Master of Science in Counterterrorism

Discover the tactics and ideologies behind today’s rise in violent terrorism with this uniquely focused study on the causes and solutions to extremism around the globe.

Countering violent extremism is a top priority of the United States government, opening a variety of exciting new opportunities for skilled criminal justice professionals. The Nichols College Master of Science in Counterterrorism will give you a deep understanding of the psychological, social, political, economic, and religious factors that contribute to radicalization and the skills to quickly and efficiently assess and address risk. You’ll explore cutting edge trends in cybersecurity, border control, and media messaging while researching the most effective cultural, political and military threat responses.

Your Degree

Costs Only $19,500

Finishes In 1 year

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Accelerate your career

The experience, knowledge, and credentials you need to secure a rewarding career national security.

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Protect your community

Evil wins when good people do nothing. The world needs you and your expertise to stay safe now more than ever.

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Deepen your understanding

By diving into the tools, tactics, and ideologies behind radicalization and violence, you’ll be positioned to predict and stop them in their tracks.

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Start your journey

Counterterrorism professionals are in demand around the world, giving you access to a variety of opportunities working different angles for different agencies.

Admission Requirements

* Waived for Nichols College graduates

Financial Aid

For those students who qualify, financial aid is available. Students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine eligibility for federal and state financial aid. The Nichols school code is 002197.

Countdown to Your MSC

Finish as soon as

Begin your degree when it’s best for you

With 6 start dates to choose from, Nichols lets you boost your career and balance your life. Be sure to check out our simplified course sequence maps so you can plan for what to expect. If you choose to start on a January, May, or August start date, you’ll follow Course Sequence I. If you choose to start on a February, June, or October start date, you’ll follow Course Sequence II. To find out the exact start date for your course, take a look at our academic calendar and Master Graduate Course Schedule.

Outcomes & Courses

As an MSC graduate student, you will successfully learn to:

  • Distinguish counterterrorism from counter violent extremism.
  • Create sustained and coherent comprehension of violent extremism threats.
  • Investigate and provide evidence on how practitioners and organizations collaboratively recognize and detect terrorism both domestically and internationally.
  • Assess the interconnectedness of global approaches and responses to combat violent extremism.
  • Examine counterterrorism methods of analysis.
  • Apply leadership principles, theory and critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.

MSC PROGRAM (30 Credits)  Required Courses:  Nichols Experience – 3 credits

  • BUS-610 Experience Nichols I - Learn.Lead.Succeed.

    This course leads new students through a comprehensive overview of the College, its advantages in the business field, and the resources that are readily available to students. In addition, this course guides students through the process of personal development necessary to succeed in the program and today’s business market. (This course is designed to be completed as a series of three one-credit segments. BUS 610: 1 credit – First Session of your program, BUS 611: 1 credit – 15 credits into your program, and BUS 612: 1 credit – 27 credits into the program.)As a result of completing all three parts of this course, the student will: 1. Identify Nichols community, culture, learning tools, and college resources 2. Locate methods and tools for research as 21st century learners 3. Analyze emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, collaboration, and teamwork) 4. Develop personal learning objectives for maximizing return on investment in a master’s program
  • BUS-611 Experience Nichols II - Learn.Lead.Succeed.

    This course leads new students through a comprehensive overview of the College, its advantages in the business field, and the resources that are readily available to students. In addition, this course guides students through the process of personal development necessary to succeed in the program and today’s business market. (This course is designed to be completed as a series of three one-credit segments. BUS 610: 1 credit – First Session of your program, BUS 611: 1 credit – 15 credits into your program, and BUS 612: 1 credit – 27 credits into the program.)As a result of completing all three parts of this course, the student will: 1. Identify Nichols community, culture, learning tools, and college resources 2. Locate methods and tools for research as 21st century learners 3. Analyze emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, collaboration, and teamwork) 4. Develop personal learning objectives for maximizing return on investment in a master’s program
  • BUS-612 Experience Nichols III - Learn.Lead.Succeed.

    This course leads new students through a comprehensive overview of the College, its advantages in the business field, and the resources that are readily available to students. In addition, this course guides students through the process of personal development necessary to succeed in the program and today’s business market. (This course is designed to be completed as a series of three one-credit segments. BUS 610: 1 credit – First Session of your program, BUS 611: 1 credit – 15 credits into your program, and BUS 612: 1 credit – 27 credits into the program.)As a result of completing all three parts of this course, the student will: 1. Identify Nichols community, culture, learning tools, and college resources 2. Locate methods and tools for research as 21st century learners 3. Analyze emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, collaboration, and teamwork) 4. Develop personal learning objectives for maximizing return on investment in a master’s program

Common Core – 9 credits

  • BUS-615 Business Communications

    Communication is key to success, whether through inter-office reports and communications, marketplace messages and conversations, or inter-personal interactions. This course will aid students in developing skills and abilities in the area of communication - personal and business.As a result of this course, the student will: 1. Generate well-organized and effective informational and persuasive presentations 2. Analyze and draw inferences from written material 3. Write effective proposals and reports 4. Develop strategies for employing style, structure, format, and for maximizing impact 5. Apply frameworks in the digital age of communication
  • BUS-620 Cultural Awareness in Global Business Today

    Today’s business reaches across national and international borders, and the successful business leader understands this paradigm. This course will lead the student through discovery, analysis, and utilization of international business practices. In order to complete this course successfully, the student will identify and understand governmental policies, international organizations and competition as well as models for doing business in developing nations using culture in the decision-making process.As a result of this course, the student will: 1. Analyze global business initiatives 2. Identify issues related to globalization from a variety of viewpoints 3. Develop an ethical framework and analyze issues through that framework 4. Identify, describe, and debate major themes concerning globalization, culture, and ethics 5. Analyze teamwork dynamics across geographic and cultural boundaries 6. Evaluate business culture and practices in developing nations
  • BUS-625 Current Trends in Leadership

    As business practices evolve to meet the changing demands of the marketplace, leaders must constantly evaluate and make adjustments to stay on top of the field. This course is designed to help students identify, evaluate, and analyze current trends and then to make judgments on the viability and wisdom of those trends. (pre-requisite BUS 610)As a result of this course, the student will: 1. Compare and contrast leadership styles, including leading with vision, inspiring, and motivating others 2. Analyze and summarize critical issues in leadership and ethical decision-making 3. Analyze current professional literature 4. Examine the evolution of teams

MSC Focus – 18 Credits

  • MSC-705 Homegrown Violent Extremism

    This course will examine the definition of homegrown violent extremism and examine the various groups and radical individuals that are involved. The following groups will be evaluated in depth: Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front, KKK, and ISIS lone wolf attacks. Students will gain an understanding of how these various homegrown violent extremism groups and individuals have altered our current society. This course will stress that approximately one third of terrorist attacks within the United States include individuals with no known affiliation to extremist groups; yet they have extreme ideologies.As a result of this course, the student will: • Create sustained and coherent oral and written communication as it relates to homegrown violent extremism. • Interpret both qualitative and quantitative information that deals with complex issues of homegrown violent extremist groups, their ideologies, and their impact on current day society. • Assess the importance of acting ethically and responsibly when categorizing individuals or groups as homegrown violent extremists. • Articulate an understanding of how homegrown violent extremism has significant social implications not only for the U.S. but globally. • Investigate and provide evidence on how different organizations and departments work together to recognize and detect homegrown violent extremists. • Apply leadership principles, theory and critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.
  • MSC-710 International Violent Extremism

    International violent extremism is at the forefront of our current society and politics. In order to grasp a deeper understanding of violent extremism, it is necessary to examine various international violent extremism groups; including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, and Hezbollah. Through analyses of international violent extremism groups, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of how violent extremism is a global threat.As a result of this course, the student will:• Create sustained and coherent oral and written communication as it relates to international violent extremism. • Interpret both qualitative and quantitative information that deals with complex issues of international violent extremist groups, their ideologies, and their impact on current day society. • Assess the importance of acting ethically and responsibly when categorizing individuals or groups as international violent extremists. • Articulate an understanding of how international violent extremism has significant social implications for both their international region and the U.S. • Investigate and provide evidence on how different organizations and departments work together to recognize and detect international violent extremists. • Apply leadership principles, theory and critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.
  • MSC-715 Cybersecurity

    Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field of concern within the United States, in addition to other countries worldwide. Students will develop an understanding of computer network security principles/systems and digital forensics so that they are able to comprehend how humans can manipulate this virtual environment to achieve goals related to the pursuit of violent extremism. The course will allow for the development of analytical skills necessary in combatting cybersecurity concerns associated with violent extremism.As a result of this course, the student will:• Create sustained and coherent oral and written communication as it relates to cybersecurity. • Interpret both qualitative and quantitative information that deals with the detection of cybercrimes implemented by violent extremists. • Assess the importance of acting ethically and responsibly when reporting cybercrimes as they portray to violent extremists. • Articulate an understanding of the importance of cybersecurity within violent extremism and its significant social implications globally. • Investigate and provide evidence on how different organizations and departments work together to recognize and detect international violent extremists with the use of technology and virtual environments. • Apply leadership principles, theory and critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.
  • MSC-720 Border Security

    Border security provides student with a thorough examination of border and entry points into the United States with the assistance of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The course will explore modern transportation and border security challenges (specifically violent extremism), as well as techniques to combat those challenges. The transportation and border systems of particular interest within this course includes seaports, airports, and border crossings. Students will develop a greater understanding of how to prepare and respond to potential border security threats of violent extremists through the interagency cooperation of federal, state, local, and private organizations.As a result of this course, the student will:• Create sustained and coherent oral and written communication as it relates to border security. • Interpret both qualitative and quantitative information that deals with the detection of border security threats perpetrated by violent extremists. • Assess the importance of acting ethically and responsibly when adhering to border security. • Articulate an understanding of the importance of border security when combating violent extremism and its significant social implications globally. • Investigate and provide evidence on how different organizations and departments work together to recognize and detect violent extremists with border security. • Apply leadership principles, theory and critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.
  • MSC-725 Media’s Impact in Violent Extremism

    Violent extremism groups such as ISIS have routinely utilized social media to attack Westerner followers. Social media is allows violent extremists to communicate and network with the ultimate goal of radicalizing individuals to join their groups by adhering to their ideologies. Not only does social media assist violent extremists through a logistical perspective, but also in regards to accomplishing their overall goal of instilling continuous fear among societies. The various news frames of social media will provide a better understanding of how violent extremists utilize our social media to achieve their goals.As a result of this course, the student will:• Create sustained and coherent oral and written communication as it relates to the media’s impact in violent extremism. • Interpret both qualitative and quantitative information of media frames of violent extremism. • Assess the importance of acting ethically and responsibly when analyzing and reporting violent extremism through the media frames. • Articulate an understanding of the importance of media’s impact in violent extremism and its significant social implications globally. • Investigate and provide evidence on how different organizations and departments work together to frame violent extremism in social media. • Apply leadership principles, theory and critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.
  • MSC-730 Capstone: Counter Violent Extremism Strategies

    Counter violent extremism (CVE) strategies are necessary in order to combat both domestic and international violent extremism. Violent extremism radicalization is occurring throughout our world and is necessary to understand this radicalization process, in addition to ideologies. Once students under these radicalization processes and ideologies, CVE strategies can be developed and implemented within federal, state, and local communities. This course will specifically examine CVE strategies occurring in the U.S. through federal grant opportunities and through online social media campaigns.As a result of this course, the student will:• Create sustained and coherent oral and written communication as it relates to counter violent extremism strategies. • Interpret both qualitative and quantitative information to assist in the analysis and creation of counter violent extremism strategies. • Assess the importance of acting ethically and responsibly when creating counter violent extremism strategies. • Articulate an understanding of the importance of counter violent extremism strategies and their significant social implications globally. • Investigate and provide evidence on how different organizations and departments work together to create and implement counter violent extremism strategies. • Apply leadership principles, theory and critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.