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 non-degree seeking students, visiting students, or students with Golden ID Cardholder Status. You can find course syllabi here: https://www.start.umd.edu/education/course-list
 

Current Course Offerings

Summer I Session (Typically end of May to the first week of July):

  • Special Topics in Terrorism Studies; Political Assassinations (Will be offered Summer I 2018)
    • Credits: 3.0
    • ​​Undergraduate: BSST338E
    • Graduate: BSST638A
  • ​​Students will examine political assassinations, their societal consequences, and the possible means for their prevention, from profiling assassins to protection of potential targets. Research on political assassinations has developed from many different disciplines and so we will be drawing on theory and research from across a range of different fields, including political science, criminology, psychology, sociology and economics. In each lecture we will review the scholarly issues associated with political assassinations, including how we can study them in a scientific way, and what we can learn from research on celebrity stalkers and the impact of conspiracy theories. Finally, we consider the practical, counter attack challenges faced by security and law enforcement.
  • Terrorist Financing Analysis and Counterterrorist Finance (Will be offered Summer I 2018)
    • Credits: 3.0
    • Undergraduate: BSST370 - Analytical Reasoning
    • Graduate: BSST638F
  • 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 (Will be offered Summer I 2018)
    • Credits: 3.0
    • Undergraduate: BSST338O
    • Graduate: N/A
  • Have school shootings and spree killings increased over the years? What about in lethality? What should we do if a spree killer begins taking action near us? Can we predict spree-killer incidents before they occur? Understanding the costs and consequences of school shootings and spree killer incidents bridges terrorism, communication, and criminology with consequences that affect us all. This course looks at the current state of the field with attention to spree killer profiles, research, and response from social science perspectives.
     
  • Experiential Learning in Terrorism Studies (Typically offered every semester)
    • Credits: 1.0-5.0
    • ​​Undergraduate: BSST386
    • Graduate: N/A
  • 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).

 

Summer II Session (Typically after July 4th holiday to mid-August):

  • Terrorist Hostage Taking (Will be offered Summer II 2018)
    • Credits: 3.0
    • Undergradaute: BSST372
    • Graduate: BSST638E
  • ​​Examines different forms of hostage taking, drawing on theory and research from across a range of different fields, including international relations, political science, criminology, psychology, sociology and economics. We will consider these events in terms of how they are similar, how they differ and what they are designed to achieve. This course provides insights into the complicated nature of terrorism via hostage taking in order to broaden student understanding of current events. This course also gives students practical experience in finding and coding data, and studying complex human behaviors.​
  • Experiential Learning in Terrorism Studies (Typically offered every semester)
    • Credits: 3.0
    • ​​Undergraduate: BSST386
    • Graduate: N/A
  • 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).

 

Winter Session (Typically the first week of January-weekend before Spring semester begins):

  • The Rise of the Islamic State (ISIL) (Last offered Winter 2018)
    • Credits: 3.0 (Topical)
    • Undergraduate: BSST338P
    • Graduate: TBD
  • 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. 

     

  • Individual Study in Terrorism Studies; Geospatial Analysis of Terrorism (Last offered Winter 2018)
    • Credits: 1.0 (Skill)
    • Undergraduate: BSST399F
    • Graduate: TBD
  • 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.

 

  • Individual Study in Terrorism Studies; Introduction to Wargaming (Last offered Winter 2018)
    • ​​Credits: 1.0 (Skill)
    • Undergraduate: BSST399W​
    • Graduate: TBD
  • ​​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​.

 

FAQs

Where can I find tuition costs for these courses?

Tuition is set by the Office of Extended Studies (OES), not by START. You can find their tuition rates here: https://oes.umd.edu/incoming-current-visiting-students/summer-session/summer-session-tuition-fees-and-financial-aid/summer-session-tuition. The page should be updated every year to coincide with the summer or winter courses.

 

I did not graduate from high school, but I obtained a General Education Development (GED) or was homeschooled and am not matriculated in another school. How can I apply to take a START-UMD course?

Students in this category may only take undergraduate-level courses, e.g. any course labeled from BSST200-BSST499. They may not register for graduate-level courses (BSST600-BSST999).

GED: If you did not graduate from a regionally accredited high school, then submit results of the Tests of General Education Development, along with academic letters of recommendation, an essay and SAT scores with your application.

Homeschooled: If you’ve been home-schooled, you should submit your completed application and provide a transcript with the following: course descriptions, books used, methods of evaluation and grades received. You should meet the same minimum high school course requirements expected of all applicants; your SAT and/or ACT scores will be strongly considered in the review of your application.

Please also include general information about your home schooling program or agency and a letter of recommendation from both an academic professional and the home schooling teacher/parent. If you’ve taken college-level courses, you should also include an official college transcript with your application.

 

How do I apply as a non-degree seeking student?

Undergraduate-level Courses (BSST200-BSST499) Non-Degree Seeking:

If you are a transfer applicant without a bachelor’s degree and wish to apply for admission as a non-degree-seeking student, you should follow the transfer application instructions. Please be sure to indicate "non-degree-seeking" on the application.

You must submit a completed application, official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended, and the application fee. You will be reviewed under the same standards for admission as degree-seeking students. If you have already completed a bachelor’s degree, transcripts are not required; however, since you may need to demonstrate that you have met prerequisites for courses, it is a good idea to have one available to advisors. Admitted non-degree seeking students register on a space-available basis beginning on the first day of class.

Please contact Liz Wasden (ewasden@umd.edu) for more information to register for an undergraduate course if you are currently not an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Please find the University of Maryland, College Park instructions here: https://www.admissions.umd.edu/apply/requirements/special-audiences.

Graduate-level Courses (BSST600-999) Non-Degree Seeking:

To qualify as a Non-Degree Seeking Student, you must:

  • Have achieved a cumulative 3.0 (on a 4 point scale) average for work done at the undergraduate level; OR
  • Have earned a master’s, doctoral, or a post-baccalaureate professional degree (MD, JD, DVM, etc.) from a regionally accredited institution; OR
  • Have attained a score that places you in the upper 50th percentile of an appropriate national standardized aptitude examination, such as the GRE, GMAT, or Miller Analogies Test; OR
  • Provide a letter of support from the graduate director of the degree program in which you plan to take a course.
  • Submit a personal statement.

To apply, you must:

  • Submit a completed online application, which includes uploading official transcripts showing a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a personal statement, and
  • Pay the non-refundable $75 application fee.
  • Read the FAQs and the Graduate School Catalog to familiarize yourself with the policies associated with this status. 

The deadline for application as a Non-Degree Seeking Student is the first day of classes for the semester in which you plan to attend. View the university’s academic calendar to see when each term begins.

Please contact education-start@umd.edu for more information to register for a graduate course if you are currently not a graduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Please find the University of Maryland, College Park instructions here: https://gradschool.umd.edu/admissions/non-degree-admissions.
 

How do I apply as a visiting student?

Undergraduate-level Courses (BSST200-BSST499) Visiting Student:

If you wish to enroll for one semester as a visiting student and transfer the course work back to your home institution, you must submit the transfer application, official transcript and a letter of permission from an academic advisor or dean at your home institution.

Graduate-level Courses (BSST600-BSST999) Visiting Student

A graduate student matriculated in another graduate school who wishes to enroll in the University of Maryland Graduate School and who intends to return to the graduate school in which he or she is matriculated, may be admitted as a Visiting Graduate Student. To apply for Visiting Graduate Student status, you must submit a completed online application and pay the non-refundable $75 application fee.

If you are matriculated in a U.S. institution, you must submit:

  • A personal statement,
  • A letter from the Graduate Dean at your home institution confirming that you are in good academic standing and that courses taken at the University of Maryland will be transferred to your home institution, and 
  • A letter from the University of Maryland department that will be hosting you confirming that you will be taking courses in that department.
  • Transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE/GMAT test scores are not required.

If you are not matriculated in a US institution, you must submit:

  • A personal statement,
  • A letter from the Graduate Dean at your home institution confirming that you are in good academic standing and that courses taken at the University of Maryland will be transferred to your home institution, and
  • A letter from the University of Maryland department that will be hosting you confirming that you will be taking courses in that department.
  • Transcripts and letters of recommendation are not required. 
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores may be required if you are an international student.
     

I am a Senior Citizen living in Maryland. ​How do I apply for the Golden ID Program?

Undergraduate-level Course (BSST200-499) Golden Identification Cardholder Status (Senior Citizens)

If you are 60 or older, a legal resident of the state of Maryland and retired, the University of Maryland has courses and services available to you. To participate, you should submit your completed application. If admitted to the university, you can register on a space-available basis for credit courses as a regular or special student in any session. You must pay an administrative fee for each semester registered.

Graduate-level Course (BSST600-999) Golden Identification Cardholder Status (Senior Citizens)

The university’s services and courses are available without charge to US citizens who are:

  • Residents of the state of Maryland,
  • 60 years of age or older, and
  • Retired (not engaged in gainful employment for more than 20 hours per week).
  • Individuals who meet these requirements may apply for graduate admission, either as degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking students, and must meet all admissions criteria.

Once admitted, these students will be issued a Golden Identification Card. Golden ID cardholders may register for courses in any session on a space-available basis and use the library and other University facilities during the time they are enrolled in courses. Golden ID cardholders may register during the first week of classes for up to 3 courses; they may not pre-register. Tuition will be waived for Golden ID cardholders, but mandatory fees must be paid. Please visit the Registrar’s website for more information on the Golden ID registration procedures.

 

More questions? Contact the Education Team: education-start@umd.edu for assistance. 

  • Undergraduate: ATTN Liz Wasden
  • Graduate: ATTN Graduate Education Coordinator