Graduate Certificate in Terrorism and Homeland Security

Graduate Certificate in Terrorism and Homeland Security


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The Graduate Certificate in Terrorism and Homeland Security at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government is an interdisciplinary introduction to the phenomenon of modern terrorism and its implications for U.S. domestic and foreign policy. It focuses on multidisciplinary analysis and holistic cross-sectoral approaches to long-term prevention of and response to terrorism.




  • Completion Requirements: 5 courses (15 credits) listed below
  • Duration: 1 to 1.5 years on average
  • Semester of Entry: fall and spring

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Notice:
Mason has moved to virtual instruction for its on-campus programs for the spring 2020 semester. Faculty and staff who normally work on-campus are teleworking and are fully available to support students. Visit Mason's Coronavirus Information page for more information, including affected dates and frequently asked questions. For questions as a prospective student, please don't hesitate to contact the Schar School Office of Graduate Admissions at

Certificate Program Requirements

REQUIRED COURSES (2 courses | 6 credits)

Students are required to take the following two courses:

BIOD 722 – Examining Terrorist Groups
Introduction to terrorism including the history and evolution of terrorism, case studies of key terrorist groups, the current nature of the terrorist threat and counterterrorism strategies.

BIOD 725 – Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction
Examines the capabilities and intentions of terrorists to acquire and use chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons. The course provides an in-depth understanding of the history of CBRN terrorism, the current challenges posed by this threat, and the range of national and international policy tools available to address this threat.

ELECTIVE COURSES (3 courses | 9 credits)

Select three elective courses of your choosing related to terrorism analysis or response. Courses should be chosen in consultation with an advisor and approved in advance by the program director.


Earn your master's degree faster by starting with a certificate program. Students can apply up to 12 credits from a certificate program toward a Schar School master's degree upon acceptance into a master's program. Upon completion of this certificate, many students go on to pursue the Schar School's Master's in Biodefense and Master's in International Security degree programs, among others.


Have questions about this certificate program? Contact the Admissions Office.