Degree Requirements

Students will take Introduction to Global Security Studies in their first semester. This course will expose students to the basic concepts that are important to the field of global security studies and allow them to apply these tools to selected security issues such as terrorism, climate change, and the causes of war. In the other core classes, which should be taken early on, students use these intellectual tools as they explore the three pillars of the degree: strategic studies, energy and environmental security, and economic security.

In their second or third semester, students should take Introduction to Qualitative Methods, the first step in the research study process. After that, students should take either Fundamentals of Quantitative Methods or Historical Methods. With this sound basis in methodology, students will be prepared to write a journal article-length study in their final semester when they take Research Study Seminar.

Most electives are focused on the three pillars of the degree and on corresponding concentrations. A two-year plan for course offerings can be found here.

Course Requirements

Core (4 classes)

Research Study Process (3 classes)

Electives (5 classes)

More Information

For more information about courses, please see the Course Descriptions page. Please note that not all courses are available each semester.

For information on exact dates, times, locations, fees, and instructors for any term, students should consult the Advanced Academic Programs Course Schedule available several months before each semester or term begins. Courses are open only to students who meet enrollment requirements. All classes are held at the Hopkins Washington Center at 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. close to the Dupont Circle (South) exit.

Elective Courses and Concentrations

In addition to the required courses, students must take five elective courses. Please see our Multi-Year Schedule page for examples. Students may choose to pursue an area of concentration, also listed below. This requires completing four out of five electives within the concentration.


  • Strategic Studies
  • Energy and Environmental Security