Next Application Deadline July 1 Get Info

The Middlebury Institute Master of Arts in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies (NPTS) is a four-semester, 60-credit program.

Start Dates Credits Thesis Language Competency Program Chair
August or January 60 Optional Required Jeff Knopf

Learning Goals

Our rigorous, professionally-focused curriculum will prepare you for a career addressing domestic and global security concerns. You will learn to counter threats posed by terrorism, financial crimes such as money laundering, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Our unique program involves a blend of classes, workshops, and hands-on experiences that provide students with both subject-matter expertise and training in practical skills that are in high demand by employers. Review the learning Goals


Core course work:

  • International Security Research and Analysis (2 credits)
  • Global Politics (4 credits)
  • Introduction to WMD Nonproliferation (4 credits)
  • Introduction to Terrorism Studies (4 credits)
  • Science and Technology for NPTS (4 credits)

Methods/Skills Courses (2 or 4 credits) sample courses:

  • Writing and Briefing Memos
  • Tabletop Exercise Design and Operation
  • Geospatial Tools for NPTS

NPTS Seminars (8 credits) and NPTS Courses (8 credits) sample courses:

  • Cybersecurity governance
  • Proliferation and Intelligence
  • Counterterrorism
  • Chemical and Biological Weapons and Arms Control
  • Global Jihadism
  • Deterring and Influencing Terrorism and WMD
  • Drones and Surveillance

Electives (10-12 credits) sample courses:

  • Nonproliferation Treaty Simulation
  • Evolution of Chinese Nuclear Policy
  • Cyberwar
  • Terrorism in Southeast Asia
  • Introduction to Network Analysis
  • Financial Investigation and Compliance

Language (12 credits) sample courses:

  • Topics in Security and International Relations (in Arabic)
  • Citizenship, Security, and Development in Latin America (in Spanish)
  • Challenges in Peacebuilding—Congo (in French)
  • Vladimir Putin: Russia and Its President (in Russian)
  • Japan in the World (in Japanese)

Core Course Work

These courses introduce the fields of nonproliferation and terrorism studies, including the technical aspects of weapons proliferation; how these issues fit into the broader context of world politics; and practical training in research methods and other analytical techniques.

NPTS Seminars and Courses

Advanced courses allow for deeper knowledge on a particular region or specialized topic.


Electives—chosen in consultation with your career and academic adviser—build on expertise that can benefit your career. Elective credits can be used to take workshops, regular courses, and seminars. This is also an opportunity to take classes in other Institute degree programs.

Language Studies

Courses taught in your chosen language combine language skills development with topics related to your NPTS degree work and professional interests.

Professional Internship Option

An internship is not required, but for students who wish to do an internship during their studies, the Institute can assist with securing an internship, including the possibility of intern positions in government agencies, international organizations, and think tanks. Check out where our students recently interned.

Thesis Option

The NPTS honors thesis is a highly selective program. Students are challenged to design and conduct an independent research project of professional scope and quality with the guidance of a thesis adviser. A limited number of students are selected to participate in the honors thesis program each academic year. Students apply to participate in their second semester and, if selected, conduct research during their third and/or final terms. Students present their findings to a panel of faculty, students, and the public.

Additional Program Options

Financial Crime Management

The Financial Crime Management specialization gives you the skills and confidence to pursue a career in private-sector compliance and investigations, government intelligence, training and research with multilateral organizations, and anticorruption compliance for NGOs.

Accelerated Entry and Advanced Entry

Students who meet our requirements for accelerated entry or advanced entry may be eligible to complete the degree in three or two full-time semesters. See How to Apply for details.

Sample Course Schedule

Fall Start, Full Time, Four Semesters

Term Course Credits
Fall 1 International Security Research and Analysis 2
Fall 1 Introduction to WMD Nonproliferation 4
Fall 1 Introduction to Terrorism Studies 4
Fall 1 Workshops 2
Fall 1 Language Studies 4
Spring 1 Science and Technology for NPTS 4
Spring 1 Global Politics 4
Spring 1 NPTS Methods/Skills 4
Spring 1 Language Studies 4
Fall 2 NPTS Seminars, Advanced Courses, or Workshops 6
Fall 2 Electives 4
Fall 2 Language Studies 4
Spring 2 NPTS Seminars, Advanced Courses, or Workshops 8
Spring 2 Electives 6
TOTAL   60