HLS 3301: Weapons of Mass Destruction


Provides an overview of a broad range of topics concerning the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, development, and terrorist use. The course context is structured to discuss the threat of WMD due to terrorism and rogue states’ development of WMD. The goal of the course is to inform the background history and technical concerns as well as how to deal with these concerns in the future.


  1. Articulate the developmental history of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) technology in World War I and World War II.
  2. Summarize the development, scope, and principles of international law regulating WMD proliferation.
  3. Explain the technology, types, effects, fabrication, development, and use of nuclear, biological, chemical, and agricultural weapons.
  4. Assess how terrorism, genetic engineering, biological warfare, and cyberterrorism may affect future prospects.
  5. Analyze terrorist threats, suspects, and counterterrorism operations concerning WMD, and compare and contrast past events.
  6. Evaluate the moral and ethical implications of using WMD.
  7. Articulate how the use of WMD would impact political, diplomatic, environmental, and societal concerns.
  8. Assess the capabilities of WMD to determine counteraction strategies.
  9. Explain the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in emergency response, decontamination, and remediation strategies.


  1. HLS 2301


Terrorism and WMDs: Awareness and response

Publisher: CRC Press (2011)
Author: Pichtel, J.
ISBN: 978-1-4398-5175-3
Price: $95.63

* Disclaimer: Textbooks listed are based on the last open revision of the course. Prior revisions and future revisions may use different textbooks. To verify textbook information, view the course syllabus or contact the CSU Bookstore at bookstore@columbiasouthern.edu