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Program length: 36 Credit Hours
Eighteen months to complete with full-time student status; part-time study also permitted

This online degree is designed for professionals with five to seven years of relevant work experience in the national security community. It provides a comprehensive study of the theory and practice of national security policy, process, and implementation, both in historical and contemporary perspectives. Significant attention is directed toward vital current policy issues as well as understanding foreign cultures and the practices of foreign powers.

Students in this program may be enrolled full-time (9 or more credit hours per semester) or part-time (less than 9 credit hours per semester), but must complete the degree in five calendar years or less. After successful completion of all coursework, each student will be required to pass a one-hour oral examination and a three-hour written comprehensive examination.

All courses listed below will be conducted entirely online using asynchronous, previously-produced material (such as recorded lectures or interviews).


Core Curriculum

(28 credits required)

Core Courses (all required; 20 credits) 

Statecraft Classes (8 credits)


In addition to the Core Curriculum, students in this degree program must also select one of the following specializations:

Specialization in Intelligence (8 credits from the following; must also have taken Intelligence and Policy) 

Specialization in Defense and National Security Studies (8 credits from the following)

Specialization in Non-Military Conflict (8 credits from the following)  

Admissions Criteria

The Admissions Committee evaluates each application for this degree with a focus on professional experience and leadership, ultimately assessing how your professional experiences have given you an extensive understanding of one of the elements of statecraft. This includes your individual and unique qualifications in the following:

Professional Background

The breadth and depth of your professional experience, your level of management responsibilities (e.g., strategy, operations, etc.), career progression and demonstrated leadership. The Professional MA applicant must have 5-7 years of relevant experience.

Integrated Intellectual Capabilities

Your potential to succeed academically as demonstrated through your academic record, letters of recommendation, professional experience, and understanding of intelligence, national security, or international affairs at an integrated, strategic level.

The Admissions Committee seeks candidates who are considered high-potential leaders who have the desire to enhance the formulation and conduct of American national security policy.

Admissions Process

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of basic terms, concepts, historical facts, theories, and geography related to their chosen field of study. (ILO 1, 2)
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate multiple tools of statecraft into a coherent whole. (ILO 2, 3)
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the statecraft of foreign powers. (ILO 1, 2, 5)
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the main ideological currents of the modern era and their impact on U.S. and foreign behavior. (ILO 4, 5)
  5. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the principles of the American founding and their relevance to U.S. national security and foreign policy. (ILO 1, 4)
  6. Students will demonstrate a knowledge and appreciation of the Western moral tradition and its applicability to national security and foreign policy. (ILO 3, 4, 5)
  7. Students will demonstrate the ability to assess arguments, identify logical flaws, and obtain supporting or corrective information. (ILO 2, 5, 6)
  8. Students will demonstrate the use of clear, effective, and persuasive written communications. (ILO 6)
  9. Students will demonstrate the use of clear, effective, and persuasive oral communication. (ILO 6)

Contact an Admissions Officer

Apply Online

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