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International Security and Intelligence Studies Degree - Master of Science

Degree Information

A specialized graduate degree to meet the pressing need for intelligence professionals. A program designed with depth, breadth, and rigor, it establishes a unique niche within the security studies field: offering courses usualy only found within prestigious residential programs through the online format. The MS degree encompasses issues, concepts, theories, and contemporary priorities that are essential for any graduate program of study aiming to equip students with a body of knowledge that prepares them to be competitive for a career within the Intelligence community.


Major Requirements (27 credit hours)

(Click a course name below to view course details)

  • PS 500 National Security, Transnational Interests

    This course examines the application of national security into the global arena and how complicated transnational threats represent unique dangers to American interests.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 505 Comparative Intelligence Cultures

    Examines in comparative perspective the intelligence communities of various important states around the globe, including both allies and adversaries of the U.S.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 510 Post-Conflict Politics: Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

    This course examines how and what happens when states fail, the challenges and debates surrounding rebuilding conflict-ridden states, the methods available to achieve such objectives, and the criticisms and opponents of peacekeeping. The course exposes students to aspects of military intervention, economic and political reconstruction, and diplomatic engagement in terms of establishing peaceful and stable societies.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 605 Green Security: Eco-conflict and its Challenges

    This course examines an increasingly important aspect of 21st century conflict: green conflict, based on ecological, natural resource and demographic crises. It will assess how changing factors in the environment can alter and impact states and transnational relations. The geopolitics of energy and other natural resources will be a major emphasis of the course.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 615 Political Islam and Terrorism: Understanding Martyrs and Messiahs

    This course examines the underlying philosophy behind the most prominent terrorist groups at the international level and the controversies and contradictions entailed within said groups. Students will become aware of contrasting perspectives and the debates raging within political Islam, challenging the idea that it can be considered monolithic.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 620 Transnational Crime and Corruption: The Dark Side of Globalization

    Examines the complexity of international political economy, its manipulation, misuse, and role in the elevation, continuation, and worsening of conflict around the globe.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 625 Analyzing Anti-Americanism

    This course examines the various and diverse forms, philosophies, and political arguments made around the globe for going against American policy and interest. It will analyze the different theoretical approaches used to study anti-Americanism and delve into the various international and domestic factors impacting the phenomenon.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 633 Strategic Deterrence: Past, Present, and Future

    This course examines deterrence in a comprehensive fashion, giving not only an historical grounding in the concept but also its evolution and likely transformation into the future as it applies to American interests.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 639 Cyberwar and Cyberdeterrence

    This course examines what has become a key buzzword of 21st century security: cyber warfare and deterrence. The various forms and complexities of cyber war will be examined, including aspects of non-state actors, international law, financial flows, and state capabilities. Understanding how states try to protect themselves (and develop their own cyber weapons), in addition to comprehending the legal and ethical complications, will be a major element of the course. Finally the concept of deterrence will be evaluated, namely the various state attempts to produce it and the counter-arguments made against the concept overall.
    University Syllabus

Electives: 9 credits
(Students choose 3 courses in the following two sub-categories)

Comparative Politics Specialization: Students are required to choose 1 course from this specialization.

  • PS 650 Democracy, Ethnicity, and Development in Africa

    This course examines the African continent to expose the implications of democratization, ethnicity, and development. It will analyze various democratization projects occurring throughout the continent; consider the development of African political thought; domestic and party politics within various countries; and consider the complex consequences to war and conflict in Africa today. Finally, theoretical, empirical and philosophical debates about international relations, foreign aid, grassroots activism and radicalism will be investigated, to provide greater depth and subtlety to the more commonly examined issues of economic development.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 660 Democracy, Political Economy, and Human Rights across Asia

    This course examines Asia from the perspectives of democracy, political economy, and human rights. It will assess how political and economic factors in the region impact not only individual states, but also transnational relations with other regions like North America and the European Union. How the region’s ongoing economic and political transformation influences governance will be examined. How power interplays with other states on issues pertaining to conflict and human rights will be important. Finally, the course will look at all of these issues from a theoretical and philosophical perspective, asking if culture impacts some of the variations.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 690 Democracy, Gender, and Reform Across the Middle East

    This course examines the Greater Middle East (from Morocco to Iran) to expose the issues of democratization, gender relations, and political/economic reform. The material reviews various democratization projects occurring throughout the region, comparing and contrasting strengths and weaknesses, while drawing general conclusions about democracy in the Middle East writ large. The complex and evolving role of women in this process, from the political, economic, and cultural perspectives, is emphasized and used to ascertain future potential trajectories. Theoretical and philosophical debates about Islam, democracy, and civil liberties are investigated.
    University Syllabus

International Relations Specialization: Students are required to choose 2 courses from this specialization.

  • PS 515 Comparative Foreign Policy

    This course defines, analyzes, and compares foreign policies across the globe. The materials review internal and external factors that influence and complicate the formation of foreign policy as well as consider the various norms and theories that exist about foreign policy construction within the global environment. Finally, numerous case studies are examined in terms of divergence and variety across states and regions. This course is designed to make students familiar with the foreign-policy thinking of countries that are both allied with and adversarial to the United States.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 610 Hard and Soft Power: Balancing Hawks and Doves

    This course examines hard and soft power as concepts, theories, and consequential implications in global politics. It will estimate the applications of diplomatic and military strength and the proper context and applicability of each in given complex foreign dilemmas.
    University Syllabus

  • PS 636 Deterring the Enemy: Case Studies in Strategic Deterrence

    This course examines strategic deterrence across various case studies – individual states, various crucial regions, and the larger global context. It will assess how states work within their own regions, to impact not only other states but also transnational relations with major powers. The evolution of deterrence as a concept, both in the classical strategic environment and in the new modern context, will be important. Constraining deterrence and/or utilizing it through diplomacy will also be examined and considered. Finally the course will look at deterrence from a future strategy perspective, asking if there are new variations and differentiations that can be foreseen and addressed.
    University Syllabus

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