Doctor of Statecraft and National Security (Professional)

Doctorate Program

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. 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.

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Learning Outcomes:


  • Candidates for the DSNS demonstrate mastery of the various aspects of statecraft, strategy, and national security policy and implementation.
  • Candidates for the DSNS will master the art of strategic thinking and demonstrate the ability to integrate the various tools of statecraft and statesmanship in pursuit of foreign policy and national security goals.


  • Candidates for the DSNS must demonstrate an extensive understanding of all aspects of the international relations field, to include:  historical events; competing theories of international relations; the role of ideology, ideas and principles in world politics, to include the principles of the American Founding and political economy; and the statecraft of foreign powers.
  • To achieve this mastery, the DSNS candidate will demonstrate intellectual and practical excellence in three areas of study and practice:
    • Principles of Statecraft and Strategy: this area of study requires that they master the workings of the international arena and American foreign policy and strategy beyond that of an MA student.
    • a functional specialty: this area of study requires them to demonstrate expertise in a specialty—Diplomacy and Economic Statecraft; Intelligence, counterintelligence, and Cyber Intelligence; Terrorism and Counter-terrorism; and Military Strategy and History
    • a regional specialty.
  • Candidates for the DSNS will demonstrate their mastery in these three areas of study by: 1) meeting the demanding requirements of each individual course in the program by means of an examination and research paper; 2) meeting the requirements of each area of study by means of a comprehensive examination and final paper; and 3) passing a demanding comprehensive examination and an oral examination administered by a panel.


  • IWP does not subscribe to the idea of value-free study. It does not engage in the sterile debate between Machiavelli (the realists) and Kant (the liberal internationalists). Candidates for the DSNS must understand the role of the Western Moral Tradition, to include the concepts of natural right/natural law and the constructive tension between reason and revelation and how it has and should shape foreign policy and strategy.
  • Candidates must master the components blocks of statesmanship and moral leadership, including various personal and civic virtues as: honesty; integrity; the ability to see the truth and tell it to power; courage; perseverance' independence of thought and the capacity to resist peer pressure and the "conventional wisdom"; respect for the rule of law; prudence; justice; discernment of the national interest; respect of the dignity of the individual human person regardless of their background or condition.

IWP is unique in that it explicitly prepares its graduates for participation in the national security arena. Our current MA programs are designed to provide both the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for one to make a substantive contribution to national security. As noted before, a professional doctorate is a logical next step for IWP in its quest to provide such preparation.


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

  • Successfully complete the required courses and electives.
  • Pass a comprehensive written exam 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 completed the required paper and passed the exam, the student may then take courses in both the Functional and Regional areas of study.
  • Deliver a paper of 75 pages that demonstrates mastery in each area of study (three 75-page papers in total).
  • Upon completion of all three areas of study, pass a comprehensive written examination for the whole program as well as an oral examination before a panel composed of the President, Chancellor, Dean of Academics, one member of the permanent faculty, and one distinguished outside panelist. 

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 wish to become true national security professionals.

Principles of Statecraft and Strategy (24 Credits)

IWP doctoral students are required to take IWP 700, 701, 702, 703, and 704, and one tutorial course from among 705-708. These are foundational courses that set the stage for the functional and regional specializations. 

One additional course from among the following is required:

Required: IWP 990 Thesis Research/Writing (6 Credits)

Functional Concentration (14 Credits)

Each IWP doctoral student will be required to take four two-credit tutorials on advanced topics in one of four functional areas of statecraft. 

Required: IWP 990 Thesis Research/Writing (6 Credits)

Regional Concentration (14 Credits)

Each IWP doctoral student will choose a regional area of concentration and take a sequence of four two-credit tutorials related to the chosen area. 

The tutorials will cover advanced topics in: 1) the history of the region; 2) the geopolitics of the region—the interplay of geographical space and regime type; 3) the economics and culture of the region and how those factors have shaped regional politics; and 4) US strategic goals in the region: what does the United States seek to achieve in each region and why is the region important to the United States?

Required: IWP 990, Thesis Research/Writing (6 Credits)