Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Capitalizing on an Elite Education

It is not surprising that Norwich University’s first online degree completion program, the Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis, is offered exclusively to active duty, retired, and reserve military personnel who are assigned to USSOCOM. The reputation of Norwich University is built not only on the quality of instruction, but also on the legacy of nearly 200 years of graduates. Our graduates are noted for their leadership and service to the nation, and we take our mission to educate in order to help them advance in the battlefield, boardroom, and beyond very seriously.

After completing the Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis (SSDA) program, graduates who responded to our recent alumni survey* rated their skills on a 0-10 scale as the following:

Written Communication: 10.0
Thinking Strategically: 9.8
Leadership Development: 8.3
Research Skills: 10.0

An academic credential, such as a bachelor’s degree, has become critically important for career advancement in both the military and the civilian world. As one recent alumnus, James Karr, put it, recruiters and employers in the private sector are reluctant to consider job candidates without this "piece of paper," in spite of their training and many accomplishments within the military. This is exactly where the program fits in. The online Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis degree completion program was inspired to capitalize on the unique experiences and training of SOF (Special Operations Forces) at the Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS) at Fort Bragg, NC, and to complement them, helping our students complete their formal education and prepare them for the future - whether it’s advancement within their command or transitioning to a new career in the private sector or public service. 

When we asked our alumni if they would recommend the Norwich SSDA program to someone they know, our survey respondents* strongly agreed. Maybe it’s because 93% of them feel they are more effective in their jobs as a result of the Norwich SSDA program.

Career Outcomes

Today, the Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis program is filled with Special Forces leaders from around the world in all branches of the military. According to a recent alumni survey, more than half of the respondents said they completed their degree while serving active duty in the U.S. military. Another 29% reported that they are currently employed as a civilian in the federal government. In talking with recent graduates, it is clear they felt the Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis degree from Norwich University was relevant to their work in the military and would help facilitate career advancement and transition opportunities.

Sean Freitag, a 2013 SSDA alumnus and Navy Chief E-7, describes his Norwich experience:

“I have grown both personally and professionally as a result of my education. I believe that would be true for most anyone, but what was unique about the SSDA program was that I gained an enriched awareness because the course work so closely mirrored what was happening in my professional life.”

Many graduates find the SSDA program so rewarding that they continue on to pursue one of Norwich University’s online master’s degrees. In a recent survey*, more than half of the SSDA alumni respondents indicated they had already started their master’s with Norwich.

Examples of positions held by our graduates include:

  • Deputy for Operations
  • Irregular Warfare Analyst
  • Principal Network Warfare Analyst
  • Special Forces Intelligence Analyst
  • Special Forces Warrant Officer

Where Our Graduates Work

A number of attractive career paths may be considered by members of Special Operations armed with a degree in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis. In a recent survey, 86% of our graduate respondents said they feel their Norwich education gives them a competitive edge in the job market. Examples of employers where our graduates work include:

  • Department of Defense Contractor Overseas
  • Department of the Air Force
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • U.S. Navy

Examples of Career Paths

  • Intelligence Integrator/Analyst
  • Investigative Research Analyst
  • Military Consultant
  • Operations & Logistics
  • Private Security Management/Logistics
  • Program Manager
  • Program Analyst
  • Protective Agent
  • Strategic Planner
  • Technical Security Lead/Analyst
  • Training & Development

Types of Employers

  • Defense contractors
  • Education/training firms
  • Engineering firms
  • Federal government
  • Management consulting firms
  • Private security firms
  • NGOs/International Aid Organizations
  • State or municipal law enforcement
  • Technology companies

Job Search Resources

*Source: Norwich University Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis, fielded in March 2014. Scale averages are based on a 0-10 scale where 10 is excellent.