Academic Programs

The next generation of national security professionals must engage some of the most important and challenging questions of our time, questions such as Must Americans compromise civil liberties to enable government surveillance of suspected terrorists? How does the US defend against (and respond to) cyber attacks on its homeland? How can the laws of war be applied to armed conflict against non-state actors? How does the rule of law guide strategies and tactics for responding to domestic threats and disasters?

INSCT’s interdisciplinary law and graduate academic programs—and their calibrated mix of academic research and real-world practice—are designed to give law and policy students the best possible theoretical and practical training as they prepare themselves for careers in national and international security, counterterrorism, international law, postconflict reconstruction, and cybersecurity.
Jointly sponsored by Syracuse Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, INSCT is led by Professor William C. Banks, an internationally recognized thought-leader in the field and a scholar who literally “wrote the books” on national security and counterterrorism law
In addition to its three certificates of advanced study—in National Security and Counterterrorism Law, Security Studies, and Postconflict Reconstruction (see below)—INSCT directs a study abroad program in Israel; supports student-run organizations (SATSA, Syrian Accountability Project, Impunity Watch); sponsors advanced graduate research; and runs an online cybersecurity course.
With tools shaped and honed at INSCT, alumni have secured positions in the US government (CIA, NSA, FBI, ODNI); international organizations (ICC, World Bank); US military (JAG Corps); and think tanks and consultancies (Booz Allen, Deloitte).

INSCT fostered my interest in national security law and broadened my understanding of this interdisciplinary field. The institute also ignited my interest in international law and gave me the unique opportunity to explore how the international community intersects with the domestic security community. Through INSCT I participated in projects that have reached actual clients and that introduced me to giants in the field. I cannot imagine a better network and foundation of knowledge than the one INSCT has provided.—Molly White (LAW ’16)

SU Law Admissions Maxwell School Admissions

Learn more about INSCT’s certificate programs for matriculated law and graduate students:


Certificate of Advanced Study in National Security & Counterterrorism Law

The CAS in National Security and Counterterrorism Law is an interdisciplinary, 15-credit program of study for law and graduate students specializing in national security, homeland security, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and related fields.


Certificate of Advanced Study in Security Studies

The CAS in Security Studies is a 12-credit, interdisciplinary law and policy studies program for law and graduate students students preparing for careers in national security, homeland security, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.


Certificate of Advanced Study in Postconflict Reconstruction

The CAS in Postconflict Reconstruction (PCR) is a 12-credit, multidisciplinary law and policy studies program for law and graduate students students preparing for careers in PCR, peace building, humanitarian relief, and development.


INSCT’s Certificate of Advanced Study in Postconflict Reconstruction program gave me a profound understanding of what conflict is, how it manifests itself, and its impact on individual people, communities, and countries. This understanding has helped me to improve my programs everywhere I have worked, from Somalia and DRC to Haiti and China. INSCT’s PCR program taught me the skills, tools, and abilities I can use to empower others to reconstruct for themselves.—Joshua Daley (MPA/MAIR ’11), Manager of Programs, Global Health Action

INSCT’s online executive education-style course for cyber and IT professionals:

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Cybersecurity Online Course

The online course Cybersecurity Law and Policy provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary understanding of the scope and gravity of threats to US interests in cyberspace and the current debates on how to address this critical security challenge while upholding civil liberties. The course is for mid-career professionals seeking to navigate contemporary law and policy debates on cybersecurity.

Other academic opportunities:

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Program on Security in the Middle East

INSCT’s Program on Security in the Middle East is a multi-part, international, interdisciplinary initiative that takes a cross-cultural approach toward understanding the historical, religious, social, and political complexities that impact the region. It includes the Becker Speaker Series and a study abroad option for law and graduate students. 


Student Association on Terrorism & Security Analysis (SATSA)

INSCT proudly supports SATSA, a graduate student organization at SU that promotes dialogue and critical engagement among national security law and policy students, faculty, and practitioners. SATSA produces the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis (JTSA) and a yearly seminar. 


Impunity Watch

This organization produces both a law review journal and news reporting website. Its goal is to alert the world to impunity issues as they arise and to provide open access to cutting-edge debate about issues surrounding war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Syrian Accountability Project

Started at SU College of Law in 2011, the Syrian Accountability Project (SAP) is a cooperative effort between activists, non-governmental organizations, students, and other interested parties to document war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of the Syrian Crisis.


Contact Contact
300 Dineen Hall | 950 Irving Avenue
SU College of Law, Syracuse NY 13244 | 315.443.2284