Defense and Strategic Studies Graduate Program

Department head John Rose giving guest lecture at Missouri State.

Make a difference in national defense with an online master’s degree

Earn a rare degree. Join one of the nation’s top graduate programs specializing in national security and defense.

Design your degree to fit your interests. Focus on security policy, defense analysis, arms control, diplomacy or other key areas.

Be ready to thrive in your field.

Option areas

Choose the option area that meets your goals and interests.

Both options are available fully online, or you can take a mix of seated/online classes.

Strategy and planning at the workplace.
Aid the country by using strategy, analysis and policy.
Defense and strategic studies students at Ft. Leonard Wood preparing for graduation ceremony.
Focus more on WMDs and the impact they have on national and international security.

Similar programs

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

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.


Defense and strategic studies students in cap and gown at 2019 commencement ceremony.
Careers and outcomes
Prep yourself to climb the ranks. Thrive in government, weapons and defense-related fields.

Great value for your degree

Our program is one of the most affordable in the region. 


Review our estimated costs for more details.

Why earn a master’s degree in defense and strategic studies at Missouri State?

Flag waving in front of Washington Monument.

Take classes taught by distinguished faculty

The experts and pros teach you. Your faculty are leading scholars, analysts and policymakers.

Student in military uniforms at commencement ceremony.

Save money on your degree

Get a Washington, D.C. education with a Missouri price tag. You can earn a master’s degree at a lower cost than similar programs. Pay for school with scholarships and financial aid.

CIA historian giving guest lecture to defense and strategic studies students.

Have great exposure to the field

Meet, study with and learn from people who actively work in the defense industry. 

Washington, D.C. at night.

Be primed for your next step

If you take seated classes, you’re in a great place to find internships and start your career. The Washington, D.C. metro area has many options. Most students land a job before or shortly after they graduate.