Apr 01, 2023  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Security Studies (M.A.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Security Studies

The graduate program in Security Studies  is a rigorous, interdisciplinary, and professionally-oriented program of graduate studies. The resulting degree provides a broad, analytical perspective on national and international security issues while maintaining academic standards in accord with existing MA degrees in History and Political Science. Coursework concentrates on issues of strategy, politics, economics, and society from both historical and social science perspectives. A minimum of 30 credits is required.


Each student will be supervised by a master’s committee consisting of three members of the Security Studies graduate faculty. As in any graduate program, adjunct professors are eligible to serve on committees. For students at Fort Leavenworth, the MA committee will normally be made up of the Director of Security Studies and the two faculty members teaching 810/ 815.

Course requirements

Course requirements will consist of 30 hours of graduate-level work, up to 12 hours of which may be transfer credit from other graduate-level work. Students at Fort Leavenworth for ILE can normally transfer those 12 hours from their ILE work. The admissions committee will evaluate the suitability of transfer credits from other institutions. The remaining hours will consist of 18 hours of required courses and additional graduate-level electives as needed to total 30 hours.

1. Required: Fundamentals of Security (3 credit hours)

This course will introduce students to major themes covered in the M.A. program of study. It is designed to provide students with foundations for the other core courses and so must be completed in the first term of student enrollment. Students will read key texts on international security, military history, and strategy, as well as works on the theory and research practice of history and political science. They will write essays on the assigned readings, participate in on-line synchronous and asynchronous discussions, and compose a final paper or take a final exam on the issues raised by the course.

2. Required: Security Studies Methodology (2 credit hours)

This course is a rigorous exploration of interdisciplinary methods in history and political science.

3. Required: History and Security of Pivotal Regions (6 credit hours)

Students will take at least two courses on the history of regions of central importance to international affairs. These courses may focus on East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, or other strategic areas.

4. Required: International Security and Transnational Security (6 credit hours)

Political Science will offer two courses. International Security will focus on traditional issues of the causes of war, deterrence, the relevance/role of international institutions, arms proliferation, the politics of international intervention, and conflict resolution. The second, Terrorism and Transnational Security, will cover security issues that have been given increasing emphasis over recent years. Examples include the unique context of security problems in the developing world, demographic developments and internal/external  conflict, environmental issues and their relation to security, economic globalization and security, post-conflict reconstruction, and humanitarian emergencies.

5. Required: Research Design in Security Studies (1 credit hour)

This course is a study of research methods in history and political science culminating in a piece of original research in Security Studies.

Thesis Option

Students completing the thesis option will take 24 credit hours of coursework consisting of the 18 credit hours of required courses and six credit hours of electives. They will also take six credit hours of Master’s Research in either Political Science or History.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Security Studies