The M.A. in Security Policy Studies (SPS) is a policy-oriented master’s degree program focusing on international security issues, with a particular emphasis on 21st-century security challenges and how to respond to them. These include intensifying transnational challenges stemming from organized terrorist and criminal networks, human security problems stemming from fragile states, instability from technological developments including weapons proliferation and cyber threats, as well as climate change and health pandemics. Familiar challenges like major power rivalry and regional conflicts also require fresh strategic thinking to remain ahead of changing threat curves. The SPS curriculum provides a strong grounding in the national security policy-making process, and our graduates build specialized knowledge that gives them an advantage in career development.
M.A. Security Policy Studies Curriculum
Our curriculum provides a strong grounding in the national security and defense policy-making process as well as international security institutions. Students select one of four specialized concentrations — US national security, transnational security, conflict resolution, and science & technology. They also choose a cluster of electives that can emphasize complementary areas of expertise, including in particular regional security dynamics or specialized themes.
After enrolling, students are required to choose a concentration. Students may elect to add on a second concentration or choose to take elective credits instead of adding on a second concentration. The concentrations are as follows:
United States National Security
Science and Technology
M.A. Security Policy Studies Application: Fall 2019
Review all Application Requirements. The more knowledge you have about the application process, the more successful you will be as an applicant. Click here to start your application!
1. Upload your documents in PDF format in the correct orientation. Please don’t upload sideways or upside down transcripts, be sure all pages appear upright after uploading to your application. Unofficial transcripts are accepted, but please do not upload certified, encrypted, or password-protected files or files in.png, .jpeg, or .html format.
2. Understand the requirements of the program in which you are interested in applying for. Save yourself from spending $80 on an application for a program you’re not eligible to apply to by looking for the “Prerequisites” section of each program page.
3. Make sure your transcripts have all the necessary info. We accept official and unofficial transcript uploads for the graduate application. All transcripts must include:
- Name of the applicant,
- The name of the institution,
- All coursework (name of courses),
- Grades for each course,
- Transcript legend/grading scale, and
- Proof of earned degrees from each institution you’ve attended (Degree Conferral).
More info on transcript requirements, including requirements on transcripts from foreign institutions, can be found on our website under the “Transcripts” tab.
4. Submit your fee waiver request early. Fee waivers take 1-2 business days to be reviewed and can only be approved at the time of application. If an applicant submits an application and pays the fee, without selecting the fee waiver payment method, the fee cannot be refunded. Check our website for more info under the “Application/Fee” tab.
5. Read the emails our office sends you. Often there are follow up questions that are answered in the email or it may contain other important information relevant to your application.
6. Elliott is spelled with two L’s and two T’s!!!
7. All Elliott School graduate programs are test optional. This means that GRE scores are not required as part of the application to any of our graduate programs.
8. There are 2 deadlines for the fall 2019 application cycle: January 7th if you want to be considered for funding and February 1 to be considered for admission only. Applications submitted after January 7th are not eligible to be considered for funding!
Still have questions? Let us know!
The Office of Graduate Admissions
1957 E. St NW, Suite 301
Washington, D.C. 20052