10 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The ten-month Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies offered at the National Defense University is comprised of three phases. 


Phase I, crafted based on the vision of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is an NDU-wide "Foundations of Strategic Leadership." This course introduces CISA's diverse student body to various critical and strategic thinking tools to analyze topics such as national-level strategy, joint doctrine and operations in order to anticipate and manage complexity, uncertainty, change, and surprise in the contemporary security environment. 

Phase II blends innovative principles of security studies and research methodology with an Area of Concentration: such as International Security Studies, Irregular Warfare, Counterterrorism, Homeland Defense, or South and Central Asia.

Phase III gives students the opportunity to explore their functional or regional subject of interest by selecting elective courses, taking part in a capstone exercise, and researching and writing of a thesis.


Eligible students who successfully complete the 10-month full-time program from the National Defense University will receive a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies. CISA offers the Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Security Studies program both at its Fort McNair campus and at its Fort Bragg, NC campus, in coordination with the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

Programme Structure

What you will learn:
  • Through seminar participation and independent study and research, students will develop strategies for working with other agencies, with the United States, and with other partner nations. 
  • Through the combination of theoretical and practical learning, the program prepares professionals to develop and implement national and international security strategies for use in conditions of peace, crisis, and war.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 10 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details
  • August 1 for Ft. McNair campus
  • August 8 for Ft. Bragg campus




35 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

International Students who wish to obtain the Master of Arts Degree in Strategic Security Studies degree must submit the following documents to the NDU Registrar’s office at the start of the fall semester:

  • An application for acceptance into the master’s degree program.
  • A copy of all academic transcripts/credentials in the native language and an English translation.  Materials must be submitted to the NDU Registrar’s Office no later than within 60 days of the start of the fall semester
  • The official TOEFL score report. Applicants must contact the testing service to have their official score reports of the TOEFL report sent to the National Defense University.

Tuition Fee

Tuition for these full-time programs and other non-degree programs are established by the student’s parent agency or department prior to arrival. 

Living costs for Washington

800 - 1300 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Strategic Security Studies
National Defense University


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