Security Studies Program (SSP)

About the Security Studies Program

Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program (SSP) is the academic pillar of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) and one of eight master’s degree programs offered in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS). SSP is a multidisciplinary course of study designed to prepare graduates for positions within the defense and security fields.

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. The SSP has over 30 years of experience preparing students with a wide range of backgrounds to become leaders in their fields.

In contrast to programs in security studies at other universities, the SSP curriculum is designed to give students a broad array of course options which provide a solid foundation in core security issues. Whether it is traditional intelligence and defense analysis, international security problems in general, emerging issues such as the perils of peace operations or the intricacies of information warfare, the SSP offers over 80 courses addressing numerous areas of study. The depth and breadth of its course offerings stimulate students to pursue their intellectual and professional interests and develop their own areas of specialization. 

The SSP offers a unique and flexible schedule that accommodates a wide range of students. Younger SSP students are able to apply their recent theoretical undergraduate education to practical policy applications. More seasoned students, professionals in the military, intelligence and defense contracting sectors enhance their practical experience with critical thinking, analytical writing and theory-based solutions. Most of the SSP's classes are offered in the evening, giving students the option for either full time or part time study.

The program’s more than 1,500 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 SSP faculty comprises leading scholars and practitioners in security affairs who offer courses that are academically and analytically rigorous. Many members of the SSP faculty have years of distinguished service in the United States government. Classroom instruction is consequently enriched with an understanding and appreciation of the real world issues with which policymakers have to contend. The result is a program that combines the best of both worlds—academic rigor and policy relevance.

    Our Mission Statement

    The M.A. curriculum of the Security Studies Program (SSP) is designed to give students a solid grounding in the concepts, history, and substance of national and international security problems; as well as the skills to conduct original research and analysis on contemporary security issues.

    The goals of the Security Studies Program are to enable students to:

    1. Identify, understand, and analyze critical national and international security issues.

    2. Learn about theoretical approaches and real-life challenges, working with both leading scholars and outstanding practitioners.

    3. Apply that knowledge as they analyze, evaluate, and formulate security policy. While in the Program, students develop strong analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills through a coherent yet flexible curriculum tailored to students’ intellectual and professional interests.

    4. Acquire the skills to conduct original research and analysis on contemporary security issues.