General Option

Lead the way in national defense and strategy

Earn a customizable master’s degree that matches your goals and career needs.

Know the tools of diplomacy. Solve defense and intelligence issues. Analyze strategy, policy and decision-making.

Learn from decorated faculty.

Build traits – knowledge, planning and leadership – that will help you ensure a safe and secure country.

Defense and strategic studies students at commencement ceremony in Virginia.
Careers and outcomes

Join the next generation of national security leaders.

Why take the general option in defense and strategic studies?

Defense and strategic students with books.

Class flexibility

Design your degree around your interests. In the general option, you can choose over 80 percent of your classes and take a wider range of classes.

Student in military uniform in computer lab.

School on your schedule

Complete your master’s degree fully online, in seated classes, or both. Start in the fall, spring or summer. Finish in as little as two years.

Students in class with defense and strategic studies department head John Rose.

More feedback and guidance

Small class sizes let you work more closely with your teachers and classmates. Feel part of a tight-knit community rather than a traditional class.

DSS graduates at commencement ceremony.

Low cost

Earn your master’s degree at a lower cost than similar programs. Support your education with scholarships and financial aid.

Similar programs

Don’t need a full master’s degree? Our certificates are designed for mid-career professionals.