A Department of Homeland Security 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.

Summer/Winter Courses

Summer/Winter Courses

START offers fully online summer and winter courses each year which are open to any current degree seeking student or non-degree seeking individual. Current University of Maryland students may register through Testudo. Non-University of Maryland Students must apply as visiting students. You can find course syllabi on ntst.umd.edu/soc/

To Apply as a Visiting Student

Non-Degree Seeking Student

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and Fees for Visiting Students

Current Course Offerings


  • Terrorist Financing Analysis and Counterterrorist Finance (BSST 370) Analytical Reasoning

This course provides an introduction to terrorists’ financial activities and counterterrorism finance and sanctions policy. The course examines how terrorist groups finance their operations and also emphasizes current policy approaches designed to curb terrorist financing through the application of U.S. and international sanctions.

Students will explore how multilateral forces, such as the United Nations and Financial Action Task Force counter terrorist finance. At the completion of the course, students will have a better understanding of the key tools, including law enforcement, diplomatic, or intelligence that are deployed to disrupt and deter terrorist finance.

  • Special Topics in Terrorism Studies; School Shooters and Spree Killers (BSST338O)

This 3-credit course, taught by senior researcher Michael Egnoto, will meet online throughout the course of Summer Session I.  

  • Terrorist Hostage Taking (BSST 338A)

This course will be taught completely online during the Summer II term by Dr. Margaret Wilson, of the Imperial College London. This course will examine different forms of hostage taking and consider approaches to studying behavior, along with the problems inherent in such research. Weekly topics will include issues such as scripts and patterned behavior, victim resistance, what the Stockholm syndrome might really mean. This course explores the tactical choices of terrorist groups, the responses of the other players and how the combinations might impact the end results.

  • Experiential Learning in Terrorism Studies (BSST386)

Students interested in earning academic credit for interning at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) can now do so through the Terrorism Studies program at the University of Maryland. Starting this summer, undergraduates from UMD and other institutions can enroll in BSST386 to earn from 1-5 experiential learning credits for interning with START.

Please contact Elizabeth Wasden for questions about the course enrollment and earning credit for your internship with START (education@start.umd.edu) or Eva Coll for questions regarding the internship program (internships@start.umd.edu).


Topical Three-Credit Course:

  • The Rise of the Islamic State (ISIL)

The quick rise of the terrorist group self-described as the Islamic State, also known as the ISIL has surprised policymakers and foreign policymakers worldwide. This course provides a comprehensive look at the Islamic State and will discuss key concepts and terms in Islamic history in an effort to establish an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence, meaning of a caliphate, the five pillars of Islam and Shar’ia law. The course will trace the history of the Islamic State’s rise and will examine the leadership figures/personalities behind the group and look in depth at ISIL’s connection to and divorce from al-Qa’ida. Students will examine how the group finances its operations as well as the rise of its affiliates. Students will also explore the group’s use of foreign fighters and social media to further its agenda and explore the U.S. and global responses to counter the Islamic State. At the completion of this course, students will have an in depth understanding of the Islamic State and a better understanding of the key tools, including law enforcement, diplomatic, or intelligence, that are deployed to counter the group.

Skills Based One-Credit Courses:

  • Geospatial Analysis for Terrorism (BSST399F)

Are you interested in learning more about GIS, and how it can be applied to terrorism studies? In this one-credit Winter 2015 course, students will be introduced to Geospatial Information Systems and the technology’s specific applications to terrorism studies. No previous experience with GIS or terrorism data is necessary. Students will leave the course with a firm grasp of GIS technologies and the ways in which they may implemented in terrorism studies.

  • Introduction to Wargaming (BSST399W)

​​Students in this course will gain a basic working knowledge of the practical and theoretical applications of wargaming as a tool for training and analysis. The course will cover the essential history of wargaming as it developed for use in military tactical, operational, and strategic planning and how it spread to other organizations and disciplines, as well as the cross-over between what national security analysts think of as wargames with other forms of participant driven, scenario based exercises such as role playing in theater, hobby gaming, and human forecasting tournaments​.