Doctor of Defense and Strategic Studies

DSS student speaking to audience at 2020 academic symposium.

Protect, advise and serve across the world

This professional doctoral degree prepares you for high-level roles in today’s security community.

Explore the policies, theories and methods used in diplomacy and defense. Advise on security issues.

Get the best training and knowledge as you study under experts in the field.

Have an invaluable asset for your career.

Why earn a doctoratal degree in defense and strategic studies?

Student studying on laptop.

Study on your schedule

This program is perfect for the working professional. You can take courses fully online, in-person (Washington, D.C.) or a hybrid of both. Go to school full-time or part-time. Complete your degree from anywhere.

DSS working on presentation with group.

Achieve your career goals

The job market needs highly skilled and educated national security professionals. Work in government, defense, international affairs, diplomacy and other areas. Serve in a variety of policy and field positions.

DSS students working on presentations.

Have a deeper focus

Your classes cover advanced topics like nuclear strategy, intelligence, security affairs and cyber warfare – among others. Dr. Keith Payne, a world-renowned strategist and defense analyst, teaches the capstone course, “Advanced Nuclear Strategy, Deterrence and Arms Control.”

Guest speaker at DSS Academic Symposium.

Learn from the best

Your faculty and guest speakers are current/former national security experts. They know the field and have hands-on experience in the topics they teach.

Our home

The defense and strategic studies (DSS) department is located in the Washington, D.C. metro area, in the nearby suburb of Fairfax, Virginia. Our student body is diverse, with a mix of traditional, mid-career and active-duty military.

Want to know more? Review frequently asked questions.