Master of Arts in the Field of Security Policy Studies

The master of arts in the field of security policy studies (SPS) degree program is policy-oriented, focusing on international security issues, with a particular emphasis on the security challenges for the 21st century and how to respond to them. These challenges include, but are not limited to, weapons of mass destruction proliferation, transnational threats, terrorism, changing regional power dynamics, weak and failing states, international crime, effectively linking security and development, and ensuring U.S. national security.

The curriculum provides a strong grounding in the national security and defense policy making process. Students choose two specific concentrations, which can range from transnational security issues to conflict resolution to defense analysis. Students also have the option of emphasizing a particular region, such as East Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America, by selecting a regional field as one of their two concentrations.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree with coursework in international affairs or other relevant social sciences, including introductory micro- and macroeconomic principles; study of a modern foreign language is preferred.

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 12 credits in required courses, 9 credits in each of two specialized fields, a 3-credit tool requirement, and 4 credits in a capstone sequence.  

Required
PSC 6349International Security Politics
IAFF 6160Defense Policy and Program Analysis
HIST 6032Rdg/Rsch Sem:Strategy & Policy
One of the following:
ECON 6280Survey of International Economics
ECON 6283Survey of International Trade Theory and Policy
ECON 6284Survey of International Macroeconomics and Finance Theory and Policy
Students are required to have undergraduate-level background coursework in microeconomics and macroeconomics before enrolling in a graduate course. Undergraduate courses will not count toward the master's degree. If you do not have prior coursework, consult with the Program Director on available options.
Tool requirement
Language Option
If the language option is selected, the student can test out either through coursework or by taking a diagnostic exam prior to their first semester. Students who test out in a language have three extra credits to apply to their concentrations.
Statistics Option
This option may be fulfilled by demonstrating proficiency, by a grade of B or better, in one of the following graduate-level statistics courses:
IAFF 6501Quant Analysis Int'l Aff Prac
IAFF 6198Special Topics in International Trade and Investment Policy
Skills requirement
IAFF 6502Professional Skills I (taken for a total of 3 credits)
or IAFF 6503 Professional Skills II
Capstone sequence
IAFF 6898Capstone Workshop
IAFF 6899Capstone Course

For more information on specializations, economics requirements, or tool requirements visit the program website

Required
PSC 6349International Security Politics
IAFF 6160Defense Policy and Program Analysis
HIST 6032Rdg/Rsch Sem:Strategy & Policy
Specialized Field I (9 credits):
Available fields include:
Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Defense Analysis
Energy Security
Homeland Security Policy
Intelligence
Political Psychology
Regional Security
Science, Technology, and National Security Policy
Security and Development
Strategic Concepts and Military History
Transnational Security Issues
U.S. National Security Policy and Process
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Specialized Field II (9 credits): Choose from list above
Economics Requirement (3 credits):
One of the following:
ECON 6280Survey of International Economics
ECON 6283Survey of International Trade Theory and Policy
ECON 6284Survey of International Macroeconomics and Finance Theory and Policy
Students are required to have undergraduate-level background coursework in microeconomics and macroeconomics before enrolling in a graduate course. Undergraduate courses will not count toward the master's degree. If you do not have prior coursework, consult with the Program Director on available options.
Tool Requirement (3 credits):
Language Option
If the language option is selected, the student can test out either through coursework or by taking a diagnostic exam prior to their first semester. Students who test out in a language have three extra credits to apply to their concentrations.
Statistics Option
This option may be fulfilled by demonstrating proficiency, by a grade of B or better, in one of the following graduate-level statistics courses.
IAFF 6501Quant Analysis Int'l Aff Prac
IAFF 6198Special Topics in International Trade and Investment Policy
Skills courses (3 credits):
IAFF 6502Professional Skills I
or IAFF 6503 Professional Skills II
Capstone sequence (4 credits):
IAFF 6898Capstone Workshop
IAFF 6899Capstone Course