National Defense university:

Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies

In September 2010, the United States Army Special Operations Center of Excellence, in partnership with the National Defense University (NDU), began offering a fully accredited program for a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies (MASSS).

The program mirrors the Joint Special Operations Master of Arts (JSOMA) offered by NDU’s College of International Security Affairs. The SCoE/NDU program is offered to eligible Non-Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers, Officers from all Special Operations Branches and support personnel assigned to a Special Operations Unit, that have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

The 10-month curriculum offers a strategic perspective on the global threat environment; the rise of newly empowered and politicized ideological movements; the relationship between political objectives; strategy; all instruments of national power; and the roles of power and ideology. Through seminars, independent study, research and the writing of a thesis, students will develop strategies for working with other agencies and with members of the international coalition. Through a combination of academic and practical learning, the program will prepare professionals to develop and implement national and international security strategies for conditions of peace, crisis and war.

Students who complete the MASSS degree should be able to meet the following learning objectives:

  1. Analyze the 21st-century geopolitical environment characterized by the rise of nonstate armed groups and the uneven erosion of state sovereignty;
  2. Evaluate the roles of power and ideology, the rise of newly empowered and politicized ideological movements, and the bases for authority and legitimacy;
  3. Understand the relationship between political objectives, strategy and all instruments of national power;
  4. Develop skills needed for thinking critically and strategically and for differentiating between policy and analysis. Put knowledge into practice in complex circumstances involving collaboration with diverse partners.

The program is fast-paced and demanding. Students’ education backgrounds will vary — some may have completed their undergraduate degree recently, while others may have completed it years ago. To better prepare all students for the academic rigors of the program, the SWCS Education Management Division is coordinating with the Army Center for Enhanced Performance – Fort Bragg to develop an academic-success program tailored to the needs of the students.

The curriculum begins in August. Please review the National Defense University (NDU) AY20 for all prerequisites and eligibility criteria.

Interested Soldiers should submit their completed application packet by email to the USAJFKSWCS Education Office or by mail to:

Dr. Andrew E. Rogers
Education Director, Clay Hall
U.S. Special Operations Command (Army)
3855 Ardennes St. Bldg D-2104, Room B110
Fort Bragg, NC 28310 (910) 432-5595

Application Packets Must Include:

For additional information, questions, or concerns please contact the Education Department, Dr. Andrew E. Rogers or call (910) 432-5595.