Master of Arts in Strategic Studies

This is an archived copy of the 2017-18 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Program Overview  

Chair, Division of Graduate Studies: James M. Ehrman
Program Manager: James Dalton

The Master of Arts in Strategic Studies (MASS) is a 36-credit master’s degree program designed for current and former military personnel from all uniformed branches who have successfully completed the BSSSDA, BSNSS, and other Norwich University Bachelor’s degrees in certain related fields.  The MASS program builds on the education and experience of graduates by providing graduate-level coursework that focuses on ends, ways and means and the challenges of nesting supporting objectives.  Graduates of the program are better equipped to carry out the changing mission of the U.S. military and to work collaboratively with agencies outside the Department of Defense on matters of national security.

The MA in Strategic Studies program explores the relationship between politics and the many kinds of national power—from the use of diplomacy to the threatened use of military might. Although many strategic studies programs focus on the use of military means, the NU MASS program includes work in closely related fields such as intelligence, infrastructure, natural resource studies and interagency cooperation. As such, it has broad applications in non-security related areas such as leadership, technology, communication and strategic planning.

The seminars in the Master of Arts in Strategic Studies have been carefully structured and sequenced to guarantee that prerequisite knowledge needed in subsequent seminars is obtained to optimize the learning experience, provide a mixture of topics in each seminar that evenly distribute the overall work load for the degree, and provide a blend of theoretical and practical oriented topics in each seminar.

NT 510 Strategy and Policy6
MH 530Military Thought and Theory6
GD 510Theory and the International System6
GD 530Economics and the International System6
NT 550 The Military and the Use of Force6
NT 560 Capstone Planning Exercise6
Total Cr.36

*NT 510 – Strategy and Policy (6 credits)

Students are required to think strategically and analytically in preparation for the course material that follows and positions of strategic leadership. The 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.

MH 530 – Military Thought and Theory (6 credits)

This seminar examines the most influential military theoreticians and strategists from the period of the Thirty Years’ War to the present. You will examine the theories of Clausewitz, Jomini, Douhet, Mahan, Corbett, and Mao Tse-Tung, as well as the theories of deterrence and nuclear war and post-Maoist revolutionary warfare.

GD 510 – Diplomacy - Theory and the International System (6 credits)

This seminar reviews 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.

GD 530 – Economics and the International system (6 credits)

This seminar explores the international economic system, examines the impact of modernization within the system, and investigates the controversy over the concept of globalization and the debate of free trade versus protectionism. Students will become familiar with the international financial network and its institutions. Special attention will be given to Third World development [sic] issues and the concept of economics as a tool of diplomacy and military power.

*NT 550 – The Military and the Use of Force (6 credits)

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.

*NT 560 – Capstone Planning Exercise (6 credits)

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 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.

* Denotes courses that have yet to be developed.

Faculty Member Institution at which highest degree was earned
James Dalton, MA (Program Manager) US Naval War College
Angelo J. Collura, PhD Catholic University
Christopher Costa, MA US Naval War College
Daniel Cox, PhD University of Nebraska
Kevin Dougherty, PhD University of Southern Mississippi
Allison Greene-Sands Old Dominion University
Mary T. Hall, JD University of Georgia
John Jennings, PhD University of Hawaii
Brian Kupfer, PhD Claremont Graduate College
Cynthia Levy, PhD Zriayi Miklos National Defense University (Hungary)
Timothy Maynard, EdD Johnson and Wales University
Brett Morash, PhD Salve Regina Unviersity
Robert Pauly, PhD Old Dominion University
Samantha Powers, PhD Old Dominion University
Robert Sands, PhD University of Illinois
Jeffrey Shaw, PhD Salve Regina University
David Witty, MA University of Pennsylvania