Online Master of Defense And Strategic Studies
- Convenient 100% online master of defense and strategic studies degree
- In-depth, 36-semester credit master’s program
- Accelerated seven-week courses
- Flexible curriculum designed for military and civilian students
- Preparation for intelligence and national security careers
- Critical examination of defense and security challenges
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) offers the 100% online Master of Defense and Strategic Studies (MDSS) degree as a part of our Intelligence and National Security Studies Program. It is an ideal choice for military or civilian personnel currently working in—or planning to work in—national security and defense. The fully online format is convenient for working professionals who manage schoolwork with other responsibilities.
I am greatly enjoying the program! Almost finished with my first class and have already learned more than I could have imagined, so I had to recommend the program to one of my soldiers! - Tara Hutchison, Student and Active Military, Camp Humphreys, ROK
WHY AN ONLINE MASTER OF DEFENSE AND STRATEGIC STUDIES DEGREE?
National defense is a matter of extreme importance and requires a diversity of viewpoints from knowledgeable professionals with differing skill sets and expertise. Students who choose this career path require a competent understanding of the big picture, as well as the subtleties of their particular positions. They will learn the history behind the current security environment, study the evolution of modern warfare and analyze special defense challenges facing the country. Finally, they will produce an original assessment on the future of modern warfare and its implications for national military strategy.
The master of defense and strategic studies degree provides a solid background for individuals who want to:
- Work within the U.S. government in intelligence or homeland defense
- Support foreign relations by working in the U.S. diplomatic corps
- Advance in the armed services
- Help influence defense policy by providing legislative support on Capitol Hill
The government is a big employer in this area; other employers include cyber security firms and big defense contractors who work with the government. Government agencies that tend to hire graduates with a master of defense and strategic studies degree include:
- Defense Intelligence Agency
- Department of Energy
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of State
- Department of Defense
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- National Reconnaissance Office
- National Security Agency
- Office of the Director of National Intelligence
- Central Intelligence Agency
- U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines)
Typical job titles available to graduates of this program include:
Our faculty for the strategic studies master have backgrounds in all aspects of national security ranging from national security law and legal psychology to counterterrorism and modern warfare. They are committed to providing students with the critical thinking and analytical skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field. They also belong to the federally sponsored UTEP National Security Studies Institute—An Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE). This is a national recognition without equal in the field and separates ours from all other similar programs, regardless of format.
The University of Texas at El Paso and its access and excellence mission are redefining public higher education not only in Texas, but also across the nation. At UTEP, we believe that an accessible and affordable education should be available to all. Online degrees such as the master of defense and strategic studies help make higher education a possibility for those who are unable to come to campus because of other responsibilities. Here’s what sets UTEP apart:
- UTEP is one of the major economic engines in the Paso del Norte region, adding $1.4 billion to the local economy annually.
- UTEP enrolls more than 25,000 students – about 80% of them Hispanic – and is the only doctoral research university in the nation with a majority Mexican-American student body. With its 36%-Hispanic faculty composition, UTEP also boasts one of the highest proportions of minority faculty among research universities in the United States.
- UTEP has attained a coveted R1 designation (top tier doctoral university with very high research activity) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. UTEP is one of only 130 (4.5%) top tier universities among the 2,883 four-year higher education institutions across the U.S. to earn this prestigious R1 distinction, joining the ranks of such universities as Stanford, M.I.T., Michigan, Arizona and California-Berkeley.
- With $90 million in total annual research expenditures, UTEP ranks third among University of Texas System academic institutions in federal research spending. Funding is received from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Endowment for the Humanities and other agencies.
- UTEP is ranked as the best return on investment and one of the most affordable emerging research institutions in higher education in the country according to collegecost.ed.gov. Also, per collegescorecard.ed.gov, the average net price per year at The University of Texas at El Paso was significantly lower than other universities across Texas.
- Affordableschools.net also ranks UTEP as one of the top most affordable Latinx/Hispanic-Serving Institutions with online bachelor’s degrees.
- UTEP awards $88 million in scholarships annually and $192 million in financial aid (over 88% of UTEP students receive financial aid).
- The Brookings Institution in 2017 ranked UTEP as the No. 1 leader in equal access to higher education, based on a combination of research productivity and student social mobility.
- The Carnegie Corporation of New York also recently recognized the University for its institutional vision and commitment to quality, diversity, curricular innovation and investment in our community.
- UTEP is a part of the Military Times’ Best: Colleges 2018 rankings.
- Hispanic Business magazine consistently ranks graduate programs in both Business Administration and Engineering in the Top 10 in the nation.
- UTEP is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
ONLINE MASTER OF DEFENSE AND STRATEGIC STUDIES CURRICULUM
The subject matter for the master of defense and strategic studies program is designed to help improve your knowledge of complex national security issues and further develop critical thinking skills, analytic aptitude, and cultural awareness. Lessons emphasize the development of strategy, while also examining inter-agency processes, military operations, diplomacy, regional security issues, and more.
|U.S. National Security||Comprehensively examine the development of contemporary U.S. national security policy and strategy from both theoretical and organizational standpoints. A particular emphasis will be placed on the instruments of power to achieve strategic objectives.|
|Strategic Theory and Modern Warfare||Undertake an advanced theoretical survey of classical strategy from Clausewitz to Mao and the application of strategy to warfare in the modern age. Gain an introduction to strategic thinking on conventional warfare, irregular warfare, nuclear warfare and cyber warfare.|
|Global Security||Conduct a broad theoretical and empirical examination of the major security issues currently facing the international community in the 21st century, from traditional inter-state conflict to the challenge of non-state actors and other transnational security issues.|
|Low-Intensity Conflict||Perform a detailed examination of the classical theory and practice of conflict in circumstances less than general conventional war. Study the key concepts and strategic principles pertaining to asymmetric warfare, terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, irregular warfare, unconventional warfare and military operations other than war (peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance).|
|Information Operations||Study the theory and fundamental principles of non-kinetic tools used to execute national military strategy in times of conflict and peace. Explore influence strategies that employ strategic communication, public diplomacy, military diplomacy, military public affairs, civil affairs, and psychological operations.|
|Cyberwarfare||Critically explore the ubiquitous nature of the cyber domain in modern warfare. Study the fundamental principles and case studies in cyber warfare to learn about the importance of cyber power in national military strategy and in joint/combined operations.|
|Strategic Survey of the Americas||Systematically examine the key military strategic issues affecting the Western Hemisphere with a heavy focus on the role of this region in national security policy and military strategy.|
|Strategic Survey of Africa||Examine the key military strategic issues affecting sub-Saharan Africa in detail with a heavy focus on the role of this region in national security policy and military strategy.|
|Strategic Survey of Europe||Explore the key military strategic issues affecting the Europe, NATO, and the transatlantic military alliance with a heavy focus on the role of this region in national security policy and military strategy.|
|Strategic Survey of the Middle East||Conduct a detailed study of the key military strategic issues affecting the Arab World from North Africa to the Persian Gulf with a heavy focus on the role of this region in national security policy and military strategy.|
|Strategic Survey of Asia||Study in detail the key military strategic issues affecting the major powers of Asia. A heavy focus will be placed on the role of China and India in national security policy and military strategy.|
|Future Warfare||Assess the future character of modern warfare, particularly the role of emerging technologies and its potential effect on the battlefield, the impact of next generation terrorism, the continued globalization of advanced communications, the militarization of space, and the prospective regional flashpoints for conventional and irregular conflicts. You will also consider the implications for national military strategy.|