Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Security Policy Studies (SPS) is a policy-oriented master's degree program focusing on international security issues, with a particular emphasis on 21st-century security challenges and how to respond to them. These include intensifying transnational challenges stemming from organized terrorist and criminal networks, human security problems stemming from fragile states, instability from technological developments including weapons proliferation and cyber threats, as well as climate change and health pandemics. Familiar challenges like major power rivalry and regional conflicts also require fresh strategic thinking to remain ahead of changing threat curves.

The SPS curriculum provides a strong grounding in the national security policy-making process, and our graduates build specialized knowledge that gives them an advantage in career development.

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What You'll Study

Our curriculum provides strong grounding in the national security and defense policy-making process as well as international security institutions. Students select one of four specialized concentrations — US national security, transnational security, conflict resolution, and science & technology. They also choose a cluster of electives that can emphasize complementary areas of expertise, including in particular regional security dynamics or specialized themes.

To earn your Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies you must successfully complete our 40 credit program which includes 6 credits of core courses, 15 credits in your chosen Concentration, 12 credits of Electives or Tools, 3 credits of Skills courses, and a 4 credit Capstone sequence.

Concentration

Students will select a concentration and complete 15 credits of coursework focusing on contemporary security issues in that specific area.

Electives

Students will select 9-12 credits of electives to build complementary expertise in relevant regional or thematic security challenges.

Global Capstone

The Global Capstone enables student teams to apply their analytical skills to select and address a contemporary security challenge facing a client organization.

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©The George Washington University - Elliott School Of International Affairs

Where You'll Go

graphic: pie chart, 27% private, 51% public, 12% non-profit, 10% other Security Policy Studies

Our graduates continue to pursue a wide variety of exciting careers in diplomacy and public service, business, security, conflict resolution, development, and public health. For 2016-17 graduates, top employers included:

  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Capgemini Government Solutions
  • The Asia Group
  • NATO
  • Interos Solutions
  • APCO Worldwide
  • Atlantic Council

While you study with us and even once you leave, we'll provide you with resources and support to help you get the job you've always wanted post-graduation. From career counseling, workshops, site visits, and information sessions, The Graduate Student Career Development Center has a variety of tools and tips to get you to where you want to be.

Elliott School by the Numbers

Elliott School by the Numbers

©The George Washington University - Elliott School Of International Affairs

Last updated Apr 2020

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About the School

Elliott School graduates are consistently sought after for challenging global careers. What's more, our Washington, DC location allows us to form strong relationships with public, private, and non-pro ... Read More

Elliott School graduates are consistently sought after for challenging global careers. What's more, our Washington, DC location allows us to form strong relationships with public, private, and non-profit organizations that regularly employ Elliott School students and alumni. Read less