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.
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.
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).