Special Ops on a Mission

Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Strategize a Tactical Approach

You know that in order to keep pace with the rapid evolution of global geopolitics and the corresponding defense needs therein, the nation needs multidimensional leaders with the conceptual knowledge and practical skills necessary to protect the country and community. Norwich University’s online Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis program gives you those tools.

As the nation’s first military college, Norwich understands the challenges you face while serving your country. Your learning experience will take place in Norwich’s flexible online platform so that you can complete coursework at your own pace while deployed. You will work alongside experienced faculty members and working students who share your unique career experiences.

Build on your experience as an active duty, Reserve and National Guard servicemember or U.S. Special Operations Command. Your Norwich degree will develop your research, critical thinking, ethical decision making and leadership skills so that you can advance within your command or transition to a new career outside the military.

You, at Norwich

Our approach to integrated curricula allows you to take courses in a wide range of subjects, as well as the opportunity to explore a specific topic of study in depth.

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

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

Relevant electives, including Strategic Communications or Business and Professional Writing.

Accreditation & Recognition

NECHE Accredited

 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.).



The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Next Bachelor's Session Start Dates: 

SUMMER B: June 24, 2024

FALL A: August 26, 2024

FALL B: October 21, 2024

Program & Details

At a Glance

  • Military service in the U.S. Special Operations Command
  • 90 credits may be transferred
  • Multiple start dates per year



Contact Admissions

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

Call: 1-866-684-7237    

Transfer Credits

You may receive the equivalent of up to 30 semester credits for SOF courses, preparation in leadership and language study, or additional specialized military training as reviewed for credit by the American Council on Education or a similarly recognized organization. An additional 60 credits may be transferred on a case-by-case basis.
Learn more »

International Admissions

Norwich University welcomes students from all countries who want to study through our online programs. You must complete all steps in the admissions process.
International Admissions »

Norwich Alumni Benefits

Reconnect with Norwich to complete your master's degree. As a part of our alumni community, you are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship and other benefits.
Connect with our advisors »

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.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    • Prior college courses, completed with a grade of C or better, from regionally or nationally accredited institutions of higher learning, or the equivalent from a foreign institution, as evaluated by a NACES approved agency.
    • ACE-reviewed military or professional training for which college credits are recommended.*
    • Other military or professional training reviewed by Norwich University for which college credit has been assessed, or is stipulated in a MOU.
    • Credit recommended based on scores on standardized tests such as CLEP.
    • High school diploma or equivalent GED.
  • Military service as soldier, member of the National Guard, sailor, airman or Marine in the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), its subordinate and sub-unified commands, or NATO Special Operations Forces.
  • For service members, the program is tailored to those who have successfully completed one of the following: the U.S. Army’s Civil Affairs Qualification Course (38), Military Information Support Operations (37), Special Forces (18), Warrant Officer (180), MOS courses, or related occupations.
  • If English is not your first language, proof of English language proficiency is required. This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:
    • TOEFL - a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (Internet-based test) on the TOEFL is required unless otherwise noted in specific articulation agreements.**
    • IELTS – a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required.**
    • Successful completion of an associate’s degree from an accredited U.S. higher education institution.

*Prospective students who have completed military or professional training that has not been ACE reviewed may petition to Chair of Continuing Studies to have their training reviewed and assessed for transfer credit.

Please Note: All eligibility requirements are expected to be met unless noted in specific articulation agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOUs).


  • If you are a residential undergraduate student at Norwich University, you may enroll in CGCS courses only with written permission of the Dean of the College of Graduate of Continuing Studies, your undergraduate advisor, and your major undergraduate department chair and/or dean via the petition to enroll at CGCS form on the registrar's webpage.

Admissions Process

To apply, you must submit the following no less than four weeks prior to your desired start date:

  • Application form
  • Resume is required if applying for transfer credit.
  • Official military training transcripts (Joint Services Transcript/CCAF), sent to the address below.
  • Official transcripts of all courses taken at regionally accredited colleges, sent to the address below.
  • If entering with no military or college credit, applicants must show proof of high school completion via diploma or GED.

Transcript Links

Mail transcripts to: 
Norwich University 
College of Graduate and Continuing Studies 
P.O. Box 367 
Northfield, VT 05663

For electronic delivery, we accept transcripts delivered from Parchment, National Clearing House, and other services if sent to cgcsamt@norwich.edu via password protection.

To contact an admissions advisor:

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

Norwich's Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis (SSDA) curriculum includes four areas of instruction - general education, program-specific electives, field studies and a capstone project. Courses are taught by a faculty of defense strategy experts from around the world, and the program culminates in a series of independent research projects that focus on a country or region of your selection, taking into account the historical, economic and sociocultural influences at play in order to recommend methods of improving conditions in the region. This research is not simply relevant to your work in the field, but is also applicable to the military’s body of knowledge of regions around the world. For a Norwich bachelor's degree, you must earn at least 120 semester credits, including transfer credits.

To view additional program details such as course offerings, requirements, and curriculum maps for the Strategic Studies & Defense Analysis program, visit the Norwich University Course Catalog using this link.


The Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis program is an investment in your future that we can help you manage from a financial perspective. We work with military personnel each day to help them maximize their benefits.

There are many ways to get financial assistance and many strategies that can help you achieve your goals. 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
Cost Per Credit Hour: $250 (active military); $375 (retired/separated)
Additional fees & discounts may apply.

Financial Aid Resources
Paying for your Education

Military Tuition Assistance

Military Scholarships and Aid

Quick Info



Courses completed entirely online



Transfer up to 90 credits



Average time to program completion

Alumni Testimonials

Ethan Jensen headshot

By gaining my degree from Norwich, I was able to commission in the Air Force and become a pilot.

Ethan Jensen

'22 Master of Arts in Strategic Studies

Read Story
Melanie Soto headshot

I selected the strategic studies and defense analysis degree because it was not something that I had heard of in other schools and I understood the degree would set me apart from my peers when looking for future employment.

Melanie Soto

'19 Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Read Story
Ryan Leonard

Every advisor, teacher, and counselor throughout my degree completion was heavily invested in helping me succeed in the classes and helping me to craft and refine the skills [needed] for a career in national security.

Ryan Leonard

'21 Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies

Read Story
Steve Gonzalez headshot

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

'16 Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Read Story
Marroy Langkau headshot

The skills and knowledge that I gained from this degree have already made me a more effective teacher.

Mallory Langkau

'20 Master of Arts in History

Read Story
Ethan Jensen headshot

Ethan Jensen

Melanie Soto headshot

Melanie Soto

Ryan Leonard

Ryan Leonard

Steve Gonzalez headshot

Steve Gonzalez

Marroy Langkau headshot

Mallory Langkau

Faculty & Staff

Join professionals from around the globe and learn from experienced faculty as you complete your degree and open up new professional and personal possibilities for yourself.

Careers & Outcomes

Capitalizing on an Elite Education

As the nation’s first military college, Norwich University has a 200-year legacy of producing graduates who are proud, principled leaders in the military, business, government, and communities worldwide. Now more than ever, academic credentials are critical components for career advancement within the military and retirement transition. The strategic studies and defense analysis online program make use of our flexible virtual learning platform to help you complete your formal education and supplement your valuable Special Operations Forces training. Whether you are hoping to advance within your command, or transition to a new career outside the military, Norwich is here to serve, support and challenge you every step of the way.

Career Outcomes

Norwich’s Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis (SSDA) program is home to Special Operations leaders from around the world, in all branches of the military. The program’s innate flexibility and dedicated faculty of experts have made it possible for you to complete your degree while serving active duty in the military. No matter your ambitions, the SSDA program helps qualify you for a wide variety of career options.

Example Career Paths

  • Deputy of Operations
  • Policy Analyst
  • Military Consultant
  • Operations & Logistics Manager
  • Program Analyst
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Strategic Planner
  • Protective Agent
  • Investigative Research Analyst
  • Technical Security Lead
  • Training & Development Coordinator
  • Special Forces Intelligence Analyst
  • Principal Network Warfare Analyst
  • Special Forces Warrant Officer
  • Irregular Warfare Analyst

Example Employers

  • U.S. Army
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • DoD Overseas Contractor
  • Federal Government
  • Management Consulting Firms
  • NGOs & International Aid Organizations
  • Government and Private Think Tanks
  • Defense Contractors
  • Private Security Firms
  • Education & Training Firms
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • State & Municipal Law Enforcement
  • Department of the Air Force
  • Technology Companies
  • U.S. Navy

*Source: Norwich University Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis, fielded in March 2014.