William Seaman
Norwich Graduate, Class of 2016

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Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies

A Comprehensive Approach to National Security

Global and domestic threats to the United States can take many forms and vary in their impact, and Norwich University’s online Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies program is designed to help you meet such challenges head-on. Develop your critical thinking skills, tackle advanced problem solving, and learn how to anticipate and plan for all manner of hazards with a faculty of seasoned experts who are here to provide you with personalized support throughout your education.

The national security studies curriculum builds upon the education and experience of Combat Arms and Combat support personnel in the military, as well as members of the intelligence and law enforcement communities. The program strikes a balance between core courses and electives, encouraging you to sharpen your skills in research and analysis, decision making, leadership and communication.


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Students select elective courses.

Why Norwich?

Transfer up to 90 semester credits and complete your degree in fewer than two years.

Coursework is rigorous, relevant, and immediately applicable to your career.

Several start dates per year offer you the ability to enroll when it fits your schedule.

Take advantage of a wide array of electives, including American Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century, and Homeland Security and Intelligence.

Our experienced faculty of working experts provides insight into professional communication, leadership, utilization of technology and organizational structure.

Quick Info

100% Online

All classes taken online

90 Credits

Transfer up to 90 credits

18 Months

Typical time to program completion

23 October

Next Start Date

11 October

Application Deadline

Accreditation & Recognition

logo, new england commission of higher education

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).

National Security Studies Curriculum

The program strikes a balance between core courses and electives, encouraging you to sharpen your skills in research and analysis, decision making, leadership and communication. Whether you are looking to advance in your current career, or planning to transition to another role entirely, Norwich’s flexible virtual classroom allows you to focus on issues of national security and intelligence that are most relevant to the United States. For a Norwich bachelor's degree, you must earn at least 120 semester credits, including transfer credits.

The program consists of five curriculum areas:

  • Free elective courses are taken by all students who enter the program with fewer than 60 credits.
  • Core courses are designed to address the specific learning needs of national security and intelligence professionals.
  • Degree elective courses enable students to shape their studies by selecting courses that meet personal and professional goals.
  • Field studies put knowledge into practice by analyzing issues critical to national and international security
  • Capstone project requires students to synthesize program learnings with a focus on ethics and leadership related to national security issues.

Core Curriculum

Students are required to complete the following core curriculum coursework:

  • Military Literature
    ENGL270 3 credit hours

    This course is a study of men and women in war and the military service: their ideals, experiences, and strategies as seen in foreign and American military literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisite: EN102 or equivalency.

  • American Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century
    HIST425 3 credit hours

    In this course students will gain an understanding of America's rise as a global power in the twentieth century. Topics include the strategic elements of American foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere, American neutrality and subsequent involvement in World War I and II, and challenges faced by the United States during and after the Cold War. Students will examine the diplomatic, political and military aspects that determined the foreign policy of the United States as it has participated in and shaped world history. Through discussions, readings and research assignments, students will have the opportunity to think critically about the major foreign policy issues of the time period.

  • Elementary Statistics
    MA232 3 credit hours

    This course covers the study of frequency distributions, averages and standard deviations, normal curve, probability, decision-making, sampling techniques, testing hypotheses, chi-square, students-t and F-distributions, correlation, and linear regression. Prerequisite: A college level mathematics course or equivalent as determined by departmental placement testing.

  • Comparative Religion
    RELG300 3 credit hours

    Based upon myth and built upon ritual, religious thought affects politics, economics, international relations, and security. In this course, you will explore and analyze the similarities and differences among world religions to better understand the impact of belief systems and religious themes on culture, human history, and current affairs. Prerequisites: none.

  • Environmental Science
    SCIE301 3 credit hours

    Most of the world’s crucial environmental issues and many regional conflicts are related to the degradation and/or overuse of the Earth’s basic resources, including air, water, soil, and energy. This course focuses on the physical and chemical processes associated with the degradation of these resources, as well as an examination of potential solutions. The course addresses and integrates into scientific studies two themes that underlie all environmental issues: sustainability and human population dynamics.

  • Insurgency and Conflict
    SSDA315 6 credit hours

    In this course students compare and contrast selected insurgencies and counter-insurgencies from across the globe. Students acquire both broad knowledge and in-depth understanding of the practice of insurgency in various regions and nations.

  • Law of Armed Conflict
    SSDA325 3 credit hours

    A study of the law of armed conflict and the legal use of force. Students review international law theory, including the primary sources of international law, and then evaluate the impact of international law on past, present and future operations. Topics include: international law formulation; rules of engagement; issues surrounding detainees, internees and prisoners of war; air, land and sea laws; and the application of international law as it pertains to military operations. Prerequisites: none.

Degree Electives

Students will choose to complete 18 credits from the degree electives listed in this section. 

  • Socio-Economic Studies
    ECON310 3 credit hours

    In this course, you will explore tenets and characteristics of various economics systems, analyze economic indicators, conceptualize problems, and recommend possible solutions. Economic factors are explored in the context of the U.S. Army’s Political-Military-Economics-Social Infrastructure-Information Systems framework.

  • The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
    HIST402 3 credit hours

    A unique feature of the course is its attention to diversity within both the Israeli and Palestinian political communities. This course provides an engrossing exposure to the themes and complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its focus is historical and conceptual, and requires students to apply their learning through critical evaluation of contemporary events and conditions. Participants learn the conflict’s history and grapple with recurring obstacles to peace, including practical issues of security as well as abstract issues of culture, identity, and religion. Students are required to view the conflict from both national communities’ perspectives and to critically analyze different models for resolving the conflict.

  • Homeland Security and Intelligence
    INSC311 3 credit hours

    This course explores the background and evolution of homeland security in the post- 9/11 era. Students learn about the public and private infrastructure and functioning of homeland security operations, technology used to explore threats and enhance safety, innovative solutions to threats, risk prevention and management, and critical incident management of terrorism threats, natural disasters, and other threats to homeland security. Pre-requisites: none.

  • Global Security and Intelligence
    INSC313 3 credit hours

    This course examines a range of contemporary international issues – from questions of realism versus idealism in foreign affairs to changes in the nation-state, the rise and influence of member states in the Pacific Rim, and overall global security objectives. It will explore the uses of strategic intelligence by world leaders in shaping policy and the effects of strategic intelligence on world events. Students will be required to closely follow international developments and learn how to discuss them objectively and analytically. Areas of emphasis include science, technology, and globalization as the environment in which concepts of international security evolve and change over time. Pre-requisites: none.

  • Strategic Planning
    MNGT320 3 credit hours

    This course is designed to enhance the critical and creative thinking skills needed to solve complex and ill-defined problems. Key themes are problem framing, operational art, leadership, and the outcomes for human security. You will examine historical and contemporary examples of strategic-level planning in highly complex operations and use this learning as a framework for problem solving within and across agencies. You will complete a major team project on a complex problem vignette that requires creating a course of action a leader must follow to meet the desired end state.

  • National Security Policy
    POLS302 3 credit hours

    This course introduces students to the issues and institutions of national security policy. Successful students will have an appreciation of strategic thought and strategy formulation, the ability to assess national security issues and threats, and an understanding of the political and military institutions involved in the making and execution of national security policy. Pre-requisites: none.

  • International Terrorism
    POLS318 3 credit hours

    This course addresses the effects of a variety of forms of sub-state violence on world affairs. Topics include sources of terrorism, its major characteristics, the problems it poses for global peace and stability, responses to terrorism by countries and international organizations, and the problem of balancing public safety and personal freedom in dealing with terrorism.

  • Introduction to Cultural Competence
    SOCI335 3 credit hours

    This course presents key concepts in the study of cultures and explores how culture and cultural contexts and language influence values, expectations, behavior, communication styles, and conflict resolution.

  • Emergency and Disaster Relief Operations
    SSDA310 6 credit hours

    This course examines how emergency managers respond to national, state, or local disasters. Students gain a broad understanding of the functions, challenges, key concepts and organizing principles of U.S. emergency management. Emphasis is placed on how emergency management is structured and organized by examining the National Response Framework (NRF), the National Incident Management System (NIMS), and the Incident Command System (ICS) as well as other standards that govern emergency management in the United States. Students will apply their learning to develop an emergency plan capable of addressing identified threats. This course requires broad knowledge, in-depth understanding, analysis, synthesis, and creativity in regard to the topics addressed. Pre-requisites: none.

  • Information Operations
    SSDA320 6 credit hours

    This course introduces the overall concept of Information Warfare (IW) and Information Operations (IO), particularly with regard to the U.S. federal government and the Department of Defense. Pre-requisites: none.

  • History of Diplomacy I
    HIST411 3 credit hours

    This course provides students with a comprehensive overview and analysis of diplomacy and international relations from 1648 to 1914. The course focuses on the historical foundations of the modern state system and on the effects of globalization and its influence on decision-making in diplomacy. The course is offered three times per year and is eight weeks in length.

  • History of Diplomacy II
    HIST412 3 credit hours

    This course provides students with a comprehensive overview and analysis of diplomacy and international relations from 1914 to the present. The course builds on the material covered in HIST 411 – History of Diplomacy I and focuses on the historical foundations of the modern state system and on the effects of globalization and its influence on decision-making in diplomacy. The course is offered three times per year and is eight weeks in length. Prerequisite: HIST 411.

Field Studies

Students must complete two of the following courses to complete their field studies requirement.

  • Infrastructure Studies
    ECON401 6 credit hours

    Currently under course development.

  • Cultural & Anthropology Studies
    SOCI401 6 credit hours

    In this course, you will complete a study of a country or region in relation to a key aspect of its culture. Within this broad framework, you will explore an issue related to an aspect of cultural conflict or cross-cultural communication by addressing the region’s cultural competence: the ability to navigate complex cultural environments in pursuit of mutually satisfactory outcomes. The course culminates in a substantive research paper or academic project that reflects broad knowledge, in-depth understanding, analysis, synthesis, and creativity in regard to the topics addressed. Prerequisites: SOCI 335 Introduction to Cultural Competence, or permission of the department chair.

  • Geographic/Area Studies
    SOCI406 6 credit hours

    In this course, you will study the geography of a region of interest and how geography relates to implementation of a project or to the cause of or resolution to a problem in the region. You will examine natural resources and resource challenges, paying particular attention to mineral, oil, water, and other highly valued assets in the region. Your study will address future geographical or resource challenges of the region and include recommendations for infrastructure changes that would help maximize effective use of resources. The course culminates in a substantive research paper or academic project that reflects broad knowledge, in-depth understanding, analysis, synthesis, and creativity in regard to the topics addressed.


  • Capstone - National Security Studies
    NTSS400 6 credit hours

    The culminating academic activity for BS National Security Studies (NSS) students. Under the supervision of the instructor, students create a portfolio of work from previous courses to demonstrate achievement of the program outcomes. Students also analyze and synthesize program learning with a particular focus on ethics and leadership. Students analyze ethical scenarios and a tactical ethics text and present an in-depth ethical analysis. Students demonstrate how their work will contribute to the security of national objectives as they pertain to the topics under discussion throughout the program. Prerequisites: Completion of all NSS courses or permission of the program manager.


At a Glance

  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Multiple start dates per year

Admissions Requirements »

Next Start Date

Monday, October 23, 2023

Application Deadline

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Contact Admissions

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT
Extended hours available by appointment


Call: 1-866-684-7237
Email: learn@norwich.edu

  • transfer credit options at norwich university
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    Transfer Credits
    You may receive the equivalent of up to 90 semester credits for training and prior learning that meet specific course requirements in the program.
  • students
    What to Expect at Norwich
    From student support to classroom resources to exceptional faculty, Norwich has your online learning experience covered.
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    Military Transcripts
    Your military transcripts will provide Norwich with the information needed to begin reviewing and evaluating your military experience and training for college credit.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Norwich University, in compliance with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or physical handicap in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.

Tuition & Fees


There are many ways to get financial assistance and many strategies that can help you achieve your goals. We work with military personnel each day to help them maximize their benefits – whatever your individual situation, we can guide you through the financial planning process.

Tuition at a Glance

  • Credit Hours: 30-120
  • Credits Per Term: 3-12
  • Rate Per Credit Hour: $375 or $250 (Military; Veteran; and Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve spouses)

2023-24 Tuition and Fee Schedule - Bachelor's Programs

Rate Per Credit Tuition Additional Expenses Total
$375 or $250 (Military; Veteran; and Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve spouses) $750-$4,500

Technology - $150/term
Library - $100/term
Graduation - $150/one-time

$8,400 - $35,900

Careers & Outcomes

A Program Rooted in a Legacy of Military and Public Service

An increasingly complex geopolitical landscape demands competent leaders with the critical thinking skills and tact to make difficult decisions for the greater good. The Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies program is backed by Norwich’s near 200-year history of developing leaders in the military, public sector, and private industry.

Norwich’s online national security studies program is ideal for those who wish to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the global and national security issues affecting the United States—as well as develop the skills necessary to combat any and all threats to the nation. The program can assist you in moving forward with your current job, forging a new career path, or going on to earn your master’s degree in a related field of study.

Example career paths for graduates:

  • Linguist/Foreign Language Expert
  • National Security Analyst
  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Political Scientist
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Police Detective
  • Logistics Specialist
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Cryptologist
  • Security Officer
  • Immigration and Customs Agent
  • Infrastructure Analyst

Faculty & Staff

Academic Director

James Dalton, MA

James Dalton is an experienced educator, with a focus on graduate and undergraduate military college program development and instruction. Earning the rank of commander with 27 years of active duty military experience in the U.S. Navy, Dalton has served as a naval flight officer and a professor at the Naval War College. As a military professor, he developed and managed military education programs for advanced warfare studies related to conventional and unconventional warfare across all phases. During his assignment as a joint experimentation officer, he designed and coordinated test programs for new systems to benefit all branches of the U.S. Special Forces and developed curriculum dedicated to unconventional warfare education. He has his master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, as well as a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri.

Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis
Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies
Master of Arts in Strategic Studies

Meet James »

Program Staff

Chelsea Spencer, MBA
Assistant Program Manager
Cara Bertin, MSEd
Student Support Advisor

Featured Faculty



Meet graduates from our bachelor's programs.

portrait of steve

From the very beginning of submitting my application to graduation day, the one-on-one interaction with the faculty and staff made me feel a part of the Norwich family.

Steve Gonzalez
Class of 2016
Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

The way the SSDA program was tailored to the Special Operations community appealed to me because the courses were all applicable. I could use the first-hand knowledge I gained from working in the Special Operations community and apply it directly to my studies and class discussions.

Sean Freitag
Class of 2013
Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis
portrait of julie

One of the key things to me for having a Norwich education is the name that comes with it; there’s pride and tradition that comes with having a Norwich University diploma. It’s finishing what I started here many years ago and I wanted something I can be proud to hang in my office.

Julie Scribner
Class of 2015
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Online Learning

How do you fit an online program into your busy life?

Norwich has developed online programs that provide a gateway, not a barrier, to maximize your career potential. Get to know a few graduates -- with busy schedules -- and how they made their education fit.

Stephan Liapis

I am married to a wonderful woman who I credit as a large part of why I was able to complete my master’s. We have a 2-year-old who is the light of our lives, and who was my inspiration for going back to school.

My background
I work for a private, non-profit organization that serves vulnerable populations in Orange County, CA. My role involves working with former dependents of Orange County who have been emancipated, to assist them with scholarship funding for their higher education pursuits. I assist around 350 youth per year.
How I succeeded at Norwich
What worked for me was being as flexible as possible when scheduling my day to be able to successfully complete my work, family and school commitments. This meant that some days I would finish school work first thing in the morning; other days I would stay up late. By being flexible, I was able to balance all of my priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

National Security Studies FAQs

What can you do with a national security degree?

With your online Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies from Norwich University, you can gain crucial critical thinking, ethical decision-making and leadership skills. You can then advance in federal and local law enforcement, homeland security, military contracting and military service careers.

Do I have to pick a concentration in the BS in National Security Studies?

No, the online BS in National Security Studies program at Norwich University does not include concentrations or specializations, but you will be able to select electives that align with your interests and goals.

Does the online BS in National Security Studies have a residency component?

While not required for completing your online bachelor's degree at Norwich University, there is an optional annual Residency Conference that provides unique educational and social engagement to culminate your time at Norwich.

What does a typical week look like as a student in the online BS in National Security Studies program?

Norwich has developed online programs that provide a gateway, not a barrier, to maximize your career potential. Get to know a few graduates — with busy schedules — and learn how they made their education fit into their lives.

What’s an online degree at Norwich University look like?

In the Norwich University online BS in National Security Studies, you'll learn in a flexible virtual classroom that allows you to access program content and contribute to class discussions anywhere and anytime. You will also interact frequently with peers and knowledgeable program faculty.

What are the online BS in National Security Studies faculty like?

Norwich faculty members embody the spirit of thinking and doing that has always informed Norwich’s academic model. Combining extensive academic and research credentials with career experience in the subjects they teach, our faculty members bring vast knowledge and real-world insight into the virtual classroom. They include nationally renowned subject matter experts, published authors and researchers, high-ranking retired military officers and accomplished professionals in various industries and sectors.

What type of support is available?

Upon enrollment, every Norwich student (including online students) gains access to an incredible network of people whose primary job is to help — from our student services advisers to our dedicated distance learning librarian and technical support team.

How can I help you?