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Doctor of Statecraft and National Security (Professional)

The Doctor of Statecraft and National Security (Professional) (DSNS) is a degree tailored towards national security professionals, as opposed to those who wish to pursue a teaching career. This program is designed to educate national security professionals in the art of employing the integrated instruments of national power to achieve the ends of policy.

52 Credit Hours (beyond an MA)
Three years to complete with full-time student status

The Doctor of Statecraft and National Security (Professional) (DSNS) is a degree tailored towards national security professionals, as opposed to those who wish to pursue a teaching career. In contrast to most Ph.D. programs, it avoids extreme specialization in favor of a broad-gauged understanding of the integrated use of the instruments of national power to achieve the ends of policy.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Students will be able masterfully to:

  1. Understand the main ideological currents of the modern era and their impact on U.S. and foreign behavior.
  2. Demonstrate expertise in one of the major instruments of statecraft (diplomacy; economics; public diplomacy and strategic influence; intelligence; military).
  3. Integrate the various instruments of statecraft into national strategy.
  4. Exhibit knowledge of the culture, political landscape, security challenges, and U.S. interests in a selected region of the world.
  5. Appreciate the principles of the American founding and the Western moral tradition as applied to national security and foreign policy.

Prerequisite Knowledge: Students will be responsible for, and will be tested on, the following outcome which includes basic elements not already required in the curriculum for this program: “Students will demonstrate an extensive understanding of the national security field including policy, process, and implementation; history; theories; and geography.” Students without a background in these topics should take the relevant courses IWP offers as prerequisites under the guidance of their Doctoral Advisors.

(Note: Students will be responsible for, and will be tested on, the following outcome which includes basic elements not already required in the curriculum for this program. Students without background on these topics should take the relevant courses IWP offers as prerequisites under the guidance of their Doctoral Advisors.)

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I am looking to apply my knowledge, rather than develop theory… When I talk about issues in the federal system, my professors understand where I am coming from.

Dr. Curt Klun (’23)

Doctor of Statecraft and National Security Requirements

To earn the degree of Doctor of Statecraft and National Security, the student will:

  • Successfully complete the required courses and electives. All DSNS courses are taught as enhanced versions of our MA courses, which entail: extra readings; a more challenging exam; a longer, more robust paper; and an additional 4-6 meetings with the professor outside of the MA class, which can occur during office hours, and the length can be based on the professor’s judgment of the student’s needs.
  • Pass an oral thesis defense in each area of study: 1) Principles of Statecraft and Strategy; 2) Functional Specialty; and 3) Regional Specialty. Note: A student will complete the Principles of Statecraft area of study first. Once he or she has passed the oral defense, the student may then take courses in both the Functional and Regional areas of study. 
  • Pass a final written comprehensive examination at the end of one’s studies consisting of a philosophical essay question and strategy memorandum.
  • Deliver a paper of 75 pages that demonstrates mastery in each area of study (three 75-page papers in total).

The program is designed to provide students with the flexibility to customize their curriculum according to their interests and needs. This degree is not meant as preparation primarily for teaching, but for those who are or who wish to become national security professionals.

IWP doctoral students are required to take 52 credits within 3 areas of study: Principles of Statecraft and Strategy (20 credits); Functional Concentration (16 credits); Regional concentration (16 credits)

Principles of Statecraft and Strategy

20 credits

Four required classes, totaling 8 credits:

  • 6060 (enhanced version of IWP 606): Ideas and Values in International Affairs Two credits
  • 6080 (enhanced version of IWP 608): Sources of American Political Thought Two credits
  • 6150 (enhanced version of IWP 615): Western Moral and Political Thought Two credits
    Note: Students who have taken either 606, 608, or 615 (or all three) should consult with their doctoral advisors to identify suitable substitutions.
  • 6900 Principles of Strategy Two credits

Two of the following classes, 4 credits each:

  • 6090 (Enhanced version of IWP 609): Economic Statecraft and Conflict
  • 6280 (Enhanced version of IWP 628): Military Strategy: Theory and Practice
  • 6360 (Enhanced version of IWP 636): The Art of Diplomacy
  • 6370 (Enhanced version of IWP 637): Public Diplomacy
  • 6050 (Enhanced version of IWP 605): Intelligence and Policy

IWP 9900 Thesis Research/Writing, 4 credits

Functional Concentration

16 credits

  • Any combination of enhanced classes equaling 12 credit hours (Note: Selected courses will automatically have the number ‘0′ added to the end of the course number to indicate doctoral level.)
  • 9910 Thesis Research (Functional), 4 credits

Regional Concentration

16 credits

  • Any combination of enhanced classes equaling 12 credit hours (Note: Selected courses will automatically have the number ‘0′ added to the end of the course number to indicate doctoral level.)
  • 9920 Thesis Research (Regional), 4 credits

The IWP education has been immensely valuable to me. I have not found the core curriculum anywhere else.

Dr. Matthew Jenkins (’23)

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