The Master of Arts in National Security Studies provides executive-level education in national and international security policy with concentrations in homeland security, intelligence analysis, cyber security, terrorism studies, and regional security studies. Knowledge gained in this online master’s program is useful for careers in the defense industry, military, U.S. and foreign governments, and the private sector.

The program includes a solid foundation in agency operations and theory, and studies the complex problems found in today’s uncertain security environment. You will be taught by experienced faculty who remain active in the national security arena, helping to ensure relevancy in this continuously expanding field.

Graduates of the program are career professionals found across the national and international security community as civilian and military leaders, policymakers, action-officers, analysts, instructors, and consultants. This program also provides a strong academic stepping stone for our doctoral programs in global security and strategic intelligence.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level outcome objectives, this degree seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. Graduates in this degree program will be able to:

  • Appraise classic and contemporary theories, strategies, doctrines, and procedures related to the causes, conduct, and termination of armed conflict and the maintenance of peace.
  • Assess and predict traditional and non-traditional threats to national and international security.
  • Compare the structures, functions, capabilities, and activities of national and international security community members.
  • Conduct advanced research and compose professional and academic analyses on issues critical to national and international security.

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements18
Select one of the following concentrations:12
Elective Requirements3
Final Program Requirements3
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (18 semester hours)

SSGS500Research Design and Methods 13
NSEC501Institutions of National Security3
NSEC503U.S. National Security3
NSEC504International Security3
NSEC610National Security and Globalization3
NSEC613Current and Emerging Threats to U.S. National Security3
Total Semester Hours18
1

Required as the first course in this program.

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the General Concentration, Cyber, Homeland Security, Regional Security Studies, Security and Intelligence Analysis, or the Terrorism Studies Concentrations.

General Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

This general concentration allows you to select from more than two dozen different concentration courses offered within this program, enabling you to create your own focused area of study.

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Drug Cartels and the Narcotics Threat
Homeland Security and Defense
Security Risk Management
Weapons of Mass Destruction and the New Terrorism
Domestic Terrorism and Extremist Groups
Strategic Intelligence
Collection
Intelligence Operations
Intelligence Analysis
Intelligence and Homeland Security
Transnational Crime and Narcotics
Terrorism: Assessing the Past to Forecast the Future
Strategic Geography and Geopolitics
Politics and War
International Negotiation
Government and Security in Korea
Latin American Security Issues
Seminar in Middle East Politics and Security
Advanced Cybercrime Analysis
Cyber Ethics: Privacy and Intellectual Property
Law, Ethics and Cybersecurity
The Non-State Soldier
Cyber Policy and Practice in National Security
Regional Security Cooperation
Covert Action and National Security
National Security and Diplomacy
Political Psychology of Terror Groups
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Cyber (12 semester hours)

Analyzes the cyber discipline from a multidisciplinary perspective. Topics include: current cyber policy and strategy for non-practitioners in a national security framework; laws related to intellectual property, civil litigation, criminal prosecutions, and cybersecurity; and the privacy, ethical, economic, and societal issues that face today’s information-entrenched society.

Objective

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to analyze the cyber discipline from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours) 

LSTD517Law, Ethics and Cybersecurity3
NSEC506Cyber Policy and Practice in National Security3
ISSC630Advanced Cybercrime Analysis3
ISSC631Cyber Ethics: Privacy and Intellectual Property3
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Homeland Security (12 semester hours)

Explores contemporary threats to the U.S. and the organizations, capabilities, and activities of America’s homeland defense community. Covers the efforts to prevent, prepare, and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction, the role of risk management in the prevention of loss, and the development of drug cartels and their organization, production, and distribution networks.

Objective

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to appraise the contemporary threats to the United States; and the organizations, capabilities, and activities of the national defense community.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Drug Cartels and the Narcotics Threat
Homeland Security and Defense
Security Risk Management
Weapons of Mass Destruction and the New Terrorism
Domestic Terrorism and Extremist Groups
Intelligence and Homeland Security
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Regional Security Studies (12 semester hours)

Examines the forces reshaping world politics and analyzes the institutions that are fostering new forms of global governance. Topics include the role of diplomacy in national security policy development and implementation, and the strategic, operational, and tactical elements required for conducting peace operations.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

NSEC608Regional Security Cooperation3
Select 3 courses from the following:9
History of East Asia
History of the Middle East
History and Culture of Latin America
International Negotiation
Peacekeeping: Structure and Process
Government and Security in Korea
Latin American Security Issues
Seminar in Middle East Politics and Security
Middle Eastern Culture
Arab-Israeli Conflict: Contemporary Politics & Diplomacy
National Security and Diplomacy
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Security and Intelligence Analysis (12 semester hours)

Covers advanced security and intelligence analysis methods used to convey issues critical to national and international security. Examines the forces reshaping world politics, analyzes the institutions that are fostering new forms of global governance, and discusses the current structure, function, capabilities, and contributions of individual U.S. national intelligence community members.

Objective

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to apply advanced security and intelligence analysis methods in composing professional and academic analyses on issues critical to national and international security.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Strategic Intelligence
Collection
Intelligence Operations
Intelligence Analysis
Strategic Geography and Geopolitics
Regional Security Cooperation
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Terrorism Studies (12 semester hours)

Evaluates the causes of and threats from domestic and international terrorism, as well as the organizations, capabilities, and activities of the international security community in the global war on terrorism. Also analyzes U.S. and international policies for combating terrorism, terrorist tactics worldwide, and the scope of terrorism.

Objective

Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to appraise the causes of and threats from domestic and international terrorism and the organizations, capabilities, and activities of the international security community in the Global War on Terrorism.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Weapons of Mass Destruction and the New Terrorism
Domestic Terrorism and Extremist Groups
Counterterrorism
Terrorism: Assessing the Past to Forecast the Future
The Non-State Soldier
Political Psychology of Terror Groups
Total Semester Hours12

Elective Requirements (3 semester hours)

Select from other graduate courses not taken to meet core or concentration requirements.

Final Program Requirement (3 semester hours)

NSEC699National Security Studies Capstone 13
Total Semester Hours3
1

Taken once all other requirements have been met. The Capstone Seminar will satisfy 3 semester hours of an elective requirement.