Master of Science in Counterterrorism

Earn your MSC and get the skills and knowledge needed to analyze and respond to the evolving threat of terrorism in a range of careers related to national security and counterterrorism. You’ll explore real-world applications, such as intelligence analysis, border security, and cybersecurity.

18 months. 100% online.

Graduates of the Nichols MSC in counterterrorism, homeland security, and security studies are a differentiator in police departments, intelligence agencies, and other emergency management fields. Every department has ‘one more capability’ when they have graduates of our counterterrorism master’s program on their force.

How does the MSC program at Nichols College work?

The Nichols MSC program is a graduate-level degree program that focuses on providing students with a deep understanding of violent extremism and terrorism, regarding its origins, and tactics, as well as strategies for preventing and responding to terrorist and other national security threats. The program includes courses in national security policy, intelligence analysis, counterterrorism operations, and emergency management.

In this program, you may also study topics such as the radicalization process, political violence, cyberterrorism, civil liberty constraints, and the use of technology in counterterrorism operations. The curriculum is designed to prepare you for a career in law enforcement, intelligence agencies, emergency management, and other fields related to national security.

Going into law enforcement – especially federal law enforcement – with a Master of Science Degree in Counterterrorism will not only make you stand out but will help you advance your career with a different agency, promotions, and so much more.

-Jared Richards, MSC ’20

What are the benefits of obtaining a Master of Science in Counterterrorism?

If you are considering getting your MSC, you likely already know how beneficial this degree will be to your current or future career in intelligence, law enforcement, or emergency management. But let’s go over some of the most tangible benefits, just in case:

  • Specialized Knowledge: A Master of Science in Counterterrorism provides students with specialized knowledge in the field of counterterrorism, including strategies, tactics, and techniques that can be used to prevent, deter, and respond to terrorist threats. This specialized knowledge can be applied in various fields, such as law enforcement, military, intelligence, homeland security, and private security.
  • Career Opportunities: Obtaining an MSC can provide students with a competitive edge in the job market. Graduates of the Nichols MSC program can pursue careers in many different fields, including government agencies, private security companies, international organizations, and non-profit research agencies.
  • Networking Opportunities: An MSC from Nichols College provides opportunities for you to network with professionals in the field, including faculty members, guest speakers, and fellow students. This can help you build relationships that may lead to job opportunities, internships, or other professional opportunities.
  • Critical Thinking: Counterterrorism involves complex and rapidly evolving threats, requiring individuals to think critically and creatively to develop effective responses. An MSC from Nichols College will provide you with the skills to analyze and evaluate information, make informed decisions, and develop effective strategies.
  • Global Perspective: Terrorism is an international phenomenon that requires a global perspective. A Nichols MSC will provide you with a broad understanding of the geopolitical, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to terrorism, as well as the global efforts to combat it. This can help you develop a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the field.

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Play Dr. Alison McDowell-Smith, Program Chair of MSC, video

Hot Jobs for MSC Holders

Graduates of the Nichols MSC program are equipped with specialized skills and knowledge that can be applied to a range of careers related to national security and counterterrorism. Some top job roles for MSC holders include:

  • Intelligence Analyst: Collects and analyzes information about potential security threats to inform decision-making and national security policy.
  • Cyber Defense Analyst: Analyze data and events to mitigate cyber threats to organizations and individuals.
  • Emergency Management Director: Coordinates preparedness, responses, recover, and mitigation to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies to ensure the safety of individuals and communities.
  • Law Enforcement Officer: Investigates and apprehends individuals suspected of engaging in criminal behavior, including terrorist-related activities, and works to prevent terrorism through community outreach and engagement.
  • Security Consultant: Provides expertise and advice on security measures to organizations and individuals to minimize the risk of threats.
  • Researcher: Conducts research and analysis on terrorism and national security issues to inform policy and decision-making.
  • Policy Analyst — Develops and analyzes national security policy related to counterterrorism efforts.

Our MSC graduates are well-prepared for careers in law enforcement, intelligence agencies, emergency management, and other fields related to national security and counterterrorism.

In On The Action

Nichols College MSC students were part of two teams for the Department of Homeland Security Invent2Prevent Project (2021 and 2022), which aims to reduce targeted violence and terrorism within our communities.  MSC students also participated in the 2019 Cybersecurity Incident Response Workshop as part of the Governor’s Cyber Resiliency Working Group and the 2020 MEMA National-Level Exercise.  It’s these opportunities to grow your network while learning from working professionals that make our Counterterrorism program unique and valuable.

Special Opportunity for Nichols MSC Applicants

Nichols College partners with Team Training Associates (TTA), an organization that teaches leadership and human performance management to private and public employees nationwide. Nichols’ MSC applicants who have completed the TTA’s Public Safety Leadership Academy will receive three (3) credits toward our graduate program.

During TTA’s immersive 5-day program, students learn evidence-based strategies and skills to become exceptional leaders. The workshop, which is modeled after the FBI National Academy’s framework, brings diverse groups of public safety leaders together to learn and network in a collaborative environment.

Honoring Our Heroes

We’re proud to offer reduced rates to first responders and law enforcement professionals, as well as special pricing for active duty, reserve, and veteran military service professionals.

Master of Science in Counterterrorism (MSC) Courses

Common Core (12 credits)

The course will provide an introduction to the evolution of intelligence within the United States construct. An overview of the history and role of intelligence in the U.S. Government and its Intelligence Community members will be provided. Students will be exposed to the intelligence cycle through case studies and intelligence failures, while developing a skillset on how to develop an intelligence question and support their development and understanding of the key elements of an intelligence product using basic analytic tools.

MSC Core (18 credits)

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Thomas Stewart

Director of Recruitment for Graduate Studies

Office: (508)213-2328