Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies

Associate Dean of Continuing Studies: Mark L. Parker
Program Manager: James Dalton

The Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies (BSNSS) is an upper-division degree-completion program to build on the military education and experience of Combat Arms and Combat support personnel in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marine Corps. The BSNSS program fulfills general education competencies needed to complete the bachelor’s degree while developing a service member’s knowledge in vital areas such as geography, cultural awareness, regional politics, international conflict, and other social science disciplines. The program is open to those who are active duty or retired from the U.S. Department of Defense, including reserve and National Guard components. Members of the military or civilian intelligence community and federal law enforcement personnel are eligible.

Instruction in National Security Studies at Norwich University is highly experiential through an integration of the operational and international experiences of service men and women into the curriculum. A service member will apply course work and study to initiatives and field exercises related to his or her deployment area. Students conduct research concerning a region’s conflicts and opportunities and incorporate both their research and field experiences into their program of study, thus potentially enhancing the U.S. Department of Defense’s body of knowledge of that region. Principles of critical thinking, ethical decision making, and leadership interweave throughout the curriculum.

Program outcomes:

  • Evaluate classic and contemporary theories, strategies, doctrines, and procedures related to the causes, conduct, prevention and termination of armed conflict and the maintenance of peace;
  • Assess and predict traditional and non-traditional threats to national security;
  • Conduct research and create professional and academic analyses on issues critical to national security;
  • Identify, understand, and analyze critical national and international security issues.


The Bachelor of Science in National Security Studies (BSNSS) is designed for students with at least 30 credit hours of prior college coursework or its equivalent in eligible military or professional training.  The program consists of four curriculum areas:

  • Core Courses
  • Degree Electives
  • Field Studies
  • Capstone

The core courses are degree requirements to be taken by all students.  All BSNSS students must complete 18-credits of focused degree electives and 12 credits of field studies.  The capstone is the culminating activity for the program and is required for completion of the degree. Free electives are taken by students who enter the program with fewer than 60 credits.  

Core Courses
Students must complete all of the following:
ENGL 270Military Literature3
HIST 425AmericanForeignPolicy 20thCent3
MATH 232Elementary Statistics3
RELG 300Comparative Religion3
SCIE 301Environmental Science3
SSDA 315Insurgency and Conflict6
SSDA 325Law of Armed Conflict and Legal Basis for Use of Force3
Total Cr.24
Degree Elective Courses
Students must complete 18 credits from the following:18
ECON 310Socio-Economic Studies3
HIST 210History of US Constitution3
HIST 310Historical Studies3
HIST 411History of Diplomacy I3
HIST 412History of Diplomacy II3
INSC 311Intro Homeland Security Intell3
INSC 313Global Security & Intelligence3
INSC 315Security Coordin&Collaboration3
INSC 320Intelligence Management3
MNGT 320Strategic Planning3
PHLS 210Ethics in the Modern World3
POLS 302National Security Policy3
POLS 316Domestic Terrorism3
POLS 318International Terrorism3
SOCI 322Drugs and Gangs3
SOCI 335Intro to Cultural Competence3
SSDA 310Emergency and Disaster Relief Operations6
SSDA 320Information Operations6

Successful completion of HIST 411 and HIST 412 provides a pathway into the Master of Arts in Diplomacy degree program (4+1). 

Field Studies

Students will conduct research and submit professional and academic analyses on issues critical to national and international security.

Field Studies Courses
Students must complete 12 credits from the following:12
ECON 401Economic Studies6
SOCI 401Culture and Anthropology6
SOCI 406Area Studies6


The capstone course is the culminating academic activity for BSNSS students.  In it, students analyze and synthesize program learning with a particular focus on ethics and leadership related to national security issues. Throughout the course, students will be required to analyze potential national security scenarios and the inter-agency cooperation process while presenting their findings in written format. Students must address how their work will contribute to the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State or the Department of Defenses’ body of knowledge about the topic(s) under discussion. Students must propose, present, and deliver a final in-depth analysis paper that combines the general knowledge acquired in the core courses with the specific knowledge of the field study research.  The capstone course may not be fulfilled through transfer credit.  

NTSS 400Natl Security Studies Capstone6
Total Cr.6

General Education

Students are required to meet general education competencies in writing, literature, history, arts and humanities, science, social science, and math and may do so by transfer credit or enrollment in courses offered through the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Transfer Credit and Student Progress in the Program

CLEP and DSST exams may be accepted for transfer credit by the program manager, depending on the requirements of the Norwich course for which credit is sought. CLEP and DSST transcripts must be applied to a student’s record by the time they have earned 100 credits in their program. No credit derived from CLEP or DSST exams will be applied to the student’s record after this point.

Students must complete all core and elective coursework, including any courses necessary to fulfill required general education competencies, before being enrolled in a field study course unless given prior written approval by the program manager.

Students must complete all required coursework including any required field study courses before being enrolled in a capstone course, unless given prior written approval by the program manager.

All transfer credit must be applied to the student’s record before the student can be enrolled in a capstone course.

Faculty Member Institution at which highest degree was earned
Edwin (Leigh) Armistead, PhD Edith Cowan University
Jack Covarrubias, MA University of Southern Mississippi
John Covell, MS Troy State University
Allison Greene, PhD Old Dominion University
Victoria Greene, MS University of Vermont
John Jennings, PhD University of Hawaii
R. Alan King, MA Webster University
Cynthia Levy, PhD Zriayi Miklos National Defense University
Charles Lynch, MS Naval Post Graduate School
Martin McMahon, MLitt Middlebury College
Greg Makuch, MS Troy University
Randall H. Miller, MA Norwich University
Brett Morash, MA US Naval War College
Darlene Olsen, PhD State University of New York, Albany
Robert Pauly, PhD Old Dominion Univerisity
Russell Ramsey, PhD University of Florida
Robert Greene Sands, PhD University of Illinois
Shawn White, PhD University of Georgia
Lea Williams, PhD University of Oregon