Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program (SSP) is a multidisciplinary course of study designed to prepare graduates for positions within the defense and security fields.

SSP is one of eight master’s degree programs offered in the Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS). The program’s overarching mission is to produce a new generation of analysts, policymakers, and scholars fully knowledgeable about the range of international and national security problems and foreign policy issues of the 21st Century. SSP features:

  • over 80 courses addressing numerous areas of study
  • 13 core faculty members and more than 80 adjunct faculty members, consisting of leading scholars and practitioners in security affairs
  • A unique and flexible schedule that allows students the option of either full- or part-time study
  • A course of study that is appropriate for both recent college graduates and mid-career professionals

The SSP curriculum is designed to give students a broad array of course options which provide a solid foundation in core security issues. The program’s graduates have filled key positions in the U.S. and foreign governments, the defense industry and the private sector, research institutions, and non-governmental and international organizations. Other graduates pursue doctoral programs and academic careers.

The Security Studies Program is housed within the Center for Security Studies (CSS), a broader center created by Michael E. Brown in 2000. In addition to supporting the master’s program, CSS hosts a wide array events to foster critical dialogue on security issues.


Professor Keir A. Lieber is Director of the Center for Security Studies and Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and Associate Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also holds a joint appointment with the Department of Government. Professor Lieber’s research and teaching interests include nuclear weapons, strategy, and deterrence; the causes of war; U.S. foreign and national security policy; and international relations theory. He is author of War and the Engineers: The Primacy of Politics over Technology (Cornell University Press) and editor of War, Peace, and International Political Realism (University of Notre Dame Press). His articles have appeared in leading scholarly and foreign policy publications, including International Security, Security Studies, Foreign Affairs, and the Atlantic Monthly. Professor Lieber has been awarded major fellowships from the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Council on Foreign Relations, Earhart Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Smith Richardson Foundation. Professor Lieber received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he is a proud product of the D.C. public schools.

Mission Statement

The SSP’s mission is to teach a new generation of analysts, policymakers, and scholars to think critically and act responsibly in the face of the 21st century’s most pressing national and international security problems.