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 SPL-supported National Security Student Association.Download Program Description
“SPL is the ultimate institute to develop your foundation in national security and counterterrorism law because the unique interdisciplinary course offerings and varied experiences of the renowned faculty offer unparalleled legal and policy perspectives to students. The professors provide tailored mentorship and make an avid effort to connect students to professionals in their field of interest during their time at Syracuse. Being a part of the SPL community coupled with hard work is a near guarantee for postgraduate success!”—Kristina Cervi, Law ’19
“The experience I gained from SPL goes well beyond knowledge of the black letter law. I learned to quickly analyze problems while incorporating policy and ethical considerations and to effectively convey the results of that analysis to the appropriate audience. Most importantly, I made connections with practitioners in the field, especially alumni, that helped launch my career.” —Ryan D. White, JD/MPA ’18
“SPL 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
“I greatly enjoyed the time I spent deeply involved at SPL and with its projects. Thanks to SPL, 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
Who Can Apply?
The certificate is available to both law and graduate students—interested students are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to visit the SPL 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 Form. You 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.
- Complete an SPL Proposed Program of Study Form and submit it to the SPL office.
- The Professional Profile Form helps us connect you with our professional network. Please fill this form out and submit it to the SPL office.
If you require more information, contact the SPL office at SPL@syr.edu or 315.443.2284.
How Do I Receive the Certificate?
- Law and graduate students must file a diploma request form on MySlice (and update their addresses). Filing on MySlice activates the certification process and awarding of a degree.
- You will be reminded by SPL 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 SPL.
- 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.
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 SPL staff.
- Maintain an overall 3.0 GPA average in required CAS courses.
- Audited classes may not be counted towards the CAS.
- Classes taken pass/fail may not be counted towards the CAS.
- Note: Courses graded on the alternative grading system (F/P/H/HH) are not considered pass/fail for CAS purposes. They may be used towards the CAS.
- 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. SPL 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].
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.
1) Required Courses—take six credits:
2) Elective Courses—take nine credits
NOTE: Elective courses change each semester. To view the most current graduate courses and descriptions, visit the College of Law Course Descriptions and the Graduate Course Catalog.