Since 9/11, terrorist and homeland security threats have grown increasingly complex as have the responses to counter them successfully. To keep the public safe as a law enforcement or intelligence professional, you need interdisciplinary skills and focused expertise in the phenomenon of terrorism as well as those legal and policy responses to counter it. American University’s online Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security builds these capabilities and prepares you for work and career advancement as a homeland security specialist.

This flexible online program focuses on counter-terrorism across areas that include national security, intelligence, domestic and international law and policy, cybersecurity, and theories of political violence. Students will learn how to develop strategic, policy-based security solutions at all levels of government.

It combines the benefits of convenient online learning and a practice-based curriculum with a brief onsite residency in Washington, D.C. This unique opportunity allows students to see and interact with members of the Washington D.C., national security policy world up close and builds on concepts and ideas discussed in the online environment. This supplements the strong grounding in the course curriculum with real-world applications of course concepts as presented by faculty who are leading practitioners in the field.

To further assist you during this challenging time, AU has waived the GRE/GMAT requirement through Fall 2022.  Application fee waivers also now available for applicants that complete their application file within three weeks.

In this two year, 36-credit degree, you will:

  • Analyze and discuss national and homeland security problems through the application of acquired knowledge of criminology, social science, legal systems, policy, terrorism studies, and intelligence analysis.
  • Formulate, evaluate, and communicate public policies and programs related to counter terrorism while using acquired analytic frameworks and methodological skills, including statistics, economics, criminology, and law.
  • Apply empirical and data-driven solutions to analyze domestic threats to US homeland security.
  • Apply acquired skillsets, expertise, and values to real-world policy problems in a collaborative manner.

American University additionally positions students to compete for government internships. These include those offered through the U.S. Government Pathways program as well as the post-graduation internships in the Presidential Management Fellows program, a flagship two-year leadership development program in the Federal government.

  • For the past two years, American University has produced more PMF finalists than any other university in the country.
  • AU has a 98 percent success rate of its finalists becoming fellows.
  • Fellows receive 160 hours of intensive management and leadership training at one or more federal agencies, complete a four-to-six-month developmental assignment, and are eligible for full-time positions upon completion.

Graduate Ready for Intelligence and Law Enforcement Roles

Sample jobs graduates may pursue include:

  • Law Enforcement Federal Agent, state or local sworn officer, analyst, and support personnel
  • Intelligence Officer, analyst, and support personnel
  • Homeland Security analyst, and support personnel
  • Criminal Intelligence Analyst, State Level Department of Law Enforcement
  • Data Analyst, protecting critical infrastructure
  • Intelligence Analyst, US Department of Justice
  • Federal Agent, DoD Criminal Investigative Entity
  • Section Chief, US Department of Homeland Security Component

Shape Tomorrow's Counter-Terrorism Policy

To learn more about American University’s online MS in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security, request more information or contact an admissions adviser at 855-725-7614.

Vicky Wilkins, Dean School of Public Affairs

"I think the School of Public Affairs at American University stands out and is often ranked among the best schools of Public Affairs because of the fact that we have such a active and engaged faculty. Our faculty are just as comfortable in the classroom as they are behind their desk doing research as they are downtown giving testimony to Congress...We pay attention to what the skills are students need, and what employers are telling us is critical in the labor market to make sure we shape an experience that prepares students to go out and work."