Strategic Studies - Curriculum 688

Program Officer

Paul Rasmussen, CDR, USN

Glasgow Hall Room 334

(831) 656-7753, DSN 756-7753

perasmus@nps.edu

Academic Associate

Meierding, Emily, Ph.D.

Code 38, Glasgow Hall, Room 348

(831) 656-2798, DSN 756-2798

elmeierd@nps.edu

Brief Overview

Strategy is concerned with the use of force to further the ends of policy. The aim of this curriculum is to produce students with a thorough understanding of this relationship, and of the relationship of force to other instruments by which the ends of policy may be pursued. Graduates will possess a comprehensive knowledge of US national security and defense policy and military strategy. They will have the ability to develop and coordinate national and military strategy; to develop concepts and plans to employ military forces at the national and theater levels; to write strategic- and operational-level vision and guidance documents; and to formulate, articulate, and coordinate the employment of all dimensions of military power to support the ends of American national security policy.

Strategic Studies is a multi-disciplinary degree program grounded in the fields of history, international relations, comparative politics, and political economy, and requires completion of a Master's thesis as the capstone degree requirement. Satisfactory completion of the four-course Naval War College JPME sequence is required for Navy officers. Students who do not need or desire to complete JPME are expected to develop a coherent four-course elective sequence in its place. The program of study lasts five-quarters (15-months), and may be begun in any academic quarter. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for quarterly start dates.

Entry Date

Any Quarter

Degree

Master of Arts in Security Studies (Strategic Studies)

Subspecialty

Navy P-Codes: 2301

Curriculum Requirements

Students in curriculum 688 must complete the following:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NS3011Research and Writing for National Security Affairs

4

0

NS3023Introduction to Comparative Politics

4

0

NS3024Introduction to International Relations

4

0

One of the following three:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NS3000War in the Modern World

4

0

NS3003Nationalism and Revolution

4

0

NS3005Great Power Conflict in Modern History

4

0

One of the following two:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NS3040The Politics of Global Economic Relations

4

0

NS3041Comparative Economic Systems

4

0

Four JPME courses taught by the Naval War College satellite program:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NW3230Strategy & War

4

2

NW3275Joint Maritime Operations - part 1

4

0

NW3276Joint Maritime Operations - part 2

2

2

NW3285Theater Security Decision Making

4

0

Curricular Courses - Required

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NS3030American National Security Policy

4

0

NS3230Innovation and Adaptation in the Military

4

0

NS4990Seminar in Strategic Studies

4

0

NS4256Maritime Strategy

4

0

Three electives from courses approved by the sponsor.

Three of the seven curricular courses must be at the 4000 level.

 

Students in curriculum 688 must complete NS4080, Thesis Proposal, no later than six months prior to intended graduation. Thereafter students may enroll in NS0810, Thesis Research, up to three times; or they may take additional course work in their area of specialization, with the permission of the Academic Associate.

Educational Skill Requirements (ESR)

  1. Basic Graduate Level Skills
    1. Conduct Research: Assemble information from the full range of data sources to understand international political, economic, and military issues.
    2. Analyze Problems and Demonstrate Critical Thinking: Frame issues as research questions; logically combine evidence and theory to analyze and explain international political, economic, and military developments; and formulate innovative solutions to strategic problems.
    3. Communicate Information: Clearly summarize large quantities of information and persuasively present positions and courses of action using a broad range of verbal and written communications formats, including short oral arguments, visual briefs, policy memos, position papers, and comprehensive student theses.
  2. General Political Science, International Relations, and Security Studies
    1. Great Power Competition:  Analyze the factors shaping the new era of increasing geopolitical competition among the major powers.  Understand Chinese and Russian activities and potential U.S. responses across all dimensions of power, including diplomacy, economic competition, influence campaigns, and traditional military force. 
    2. International and Comparative Politics: Understand international relations theories, including realist, liberal, and cultural paradigms; the conditions and world views that shape state interactions in the international system; the history of modern nationalism and the state system; and the roles of domestic politics, non-state actors, and transnational social movements in shaping international politics.
    3. International Economy: Understand the economic factors that shape the international security environment, including the economic dimensions of national security policy and the ways in which economic policies and interests affect military strategy and force structure.
    4. International and Military History: Grasp the principal causes of war in the modern era, and understand the political, technological, economic, and other influences that have governed its conduct; understand the social, political, economic, and cultural forces that have contributed to periods of stable peace; and analyze relations between states, including negotiations of peace settlements, military alliances, arms limitation agreements, economic arrangements, and human rights accords.
    5. International Organizations: Understand the history of international organizations and their role in world politics, including international mediation and negotiations, formal and informal security arrangements, treaty regimes, and the role of international institutions and non-governmental organizations in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
    6. U.S. Security Policy and Strategy:  Understand how U.S. national security policy and strategy are formulated. Understand the roles of nuclear forces in the security policies of the United States and other nuclear powers; U.S. nuclear force acquisition, planning, deterrence policy, and employment concepts from the Second World War to the present; and the role of nuclear weapons in alliance politics and international relations. 
  3. U.S. National Security, Defense, and Military Strategy
    1. U.S. National Security Policy: Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of US national security policy, military history, and defense, military, and naval strategy.
    2. International Environment: Assess the international strategic environment, analyze the factors shaping increasing great power competition, have knowledge of politico-military affairs, and understand the inner workings of the highest levels of government. Draw policy-relevant conclusions and formulate actionable recommendations.
    3. Strategic plans and policy: Demonstrate ability to write strategic-to-operational-level vision and guidance documents calculated to relate the ends of policy to the ways and means of strategic action. Understand the relationship of DIME elements to naval power and joint and maritime strategy. Differentiate and define Service, COCOM, and Naval Component Command roles at the national and theater levels.
    4. Strategic Theory and Concepts: Demonstrate ability to evolve concepts and strategy to employ forces at the national and theater levels. Understand how joint and maritime forces may influence the future global security environment. Develop strategic- and theater-level concepts of operations based on higher-level policies and strategies.
    5. Coalitions and Alliance Politics: Analyze the principal alliances and international organizations that shape the current security environment, including their role in U.S. national strategy, coalition building, and military missions from peace operations to major wars.
    6. Regional Security: Understand the basic security dynamics of at least two major world regions.
    7. Joint Professional Military Education: Satisfactory completion of JPME Phase I.