer provided assistance, many Veteran's Benefits programs, and alternative private student loans. Students seeking the Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis are not eligible for federal financial aid. 

Q: Does the admissions committee have a preference for the letters of recommendation?

A: We prefer academic and/or professional letters. Your recommenders should be able to discuss your ability to succeed in graduate level coursework. 

Q: Will I ever need to come to the University of Maryland Campus?

A: No. The program is entirely online. Instructors often teach from locations all over the country.

Q: Will I be required to buy books for the courses?

A: Yes. The instructors often require the students to buy at least one book. The book list for each course may change from one semester to the next. Students will be informed of the required textbooks prior to the start of the course. Instructors may make other readings available online.

Q: What benefits will I have as a University of Maryland student? 

A: As an online graduate student you have access to the library and research portal, the office of career services and any event or resource on campus for students.

Please direct questions to Joyce Rasing, jrasing@umd.edu.

Interested in more information?

Fill out this brief form to receive a virtual information packet about START's Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis.