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

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Welcome from our Head Faculty and Program Directors

Thomas Guarrieri
Thomas Guarrieri

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Assistant Research Scientist, START

Amy Pate
Amy Pate

START Executive Director
and Research Director

William Braniff
William Braniff

Department Chair,
START Director

Liberty Day
Liberty Day

Program Director for
Education and Training, START

 

Apply for the Fall 2022 semester!

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.

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 11, 2022. Apply 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:

  • Develop an understanding of the history of terrorism, terrorist organizations, and the impact of terrorism on individuals, groups, and societies
  • Develop an understanding of the theories and frameworks explaining terrorist motivations and behaviors
  • Explain how topics related to diversity and culture affect extremism and counterterrorism
  • Learn to develop innovative approaches to help counter terrorism
  • Engage in experiential learning opportunities to gain skills and knowledge for a career in security studies

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. To graduate with the GTSM, students enrolled in the program are required to complete a total of 19 credits consisting of the following:

  • 3 credits to fulfill the Introductory Requirement (met with BSST330 only)
  • 3 credits to fulfill the Innovative Ideas Requirement (met with either BSST331 or BSST335)
  • 1 credit to fulfill the Capstone Requirement (met with BSST377 only)
  • 3 credits to fulfill the Experiential Learning Requirement (met with BSST386 only)
  • 6 credits to fulfill the Electives Requirement (met with two BSST elective courses)*
  • 3 credits to fulfill the Global Perspectives Requirement (met with one of the approved Global Perspectives courses)

Below is more information on each of the required courses to complete the GTSM.

BSST Required Courses

Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors BSST330: Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors (3 credits, offered in the Fall semester). 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 Counterterrorism

BSST331: Innovations in Counterterrorism (3 credits, offered in the Spring semester). (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. ​

*Global Terrorism Studies Minor students must take either BSST331 or BSST335 to fulfill the Innovative Ideas Requirement. If students would like to take both courses, they may use the second to satisfy one of the elective course requirements.

Innovations in Countering Violent Extremism

BSST335: Innovations in Countering Violent Extremism (3 credits, offered in the Fall semester). 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.

*Global Terrorism Studies Minor students must take either BSST331 or BSST335 to fulfill the Innovative Ideas Requirement. If students would like to take both courses, they may use the second to satisfy one of the elective course requirements.

Applying Theory to the Practice of Countering Terrorism BSST377 (formerly BSST327): Applying Theory to the Practice of Countering Terrorism (1 credit, offered in the Spring semester). 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, offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters). 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.

BSST Elective Courses

In addition to the above requirements, students must take 6 elective credits from within the Terrorism Studies Department (BSST) that are not from BSST330, BSST377, BSST386, or the Innovative Ideas Requirement. (Note that if students choose to take both BSST331 and BSST335 they may use one of these courses to satisfy 3 of the elective credits.) You can find course syllabi on Testudo

Some of the elective courses that BSST has offered in previous semesters include:

  • BSST338J: Analyzing Terrorism: Simulations, Wargaming, and Strategies of Security (Summer 2021)
  • BSST338L: Violent Non-State Actors in Latin America: Terrorism, Cartels, and Crime (Summer 2021)
  • BSST338W: Geographies of Terrorism: Violence, Terror, and Space (Summer 2021)
  • BSST338R: Far-Right Extremism: Violent Ideologies and Actions (Spring 2021)
  • BSST338Y: The New Theater of Terror: Online Terrorism (Spring 2021)
  • BSST338P: The Rise of the Islamic State (Winter 2020)
  • BSST240/241: Understanding the Principles and Perils of CBRN Weapons (Fall 2020, Freshmen Connection only)
  • BSST288R: Global Terrorism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century (Fall 2020, Permission Required)
  • BSST334: States of Emergency (Fall 2020)
  • BSST340: Oral Communication for National Security Careers (Fall 2020, Freshmen Connection only)
  • BSST338E: Political Assassinations (Summer 2020)
  • BSST338O: School Shooters and Spree Killers (Summer 2020)
  • BSST372: Terrorist Hostage Taking (Summer 2020)
  • BSST370: Financing Terror and Hate (Summer 2020)

Global Perspectives Courses

To fulfill the Global Perspectives Requirement, students must earn 3 credits from one of the approved courses from the below list.

The current list of approved Global Perspectives 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
    • Also teaches summer/winter courses
  • Jason Blazakis – Affiliated Faculty, Director of Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • William Braniff –Department Chair, START Director
    • Also teaches summer/winter courses
  • Michael Egnoto – Affiliated Faculty, Clinical Informaticist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
    • Also teaches summer/winter courses
  • Thomas Guarrieri – Director of Undergraduate Studies, Assistant Research Scientist, START
    • Also teaches summer/winter courses
  • 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
    • Also teaches required course BSST386: Experiential Learning in Terrorism Studies
  • 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.

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