Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies

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.

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 EN108 or equivalency.

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

    Currently under course development.

  • Elementary Statistics • MATH232 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. This course is not open to students with credit in MA311.

  • 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.

  • 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 • SSDA10 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.

Field Studies

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

  • Economic Studies • ECON401 6 credit hours

    In this course, you will complete a field study project to analyze and evaluate the economic indicators and infrastructure of a country or region of interest, exploring its local, regional, and global challenges and opportunities. The study will include recommendations for strengthening the region’s economic institutions and infrastructure. 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: ECON 310 Socio-Economics Studies or permission of chair of the department of continuing studies.

  • 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. Prerequisites: SSHI 310 Historical Studies or permission of the department chair.

Capstone
  • 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.