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 Debt2

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
$425 | $250*
$382.50**
Courses Start Monthly
Online
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Program Requirements Printable Catalog Version

Must take all courses for this section.

Course ID: 3475

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The course will cover the roles, missions, organization, capabilities, unique cultures, and strategic purposes of the President, the Departments of State and Defense, Congress, the National Security Council, the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Community, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Students will also learn how these actors interact to formulate national security strategy. In addition, students will examine some 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.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 3474

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This course is highly recommended as the first course for national security studies students. It assesses the major concepts of strategic thinking that underpin the national security decision-making process in the U.S. The course surveys national security policies since the end of the Cold War and examines regional security concerns to the U.S. In addition, it 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. Students will examine the current challenges to U.S. national security interests, including terrorism and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and will evaluate future national security policies and challenges.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/06/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 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
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 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
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session

Choose 6 credit hours from this section.

Course ID: 4483

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This course is highly recommended as a first course in homeland security. It provides a comprehensive overview of key elements of the United States homeland security enterprise. Students will examine, discuss, and analyze homeland security operational and policy concerns that have continued to evolve in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/06/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

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
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 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
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
02/06/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 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
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
02/06/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 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
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 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
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
11/27/23 - 05/03/24 05/06/24 - 06/30/24 Spring 2024 Session I 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
01/29/24 - 06/28/24 07/01/24 - 08/25/24 Summer 2024 Session B 8 Week session
02/06/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 3481

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This course examines covert action in a national security context and will focus on intelligence, counterintelligence, unconventional warfare, and assassination issues. Other topics that will be discussed in this course include espionage spycraft, technology and agent activity, and the political and executive aspects of presidential powers exercised in covert actions.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
10/30/23 - 03/29/24 04/01/24 - 05/26/24 Spring 2024 Session B 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session
02/06/24 - 08/02/24 08/05/24 - 09/29/24 Summer 2024 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 3493

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This course assesses 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 in the international sphere. The course provides an overview of the history, development, and trends in diplomacy. It will also examine different methods of building relationships, cross-cultural norms and communication challenges in the international environment, as well as the integration of traditional and public diplomacy with other elements of national power.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/25/23 - 03/01/24 03/04/24 - 04/28/24 Winter 2024 Session D 8 Week session
12/25/23 - 05/31/24 06/03/24 - 07/28/24 Spring 2024 Session D 8 Week session

Courses Start Monthly

Next Courses Start Mar 4
Register by Mar 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 for this program. View steps to apply.

CHEA® is a registered trademark of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. 

Materials Cost

Technology fee: $85 per course 

Need Help?

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Consumer Information

Disclosures

Maryland Residents learn more about costs, completion rates, median debt, and more.

1The University reserves the right to accept or deny credits according to policies outlined on our University website. Please see the University’s transfer credit policy webpage for complete information. 

Disclosures

Maryland Residents learn more about costs, completion rates, median debt, and more.

2Alumni Graduated with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt As of December 31, 2021

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

AMU's Preferred Military Rate is $250 per credit hour for all undergraduate and master's-level courses. This rate is available to all U.S. active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, Reservists, and military families, including parents, spouses, legal partners, siblings, and dependents.
See all military student benefits.

Cost of Attendance

Learn more about AMU’s cost components and full cost of attendance