Online Master’s in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security

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Complete in 24 Months

GRE/GMAT Not Required

Financial Aid & Scholarships Available

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Learn to Counter Complex Threats

Study the global issue of terrorism and build the interdisciplinary skills you need to counter it with American University’s online Master of Science in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security. In this flexible online program, you’ll learn from expert faculty who are passionate about helping you develop focused expertise for career advancement. Learn to assess threats and build a deeper understanding of terrorism and counter-terrorism through the lenses of political violence, intelligence studies, and domestic and international law and policy.

Online Merit Scholarships

$12,000 — No Separate Application Required

Prospective students who have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or above (on a 4.0 scale) in their undergraduate program, or those with five or more years of active-duty experience in the military (regardless of their GPA score), can qualify for the Online Merit Scholarship in award amounts up to $12,000.*

Gain Focused Expertise in Counter-Terror Tactics

The curriculum in the online master’s in counter-terrorism and homeland security will equip you with the real-world skills you need to protect the public. Please note this program and all courses are taught in English only. AU graduates are better prepared for career advancement thanks to:

Optional D.C. Residency

Visit AU’s campus to connect with experts and learn more about how you may fit into the Intelligence field.

Interdisciplinary Skills

Build skills in rigorous online courses that address law and criminology on domestic and international levels.

Internship Requirement

Before graduation, you’ll complete an internship to further connect coursework to real-life opportunities.

“I chose to pursue the Master’s degree in Homeland Security and Counterterrorism with American University due to the reputation of the school, incredible alumni network, and my desire to receive a well-rounded education in counterterrorism, intelligence, policy, and related subjects after coming from a different field.”
– Sarina Krantzler, CTHS graduate

Advance in an Expanding Industry

The world is in need of counter-terrorism experts willing to devote their time to preventing violence. Steady growth is projected for this industry over the next decade, with about 64,500 openings for police and detectives predicted each year1 and an overall 32% increase in openings for information security analysts between 2022 and 2032.2 With an MS in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security from AU, you’ll be positioned to benefit from this growth and pursue opportunities to advance into leadership roles.

Information Security Analyst $120,360 per year2

Federal Special Agent $92,806 per year3

Counterintelligence Professional $90,000 per year4

Alumni Employers

As passionate change-makers, our alumni are employed in various settings all over the country. You can find some of them working at these organizations:

  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs
  • U.S. Senate

Attend a Nationally Ranked University

#13 Best Public Affairs Program by U.S. News & World Report (2024)

#11 Homeland Security & Emergency Management by U.S. News & World Report (2023)

Where Passion Becomes Purpose

American University delivers a collaborative, immersive, and personalized online learning experience from the heart of Washington, D.C., to anywhere in the world. As an online student, you’ll take rigorous courses led by the same outstanding faculty members who teach on campus. We are committed to helping you reach your professional and educational goals by maintaining the high quality of instruction that AU programs have been known for since 1893, all while you benefit from the convenience and flexibility of online learning.

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Sources and Disclaimer

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Police and Detectives.” Apr. 17, 2024. Retrieved Apr. 22, 2024 from
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Information Security Analysts.” Apr. 17, 2024. Retrieved Apr. 22, 2024 from
  3. Payscale. “Average Special Agent (Federal) Salary.” Retrieved Apr. 22, 2023 from
  4. Payscale. “Salary for Skill: Counter Intelligence (CI).” Retrieved Apr. 22, 2023 from

*As part of your application process, your academic history will be reviewed to determine if the scholarship can be applied; there is no separate application to fill out. You’ll be notified of the scholarship status when you’re admitted to the program, or shortly thereafter. To receive the scholarship, which is applied equally to the fifth and sixth courses of the program, you must remain in good academic standing.