International Security, MA

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The latest U.S. News & World Report ranks the Schar School #7 in Homeland Security studies.

Prepare to Address the World's Greatest Threats

The Master of International Security program prepares students to address enduring and emerging security challenges of the 21st century, by deepening conceptual knowledge of the field, learning in-depth about a range of current security issues, and mastering analytic and policy skills for a career in the field.

Email us: schar@gmu.edu

Call: 703-993-8099

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Upcoming Events for Prospective International Security Students

Application Drop-In Hours:

"Drop-In" during our virtual application drop-in hours to ask the admissions team any questions you may have about your master’s application. The application deadline for fall 2023 is April 1.

   Friday, February 17, from noon to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual). Register.

   Friday, February 24, from noon to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual).  Register. 

   Friday, March 17, from noon to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual). Register.

   Friday, March 24, from noon to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual).  Register. 

Virtual Information Sessions:

Prospective students are invited to attend virtual information sessions to hear more about our master's of international security  programs offered at the Schar School. These online session provide program overviews, as well as the application process, student experience and graduate outcomes and are led by the graduate admissions teams.
Security Studies Information Session:
   Thursday, February 16, from noon to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual).  Register.
International Security Information Session:
   Wednesday, March 22, from noon to 1 p.m. ET (Virtual).  Register.

After registering for each of these events, you will receive an email with a zoom link 24 hours in advance of the session.

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Security for whom?​

In the 21st century, security means many different things: It's not only how defense and law enforcement protect citizens and other national assets, but how security is addressed by international organizations, and by communities and individuals within societies.​ The Schar School's Master of International Security program provides a three-dimensional view of the international security challenges of our time.​

Dana Crigger

 

“My studies at the Schar School have really expanded my intellectual lens to the strategic challenges facing the nation today.”

Dana Crigger, Master of International Security

 

Program Highlights


  • Offers a policy-relevant, intellectually rigorous grounding in international security.
  • Provides a solid foundation for students aspiring to work in an array of civilian and military institutions with an international security mission.
  • Engages students directly with faculty and staff in a supportive and collegial environment.

 

A Degree That Works With Your Schedule


You can earn this degree:

  • On-campus
  • Entirely online in a synchronous format
  • Through a combination of on-campus and online classes
  • Part-time or full-time

Classes are offered in the evening to accommodate working students.

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No GRE required to apply

Where Our Recent Graduates Work


Pie chart showing graduates' employment industries: Private Sector (Consulting) 41%, Federal Government 31%, Private Sector (General) 14%, NGO/Nonprofit 11%, Multilateral/International 1%, Local Government 1%, Academia 1%

Data gathered from recent graduates from from 2017-21

Top Employers of Recent Graduates


  • BAE Systems
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • The Cohen Group
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • Leidos
  • National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
  • U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Department of the Navy
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The median salary of 2020-21 program graduates surveyed after graduation was $80,000.

ISEC Alumni Student: Becca Cooper

 

“Ultimately, I got into the Master of International Security to focus on conflict resolution, threat analysis, and intelligence. The thing that sets this school apart are the professors. They are at the forefront of their fields."

Becca Cooper
Master of International Security '21

 

The Master of Arts in International Security program requires 12 courses (36 total credits), including six core courses:

  • International Relations
  • Politics and Practice of International Security Policy
  • Ethics and the Use of Force
  • International Security
  • National Security Technology and Policy
  • Grand Strategy

“A combination of deep academic preparation and insight into the practitioner’s world helps our students have access to the people with the careers they want."

Ellen Laipson
Director of the Master of International Security degree program

ISEC Program Director Ellen Liapson

Practitioner Faculty

With the Schar School's prime location in the Washington, D.C. area, students gain access to leading practitioners who are internationally recognized for their scholarship and advisory roles in the public and private sectors. These faculty bring real-world experience to the classroom, providing you with the mentorship and skillsets needed to advance in your career.

Notable faculty members in the international security program include program director Ellen Laipson, Retired General Michael V. Hayden, Gregory Koblentz, Louise I. Shelley, Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, Michael Hunzeker, David C. Williams, Robert Dietz, Ambassador Richard Kauzlarich, and many others.

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