M.S. in National Security Affairs

Program Description

The 33-credit M.S. in National Security Affairs in the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies is designed to provide students with theoretical, research, and applied skills in the emerging academic field of national security affairs. Students in this program will build a core understanding of critical issues informing the field of national security today, including the assessment and analysis of the threat of terrorism in the US and beyond and the analysis of intelligence collection. The M.S. in National Security Affairs is offered online worldwide.

National security affairs is one of the fastest growing professions with positions open in the public sector in the federal, state and local governments and in the private sector. This program is designed for professionals in the field seeking career advancement, those who aspire to enter the field, individuals in related professions, and those retired from the military and government seeking consulting and other positions. Examples of potential students include personnel in the military, federal, state and local governments, law enforcement, corporations, and academia, as well as recent college graduates.

The program consists of a core of 5 courses (15 credits) offered by the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and developed specifically for this program. Pedagogically, the program core focuses on building the critical analytical skills graduates need to succeed professionally in the field of National Security Affairs. The ability to critically analyze intelligence information, historical and contemporary issues informing the field, and to perform textual analyses, defines the program core's most important learning outcomes.

Core Courses

The five core courses are:

NSAM 5001: Current & Historical Issues

This course is an introductory seminar dealing with current and historical issues in American national security affairs. In the age of globalization and international terrorism it is imperative that we understand the history, topics, and concepts of national security affairs. The pursuit of security involves a wide range of both domestic and international activities that fall under the umbrellas of political, economic, and military relations and procedures. This course examines the history of American security, the workings of the American national security institutions and organizations, cooperative security systems like NATO and the United Nations, international institutions, political violence, terrorism, war, and both domestic and international law on security. On all these topics, this course will emphasize both theoretical and practical issues that will further the student's knowledge of American national security affairs.

NSAM 5002: Terrorists & Terrorism

This course analyzes terrorism from a number of perspectives including law enforcement (FBI), defense (DOD), and diplomatic (DOS) orientations in order to understand mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery measures with regards to counterterrorism and antiterrorism. Individual (lone wolf) and group (Islamist) terrorist mindsets will be examined, as well as international and domestic domains.

NSAM 5003: National Intelligence Collection

This course examines the work of current and future managers in the federal intelligence and homeland security arenas. Students will be introduced to the various ways in which the social and behavioral sciences inform approaches to intelligence collection and analysis and how these scientific approaches can facilitate the goals of countering terrorism and hostile intelligence service actions. Specifically, the emerging field of "Futuristics" will be explored in this context so that managers can forecast, manage and create preferable future outcomes for their agencies and the nation.

NSAM 5004: Border Protection & Military Issues

This course is an in-depth analysis of the importance and the difficulties in security measures and tactics used to protect a sovereign nation's borders. Border protection is an essential part of National Security. The threats to domestic populations include drug-smuggling, terrorism, human and arms trafficking, and illegal immigration. Theoretical and applied case studies will facilitate student engagement. The course will serve as an introduction to the theories and applied practices of successful border protection.

NSAM 5005: Research and Evaluation in National Security Affairs

This course provides an in-depth introduction to the fundamental logic and principles of research design, with additional focus areas in critical thinking and analysis. Students will gain familiarity with key concepts in the philosophy of science and current debates over appropriate methods of data collection and analysis of the social sciences. Students will learn the differences between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research; from here the student will be introduced to the foundations of these approaches and learn what strategies, methods, and techniques are in use. Students will then be expected to formulate a research question, develop a set of hypotheses, develop a strategy for data collection, develop a literature review, and finally to formulate ways to operationalize their study.

Following completion of the program core, students will be able to choose one of a number of concentration tracks offered through the Graduate School of Humanities, and through partnership agreements with other academic units at NSU, including the Institute for the Study of Human Service, Health and Justice and the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences. To complete a concentration track successfully, students must take 4 courses in their chosen track (12 credits). Students will also complete 2 elective courses (6 credits) from any of the four concentration tracks offered through the program.

Concentration Tracks

The 4 concentration tracks are the following:

Faculty teaching in the program include fulltime NSU professors as well as part-time faculty who are engaged in work in the field. Together the faculty can provide both academic and theoretical knowledge as well as real world experience.

Contact Us

For more information on the M.S. in National Security Affairs degree, please contact us at (954) 262-7563 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27563 or email gradschool@nova.edu.