This 36-credit Master of Arts degree is composed of 5 Required Core Courses, 2 Customizable Core Courses, and 5 Elective Courses. Within the Required Core Courses is the culminating experience of a Research Study Seminar. In addition, you can choose to pursue one of the three optional Areas of Concentration, including:

  • Strategic Studies
  • Economic Security
  • Energy and Environmental Security

Core Courses - Required

Complete all 5 courses.

• Schedule "Introduction to Global Security Studies" during your first semester.
• Take "Qualitative Methods in Social Science" before your Research Study course.
• Enroll in "Research Study Seminar" during your final semester.

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of global security studies, including theories of international relations, perception and misperception, theories of foreign policy, the varying concepts of security, and the elements of national power. It also includes a brief introduction to social movement theory. It applies these conceptual tools to selected security issues.

In the wake of the financial crisis, bank bailouts, and stimulus plans, the relationship between American economic power and national security is especially salient. In this course, students investigate core topics in international political economy, analyzing the security implications of each. Topics include trade relations, international finance, monetary relations, poverty, and development. (Core course for the MA in Global Security Studies. Recommended elective for MA in Public Management)

This course examines how states (primarily the United States) and other political entities harness military capabilities to pursue of policy objectives. It exposes students to levels of strategy—grand strategy, strategy, operations, and tactics—in a national security context. The course will then focus on the practical implications and unique characteristics of military strategy. Students will critically examine topics such as civil-military relations, land warfare, naval warfare, theories of airpower, insurgency and counterinsurgency, and nuclear warfare. The goal is to understand the embedded assumptions of the various theories, the characteristics of the military capabilities animated by them, and, through discussion and case studies, the strengths and limitations of each.

This course is the first in the Research Study sequence for the Global Security Studies program. The goals of this course are: 1) to help students be producers of scholarly knowledge, 2) to prepare students for later parts of the research study process, and 3) to prepare students to understand and critique others’ uses of various methods. The first part of the course will address fundamental issues, such as measurement, causation, and inference. The second part of the course will address research design, data collection, and analysis, focusing on specific methodological tools including case study analysis, interviews, content analysis, participant observation, survey research, etc.

(Core course for the MA in Global Security Studies). This course is designed for students who have already passed 470.851 Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Social Science and either 470.854 Fundamentals of Quantitative Methods or 470.853 Historical Methods (or 470.709 Quantitative Methods with permission from program director). In this class, students will begin and complete a substantial piece of original research explicitly drawing on research methods they learned in the previous two classes. The research study is expected to be methodologically sound and to make a useful contribution to the issue under study. Class meetings are designed to give guidance in the clarification of issues, collection of data, assembly of various parts, and writing. The class will also prepare students for final defense. Graduation is subject to approval of the research study by the committee. Students should come into the class prepared with a detailed research question. Students may enroll in this course only in their last semester of the MA program.

Core Course - Customizable

Choose 1 of these courses:

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.

This course is a seminar-based overview of the role of energy in national security. Using a range of U.S. and non-U.S. case studies, students will review the roles of energy in grand strategy, the role of energy in conflict, and, finally, as a logistical enabler of military operations.

This course examines the nexus of energy, natural resources, and the environment with conflict, war, terrorism, crime, development, diplomacy, politics, and technology. Students critically examine the ways that increased competition for environmental and energy resources, strained resources, and changing conditions can threaten national security. The course also examines how such threats may be mitigated. (Core course for the MA in Global Security Studies)

Core Course - Customizable - Research Study

Choose 1 of these courses:

Regression modeling is the workhorse of data science and statistical analysis. This course builds on the foundation from Probability and Statistics and provides a more rigorous survey of this family of techniques. Specific topics include measures of fit, logistic and probit regression, interaction terms, model specification, and other important aspects of conducting regression analysis. The focus of the course is on using statistics in an applied manner to address meaningful research questions. Prerequisites: 470.681 Probability and Statistics

Historians reclaim, recover, and revise what we know about the past. They enter a dialog with the dead to make sense of our world for the living, knowing full well that their hard-earned results may be overturned with new data, analysis, or insights. Yet questionable or flawed “history” is routinely to justify a range of experiences, policies, and events. In this course, we instill the key skills and analytical framework in which historians use to uncover and recreate the past, taking the journey from question, to research (onsite and online), to argument and revision (and revisionism). The importance of argument, objectivity, personal and temporal bias, evidence, narrative and cultural context are examined in detail, along with case studies of history being used, misused, and abused by historians and other actors.

The main purpose of this class is to train students to be informed consumers of quantitative studies, in addition to teaching the tools of basic statistical work. The emphasis in this class is on application and understanding of existing results, rather than on theory or derivations. The course material will cover basic descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and data collection. The key learning objective is for students to finish the class with a better understanding of the statistical and econometric results they may encounter, both in papers they read in other classes, as well as in the course of their work. The second key objective is for students to have the skills to employ basic quantitative tools in their own work in the fields of public policy and global security studies. As much as possible, assignments and readings used in class will be drawn from the public policy and security fields. There is no mathematical or statistical pre-requisite for the class. (Core course for the MA in Public Management and the MA in Global Security Studies.)

Elective Courses

You will choose 5 electives from the courses listed within any of the concentrations, or you may select additional Core Courses as electives.

Your academic adviser can also help you to optimize your Elective Course selections, or provide approval to pursue alternative Electives from a variety of Johns Hopkins University master’s degree programs, based on your educational objectives.

You may choose to pursue one of the three optional Areas of Concentration. To qualify, you must select 4 courses from within that Area of Concentration.

STATE-SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR ONLINE PROGRAMS

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

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