A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus 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.

Global Terrorism Studies Minor Program

Global Terrorism Studies Minor Program

Banner image

Information Sessions (Online):

  • TBD

This is an opportunity to learn more about the program and to ask questions. Please click an individual date above to register for an information session.

Apply for the Fall 2021 semester! All applicants must have 30 academic credits. The minor program is only open to University of Maryland undergraduates. Applications are due by 11:59pm on Friday, February 26, 2021Apply here.

START accepts applications to the program from University of Maryland undergraduates once per calendar year, during the spring semester. Students from all colleges and majors are encouraged to apply. START has developed an undergraduate minor in Global Terrorism Studies, a cross-disciplinary program housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. The minor is designed to train the next generation of terrorism analysts, including students who plan to pursue graduate study related to terrorism as well as employment in the federal, state, local, non-profit, and/or private sectors. The program is part of the University of Maryland’s Global Studies program, alongside the minors in International Development and Conflict ManagementGlobal Poverty, and Global Engineering Leadership.

Student Quote

Student Learning Outcomes

START's goal for the minor is to provide interested students of all majors with the education and training they need to pursue graduate education focused on terrorism research or employment in the ever-expanding homeland-security community, including opportunities within the public, private, and non-profit sectors. By the end of the minor program:

  • Students will have developed a comprehensive understanding of the theories explaining the formation of terrorist groups and the motivations behind terrorist behavior;
  • Students will have developed a comprehensive understanding of the impact of terrorism on groups and individuals;
  • Students will have developed first-hand experience working in the homeland security community; and
  • Students will have developed a capacity to conduct research on terrorism using a range of analytical tools and research methods.

Program Description

The Global Terrorism Studies Minor program focuses on exploring the origins and motivations of terrorism based on theoretical understandings of individual and group behavior. Students also explore the impacts of the threat of terrorism on individuals and communities as well as strategies for preventing, deterring, mitigating, and responding to terrorist threats.

Required Courses
Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors BSST330: Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors (3 credits). This course explores theories explaining the formation of terrorist groups and the motivations behind terrorist behavior, building upon theories from social psychology, sociology, political science, criminology, and history. This course draws heavily from historical examples as well as current examples of international and domestic terrorist groups around the world.​
Innovations in Countering Violent Extremism BSST335: Innovations in Countering Violent Extremism (3 credits). This course introduces students to Countering Violent Extremism to build resilience, community engagement, and advocacy. Drawing on innovative theories, students will develop their own CVE project ideas. Students will conclude the semester by presenting their proposals to a panel of CVE specialists drawn from homeland and international security professionals.
Innovations in Counterterrorism BSST331: Innovations in Counterterrorism (3 credits). (Formerly Responses to Terrorism). This course examines the impact of terrorism on groups and individuals and explores how communities have prepared and ideally should prepare in the face of potential terrorist threats. This course draws from anthropology, criminology, economics, history, political science, social psychology, and sociology.​
Applying Theory to the Practice of Countering Terrorism BSST377 (formerly BSST327): Applying Theory to the Practice of Countering Terrorism (1 credit). This course focuses on bringing current events and policy issues related to terrorism and counterterrorism, as they are discussed in mass media, into the dialogue with academic theories and research. Through a discussion-based seminar, students will bring current, terrorism-related events to classroom discussion, where they will consider the media-framed current events in relation to academic research. Students will be continually challenged to draw connections between terrorism-related events in the news and relevant academic research.
Experiential Education in Terrorism Studies BSST386: Experiential Education in Terrorism Studies (minimum of 3 credits). This course will supplement student's experiential learning experience, or internship in the field of terrorism studies and homeland security with guided reflection on their experiences.
Elective Courses

In addition to the five required courses above, students must take 3 elective credits from within the Terrorism Studies Department (BSST) that is not otherwise a Minor Requirement. You can find course syllabi on Testudo

To satisfy the final requirement students must also complete one Global Perspective Course.

The current list of approved Global Perspective Courses is as follows:

  • ANTH265: Anthropology of Global Health
  • AREC345: Poverty, Public Policy and Economic Development
  • AREC365: World Hunger, Population and Food Supplies
  • ENES269: Grand Challenges in Engineering
  • ENES316: Global Perspectives of Leadership in Engineering, Business, and Technology
  • ENES464: International Entrepreneurship
  • ENES472: International Business Cultures for Engineering, Business, and Technology
  • ENES474: Global Perspectives of Engineering
  • GEOG330: As the World Turns: Society and Sustainability in a Time of Great Change
  • GVPT200: International Political Relations
  • GVPT280: The Study of Comparative Politics
  • GVPT282: Politics and the Developing World
  • GVPT289A: Appetite for Change: Politics and the Globalization of Food
  • GVPT289J: Uncertain Partners: US & China in a Changing World
  • GVPT289L: Religions, Beliefs, and World Affairs
  • GVPT306: Global Environmental Politics
  • GVPT309: Topics in International Relations
  • GVPT354: International Development and Conflict Management
  • GVPT359: Topics in Comparative Politics
  • GVPT409J: Multi-Track Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation
  • GVPT409K: Workshop in Multi-Track Diplomacy

All courses used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better. Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy the minor requirements. 

Meet the Faculty

One of the unique elements of the Global Terrorism Studies Minor is that students have the opportunity to learn from leading researchers in the field. Our world-class faculty bring both substantive expertise and practitioner experience into the classroom.

  • Bryan Arva – Global Terrorism Database (GTD) Researcher, START
  • Jason Blazakis – Affiliated Faculty, Director of Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • William Braniff –Department Chair, START Director
  • Michael Egnoto – Affiliated Faculty, Clinical Informaticist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
  • Thomas Guarrieri – Director of Undergraduate Studies, Assistant Research Scientist, START
  • Samuel D. Henkin – Geospatial Research Unit (GRU) Researcher, START
  • Joseph Oudin – Global Terrorism Database (GTD) Researcher, START
  • Amy Pate – START Executive Director and Research Director
  • Holly Roberts – Affiliated Faculty, Strategic Communications Lead at Akoya
  • Howard Smead – Affiliated Faculty, Senior Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Maryland
  • Steve Sin – Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) Director, START
  • Gabriel Weimann – Affiliated Faculty, Professor of Communication at Haifa University and Former Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center
  • Margaret Wilson – Affiliated Faculty, Course Director of the MSc in Forensic Psychology at University of Surrey
  • Elizabeth Yates – Radicalization and Disengagement (RaD) Researcher, START

Meet the Staff

  • Eva Coll – Experiential Education Specialist, START
  • Erin Copland – Outreach and Transition Specialist, START
  • Liberty Day – Program Director for Education and Training, START

Global Studies Students

Students enrolled in other programs within the Global Studies Minor Program may request to enroll in BSST330: Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors to fulfill their signature course requirement. START assigns a limited number of seats available in this course on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a Global Studies student and you would like to take BSST330, please email education-start@umd.edu once you have received your registration date for the fall to request access to the course. (Please note BSST330 is only offered during fall semesters.)

Looking for Advice or Answers?

Contact the advisor of the Global Terrorism Studies Minor for questions or additional information at education-start@umd.edu.