“Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Terrorists are playing a psychological game when conspiring to commit their acts of terrorism. In the case of the 9/11 attacks on America, Al-Qaeda was seeking to instill fear in the minds of Americans. They sought to plant a seed of unrest and panic that might eventually unravel the fabric of our western society. Far from reaching this objective, Al-Qaeda did however succeed in creating a sense of Americans’ exposure to harm. We have changed some of our lifestyles in order to work around a new system of security in our airports and on our borders. In addition, attacks such as 9/11 have opened up an entirely new field of research and program development designed to combat terrorism threats by beating them at their own game, through psychology.

Masters programs in Terrorism and Security are providing students with the skills and understanding necessary to develop programs that will make it more difficult for organizations like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to recruit soldiers and to commit future acts of terrorism.

Masters in Non-profit Management Concepts

Specifically, a Masters degree program in Terrorism and Security will provide you with knowledge in most if not all of the following areas:

Typical Coursework

  • Principles of public policy toward terrorism
  • Systemic methodology for public policy creation, emergency preparation, and crisis management
  • Behavioral research
  • Terrorism mentality from behavioral, social, economic and political perspectives
  • Social causes and effects of terrorism
  • Psychology of terrorism
  • Social psychology associated with disaster relief
  • Psychology of interventions
  • Terrorism legislation and policy
  • Planning and leadership in times of crisis

Salary Benefits and Career Advancement

In June of 2009, the height of the recession, the Disaster Operations Division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) listed a job opening for a division director with a starting salary in the range of $119,014 to $153,200. In addition, during the same time period as above, there were multiple positions open for FEMA program analysts with starting salaries in the range of $86,927 to $110,109.

For many positions working for the government in such divisions as the Disaster Operations Division, or with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a masters degree in terrorism or emergency management is plenty of education to get you through the door and qualify you for a high paying position.

However, after completing your masters degree, you will always be able to go back to school to earn a PhD. If you wish to become a psychologist in a specialized field dealing with terrorism and emergency management tactics, you will need to have the doctoral credential.

Search the FEMA website for career listings in the Department of Homeland Security and similar divisions