Doctor of Philosophy in Security Studies - Curriculum 694

Program Officer

Kenneth Ferguson, CDR, USN

Glasgow Hall Room 336

(831) 656-2067, DSN 756-2067

klfergus@nps.edu

Doctoral Committee Chair

Erik Dahl, Ph.D.

Code 38, Glasgow Hall, Room 356

(831)656-3168

ejdahl@np.edu

Brief Overview

Security Studies is a multidisciplinary field based on the traditional academic disciplines of Political Science, History, and Economics. The doctoral program in Security Studies seeks to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to do work of the highest professional quality in these areas, with emphasis on understanding the challenges and characteristics of modern security and defense policy. Doctoral training is inherently open-ended, being dependent upon completion of a Ph.D. dissertation of significant scope and originality. Successful completion of the program requires one year of in-residence course work beyond the Master's degree, and the completion of a doctoral dissertation of sufficient scope and quality to constitute an original and independent contribution to knowledge. A normal Ph.D. tour is three years, of which the last two are spent conducting research and writing the dissertation. Given the open-ended nature of dissertation research, however, there can be no assurance that the program can be completed in three years.

Requirements for Entry

Admission to the Ph.D. program in Security Studies is available to officers of all the U.S. armed services, civilian federal employees, and to individuals sponsored by selected allied nations. Applicants must possess a Master's Degree in Security Studies or a closely-allied field (Political Science, History, Economics, etc.) by the time doctoral instruction begins.

Admissions decisions are made twice per year. Deadlines are March 15 (for a decision in late March) and September 15 (for a decision in late September). The following materials are required:

  • A completed online application, which may be accessed at http://www.nps.edu/Academics/Admissions/ApplyOnline/ApplyNow.html.
  • A cover letter specifying research interest and purpose for seeking a doctoral degree, especially in relation to the candidate's previous academic and professional experiences.
  • Certified transcripts of prior graduate and undergraduate work. Transcripts of work completed at NPS are not necessary.
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination, taken within the last five years.
  • At least two (2) letters of recommendation, either from former professors or from others in a position to judge the candidate's academic potential.
  • Attestation by the student's sponsoring agency or nation that it is committed to provide tuition and salary support during the student's residence at NPS.
  • A sample of expository writing (e.g. a paper written for a graduate seminar, a Master's thesis, an article published in an academic or service journal) chosen by the applicant to demonstrate his or her ability to do advanced academic work.
  • International applicants who are not currently enrolled at NPS, and whose native language or language of prior instruction is other than English, must submit current results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of Written English.

    Domestic applicants should forward the materials just described, to the NPS Director of Admissions. International students should forward their materials to the International Graduate School Programs Office.

Entry Date

Once a student has been admitted, doctoral study may begin in any subsequent quarter during the following twelve months.

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Security Studies.

Curriculum Requirements

General Degree Requirements: The NSA doctoral program requires one year of course work beyond the Master's degree. Courses are tailored to develop the candidate's analytical and methodological foundations in two of the following four disciplines: international relations, international political economy, comparative politics, and history. Additionally, elective courses and directed readings assist students in developing their dissertation topic, and prepare them to take required written and oral qualifying examinations.

A student is expected to have completed written and oral qualifying exams, and secured approval of the dissertation proposal by the committee that will supervise its completion, by the end of the fifth quarter in residence.

Degree Candidacy and Dissertation Research: Doctoral students are admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. following successful completion of written and oral qualifying examinations, and the submission of a satisfactory dissertation proposal. Students admitted to candidacy for the degree are thereafter expected to be engaged full-time in dissertation research and writing. Once a completed dissertation has been submitted the student must defend it before the dissertation committee. A representative of the Academic Council and other interested observers will also be present for the defense.

Curriculum Sponsor and ESR Approval Authority

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans, Policy and Operations) (N3/5).