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Security Studies Master’s Degree (M.S.S.)

This online degree addresses the issues critical for an understanding of today’s complex international environment in which state and non-state actors interact.

The program will enhance students’ analytical skills in political culture and comparative security policy.

The security studies curriculum covers such issues as:

  • Rogue states
  • Weak and failing states
  • Terrorism
  • Human rights
  • Energy security
  • Peacekeeping and stability operations
  • Homeland security
Online Only


Master of Security Studies in Security Studies


This degree addresses the growing need for graduate-level study of national security issues to develop skills for military, intelligence, government and non-governmental employees.

Program Highlights

  • Classes are 100 percent online and in eight-week format.

  • Faculty includes nationally recognized experts in regional security affairs, terrorism and human rights, military and political issues, intelligence, cybersecurity, rogue nations, and grand strategy and national security.

  • Course materials are designed to improve students’ critical thinking and analytical skills in strategic culture, foreign policy and international security studies.

  • ASU recognizes military service and will maximize training and career experience.

Admission Requirements

  • All college and university transcripts
  • At least two letters of recommendation
  • An essay of no more than 750 words discussing an important issue of national security

Letter of Recommendation


  • Hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.75 or better, including all grades on repeated courses, or hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Required overall GPA may be waived on a case-by-case basis by the department head.

Application Deadlines

Spring: December 1

Fall: July 15

International Student Spring: November 1

International Student Fall: June 20

You are strongly encouraged to register for the first and second eight week sessions simultaneously, before the first eight week session begins.

Degree Plan

  • Master of Security Studies Degree Requirements
    Courses Hours
    SEC 6302 Introduction to Security Studies 3
    SEC 6309 Grand Strategy and National Security 3
    SEC 6312 Globalization and International Security 3
    Prescribed Elective Courses:
    Students must choose the electives from either the national security or regional security specialization area.
    Additional Elective Courses 12-18
    Non-Thesis or Thesis Option 0-6

    Thesis Option

    Students wishing to take the thesis option will be required to take the 9 semester credit hours of required courses, 9 hours of prescribed electives, a course for writing the thesis (SEC 6699) and an additional 12 hours of electives. The additional 12 hours must be taken in either the national security or regional security, or in some combination of both.

    Non-Thesis Option

    Students wishing to take the non-thesis option will be required to take the 9 semester credit hours of required courses, 9 hours of prescribed electives and an additional 18 hours of electives. The additional 18 hours must be taken in either the national security or regional security, or in some combination of both. Students in the non-thesis option will be required to pass an oral comprehensive examination. This does not need to take place on the ASU campus and can be done via teleconference or other appropriate methods. Please see the section on Advisory Committees for oral comprehensive exams in the Graduate Catalog under Academic Guidelines and Graduate Studies Policies.

    Areas of Specialization

    National Security
    Elective courses in the national security concentration include:
    SEC 6310 Civil-Military Relations
    SEC 6313 Intelligence and National Security
    SEC 6314 Terrorism and National Security
    SEC 6315 Rogue Nations and National Security
    SEC 6316 Peacekeeping and Stability Operations
    SEC 6317 Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and National Security
    SEC 6318 Weak and Failing State and National Security
    SEC 6319 Homeland Security Studies
    SEC 6320 Human Rights and National Security
    SEC 6321 Energy Security Studies
    SEC 6322 Transnational Issues and National Security

    Regional Security
    Elective courses in the regional studies concentration include:
    SEC 6323 Security Issues in Europe I
    SEC 6325 Security Issues in Europe II
    SEC 6327 Security Issues in Asia I
    SEC 6329 Security Issues in Asia II
    SEC 6331 Security Issues in Latin America I
    SEC 6333 Security Issues in Latin America II
    SEC 6335 Security Issues in The Middle East I
    SEC 6337 Security Issues in The Middle East II
    SEC 6341 Security Issues in Africa I
    SEC 6343 Security Issues in Africa II

  • Carr Graduate Scholarships

    Carr Graduate Scholarships  are ASU’s premier scholarships for graduate students. Awards are based on undergraduate GPA. Students are considered for the Carr Graduate Scholarship upon their acceptance into the College of Graduate Studies. No application is required.


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