:: HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM ::
The Defense and Strategic Studies program started in 1971 in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California, under the leadership of Dr. William R. Van Cleave. The primary objective of the DSS program was and remains to provide graduate level education and training for students planning careers in national and international security affairs and policy-making, and for teaching these subjects at the university-level.
:: PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY ::
The objective of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies (DSS) is to provide professional, graduate-level education in national security policy; issues related to defense analysis; defense planning, programs, and industry; intelligence analysis; and associated areas. The Department welcomes both traditional and mid-career professionals. It offers a Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies, but also accepts non-degree-seeking students. Educational emphasis is placed on the practical analysis of U.S. policies, programs, and options as well as on theoretical comprehension. Some graduates go into college teaching and academic work, but the majority pursue professional careers in government and the defense industry.
:: RESEARCH FACILITIES ::
The Department houses a learning center with a large number of books, journals, government documents, and other reference works and research materials, including bibliographies and files on virtually all subjects covered by the curriculum. The Department's learning center holdings consist of materials central to DSS and include long-standing subscriptions to security journals and periodicals. Personal computers are available for student use in the DSS learning center.
:: LOCATION ::
The Department is located in Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Northern Virginia in Fairfax County. The Vienna Metro subway station is located less than half a mile from the Department, and there is a free shuttle service to and from the Metro station. The National Capital Region is one of the main tourist areas in the United States and offers a broad variety of cultural, educational, and employment opportunities. Approximately 10 million people live in the region.
:: STUDY ABROAD ::
DSS has a cooperative agreement with the prestigious Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic for DSS students to spend a semester studying at Masaryk University with full credit going toward the DSS degree. Many classes at Masarysk University are available in English. DSS tuition and fees remain the same under this exchange program, but it should be noted that living expenses in Brno, Czech Republic are considerably lower than they are in the Washington D.C. area. If a student is interested in this option, they should contact the Department Administration at least a semester prior to the preferred semester abroad. Students will enroll in 3 sessions of DSS 796 while studying in the Czech Republic. Studying at Masaryk University for a semester via the DSS cooperative agreement will not negatively impact a student’s eligibility for DSS financial aid.