Home » Free Online Courses » Free Online Course on Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Free Online Course on Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Georgetown University is offering free online course on Terrorism and Counterterrorism. In this course applicants will understand the strategies and tactics of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Islamic State.

Course At A Glance

Length: 7 sections
Effort: 8-10 hours per week
Subject: Law
Institution: Georgetown University and edX
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes. Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course starts on Self-Paced

User Review
0 (0 votes)

Providers’ Details

Georgetown University, the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university, is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world. Students receive a world-class learning experience focused on educating the whole person through exposure to different faiths, cultures and beliefs.

About This Course

Terrorism has gone from a persistent yet marginal security concern to one of the most important security problems of our day. There are few countries that do not suffer from some form of terrorism. Though many attempts at terrorism fail, some groups wage lengthy and bloody campaigns and, in exceptional cases, kill hundreds or even thousands in pursuit of their ends.

This course on terrorism will explore the nuances involved in defining terrorism, the nature of Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Islamic State, and other important groups, the effectiveness of different counterterrorism tools, terrorist recruiting, counterterrorism and the rule of law, the political context in South Asia and the Midde East, and the terrorist use of technology.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recall the working definitions of terrorism and recognize their analytic limits
  • Identify a range of causes of terrorism
  • Understand the strategies and tactics of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Islamic State
  • Identify important terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia with an understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and overall effectiveness; these include Palestinian groups, Pakistani groups, and Al-Qaeda
  • Understand how counterterrorism is constrained in a democratic society and several important legal debates related to counterterrorism




Daniel Byman (Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service)

Jonathan Brown (Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Civilization)

John Esposito (Professor)

Christine Fair (Assistant Professor, Security Studies Program)

Bruce Hoffman (Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service)

Fathali M. Moghaddam (Professor, Psychology)

Paul Pillar (Retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and a former core faculty member at Georgetown University Security Studies Program)

Benjamin Wittes (Senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution)

Natalia Peña (M.A. candidate in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, where she focuses on terrorism and sub-state violence)

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once you sign up for a course and activate your account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in your email address and edX password. This will take you to your dashboard, with access to each of your active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on your dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

Detailed Information