The following information may help those who are considering a certificate in Security Studies. The program was created to address increasingly important issues relating to both national security and human security. We take a very broad approach to the concept of security, so that it includes not only defense issues but also issues of migration, human rights, international ethics, pandemics, conflict resolution, climate change, and environmental degradation.

Recommended Courses and Requirements for Minors and Programs

Suggested curricular flow through the Certificate

Students interested in pursuing the Security Studies Certificate should try to enroll in POSC 170 (International Relations Theory) during the first year. In sophomore year, students should try to complete the other two core courses (POSC 280 and 281) and enroll in one of the three elective courses for the Certificate. During Junior and Senior years students would complete the remaining electives for the Certificate and also enroll in an approved senior seminar.

To date, most of the students who have pursued the Security Studies Certificate have come from Political Science or International Studies. But we actively encourage students from other departments and disciplines to investigate the Security Studies Certificate. Indeed, some of the most interesting combinations of interest and coursework may come from students who are pursuing majors in other social sciences (East Asian Studies, INBM, etc.) in the humanities (Religion, English, etc.) or in sciences (Biology, Physics, etc.).

A senior seminar to serve as the capstone experience
While we imagine that the seminar would most often be one of the senior seminars offered by the International Studies Department (International Studies 401) or the Political Science Department (Political Science 390), we do not rule out the possibility that a student might take a relevant seminar offered in another department. This seminar must be approved by the student's Security Studies advisor.

Students interested in the Security Studies Certificate should contact the Director of the Certificate program.

Additional Remarks

Each semester the Office of the Registrar will designate which courses can serve as electives and senior seminars for the Security Studies program.


Seven Courses

Three core courses:
POSC 170: International Relations
POSC 280: American Foreign Policy
POSC 281: American National Security Policy

Three elective courses:
These will focus on U.S. national security and strategy; concerns of another country or region (for example, a course that focused on EU security matters); or, transnational issues (for example, a course about the proliferation of nuclear weapons).

A Senior Seminar Capstone Course:
A senior seminar in International Studies, or an approved seminar in another department.