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The Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS) was established at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2013 to bring together faculty from several colleges throughout UMass Lowell (and from other institutions and organizations in the Commonwealth) to work on a variety of collaborative research projects addressing the evolution, convergence and complexity of such domestic and foreign security challenges as terrorism, cyber-security, transnational crime, and weapons of mass destruction (among many other topics). 


CTSS faculty, staff and fellows are internationally recognized experts in their respective fields and represent such diverse disciplines as psychology, criminology, political science, education, philosophy and computer science.


CTSS is led by faculty in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies but is comprised of additional fellows and faculty members from other units within UMass Lowell and the broader UMass family. 


Several CTSS faculty teach courses in the University’s interdisciplinary MA/MS program in Security Studies and in the Ph.D, M.A. and B.S. programs in Criminal Justice and Criminology. Faculty also work closely with students enrolled in the Security and Human Rights concentration of the Ph.D. in Global Studies program offered by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.






CTSS mission includes training to help understand and respond to the evolution, convergence, and complexity of domestic and foreign security challenges. Prior to working at CTSS, many of our faculty served in applied roles as part of Government Agencies, Government Research Laboratories, and War Colleges. In addition to this, we serve on national and international advisory boards for issues pertaining to global and domestic security.  


Faculty members have given presentations on their research to many U.S. government and law enforcement agencies, the United Nations, and respective agencies of foreign governments. CTSS faculty have testified before Congressional hearings and served as expert witnesses for terrorism-related court cases. Media outlets around the world have called upon Center faculty to share their expertise and informed opinion about current events.


For more information and to learn about opportunities to train with CTSS faculty please contact Neil Shortland, Ph.D., ( or Prof. James Forest (


CTSS was founded by academics from multiple different colleges within UMass Lowell and is committed to interdisciplinary research.  Our faculty has a broad range of theoretical backgrounds ranging from Criminology, International Relations, Political Science, Pedagogy, and Psychology, as well as a diverse range of methodological skills including experimental research, surveys, and field research.  Some examples of recent publications from CTSS faculty include:


Terrorist recruitment 

Civil wars (and recovery from)

Military adaptation

Civilian casualties

Influence warfare 

Our faculty has also coordinated edited volumes on issues central to the field (e.g., the future of security) as well as deep-dive manuscripts on new and emerging issues.


For more information see UMass Lowell's CTSS Research and Education


The Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS) offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to engage in a variety of research projects through the CTSS internship program. The CTSS internship program offers students at UMass Lowell hands-on experience and training in areas of data collection, data analysis, and research and practitioner presentations. CTSS interns are also exposed to a wide variety of expertise and guest lectures from internal and external experts in the areas of terrorism; counter-terrorism; security, stability as well as a host of practitioners in the fields of law enforcement and law.

CTSS interns have used their experiences to conduct innovative independent projects on terrorism which have been presented at University-wide conferences as well as forming data to support their undergraduate, honors or masters’ theses. They have used this opportunity as a platform to gain internships with United States Government Agencies and the Washington Center, as well as employment in law enforcement and counter-terrorism. To learn more about our work with students, or to work with us visit our Student and Internship page


The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers several degree programs and options in which students can study various aspects of terrorism, counter terrorism, and other topics related to national and international security. These programs offer an enriching educational experience for students pursuing a broad range of careers in the private and public sector including local, state and federal government agencies, defense contractors, research firms and advanced technology companies. These programs are affiliated with the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS) whose faculty are involved in teaching courses and supervising doctoral dissertations. Students are admitted into this program from a wide array of professional backgrounds. Our Bachelor's, Master's and Graduate Certificate programs are offered online as well as on-campus. Learn more about the academic programs offered at UMass Lowell.




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