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. 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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Master the Arts of Statecraft and National Security

To complete this program, students must achieve the following learning objectives.


  • 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 students 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 students to demonstrate expertise in one of the tools of statecraft: Diplomacy; Public Diplomacy; Economics; Intelligence; or Military Policy.

A Regional Specialty: Regional study classes 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) U.S. 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?

  • 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 component 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; and respect of the dignity of the individual human person regardless of his/her 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. The professional doctorate is the logical next step for IWP in its quest to provide such preparation.

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; 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 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 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

2 required classes, each 4 credits:

  • Either IWP 6060 (enhanced version of IWP 606): Ideas and Values in International Affairs or IWP 6080 (enhanced version of IWP 608): American Founding Principles and Foreign Policy (Note: IWP graduates must have taken at least one of these classes at the MA level. They would, therefore, be required to take the other at the doctoral level. In rare cases, where both were taken at the MA level, one of the optional classes listed below can be substituted.)
  • IWP 6880 (Enhanced version of IWP 688): Principles of Strategy

2 of the following classes, each 4 credits:

  • IWP 6090 (Enhanced version of IWP 609): Economic Statecraft and Conflict
  • IWP 6280 (Enhanced version of IWP 628): Military Strategy: Theory and Practice
  • IWP 6360 (Enhanced version of IWP 636): The Art of Diplomacy
  • IWP 6370 (Enhanced version of IWP 637): Public Diplomacy and Strategic Influence
  • IWP 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.)
  • IWP 9900 Thesis research/ writing, 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.)
  • IWP 9900 Thesis research/ writing, 4 credits

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