Certificate of Advanced Study in National Security & Counterterrorism Law

Developed by a senior law faculty member who literally “wrote the book” on national security law and counterterrorism law, the CAS in National Security and Counterterrorism Law is a highly interdisciplinary, 15-credit program of study for law and graduate students looking to specialize in national security, counterterrorism, homeland security, cybersecurity, and related fields.

Students benefit from multiple faculty perspectives, from College of Law professors and others in public policy, international affairs, information studies, computer science, engineering, and elsewhere. Academic opportunities include group research projects, simulations, field trips, and study abroad. Students also can join the INSCT-supported Student Association on Terrorism and Security Analysis.

Download Program Description Fall 2018 Courses
INSCT has allowed me to explore the national security and counterterrorism field through challenging coursework, independent research, and cross-cultural learning experiences abroad. I feel well prepared to begin a career in research and policy analysis. —Emily Schneider, LAW ’13

Who Can Apply?

The certificate is available to both law and graduate students—interested students are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to visit the INSCT office during the spring semester of their first year to register for the certificate and to discuss a course plan with staff.

How Do I Apply?

  • Complete a Graduate School Internal Admission Application FormYou will need this to complete the SU Law Student Services Request below.
  • Inform the SU Law Office of Student Life that you intend to pursue a CAS in National Security and Counterterrorism Law. Do this via a Student Services Request, following the steps described below. If you have any questions on this procedure, please visit the Office of Student Life.
Student Services Request Procedure

If you require more information, contact the INSCT office at insct@syr.edu or 315.443.2284.

INSCT alumni are everywhere in the national security world, and the invaluable advice and recommendations I received from my predecessors have helped me gain employment in the federal government after graduation. —Zachary D. Johnson, LAW ’16

How Do I Receive the Certificate?

  • Students must file a Diploma Request Form on MySlice (and update their addresses). Filing on MySlice activates the certification process.
  • You will be reminded by INSCT in February/March of your final year to complete the Diploma Request Form and to submit a Final Program of Study Form.
  • Projects or courses otherwise not listed may qualify for credit subject to approval by the Program Director. To petition to have non-listed study qualify for the CAS, complete a Waiver Petition Form and submit it to INSCT.
  • The Program Director will recommend granting the CAS in National Security and Counterterrorism Law to students who have met all of the requirements and who are in good standing.
I greatly enjoyed the time I spent deeply involved at INSCT and with its projects.  Thanks to INSCT, I have spent two years studying counterterrorism, one year researching armed conflicts, plus a summer in Israel among counterterrorism practitioners.  All these experiences greatly impacted my life.”

—Courtney Schuster (LAW ’13)

Interdisciplinary coursework for the CAS in National Security & Counterterrorism Law aims to provide students the following outcomes:
Students will determine the applicable legal rules from multiple sources of the law in the national security contexts and seek to reconcile any competing principles.

Locate and evaluate research materials specific to the field of national security

Demonstrate writing capacity, preferably through drafting law and or policy memoranda

Solve security problems that require solutions and suggestions from non-law disciplines such as public administration, international relations, history, economics, social science, and political science.


What Are the Requirements?

To earn the CAS in National Security Law and Counterterrorism students must:

  • Complete 15 credits of coursework—six credits from the Required Course List and nine credits from the Elective Course List. Students are encouraged to select courses with the help of a faculty advisor and/or INSCT staff.
  • Maintain an overall 3.0 GPA average in CAS courses. No course may count if taken pass/fail or audited.
  • Complete the Writing Requirement:
    • An academic paper on a security topic that satisfies the upper class writing requirement for Syracuse Law; OR
    • Students may take at least one course that requires a significant written product on a security topic. INSCT has designated courses with a [W] that meet this standard—Law 883, Law 822, and Law 832 (see Required Course List).
  • Complete the Capstone Project:
    • Examples of a Capstone Project include, but are not limited to, a research paper, clinical work, an externship, or a substantial collaborative project. The project must be approved by the Program Director; OR
    • Students may take one or both of two classes whose cumulative work constitutes a Capstone Project. These classes—Law 883 or Law 822 (see Required Course List)—are designated with a [C].

Course Options

Fall 2018 Courses

1) Required Courses—take six credits:

Central Challenges in National Security Law & Policy (PAI 730/LAW 883)
Counterterrorism and the Law (LAW 790)
Cybersecurity Law and Policy (LAW 832)/Information Security Policy (IST 728)
Homeland Security: Federal Policy and Implementation Challenges (PAI 730)
Foreign Relations Law (Law 871)
National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center (LAW 822)
National Security Law (LAW 700)

2) Elective Courses—take nine credits:

View Electives

NOTE: Elective courses change each semester.

Contact Contact
300 Dineen Hall | 950 Irving Avenue
SU College of Law, Syracuse NY 13244
insct@syr.edu | 315.443.2284