Civil-Military Relations - Curriculum 685

Academic Associate

Carolyn C. Halladay, Ph.D.

Code 38, Glasgow Hall, Room 396

(831) 656-6256, DSN 756-6256

Brief Overview

The Civil-Military Relations curriculum is an interdisciplinary program tailored to the needs of international officers and civilians. It is open to members of the U.S. armed services and eligible U.S. Federal Government Civilians. The program is designed to meet three related requirements. First, it gives international students the skills needed to resolve the security problems confronting new and emerging democracies. Second, the program offers an in-depth understanding of civil-military relations. Finally, the program prepares students to resolve the civil-military issues raised by participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations, membership in the Partnership for Peace and other alliances, and security cooperation between other nations and the United States.


The minimum APC requirement for entry to this program is 265.


Students may enter in any quarter. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for quarterly start dates.

Program Length

For students who wish to complete JPME Phase I while in residence, curriculum 685 is a six-quarter (18-month) program. For all other students, curriculum 685 is a five-quarter (15-month) program.


Master of Arts in Security Studies (Civil-Military Relations)


Navy P-Codes: None

Curriculum Requirements

Students in curriculum 685 must complete four (4) disciplinary core courses, as follows:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NS3005Great Power Conflict in Modern History



NS3011Research and Writing for National Security Affairs



NS3023Introduction to Comparative Politics



NS3024Introduction to International Relations



In addition, students must complete a minimum of nine (9) curricular core and elective courses in their regional specialization, of which at least three (3) must be at the 4000-level.

685 students must complete (3) curricular core courses, as follows:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NS3021Defense Capability Development



NS3025Introduction to Civil-Military Relations



NS4225Civil-Military Relations and Transitions to Democracy



The additional courses needed to satisfy these requirements, and the quarters when they are offered, can be found on the NSA website at 685 students have the option of substituting four (4) courses in a single region for four of the curricular electives that would otherwise be required. At least one of the regional courses must be at the 4000-level.

Students are also required to take sufficient general electives to maintain a full-time course load (16 hours). The number of general elective slots will vary somewhat depending upon service affiliation and sponsor requirements.

Students in curriculum 685 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.