Sociology and Criminal Justice

Minor in Terrorism Studies Program

Catalog description:

The minor in terrorism studies is designed to accommodate the student who is majoring in criminal justice, political science, or some other discipline and is interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, corrections, law, and/or government. It provides the student an interdisciplinary approach within the social sciences and addresses the unique challenges presented by terrorism and its impact on our national security and the political world. The program examines how this phenomena impacts democratic societies and the geo-political environment in the face of an unparalleled threat environment.

Requirements for a Minor in Terrorism Studies

Sem. Hrs.

Core Courses:  CRJ 2010, CRJ 4200, CRJ 4230


Electives: select three of the following courses: CRJ 3440, CRJ/SOC 3520, CRJ 4210, CRJ 4220, REL/PLS 3025, REL 3280, PLS 4170, PLS 4190




Core Courses

CRJ 2010.  Introduction to Terrorism Studies
This course will provide a comprehensive multi-disciplinary exploration of terrorism from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Emphasis will be placed on the study of domestic and international terrorist motivations, strategies, and methods through the analysis of modern terrorist organizational structures and case studies of actual events. Attention will be provided to the strategic and political response the American criminal justice community has made since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Credit, 3 semester hours. 

CRJ 4200. Homeland Security
This course will provide a broad understanding of the organizational structure, mission, and challenges faced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its role within the criminal justice community in protecting the nation from terrorism.  Emphasis will be placed on the critical evaluation of the effectiveness of America's current national security policy by exploring contemporary efforts to protect the nation against terrorist attack by reducing our strategic vulnerabilities and developing creative antiterrorism strategies. Case studies and practical exercises will be instrumental in meeting course objectives.  Credit, 3 semester hours. Prerequisites: CRJ 2010.

CRJ 4230. Intelligence Studies
This course will critically examine the role of intelligence in supporting the National Security Policy of the United States. It will explore the mission and structure of the American intelligence community and examine the stages of the intelligence cycle process and the issues experienced in each step.  A particular focus will be placed on the importance of intelligence in combating terrorism and transnational crime.  Practical exercise analytical learning techniques will be used to examine contemporary case studies of terrorist attacks and violent crime events. Credit, 3 semester hours. Prerequisite: CRJ 2010.


CRJ 3440.  Organized Crime
A historical and contemporary review of the development and operation of organizations committed to criminal conduct. Emphasis will be placed on organized crime in America and the efforts to control it (especially federal RICO statutes).  Credit, 3 semester hours. Prerequisite: CRJ 2000.

CRJ 3520. Human Trafficking and Slavery (SOC 3520)
This course addresses a worldwide crime phenomenon and social problem that involves men, women, and children ensnared in an unthinkable life of slavery, torture, and early death. The following topics are covered in-depth: the rise and costs of human trafficking; the financial side of human trafficking; the trafficking markets in Asia, Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the United States. Credit, 3 semester hours.  Prerequisite: CRJ 2000 or SOC 1020.

CRJ 4210.  Counterterrorism Strategies
This course will take a cross-disciplinary approach to analyze proactive methods used by the criminal justice and intelligence community and its international partners to combat terrorism and political violence. Case studies of contemporary terrorist groups and counterterrorism strategies used by law enforcement to reduce the effectiveness of terrorist activities will be provided along with scenario-based practical exercise learning techniques.  Credit, 3 semester hours. Prerequisites: CRJ 2010.

CRJ 4220.  Terrorism: Constitutional and Legal Issues
This course will provide an overview of constitutional, legislative, and legal issues impacting criminal justice professionals at all levels of government engaged in combating terrorism. Emphasis will be placed on examining the social, ethical, practical, and political implications of legislation such as the Patriot Act, which is designed to protect the homeland and American interests throughout the world. Particular focus will be provided the legal implications of terrorism on the judicial system and in particular the challenges facing government prosecutors. This course will utilize contemporary case studies in furtherance of its objectives. Credit, 3 semester hours. Prerequisites: CRJ 2010.

REL/PLS 3025 – Fundamentalisms
Starting in the 1970s, there has been a substantial growth in the strength of religious radical movements sometimes known as “fundamentalist,” which seek to manifest their religious faith in the political arena. The course will examine these phenomena in comparative perspective primarily in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will focus on the religious players in the Middle East conflict. Special attention will be given to the place of Jerusalem as a focal center for religious extremist activity. Credit, 3 semester hours.

REL 3280. Violence and Religion
This course examines the positive and negative interactions between adherents of differing religions, considering the larger pattern of inter-religious relations and the complex sources of conflicts.   The course will focus on specific conflicts as case studies.  Specific cases will vary.  Credit, 3 semester hours.

PLS 4170.  International Security Policy
This course introduces students to the issues, concepts, and theories relating to security in the contemporary international system.  It will examine a number of strategies for addressing problems related to war and peace in world politics.  It will consider such topics as the nature and origins of war, arms control and proliferation, terrorism, and the causes and consequences of a number of international conflicts, both past and present.  Particular attention will be paid to the process of peacekeeping and peacemaking as it relates to international security.  Credit, 3 semester hours. PREREQ: PLS 1000 or 1010.

PLS 4190.  Topics in Terrorism
This course will provide an in-depth study of the field of terrorism relative to its impact on national security and comparative international politics. Credit, 3 semester hours. PREREQ: PLS 1000 and CRJ 2010. 

Coordinator: Professor McDonnell, Sampson Hall, Room 215,