Master of Arts in Strategic Studies

18 Months
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This program is six courses (36 credits), each of which is 11 weeks in length. Students master one course at a time, with each course building on the next to create a strong foundation of knowledge and context for future topics. The program culminates in a required one-week residency and a graduation ceremony at Norwich University in June.

The coursework will provide students with a broad exposure the relationship between politics and the various kinds of national power to better equip graduates with working collaboratively with agencies on matters of national security.

  • National Security Strategy: Theory and Frameworks


    Students analyze the theoretical and practical frameworks within which national security objectives are developed at the highest levels of government. Students are introduced to the prevailing lenses through which nations attempt to achieve their national security goals and a range of theoretical approaches to the formulation of policy objectives.

  • Strategy and Policy


    This course sharpens students’ ability to assess a variety of situations and compare alternative courses of action to achieve overall national political purposes. Students are asked to think in a disciplined, critical, and original manner about the international environment and a range of potential strategies involving joint, interagency, and multinational partners. Strategy has been viewed traditionally as the relationship between war’s purpose and the means to achieve a political end. Strategy provides a theory of victory that explains how a state can translate the employment of the specific means of national power into the achievement of overall national objectives.

  • Theory and the International System


    You will review the basic theories that govern international relations and political science. The course also traces the historical evolution of diplomacy within the international system, providing a sense of its progression and an awareness of the milestones of diplomatic interaction within that system.

  • Economics and the International System


    You will explore the international economic system, examine the impact of modernization within the system, and investigate the controversy over the concept of globalization and the debate of free trade versus protectionism. You will become familiar with the international financial network and its institutions. Special attention will be given to Third World development issues and the concept of economics as a tool of diplomacy and military power.

  • The Military and the Use of Force


    This seminar is an in-depth study of the operational level of war throughout the full spectrum of military operations. The course prepares students to excel in the operational arena through an understanding of the effective use of operational level planning involving joint/coalition forces and interagency partners to achieve military objectives.

  • Capstone Planning Exercise


    The capstone planning exercise provides an opportunity for the student to integrate extensive research along with the concepts and principles of the program that results in a student-derived plan to achieve a theater-strategic objective. Each student will complete the plan using all the elements of national power in concert with one another. The purpose of the capstone project is for the student to apply theoretical and methodological skills to real-world issues. The expectation of the program is that the capstone project will demonstrate a student’s overall knowledge in the discipline and the skills necessary to achieve a mastery of strategic planning.


Meeting Change with Action

A world in turmoil demands decisive leadership. The need for skilled tacticians and strategic thinkers has never been greater, and the ability to back diplomacy with a standard of indisputable strength begets a tremendous opportunity for those with the vision to seize it. The Master of Arts in Strategic Studies program capitalizes upon Norwich University’s nearly 200-year tradition of grooming leaders in the military, public sector, and private industry. Students have the means to broaden their knowledge of global geopolitics, international diplomacy and military strategy—and thereby transform their careers. Whether they are looking to advance in their current line of work or transition to a new endeavor, the Master of Arts in Strategic Studies program is an essential building block for motivated individuals who seek to preempt change with innovation.

Graduates of the online Master of Arts in Strategic Studies program at Norwich University join a thriving network of highly motivated, successful and conscientious alumni who continue to shape the world in the image of Norwich’s sterling values. A master’s degree in Strategic Studies from Norwich University can open a number of doors, in relevant career paths with organizations including but not limited to:

  • U.S. Military
  • Department of Defense
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • National Security Agency
  • State Department
  • Transportation Security Administration
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Government and private think tanks
  • Private security firms
  • Defense contractors

Master of Arts in Strategic Studies Program Curriculum

Jordan Nash

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Admissions Advisor
Admissions Advisor

Jordan has a passion for assisting others in the pursuit of higher education and is committed to student success. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan before joining the admissions team at Norwich. Jordan has always been enthusiastic about access to higher education and in his free time he enjoys adventure, vinyl records, and spending time with friends and family. 

Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

James Dalton


James Dalton is an experienced educator, with a focus on graduate and undergraduate military college program development and instruction. Earning the rank of commander with 27 years of active duty military experience in the U.S. Navy, Dalton has served as a naval flight officer and a professor at the Naval War College. As a military professor, he developed and managed military education programs for advanced warfare studies related to conventional and unconventional warfare across all phases. During his assignment as a joint experimentation officer, he designed and coordinated test programs for new systems to benefit all branches of the U.S. Special Forces and developed curriculum dedicated to unconventional warfare education. He has his master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, as well as a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri.

Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis
Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies
Master of Arts in Strategic Studies

What was unique about Norwich was that I gained an enriched awareness because the coursework so closely mirrored what was happening in my professional life. Chris Bolton Norwich Graduate, Class of 2019 sean freitag at norwich
Achieve Your Career Goals Peace is the Mission; Strategy is the Means

In order for the United States to anticipate and influence future events, both domestic and international, it is necessary for its military personnel to approach tactical and strategic planning from a proactive rather than reactive point of view. Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in Strategic Studies program is designed for current and former military personnel of all uniformed branches and is intended to expand upon students’ educational and military experience with challenging graduate-level courses that focus on ends, ways and means as well as the challenges of nesting supporting objectives.

Coursework equips you with the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake the evolving mission of the United States military, as well as to collaborate with agencies outside the Department of Defense on matters of national security. Under the tutelage of skilled faculty, you can use our flexible online platform to explore the unique relationship between politics and national power, from the application of democracy to the threatened use of military action and beyond. The program culminates in a capstone project designed to help you synthesize the principles and objectives of the program and apply your theoretical and methodological skills to real-world affairs.


Master of Arts
  • Students complete all course offerings.
1 Week 1 Week Residency Visit campus for culminating experience 15 Students 15 Students Maximum number of students per class 18 Months 18 Months Average time to program completion Next Start Date 8 June Next Start Date App Deadline 11 May Application Deadline Why Norwich?
  • Learn how to apply your knowledge to comprehensive national security solutions.
  • As the nation’s first military college, Norwich is proud to support you as you balance an active duty schedule with academic pursuits.
  • Coursework is rigorous, relevant and immediately applicable to your career.
  • Flexible online platform offers you ability to complete coursework that fits your schedule.
Accreditation & Recognition
logo, new england commission of higher education

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).


Kerri Murnyack

Associate Program Director

Kerri Murnyack holds a master’s degree in Linguistics with a dual focus on Second Language Acquisition and Teaching English as a Second Language. Prior to her role as the associate program director at Norwich, she worked as the internal communications liaison within the IT Department of a global consulting firm, focusing most of her time on communications and change management. She also spent five years teaching English reading and writing skills to second language learners at the college level.


Katie Nelson

Student Support Advisor

Katie Nelson graduated from Norwich University with a BS in Communications in 2013 and then again with her master’s degree in Public Administration in 2018. She worked at the Norwich University campus for six years and then joined the College of Graduate and Continung Studies team as a Student Support Advisor in November 2019.

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Brett J. Morash


Brett Morash is the Executive Director of Racing for Heroes an organization committed to empowering the lives of our nation’s veterans through Motorsports, Health, Wellness & Employment Opportunities. In addition to RFH,  Morash is a retired U.S. Naval Officer having served over 20 years at sea on five different ships and multiple overseas tours including serving as Theater Security Cooperation Branch Chief at CJTF-Horn of Africa.

Brett J.

Timothy Maynard


Dr. Timothy Jacques Maynard is a retired Naval Officer. He served for over thirty years as a Surface Warfare Officer and joint operations planner. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master of Science from Johns Hopkins University, A Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a Doctorate of Education from Johnson & Wales University. He is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at American College Dublin. He has lived in America, Italy, and Japan and has traveled extensively.


Jeffrey Shaw


Jeff Shaw is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the Naval War College. He is the author of a number of books and journal articles covering topics from philosophy to national security. His 3-volume Wars of Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict was published by ABC CLIO in 2016. Other books include Illusions of Freedom (Wipf and Stock, 2014) Jacques Ellul on Violence, Terrorism and War (Pickwick, 2016), and Bound for the Coast of Africa: The Journal of the Brig Hiram (Stone Tower, 2016).


Meet graduates from our master's programs.

At a Glance

  • Undergraduate degree in related field
  • Current or prior military service
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher

Contact Admissions

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT
Extended hours available by appointment


Call: 1-802-962-4330

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    Our Military Heritage
    Established in 1819 as the nation’s first private military college, Norwich University has a long history of innovation in military education.
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    What to Expect at Norwich
    From student support to classroom resources to exceptional faculty, Norwich has your online learning experience covered.
  • military benefits at norwich university
    GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at
    Military Benefits
    You may receive the equivalent of up to 12 semester credits for study conducted elsewhere. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as it pertains to transfer credits.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current or prior military service
  • A bachelor's degree in one of the following areas:
    • National Security Studies
    • Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis
    • Studies in War and Peace
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Management Studies (with a Strategic Studies concentration)
    • Or a related area
  • If English is not your first language, proof of English language proficiency is required. This can be demonstrated in one of three ways:
    • TOEFL - a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (Internet-based test) is required.
    • IELTS – a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required.
    • The applicant holds a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college/university/institution in which the primary language of instruction was English.

Please Note:  All eligibility requirements are expected to be met unless noted in specific articulation agreements or memoranda of understanding (MOUs).

Application Process

We encourage you to contact an admissions advisor if you need help at any stage of the application process. You will be required to submit the following items:

  • Application form
  • Official transcript of your undergraduate degree from a regionally or nationally accredited university, mailed to the address below.
  • Official military training transcripts (Joint Services Transcript/CCAF), mailed to the address below.
  • Resume
  • Letter of intent
  • Proof of English language proficiency if applicable (TOEFL)

Transcript Links

Mail transcripts to:
Norwich University
College of Graduate and Continuing Studies
P.O. Box 367
Northfield, VT 05663

To contact an admissions advisor:

Phone: 802-962-4330


The Master of Arts in Strategic Studies program is an investment in your future that we can help you manage from a financial perspective. We work with military personnel each day to help them maximize their benefits. There are many ways to get financial assistance and several financial strategies that can help you achieve your academic and professional goals. We are here to help you identify and pursue the options that are best for you.

Tuition at a Glance

  • Credit Hours: 36
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $689
2021-22 Tuition and Fee Schedule - Master's Programs

Technology - $300/term
Library - $75/term
Graduation - $150/one-time


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Scholarship Opportunities

Norwich University offers a range of opportunities to help you lower your overall tuition costs. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about the below options. Please note that scholarships are not additive. In addition to the below scholarships, students may also be eligible for discounts if their organization partners with Norwich University.

Achievement Scholarship

Recognizing your past academic and professional achievements, the Achievement Scholarship is for newly enrolled students. You could receive a $4,200 scholarship, which will be distributed equally over the courses of the program. To be considered for this scholarship opportunity, submit your application package (application form, resume, letter of intent, and essay (if applicable)) for your program of interest at least one week prior to the upcoming application deadline. The Scholarship Selection Committee will review all application materials and select the recipient. 

Norwich Alumni Scholarship

Norwich University alumni and their spouses, parents, and children are eligible to receive our Alumni Scholarship. The scholarship is award for each term of enrollment at $425 per term.

Active Duty Military Scholarship

Active duty, National Guard, and Reserve personnel are eligible to receive a $250 award for each term of enrollment in an online master’s degree program.


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