Security Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 34.7 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 34.7 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 15, 2024
120 place StudyQA ranking:3009 Duration:2 years You need IELTS certificate

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Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program (SSP) is the academic pillar of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) and one of eight master’s degree programs offered in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS). SSP is a multidisciplinary course of study designed to prepare graduates for positions within the defense and security fields.

The program's overarching mission is to produce a new generation of analysts, policymakers, and scholars fully knowledgeable about the range of international and national security problems and foreign policy issues of the 21st Century. The SSP has over 30 years of experience preparing students with a wide range of backgrounds to become leaders in their fields.

In contrast to programs in security studies at other universities, the SSP curriculum is designed to give students a broad array of course options which provide a solid foundation in core security issues. Whether it is traditional intelligence and defense analysis, international security problems in general, emerging issues such as the perils of peace operations or the intricacies of information warfare, the SSP offers over 80 courses addressing numerous areas of study. The depth and breadth of its course offerings stimulate students to pursue their intellectual and professional interests and develop their own areas of specialization. 

The SSP offers a unique and flexible schedule that accomodates a wide range of students. Younger SSP students are able to apply their recent theoretical undergraduate education to practical policy applications. More seasoned students, professionals in the military, intelligence and defense contracting sectors enhance their practical experience with critical thinking, analytical writing and theory-based solutions. Most of the SSP's classes are offered in the evening, giving students the option for either full time or part time study.

The program’s more than 1,500 graduates have filled key positions in the U.S. and foreign governments, the defense industry and the private sector, research institutions and non-governmental and international organizations. Other graduates pursue doctoral programs and academic careers.

The SSP faculty comprises leading scholars and practitioners in security affairs who offer courses that are academically and analytically rigorous. Many members of the SSP faculty have years of distinguished service in the United States government. Classroom instruction is consequently enriched with an understanding and appreciation of the real world issues with which policymakers have to contend. The result is a program that combines the best of both worlds—academic rigor and policy relevance.

Course code Title
SEST-500 Theory and Practice of Security
SEST-501 Grand Strategy and Military Operations
SEST-509 National Security Planning, Strategy and Decision-Making for the 21st Century
SEST-510 Core Course: U.S. National Security Policy
SEST-515 Net Assessment and Strategic Planning
SEST-518 The U.S., Limited War, and Low Intensity Conflict
SEST-520 Counterinsurgency
SEST-521 Theory and Practice of Intelligence
SEST-524 Intelligence Analysis, Policy and Politics
SEST-526 Advanced Conventional Military Operations
SEST-528 The Politics of US National Security
SEST-530 Core Course in International Security
SEST-532 Comparative Intelligence Services
SEST-534 Globalization and Security
SEST-537 Ethnic Conflict and Civil War
SEST-538 Military Analysis
SEST-542 Stability Operations
SEST-543 Crisis Decision-Making and Simulation
SEST-546 Terrorism and Counterterrorism
SEST-548 Weapons Proliferation and Security
SEST-550 Technology and Security
SEST-551 The Role of Technology in National Security
SEST-557 The Technology of Nonproliferation and Arms Control
SEST-559 Missile Technology and Missile Defense
SEST-562 Emerging Technologies and Security
SEST-566 Biotechnology and Security
SEST-569 Cyberwar
SEST-571 Security Issues in East Asia
SEST-573 Security Problems in South Asia
SEST-578 Security Issues in the Middle East
SEST-579 Warfare in the Middle East
SEST-580 Trsntl Sec/Stab Iss S/SE Asia
SEST-582 Politics of European Security
SEST-583 China & Its Military
SEST-585 U.S. Policy & the Arab Spring
SEST-587 Security Issues in Latin America
SEST-590 Economics of Sub-State Violence
SEST-594 Energy and Security
SEST-596 U.S. Defense Budgeting and Strategic Planning
SEST-597 Economics of National Security Policy
SEST-600 Global Health and National Security
SEST-602 Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics
SEST-606 The Law of War in the Age of Terror
SEST-610 Politics and Military: Civil-Mil Relations
SEST-611 Covert Action/ Counter Intel
SEST-613 Intelligence and the Military
SEST-619 Human Intelligence Ops
SEST-629 Force Planning
SEST-640 Decision-making in Stressful Environments
SEST-643 The Business of National Security
SEST-644 Economics of War
SEST-645 Power Politics in the Greater Middle East
SEST-649 Hands-On Unconventional Technologies
SEST-650 Nuclear Weapons: History, Strategy, and Technology
SEST-652 Iran’s National and Regional Security Policies
SEST-654 Disruptive Analytics: Theory, Method, & Technology
SEST-655 Strategy of Technology Dominance
SEST-666 Risk and Innovation at Intersection of Enterprise, Policy and Markets in 21st Century Asia
SEST-667 Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis
SEST-668 National Security Crisis Management Decision-Making
SEST-671 National Security Critical Issue Task Force
SEST-672 National Cyber Security Strategy and Policy
SEST-676 Ethics of War
SEST-677 Russian National Security Policy
SEST-678 Global Dynamics of Energy Security
SEST-679 The American Way of Spying: Evolution and Practice of US Counterintelligence
SEST-680 Naval Strategy
SEST-681 Legal Issues for Intelligence Officers and Policymakers
SEST-685 U.S. Foreign Policy In the Middle East Since 2003
SEST-687 Supplying War
SEST-689 WMD Terrorism
SEST-691 Decision Making in Energy Security Policy
SEST-692 Role of Development in US National Security
SEST-693 Domestic Terrorism
SEST-694 Cyber Conflict and Policy Dilemmas
SEST-695 Readiness: Strategic Choices and Emerging Threats
SEST-696 Maritime Conflict in Asia
SEST-697 The Individual in Society and Human Security
SEST-699 America, the Middle East, and Grand Strategy in the post-9/11 Era
SEST-701 Hacking for Defense
SEST-702 History of Al-Qa’ida and ISIS
SEST-703 Women, Peace, and Security
SEST-704 Intelligence Analytics
SEST-705 Working on the Hill & National Security
SEST-706 International Communications: Building and Destroying Networks for National Security
SEST-707 The Impact of the Maritime Domain on U.S. Foreign and National Security Policy
SEST-708 Israel and Terrorism, 1949-1956
SEST-709 Cybersecurity Strategy
SEST-710 Research Seminar
SEST-711 National Security Leadership
SEST-712 Nuclear Weapons Technology
SEST-713 Robotics and Future War
SEST-905 SSP Internship Tutorial
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Application Form
  • $90.00 Application Fee - paid to the Office of Graduate Admissions
  • Résumé or C.V.
  • Statement of purpose (not to exceed 500 words) addressing intellectual interests and professional and academic goals.  The statement of purpose is a critical component of the SSP application.  Please carefully explain how the SSP specifically fits into your future academic and professional plans.  Applicants should not submit a writing sample.
  • Official transcripts. Applicants for admission must provide transcripts of all work beyond secondary school, including course work transferred from community colleges and study abroad institutions.  Transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing university's registrar office to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • For students currently enrolled in another graduate or undergraduate degree program, transcripts must include the current semester.
    • Students who have attended or graduated from a foreign college or university must provide an official transcript and translation in English.  The translation should not be interpretive (i.e. grades should not be translated into the U.S. system) and should be signed by the translator.
    • PPIA and IIPP candidates must include the summer institute evaluation.
  • Letters of recommendation from three individuals who can assess the applicant's qualifications and preparation for graduate work in security studies.  Letters of recommendation are to be submitted electronically using the ApplyYourself online application system. Personal letters of recommendation - from colleagues, coaches, and family friends, for example - are not accepted.
  • Official Standardized Test Scores sent directly from the testing organization. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for Georgetown University is 5244.  There is no separate code for the SSP or the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
  • Active duty military applicants must complete this supplemental data form.
  • Applicants holding an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution where English was the primary language of instruction are required to take the GRE. 
  • TOEFL: 100 on the Internet Based Test (iBT); 250 on the Computer-Based Test; 600 on the paper-based exam.
  • IELTS: 7.5


  • SSP merit aid
  • Fulbright Scholarship Program (Visiting Scholar Program) 
  • International Education Financial Aid (IEFA)
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