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National Security Studies

Online Graduate Certificate in National Security Studies

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$0 Application Fee
$0 Transfer Credit Evaluation
72%Have Graduated with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt1

About This Program

The national security studies graduate certificate at American Military University (AMU) explores national and international security policies, security, and intelligence analysis.

AMU’s online national security studies program is an 18-credit certificate providing a concise snapshot of topics relevant to the discipline including:

  • Globalization’s impact on national security
  • National security institutions
  • Diplomacy

As part of AMU’s graduate certificate in national security studies, you’ll compare the structures, functions, capabilities, and activities of national and international security community members.

What You Will Do

  1. Appraise classic and contemporary theories, strategies, doctrines, and procedures related to the causes, conduct, and termination of armed conflict and the maintenance of peace
  2. Compare the structures, functions, capabilities, and activities of national and international security community members
  3. Assess and predict traditional and nontraditional threats to national and international security

Program at a Glance

Number of Credits
18
Cost Per Credit
$370 | $250*
Courses Start Monthly
Online

Program Requirements Printable Catalog Version

Must take all courses for this section.

Course ID: 3475

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AS YOUR SECOND CLASS in National Security Studies. The course will cover the roles, missions, organization, capabilities, unique cultures and strategic purposes of the President, the Departments of State and Defense, Congress, National Security Council, Armed Forces, intelligence community, and NGOs, as well as how these actors interact to formulate national security strategy. Students will examine some of the successes and failures of the interagency process and will gain an appreciation of the capabilities, limitations and organizational cultures of the players in the national security community, as well as providing an overview of legal and ethical issues that impact on the development of national security policy.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 3474

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This course assesses the major concepts of strategic thinking that underpin the national security decision making process in the U.S. Students analyze the fundamental nature of power in the international arena, how national security objectives are determined, grand strategies available to attain national security objectives and the ways in which the elements of national power are applied to achieve desired objectives. The course surveys national security policies since the end of the Cold War, examines regional security concerns to the U.S., covers the concept and principal components of national security strategy and evaluates the most important theories that explain how states and non-state actors interact in the international arena. The student examines current challenges to U.S. national security interests, especially terrorism and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and evaluates future national security policies and challenges.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
08/31/21 - 02/04/22 02/07/22 - 04/03/22 Winter 2022 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 3476

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During this course, the student analyzes the domestic and international contexts that shape the behavior of state and non-state actors, and which affect the formulation of national security policies. The course provides an assessment of major social, cultural, political, military, economic, technological, and historical issues that influence the international context; the roles and influence of international organizations and non-state actors; and the key transitional challenges to national security such as weapons proliferation and terrorism. The student will examine the issues and national security interests of the U.S. in regions of the world, how the U.S. has carried out its foreign policy in those regions to protect its national security, and the security interests of the nations in those regions. This course will prepare the student to conduct strategic assessments of selected organizations, regions, states, and other actors on the international stage.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 3492

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This course will examine the implications of rising world-wide economic interdependence upon relevant aspects of U.S. national security policy. The phenomenon of globalization will be analyzed from an economic standpoint and related security issues, such as the effectiveness of sanctions, the ability to regulate commerce in weapons and technology, and the changing global balance in military capabilities will be considered in this context.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Choose 6 credit hours from this section.

Course ID: 3491

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This course provides insight on how to improve interagency relationships among security, defense, and intelligence agencies. This course introduces the student to theoretical and practical material for understanding the behavior of individual organizations and what can be done to make organizations work more closely together at the federal, state, and local levels. Emphasis is placed on explaining why organizations act the way they do and how to improve interagency coordination.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
06/28/22 - 12/02/22 12/05/22 - 01/29/23 Fall 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 3938

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This course will expose the students to a variety of counter-terrorism intelligence methodologies and analytic tools, and extensive academic, government, policy literature on the challenges, opportunities, and assumptions related to forecasting terrorism. The course will provide students with the analytic capability to understand the types of terrorist threats that are most likely to confront the U.S. and its allies, in addition to challenging students to evaluate the efficacy and impact of prediction-based efforts in counter-terrorism intelligence.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session
10/26/21 - 04/01/22 04/04/22 - 05/29/22 Spring 2022 Session B 8 Week session
11/30/21 - 04/29/22 05/02/22 - 06/26/22 Spring 2022 Session I 8 Week session
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/22 - 11/04/22 11/07/22 - 01/01/23 Fall 2022 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/22 - 12/02/22 12/05/22 - 01/29/23 Fall 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 3266

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This course covers the theory and practice of joint warfare, by examining major conflicts since the mid-19th and joint warfare in the 1980s and 1990s. Students assess, through case studies, the impact of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 on the Department of Defense and U.S. national security strategy.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
08/31/21 - 02/04/22 02/07/22 - 04/03/22 Winter 2022 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 3274

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This course is a study of the contemporary factors essential and necessary to function effectively in joint or coalition warfare exercises at joint or combined headquarters. Students learn steps, techniques and concepts for effective joint operations planning and implementation appropriate to the operational or strategic levels of war.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4514

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This course will provide an overview of current cyber policy and strategy for non-practitioners in a national security framework. Students will study the cyber threat environment; laws and policies that govern cyber security; current and historical structure, functions, and capabilities of private and governmental agencies comprising the cyber community; and future trends that affect national security
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
08/31/21 - 02/04/22 02/07/22 - 04/03/22 Winter 2022 Session I 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 3481

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This course examines Covert Action in the context of National Security. The syllabus includes a spectrum of activities concerning related Intelligence, Counterintelligence, unconventional warfare and assassination issues. Students go on to assess related espionage spycraft, technology and agent activity, and conclude the course by weighing the political and executive aspects of the Presidential powers exercised in Covert Action, with their attendant moral, national security and historical burdens. Students engage in group discussions, written assignments and exams on syllabus topics
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
08/31/21 - 02/04/22 02/07/22 - 04/03/22 Winter 2022 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 3493

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This course examines the role of diplomacy in national security policy development and implementation. It investigates diplomacy as an element of national power and how diplomacy is used by senior diplomats and military officials who regularly engage in the international sphere. The course provides an overview of the history, development and trends in diplomacy, including methods of building relationships and cross-cultural norms and challenges of communication in the international environment, as well as the integration of traditional and public diplomacy with the other elements of national power. The basic organization and staffing of US Missions and Combatant Commands who are engaged in day-to-day diplomatic activities, the interplay between diplomacy and security, cross-cultural management and diplomatic signals and bilateral summitry are also investigated.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Courses Start Monthly

Next Courses Start Oct 4
Register by Oct 1

Admission Requirements

  • All AMU master's degree/graduate certificate programs require a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • Please read all graduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the AMU admission application. View steps to apply.

Materials Cost

Technology fee: $65 per course | $0 for active-duty military, National Guard members, and Reservists.

Need Help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an AMU admissions representative at 877-755-2787 or info@apus.edu.

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Consumer Information

Department of Education and State Disclosures

For information on costs, median debt, state licensure requirements and more, view the gainful employment disclosures and the program disclosures for Maryland residents.

1Alumni Graduated with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt As of December 31, 2020

Includes alumni who graduated with an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree from APUS. Student loan debt is defined as student loans and private education loans used for tuition, fees, living expenses, and book costs associated with courses taken at APUS. Many APUS students receive military tuition assistance and veterans education benefits, which are not student loan debt.

*Cost Per Credit Hour

To minimize out-of-pocket costs, U.S. active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, National Guard members, and Reservists receive a tuition grant that caps undergraduate, master's degree, and graduate certificate tuition at $250/credit hour. In addition, a university book grant provides no-cost textbooks and ebooks for all undergraduates and military-tuition-grant-eligible master’s-level students.
See all military student benefits.