The Security Studies Program offers two joint degrees in cooperation with other Georgetown programs: a joint M.A. and J.D. program offered with the Law Center and a joint M.A. and Ph.D. program offered with the Department of Government.

SSP/Georgetown Law Joint M.A.-J.D. Program

SSP participates in a joint M.A./J.D. program with the Georgetown University Law Center. This program is an accelerated program that allows successful applicants to earn both a Master of Arts in Security Studies and a Juris Doctorate in 4 years.

Joint M.A./J.D. degree candidates spend their first year at SSP, completing the bulk of the requirements for the M.A. portion of the degree. They then spend the next three years primarily at the Georgetown University Law Center, completing the requirements of the J.D. Students must satisfactorily complete course requirements for both the J.D. and M.A. degrees. In addition to the J.D. and M.A. degrees, a Joint Program Certificate will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of the program.

Students in M.A./J.D. program undertake a four-year course of study comprising a minimum of 109 academic credits (79 Law Center credits and 30 Security Studies credits). Six credits from the Law Center will satisfy SSP degree requirements with the approval of SSP Director of Graduate Studies. Six credits of SSP course work will satisfy J.D. requirements. Students are required to take at least six credits of coursework on International Law, and are encouraged to draw heavily from course offerings on the use of force, humanitarian law, conflict resolution, and other relevant topics.


To apply for the joint M.A./J.D., students must apply independently to both the SSP and the Law Center and must meet the admissions deadlines and satisfy the admissions requirements for both programs. Applications for the joint M.A./J.D. are only accepted for students intending to matriculate in the Fall Semester.

Students applying to the joint M.A./J.D. program can apply to the programs simultaneously or in their first year of coursework in SSP or at the Law Center. Acceptance into one program does not guarantee acceptance into the other and, conversely, rejection from one program does not necessarily mean that a candidate will be rejected from both.

Applicants to the joint M.A./J.D. program can submit LSAT scores in lieu of GRE scores. GMAT scores will not be accepted under any circumstances.

M.A./J.D. Curriculum Outline and Requirements

As joint degree students may begin their studies at either SSP or the Law Center, the course plan will vary between students. However, all students in the joint degree program must take the following:

  • 24 credits of Security Studies coursework, including completion of all core courses for the program
  • 31 credits of the required first-year law curriculum
  • 32 credits in further law courses including Professional Responsibility and the legal writing requirement
  • 16 credits in international law courses, including three credits in International Law I and 13 credits in further international law courses, at least three of which need to be in international/national security law
  • Passage of the SSP comprehensive exam
  • If needed, 9 credits of additional SSP M.A. free elective credits
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for the Law Center and a 3.0 for the M.A. in Security Studies.

Upon admission to the joint program, an academic advisor from both the Law Center and SSP will be assigned to you to discuss your course of study in further detail.

SSP/Georgetown Government Joint M.A.-Ph.D. Program

SSP participates in a joint M.A./Ph.D. program with Georgetown University’s Department of Government. This program is an accelerated program, which allows students to complete coursework which simultaneously satisfies the requirements of both the Master of Arts in Security Studies and a Ph.D. in Government.

Students in the joint M.A./Ph.D. program are required to take a total of 60 credit hours of coursework, with up to 24 credits double-counting toward both the M.A. and the Ph.D. Students applying to joint M.A./Ph.D. must select International Relations as their area of focus for the Ph.D. Students accepted to the M.A./Ph.D. program must also attain proficiency in relevant languages and research methodologies and successfully complete and defend a dissertation to be awarded the Ph.D.


Students can only be admitted to the joint M.A./Ph.D. program in the fall semester. A separate application must be submitted to both SSP and to the Department of Government; the Department of Government’s application deadline is earlier than the SSP application deadline. Please refer the Department of Government’s website for additional information. Admitted students are required to attend on a full-time basis.

M.A./Ph.D. Curriculum Outline and Requirements

Students in the joint M.A./Ph.D. program complete the regular SSP requirements, with the following exceptions:

  • Theory and Practice of Security (SEST-500) may be waived for students in the joint degree program, provided that they enroll in GOVT-551 and GOVT-724
  • Four additional courses in the chosen concentration, rather than three such courses