Our Joint BA/MA in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies is a six-semester, 150-credit program.

Start Dates Credits Thesis Language Competency Program Chair
August or January 150 Optional Required Jeff Knopf


Transfer credits (60 credits)

Core Course Work

  • Applied Social Science Research Methods (2 or 4 credits)
    • International Security Research and Analysis (2 credits)
    • Introduction to Policy and Data Analysis (4 credits)
  • Global Politics (4 credits)
  • Introduction to WMD Nonproliferation (4 credits)
  • Introduction to Terrorism Studies (4 credits)
  • Science and Technology for NPTS (4 credits)
  • Economics (8 credits) sample courses:
    • International Trade: Theory and Practice
    • Development Economics
    • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Methods/Skills Courses (4 or 6 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

  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Terrorism
  • Cybersecurity Governance
  • Global Jihadism
  • Proliferation and Intelligence
  • Counterterrorism
  • Deterring and Influencing Terrorism and WMD
  • Drones and Surveillance
  • South Asia and WMD

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)

Intercultural Competence (4 credits)

  • Intercultural Group Dynamics
  • Multilingual Communication in Multicultural Setting

Policy and Management Electives (8 credits) sample courses

  • International Migration, Security, and Human Rights
  • Globalization and Development

Electives (18 credits) sample courses

  • Nonproliferation Treaty Simulation
  • Terrorism and Media in the Middle East
  • Evolution of Chinese Nuclear Policy
  • Cybersecurity Aspects of Nuclear Security
  • Terrorism in Southeast Asia
  • Introduction to Network Analysis
  • Financial Investigation and Compliance

Transfer Credits

Visit the How to Apply: Transfer Credits section for details.

Core Course Work

Background Courses

Introduce students to world politics and the global economy as a way to provide a broader context for understanding terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Also give students practical training in research methods and related skills.

Introductory Courses

Courses introducing the fields of nonproliferation and terrorism studies, including training to give students the competence to understand the technical side of these issues.

NPTS Courses and Seminars

Advanced courses, seminars, and/or workshops that allow for deeper knowledge about a key region, policy tool, or other aspect of WMD proliferation or terrorism.


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


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

Intercultural Competence

Our intercultural competence offerings provide the cross-cultural communication skills needed to pursue global careers.

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. You may also receive academic credit for your internship. 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 under the guidance of a thesis advisor. A limited number of students are selected to participate in the honors thesis program each academic year. Students present their findings to a panel of faculty, students, and the public.

Additional Program Options

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) are encouraged to apply for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.

Options for Peace Corps Service

Interested students can integrate Peace Corps service into their degree.

Sample Course Schedule

Fall Start, Full Time, Six Semesters

Fall 1 14 or 15 Credits
International Security Research and Analysis OR Intro to Policy and Data Analysis 2 or 3
Economics Course 4
Advanced Language 4
Global Politics 4
Spring 1 16 Credits
Economics Course 4
Methods/Skills Course(s) 4
Advanced Language 4
Intro to WMD Nonproliferation OR Intro to Terrorism Studies 4
Fall 2 16 Credits
Intro to WMD Nonproliferation OR Intro to Terrorism Studies 4
Science and Technology for NPTS 4
Nonproliferation and/or Terrorism Studies Advanced

Courses and/or Workshops
Advanced Language 4
Spring 2 15 or 16 Credits
Methods/Skills Course 1 or 2
Nonproliferation and/or Terrorism Studies Advanced Courses and/or Workshops 4
Nonproliferation and/or Terrorism Studies Seminar 4
Additional Credits of Courses, Seminars, and/or Workshops in Non-NPTS Programs 4
Intercultural Competence Course 2
Fall 3 14 Credits
Additional Credits of Courses, Seminars, and/or Workshops in Non-NPTS Programs 4
Free Electives 10
Spring 3 14 Credits
Nonproliferation and/or Terrorism Studies Seminar 4
Free Electives 8
Intercultural Competence Course 2