Course Schedule

To view the Fall 2016 Class Schedule, click here.

The courses below are those offered for the Fall 2016 term. (To view the course description, class dates & times, touch on accordion tab by the title.)

  • Global Security Studies courses also count toward the requirements for the National Security Studies certificate. To view Global Security Studies courses offered for the Fall 2016 term, click here.
  • National Security Studies students may also enroll in 430.601 – Geographic Information Systems and 430.602 – Remote Sensing: Earth Observing Systems and Applications for credit, with instructor permission. For more information, please visit the Geographic Information Systems Course Schedule page.

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

  • Washington DC Center

    406.676.51 - The Politics of Cybersecurity

    $3566

    James Norton

    Thursday 6:15 - 8:45; 9/1 - 12/15

    In recent years, the United States has become dependent on cyber virtual networks as the engine for our society. However, this digital infrastructure remains extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks. Protecting the networks we rely on presents unique challenges, as networks are without borders and bear the stress of attack millions of times each day. This course will explore the challenges and political factors impacting the judicial, legislative, executive branch agencies of Department of Defense, Homeland Security, National Security Agency, and private industry as they all work to secure and create a national cyber security apparatus. The intelligence community is facing an enormous challenge in working to prevent the transfer of the United States’ intellectual property and identifying the cyber attackers. We will discuss the political implications of establishing laws addressing how information is to be shared between governments and industry and the authorities needed for the DoD and intelligence community to operate domestically. We will discuss the impact of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and examine the evolving relationship of Congressional oversight and legislative mandates. Issues such as jurisdiction of congressional committees, the budget, and the authorization and appropriations processes will be covered. Major policy and counter-terrorism issues of special concern to Congress will also be addressed in this course. Guest speakers will be invited from DHS, Capitol Hill and the media, allowing us to examine the issues from a variety or perspectives.

  • Online Courses (Cross-Listed)

    420.665.81 - Climate Change on the Front Lines: The Study of Adaptation in Developing Countries

    $3708

    Amir Poudel

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    Poor and developing countries are predicted to bear the brunt of climate change. This course will focus on key sectors such as agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, water resources, human health, and tourism and the ways in which poorer and developing counties are impacted by and adapting to climate change. This course may focus on a region or a specific country depending on the instructor. Assessment and evaluation of demographic trends, environmental challenges such as retreating ice, potential flood hazards, ecosystem impacts, as well as health issues will be incorporated. International instruments such as adaptation funds, carbon funds, clean development mechanisms, and reduced deforestation/degradation strategies and policies will be investigated in a comparative analysis of impacts and adaptation responses of countries around the world. Offered online, annually.

    Technology Fee: $175

    420.668.81 - Sustainable Food Systems

    $3708

    Antoinette WinklerPrins

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    This course considers the environmental and social challenges of providing a sustainable global food system. We will investigate the geographic patterns of agricultural and food production systems, emphasizing contemporary patterns and how these came to be. Attention will be given to agricultural systems from the local to the global scale and we will consider the global distribution of production and consumption of agricultural products. The impacts of global change issues such as climate change, energy crops, population growth, and urbanization on food production will be also be part of the course. Offered online or onsite, annually.

    430.601.81 - Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

    $3708

    Heather Hicks

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    In this introductory course, students become familiar with the concepts and gain the experience necessary to appreciate the utility of Geographic Information Systems in decision-making. Topics covered include the fundamentals of data structures, georeferencing, data classification, querying, cartography, and basic spatial data analysis. The course provides an overview of the capabilities of GIS software and applications of GIS. Class time is divided between lectures and GIS exercises that reinforce critical concepts. Students must complete a term project as part of the course. Offered every semester. Elective option for Govt. Analytics students.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    470.659.81 - Radicalization and Deradicalization in Terror Networks

    $3673

    Shiraz Maher

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    This course will explore some of the most contested and controversial aspects in contemporary security studies. There are a number of contentious and wide-ranging debates around ideas like radicalisation – not least concerning its definition, causes, and effects. This course will also prompt you to consider broader issues, such as whether there is a causal link between extremism and violent extremism? Why do some radicalised individuals to embrace terrorism, when other don’t? And should security officials concern themselves with radicalisation, or only with its violent offshoots? This course will unpack many of these debates, exploring academic and theoretical literature surrounding the issues of radicalisation, recruitment, and deradicalisation in modern terrorist networks. It will focus primarily on cases in Europe and the United States, while also exploring new phenomena such as ‘homegrown’, ‘self-starter’, and ‘lone wolf’ terrorism.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    470.663.81 - Chinese Security: The Strategy of a Rising Power

    $3673

    Peter Mattis

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    China’s rise to prominence has become the most important news story of the last fifteen years. The breakneck pace of China’s economic growth has propelled the country to the status of an international powerhouse. Many major international issues, including regional security, climate change, North Korea, WMD nonproliferation, and increasingly problems in the Middle East, cannot be resolved without Chinese involvement. Beijing, however, is a much different player in the international system than the West or even Russia, and its recent history has colored much of how it views the world and defines its objectives. This course will focus on understanding Chinese objectives and how Beijing intends to achieve them. This course will invite you to think not only about strategy, but how effectively a country is executing its strategy and the consequences of the policies resulting from national strategy.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    470.697.81 - Intelligence and Counterterrorism

    $3673

    Cynthia Storer

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    Counterterrorism is essentially an intelligence war. By definition, both sides use small forces and clandestine means, hiding their presence and activities not only from each other, but often from friends and allies as well. This course will explore the many roles of intelligence in every facet of counterterrorism, and ask students to evaluate their practical, legal, and moral effects and implications. It will also look at the terrorists’ own intelligence activities, and the “intelligence race” between terrorists and counterterrorists. There are no pre-requisites for this course. However, students would be well served to have a basic familiarity with intelligence and terrorism before the class starts.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    470.709.81 - Quantitative Methods

    $3673

    Vanessa Perez

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    (Formerly Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods. Core course for MA in Public Management and may be taken in place of 470.852 Research and Thesis II with permission from the instructor. Core course for Government Analytics.) Students will learn how to construct and evaluate multivariate regression models, which are useful for answering causal questions about issues related to political behavior, policy and governance. Topics include multivariate regression, interaction terms, measures of fit, internal and external validity and logistic and probit regression. The focus of the course is on using statistical methods in an applied manner. The course will also introduce students to Stata, a widely-used statistical software program. Recommended prerequisite: Political Analysis and Statistics.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    470.709.82 - Quantitative Methods

    $3673

    Vanessa Perez

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    (Formerly Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods. Core course for MA in Public Management and may be taken in place of 470.852 Research and Thesis II with permission from the instructor. Core course for Government Analytics.) Students will learn how to construct and evaluate multivariate regression models, which are useful for answering causal questions about issues related to political behavior, policy and governance. Topics include multivariate regression, interaction terms, measures of fit, internal and external validity and logistic and probit regression. The focus of the course is on using statistical methods in an applied manner. The course will also introduce students to Stata, a widely-used statistical software program. Recommended prerequisite: Political Analysis and Statistics.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    470.719.81 - Technical Collection of Intelligence

    $3673

    Robert Clark

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/17

    This course covers the application of remote sensing technology to intelligence issues to include geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), measurements and signatures intelligence (MASINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT). It examines the tradeoffs associated with the use of different imaging, radar, and passive radiofrequency sensors and collection platforms. The methods for processing, exploiting and analyzing raw intelligence data collected by different types of sensors are discussed. The final segment of the course investigates the management issues associated with remote sensing in intelligence.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    470.748.81 - The Art & Practice of Intelligence

    $3673

    Cynthia Storer

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/22

    This course will examine how what intelligence is and how it is done. It will place a strong emphasis on effort on the limits of the possible including limits on knowledge, ethical limits, and political limits. Drawing on historical examples, the course will look at the various types of intelligence collection and how they interact with each other. It will explore the analytic process and the interface between analysts and policymakers. I it will examine the connections between intelligence and policy formulation and execution in various aspects of the national security realm. The class will conclude with a brief exploration of differing concepts and practices in other countries.

    470.773.81 - Energy and Environmental Security

    $3673

    Chad Briggs

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 8/29 - 12/22

    This course surveys the multiple and overlapping aspects of energy and environmental security. Students analyze the contentious proposition that increased competition for environmental and energy resources threaten national security and may be the source of future wars across the globe. The course also examines how such threats may be mitigated. (Core course for the MA in Global Security Studies)

  • Washington DC Center (Cross-Listed)

    425.637.51 - International Climate Change Policy

    $3672

    Thomas Peterson

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 8/31 - 12/14

    This course focuses on the development and implementation of international frameworks, policies, and mechanisms for responding to climate change. It includes a review of the history of international responses to climate change at the multilateral and bilateral levels, including in depth examination of the recent Paris Agreement from COP21. The course explores how climate change impacts and issues relate to the national vision, governmental priorities, and capacity needs of countries, and how these circumstances shape the evolution of climate change policy and related policy areas, such as trade and energy. It also explores the interplay between subnational, national, and international policy formation and implementation. Offered onsite at least once every two years. Prerequisite - Science of Climate Change and Its Impacts, Climate Change Policy Analysis.

    470.601.51 - Climate Change and National Security

    $3673

    Christine Parthemore
    William Rogers

    Thursday 6:15 - 8:45; 9/1 - 12/15

    This course provides an in-depth examination of how the effects of climate change could impact national security, international relations, and global stability. Students will begin by examining and discussing the current body of academic literature. As the semester progresses, students will learn and practice how to use cross-disciplinary resources and tools to envision potential relationships between climate change effects and security outcomes.

    470.606.51 - American National Security

    $3673

    John Gans

    Tuesday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/30 - 12/13

    The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the manifold challenges and opportunities that confront the United States in the area of national security. The course this class aims to help you assess why events occurred and policies developed, as it is with conveying the factual evolution of U.S. foreign relations. In that endeavor, the course has four objectives. First, the course will review the major perspectives on and debates about U.S. policy, and the institutions through which such policy is made and executed. Second, the course will review national security issues through scholarly, policy, political, and historical lenses. Third, the course aims to help students write for both policy and academic audiences. Fourth, students, especially security studies concentrators, can use the course to begin thinking about the direction they would like their studies at Johns Hopkins to take. (Core course for the MA in Global Security Studies)

    470.606.52 - American National Security

    $3673

    Donald Laird

    Tuesday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/30 - 12/13

    The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the manifold challenges and opportunities that confront the United States in the area of national security. The course this class aims to help you assess why events occurred and policies developed, as it is with conveying the factual evolution of U.S. foreign relations. In that endeavor, the course has four objectives. First, the course will review the major perspectives on and debates about U.S. policy, and the institutions through which such policy is made and executed. Second, the course will review national security issues through scholarly, policy, political, and historical lenses. Third, the course aims to help students write for both policy and academic audiences. Fourth, students, especially security studies concentrators, can use the course to begin thinking about the direction they would like their studies at Johns Hopkins to take. (Core course for the MA in Global Security Studies)

    470.607.51 - Counterintelligence and National Security: 21st Century Challenges

    $3673

    William Nolte

    Thursday 5:45 - 8:15; 9/1 - 12/15

    Counterintelligence – information regarding and operations against foreign intelligence services – has always been central to the intelligence process. In many places and at various times, it has been clearly the most significant part of that process. For reasons that will be discussed during the semester, this has not been true in American intelligence for the last half century or so. This class will examine the doctrine and processes of counterintelligence through the 20th century, with the second half of the class pivoting to address the challenges posed by a volatile information and communications environment, a geopolitical environment in which non-states operate as both potential threats and potential partners, and in which insider threats may be as great as those emanating from foreign actors. Finally, the course will address the challenges of operating effective counterintelligence operations in a manner that respects democratic processes and values.

    470.630.51 - Congress and the Making of Foreign Policy

    $3673

    -STAFF-

    Thursday 6:15 - 8:45; 9/1 - 12/15

    This class will examine the role of Congress in the making of American foreign policy. In particular, this class will discuss the role of Congress in war powers, economic sanctions, human rights advocacy, the approval of international agreements including treaties, international affairs budgets and spending, investigations and oversight of the conduct of foreign policy by the executive branch as well as the impact of Congress on the general direction of American foreign policies and priorities. Special attention will be given to the role of Congress in U.S. policy toward Iran over the past few decades, the use of military force in Iraq and Syria, the role of the legislative branch in U.S policy toward China and Taiwan and the promotion of human rights as a component of American foreign policy. The class will seek to examine the specific actions of Congress on these matters, and their causes and consequences. The class will use books, articles and original source material from committee deliberations and floor action. As we examine these topics, we will come back to larger themes – the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches, the impact of partisan and bureaucratic politics, and the changing role of the United States on the world stage. All this will be discussed with a mind to the role of foreign policy practitioners.

    This is a new course offering.

    470.634.51 - The Rise of Violent Islamist Extremism and the American Response

    $3673

    James Van De Velde

    Thursday 6:15 - 8:45; 9/1 - 12/15

    This course will examine the effort of the United States and its Western allies to collect on, analyze and assist in the defeat of modern, violent Islamist extremism - specifically terrorism committed by al-Qa`ida and its associated networks. The course will first examine definitions of terrorism, the rise of modern Islamist Radicalism, extremism and counter messaging such extremism. The second component will be an examination of modern, terrorist interest in WMD (in particular al-Qa`ida's interest in acquiring nuclear, chemical and biological weapons), as well as concepts of 'terrorist WMD employment doctrine' and US efforts to combat WMD-Terrorism. The third component will be an examination of 'cyber terrorism' - its definitions, how it could occur, and what the United States can and cannot do to prevent it. The final, fourth component of the course is an examination of the debates surrounding intelligence reform as it relates to US counterterrorism efforts.

    470.640.51 - Challenges of Transnational Security

    $3673

    Kimberley Thachuk

    Wednesday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/31 - 12/14

    This course focuses on transnational security issues and considers how many of these myriad challenges constitute threats to global peace and security. The combined effects of issues such as drug, weapons, and human trafficking, piracy, terrorism, infectious diseases, and deliberate environmental destruction, along with such critical enablers as corruption, and money movements, are not strangers on the world stage. What is new is their global reach and destructive potential. As a result, these issues have made policy makers consider different conceptions of security and, at times, to move beyond sole considerations of state sovereignty into the realm of human security. Not only are transnational security issues varied in nature and scope, but their effects often are obscured by the fact that many are nascent with gradual and long-term consequences. Further, while some transnational issues may not constitute direct threats to global security, they may threaten the world economy, and quality of life of its citizens. Still others compound and reinforce each other, generating mutations of the original threats. This course will examine a small number of these transnational security issues and relevant policy-making efforts.

    470.664.51 - Tracking World Crisis: A Net Assessment Approach

    $3673

    Michael Vlahos

    Wednesday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/31 - 12/14

    Net assessment began during the Cold War as a threat-based framework for analyzing the national security strategy of the United States. Yet the idea of a holistic approach to strategic threats transports well to other big challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge we face is a world system crisis in which the global network of networks is overstressed. Such a crisis is not hypothetical: world networks have broken down many times before. Moreover there is a great deal of stress building up in the world system today. The goal of the course is to identify the dynamics of world system stress in the near-to-mid-term, and postulate how the mechanisms that produce this stress might interact to precipitate a global crisis. We will examine several historical case studies, as well as a range of threats to global networks, culminating in the class-development of models to identify both strategic warning indicators of crisis and potential pathways for the emergence of world crisis.

    470.665.51 - Warfare by Other Means: Espionage and Covert Action in Foreign Policy

    $3673

    Nicholas Reynolds

    Monday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/29 - 12/12

    This course focuses on clandestine operations and covert action, a part of the world of strategic intelligence. It explores these subjects both conceptually and historically, covering the philosophy and the mechanics of such operations, as well as how they have been used over time, including the World War II era, the Cold War, and the post 9/11 world. Students will drill down into case studies that lead to a kind of cost-benefit assessment of various types of clandestine operations and covert action. By the end of the course, students will be able to run their own policy calculus, assessing the advantages and disadvantages of clandestine operations and covert action for national security.

    470.692.51 - Military Strategy & National Policy

    $3673

    Kevin Woods

    Monday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/29 - 12/12

    This course examines how states and other political entities use violence in pursuit of political objectives. It exposes students to the four levels of strategy—grand strategy, strategy, operations, and tactics—in a national security context. The course will then focus primarily on military strategy as such. Students will critically examine topics such as civil-military relations, land warfare, naval warfare, theories of airpower, insurgency and counterinsurgency, and nuclear strategy. The goal is to understand the embedded assumptions of these various strategic theories, and the circumstances under which they are likely to be successful or unsuccessful. Readings include primary texts that were important in the development of military theory as well as historical cases studies.

    470.745.51 - Terrorist Financing Analysis and Counterterrorist Finance Techniques

    $3673

    Jason Blazakis

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 8/31 - 12/14

    The course examines how terrorist groups finance their operations. It also explores current policy approaches to curb financial support to terrorists through the application of U.S. and international sanctions, in particular how multilateral fora, such as the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force, disrupt and deter terrorist financing. At the completion of this course, students will have a better understanding of the key tools, including law enforcement, diplomacy, and intelligence, that are used to counter terrorists’ financial networks and activities. Through this course, students will develop proficiency in a series of analytic methods used to study terrorist financing and counterfinancing. Students will use structured analytic tools such as weighted ranking methods, scenario trees, causal flow diagramming, hypothesis testing, and utility analysis, as well as game theory and logic to form analytic judgments. Prior coursework or professional experience in intelligence, (counter)terrorism, or finance recommended.

    470.752.51 - Intelligence Analysis

    $3673

    Sarah Beebe

    Wednesday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/31 - 12/14

    Intelligence analysis is fundamentally about understanding and communicating to decision makers what is known, not known, and surmised, as it can best be determined. Students will read seminal texts on intelligence analysis, discuss the complex cognitive, psychological, organizational, ethical, and legal issues surrounding intelligence analysis now and in the past, and apply analytic methodologies to real-world problems. Prerequisite: One of the following: 470.620 “Introduction to Intelligence in the Five Eyes Community,” 470.711.51 “Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy,” AS.470.748.51 “The Art and Practice of Intelligence,” or permission of instructor.

    470.762.51 - U.S.- Mexico Relations: Migration, Trade, and Organized Crime

    $3673

    Andrew Selee
    -STAFF-

    Monday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/29 - 12/12

    Mexico shares a 2,000-mile border with the United States, is America's third largest trading partner, and, until recently, was the largest source of immigration to the United States. The ties between the two countries are deep, but they also generate controversy and conflicted emotions on both sides of the border. This course explores the economic, political, and security relationship between Mexico and the United States, the way citizens on both sides of the border see each other, and how the governments – national, state, and local – manage day-to-day issues. The course will involve reading, discussion, and probably one or two video conferences with Mexican students to discuss some of these issues and compare perspectives across the border.

    This is an updated course that counts towards the Security Studies Concentration (MA in Gov't Students)

    470.797.51 - Introduction to Homeland Security Intelligence

    $3673

    Ronald Marks

    Tuesday 5:45 - 8:15; 8/30 - 12/13

    This course provides students with an intellectual foundation for understanding the concepts underpinning homeland security intelligence, as well as an overview of the US national homeland security framework including organization and policies. It examines the underlying intellectual constructs used to frame the comprehension of security issues, intelligence based on those issues and the development of policies and strategies that lead to implementing programs that protect the United States infrastructure and its people from attack. Over the term, students will be challenged to examine the various paradigms that shape homeland security intelligence and critically apply them to contemporary homeland security challenges and examine how well or poorly these paradigms are reflected in current responses, organizations and policies.