Upon completing the MAISS program, students will be equipped to investigate and produce in-depth analyses of security related issues in real world settings by employing the theoretical and methodological skills acquired over the duration of their coursework.
Most MAISS courses will be offered via “combination delivery,” with only a few face-to-face class meetings each semester and all other sessions completed online. When necessary—and especially for those students who may be transferred or deployed while in the midst of the program—videoconferences will serve in place of face-to-face meetings. With regard to support for student success and timely completion, the program incorporates multiple “checkpoints” to ensure that admitted students receive early and frequent mentoring as their studies build toward the culminating experience. MAISS students may also choose whether the culminating experience consists of a traditional thesis or a major capstone project.
The program consists of 36 credit hours and is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study.
SECR 6911: Introduction to Security Studies
This course is the basic introductory level course. It familiarizes students with basic approaches to security studies, emerging trends in security studies, current global threats to US national security, and policy responses to such threats. It examines security from both the macro and micro levels, covering systemic security theories as well as focusing on emerging threats to US security, non-traditional threats, and an introduction to US security strategy.
SECR 6411: Introduction to Intelligence Studies
This course introduces students to a broad overview of the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC), to include its purpose, development, organization and role in meeting the objectives of U.S. national security. Students will be introduced to the five major disciplines of intelligence (human, signals, geospatial, measurement and signature, and open source), as well as the roles of policy makers and Congress in directing and overseeing the USIC.
SECR 6600: Research Methods for Intelligence and Security Studies
This course introduces students to the common analytical methods used in public and nonprofit organizations for decision-making, policy analysis, and program evaluation.
SECR 6906: Terrorism Studies
This course is designed to help students understand the phenomenon of international terrorism. The course is designed to introduce students to different perspectives on terrorism and the readings will give students a conceptual framework to systematically analyze terrorism while encouraging them to sharpen their analytical skills through exploration of case studies.
PADM 6351: Introduction to Homeland Security
This course introduces students to the essential ideas in the emerging discipline of homeland security. Includes basic instruction on the strategy-making process, fear management, crisis communication, conventional and unconventional threats, civil liberties and security, the role of technology, and intelligence and information collection.
SECR 6916: The Causes and Prevention of War
This course familiarizes students with the theoretical approaches to understanding
what causes war. It also covers American Grand Strategy and policy. It highlights
the differences between the cold-war era international security conditions for war
and the pre and post-9/11 conditions. This course focuses on the meta- or grand theories
of war. It offers case-studies of US wars, including the Global War on Terror (GWOT),
focusing specifically on Iraq and Afghanistan. It also introduces students to theories
of conflict prevention and conflict maintenance.
SECR 6998: Thesis I
This course is required for MAISS students who elect to complete a thesis. It provides students an opportunity to work with a mentor to develop an original project through research and to assemble those findings in a prospectus that demonstrates the project’s merit for fuller exploration.
This course requires individual effort that is overseen by the course instructor, your research mentor. Weekly or bi-weekly meetings, either in person or online, will be held to discuss progress and review submitted documents. Once the preliminary research and analysis are completed, the prospectus will be written iteratively until it is ready to be submitted for a defense. Successful completion of this course requires successful completion of the defense.
SECR 6999: Thesis II
This course is required for MAISS students who elect to complete a thesis. It provides students an opportunity to conduct research to develop an approved prospectus into a substantive paper that demonstrates insightful analysis of existing or original data in order to advance the current understanding of an intelligence or security studies issue.
This course requires individual effort that is overseen by the course instructor, your research mentor. Weekly or bi-weekly meetings, either in person or online, will be held to discuss progress and review submitted documents. Once the research and necessary analysis and results compilation are completed, individual thesis sections will be written and revised iteratively until we both agree that the document is ready for submission to the Thesis Committee. If the committee agrees, then a defense of the thesis will be held. Upon successful completion of the defense, the manuscript will be revised a final time and once approved, officially submitted for final processing.
SECR 6809: Ethnic Conflict and Political Violence
This course focuses on the causes, prevention and consequences of conflict and political violence based on identity, nationalism, and ethnicity. It also covers civil wars and terrorism as they relate to these issues, with particular focus placed upon ethno-religious identity. Importance is also placed on how ethnic conflict affects US policy and US intervention. Areas of focus may include Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burma/Myanmar, Chechnya, Darfur, Israel, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and Syria.
SECR 6912: Counterterrorism Studies
This course examines macro and micro level approaches to combating domestic and international terrorism. It analyzes the various challenges nations encounter as they attempt to combat terrorism. It examines counterterrorism through a broad multi-regional approach as well as through unique case study analyses. Specific topics may include, but are not limited to: deterrence, military and law enforcement responses to terrorist attacks, homeland security, counterinsurgency tactics, and media relations.
SECR 6913: Critical Security Studies
This course examines new theoretical approaches to security studies and emerging trends, focusing specifically on post-modern ideas of security and the role of human rights and human security. Topics include gender and security, environmental security, and health and security. This course also focuses on US policy implications from a critical security studies perspective.
SECR 6980: Introduction to Cyber Intelligence and Cybersecurity Policy
This course introduces students to the fascinating world of strategic cyber security and covers topics as diverse as cyber war, hacktivism, big data, cyber-crime, and threats to critical infrastructure. This course will also explore common vulnerabilities of the internet, as well as the legal and ethical concerns relating to issues of privacy and government surveillance of the internet.
SECR 6981: Cyber Intelligence: History and Theory of Cyber War
This course introduces students to some of the major cyber conflicts and attacks that have transpired since the dawn of the “internet age,” to include a discussion of the geo-political developments leading up to each. We will also discuss various theoretical problems with defining “cyber warfare” and how various strategic theorists approach the topic. Finally, we will discuss the possible future developmental trajectories of cyber capabilities as they relate to the conduct of warfare, as well as an overview of the problems with cyber deterrence.
SECR 6412: Advanced Intelligence Collection
This course gives students an in-depth understanding of the five disciplines of intelligence collection: Open-source (OSINT), Signals (SIGINT), Human (HMINT), Geospatial (GEOINT), and Measurement and Signature (MASINT). Students will also gain a broad understanding of how these intelligence disciplines have been used in past intelligence operations, as well as how they support the executive branch of the U.S. government in formulating and directing national security policy.
MGMT 6500: Organizational Behavior
An analysis of the determinants and consequences of human behavior in organizations with attention to motivation, leadership, and group dynamics.
PADM 6020: Geographic Information Systems for Public Management
Introduces students to the use and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in public organizations. The principal focus is on the use of GIS for planning and problem solving at the local government level. Prerequisite(s): Permission of the MPA Director.
PADM 6650: Public Policy Analysis
Introduces students to the economic, political, and social forces that shape public policy along with methods of analyzing policy alternatives.
SECR 6997: Capstone
This course allows students to complete a director-approved major project or culminating experience in which they reflect on and apply their previous studies to advance their understanding of intelligence or security studies.