Department of Defense and Strategic Studies

COVID-19 Response and Updates

Posted 4:30 p.m.  March 26, 2020


The Department of Defense and Strategic Studies (DSS) of Missouri State University (MSU) is committed to its students in continuing to offer graduate program courses for the spring, summer and fall semesters as planned, making appropriate adjustments as necessary to comply with national, state and local recommendations for social distancing and/or stay-at-home mandates in response to COVID-19.  In making this commitment to you, we are also committed to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.  Please read the information provided below in an effort to fulfill both of those commitments. 


Prospective and New Students.  We are here to answer your questions and prepare you to begin the DSS Graduate Program without delay!  Please reach out to us at and let us know how we can be of assistance to you. It will be our pleasure to connect with you.


DSS Office.  The DSS physical office location in Fairfax, Virginia is closed for the next several weeks, HOWEVER, faculty and staff are continuing to work remotely and will continue to be accessible to you by email, phone and/or text.  We are regularly remotely checking the DSS voicemail, so please leave a message at 703-218-3565 or send us an email if you desire a phone call.  If you do not know the email of the person you wish to reach, send your email to and it will be redirected to the appropriate person.  We will make updates on this site as to when the office will reopen once that date has been determined. 


Spring and Summer Courses.  All seated, on-campus courses for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and for the entire summer 2020 semester will be conducted by Blackboard, Zoom video teleconference, or other non-in-person means. Intriguing course topics and quality curriculum remain the same. 

  • For the current spring semester:  your course professor will contact you with course delivery information.  There are no changes to courses being offered online. 
  • For the summer 2020 semester:  course delivery method is included on course schedules in the MyMissouriState registration portal.


Summer and Fall Registration.  Registration for the summer and fall 2020 semesters will begin on Monday, April 6th on a last-name sequenced basis, one week later than originally scheduled.  This adjustment will not affect the semester start and end dates.  The later registration date allows University staff adequate time to make necessary adjustments to course delivery method for various courses.  View the MSU Summer and Fall 2020 Registration Sequence.


Students are encouraged to check Updated Academic Dates Information from the Office of the Registrar web posting.


The webpage Missouri State responds to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has additional information on actions the University has taken  and available educational resources in response to COVID-19.

Welcome to the Defense and Strategic Studies Graduate Program of Missouri State University
Washington, D.C. Metro Location

Missouri State University’s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies (DSS) provides professional, graduate-level education in areas involving national security policy, cyber security, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation, international terrorism, military operations, global security challenges, leadership for national security professionals, foreign policy, arms control, missile proliferation, international security affairs, defense policy analysis, and intelligence analysis.

Please explore our site for more information about the DSS Graduate Program.  We also invite you to contact us with any questions that you may have.  

Practical Coursework

The Department offers four degree options:

  • Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies, with the successful completion of 36 credit hours.
  • Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies with an Emphasis in Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, with the successful completion of 36 credit hours.
  • Graduate Certificate in Defense and Strategic Studies, with the successful completion of any 9 credit hours of DSS courses.
  • Graduate Certificate in Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, with the successful completion of 15 credit hours of specific DSS courses.

The program is designed to accommodate both full and part-time students. Courses are offered in the classroom during the evening hours as well as online.  

Practical Experience

Unlike most academic programs, the DSS program is highly practical in its orientation. Educational emphasis is placed on the practical application of U.S. policies, programs, and options.  Our students acquire the tools needed to address national and international security questions in specific terms. Direct experience in policy development and academic credit is sometimes available through student participation in professional experience internships in government, defense-related industries, and non-profit organizations. These internships can provide valuable experience, academic credit, and professional contacts for students pursuing a career in government, the defense industry, academia, or policy and research institutions. 

Preparation for a Lifetime

Some graduates continue their studies by pursuing a PhD in a related field, but most pursue professional careers in government, defense industry, companies engaged in defense research and analysis, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations with a focus on defense issues and national security policy. The DSS program is highly demanding, but we have found that the great majority of students relish the challenging environment that we offer. We demand excellence, and we are proud to say that our students rise to the challenge.

Proud Tradition

The DSS graduate program began in 1971 and our graduates are among the finest and best qualified professionals in their fields; many occupy senior positions in government, the research sector, private industry, and academia. We believe they have and will continue to have a direct and positive impact on U.S. national security policies and defense programs for years to come.



This program is certified by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV).