Global Terrorism Minor Program
START has developed an undergraduate minor in Global Terrorism, a cross-disciplinary program housed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. The minor is designed to train the next generation of terrorism analysts, including students who plan to pursue graduate study related to terrorism as well as employment in the federal, state, local, non-profit, and/or private sectors. The program is part of the University of Maryland’s Global Studies program, alongside the minors in International Development and Conflict Management, Global Poverty, and International Engineering.
START is currently accepting applications to the program from University of Maryland undergraduates. Students from all colleges and majors are encouraged to apply.
Student Learning Outcomes
START's goal for the minor is to provide interested students of all majors with the education and training they need to pursue graduate education focused on terrorism research or employment in the ever-expanding homeland-security community, including opportunities within the public, private, and non-profit sectors. By the end of the minor program:
- Students will have developed a comprehensive understanding of the theories explaining the formation of terrorist groups and the motivations behind terrorist behavior;
- Students will have developed a comprehensive understanding of the impact of terrorism on groups and individuals;
- Students will have developed first-hand experience working in the homeland security community; and
- Students will have developed a capacity to conduct research on terrorism using a range of analytical tools and research methods.
The Terrorism Studies program focuses on exploring the origins and motivations of terrorism based on theoretical understandings of individual and group behavior. Students also explore the impacts of the threat of terrorism on individuals and communities as well as strategies for preventing, deterring, mitigating, and responding to terrorist threats.
Students are required to take the following three courses:
- BSOS 330: Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors (3 credits). This course explores theories explaining the formation of terrorist groups and the motivations behind terrorist behavior, building upon theories from social psychology, sociology, political science, criminology, and history. This course draws heavily from historical examples as well as current examples of international and domestic terrorist groups around the world.
- BSOS 331: Responses to Terrorism (3 credits). This course examines the impact of terrorism on groups and individuals and explores how communities have prepared and ideally should prepare in the face of potential terrorist threats. This course draws from anthropology, criminology, economics, history, political science, social psychology, and sociology.
- BSOS 332: The Practice of Terrorism Studies (5 credits). This seminar serves as the capstone for the minor program. As part of the course, students complete an approved internship or conduct a relevant, original research project. Students also meet regularly with an instructor to learn and apply academic and professional analytical tools relevant to the study of terrorism. The course includes visits from guest speakers working in the field of terrorism studies, and students participate in a terrorism-prevention tabletop exercise.
In addition to the three new courses, students must take one 3-credit course on research methods, to be drawn from courses in any discipline, including: African-American Studies; Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computation; Biological Sciences; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Communications; Economics; Civil Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Fire Protection Engineering; Family Studies; Geography; Government and Politics; History; Health; Latin American Studies; Psychology; Sociology; Statistics; and Survey Methodology.
To satisfy the final requirement students must also complete one Global Studies Signature Course.
The current list of approved Global Studies Signature Courses is as follows:
- AREC 345: Poverty, Public Policy and Economic Growth
- AREC 365: World Hunger
- ENES 472: International Business Cultures in Engineering and Technology
- GEOG 130: Developing Countries
- GEOG 330: As the World Turns: Society and Sustainability in a Time of Great Change
- GVPT 306: Global Ecopolitics
Global Studies Students
Students enrolled in other programs within the Global Studies Minor Program may request to enroll in BSST 330: Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors to fulfill their signature course requirements. START assigns the limited number of seats available in this course on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a Global Studies student and you would like to take BSST 330, please contact your minor program administrator in International Development and Conflict Management, Global Poverty, or International Engineering.