Online Master of Defense And Strategic Studies
36 credit hours | In-state tuition: $490/credit hour | Out-of-state tuition: $575/credit hour
- Convenient 100% online format
- Flexible, asynchronous classes ideal for military and working civilian students
- Accelerated seven-week courses
- In-depth curriculum examines current defense and security challenges
- Ideally suited for students interested in intelligence and national security careers
- Financial aid and military benefits available
- Available on the Academic Common Market (ACM)*
Be a Key Player in National Defense
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.
Types of jobs
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"Although the program (MDSS) is very rigorous, it still offers students flexibility and the learning opportunity of a lifetime." - LESLIE REYNOSO, GRADUATE
Learn From Experienced and Talented Faculty
Our faculty for the strategic studies master's degree 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.
MEET JOSEPH BASSI, the retired. U.S. Air Force officer with 26 years of active duty under his belt. Dr. Bassi teaches Intro to U.S. National Security and Future of War.
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. For additional details and to learn even more about the program, visit the department's web page.
|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.|