Global Security (Irregular Warfare), MA

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: online
  • Second Language Requirement: No
Position yourself to excel with a degree designed for future leaders in this field. With access to the insights of globally-recognized thought leaders, combined with the flexibility of online delivery, this program is ideal for busy professionals whose career aspirations know no bounds.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA Global Security (Irregular Warfare)

The irregular warfare concentration allows students in the MA program in global security to focus their studies on components of irregular warfare, including proxy wars, counterinsurgency, narrative warfare and other features of modern conflict. Students learn from top faculty, including international leaders in the field, seasoned scholars and skilled practitioners.

The courses in this program provide students with a relevant and continually updated understanding of the increasingly important role played by irregular warfare in the complex and competitive global security environment. This program balances the theoretical and practical aspects of irregular warfare through rigorous scholarly work with historical and contemporary case studies, and classes integrate case studies, policy exercises and critical thinking to prepare students for career advancement.

Students progress at their own pace; the program can be completed in one year or a six-year period. Students may pursue the degree while working full-time or part-time.

GI Bill® benefits

This new program is not yet approved for use with GI Bill® benefits.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

In this program, students can:

  • Advance their careers in global security, international relations, intelligence, diplomacy, and other related fields. In an age where global security impacts nearly every aspect of our lives, the possibilities are endless. See what past graduates have done with their MA in Global Security degree.
  • Learn from and network with leading professionals in the global security arena. Our highly engaged faculty include top advisors, military strategists, humanitarian leaders, award-winning journalists and renowned scholars. See who you’ll be learning from.
  • Connect with fellow students all over the world, engage in weekly discussions, attend exclusive events with faculty and students, and gain access to our growing alumni networks in Phoenix and Washington, D.C. See what events you’ll have access to as a student or graduate of the program.
  • Work closely with the Future Security Initiative (FSI), a collaborative research & policy hub linking ASU and New America, that includes experts and thought leaders in Washington, D.C. Learn more about FSI.

Degree Requirements

Required Core (3 credit hours)
GSC 501 War, Conflict and Security (3)

Concentration (12 credit hours)
GSC 510 Governance in Post-conflict and Transitional Contexts (3)
GSC 511 Terrorism and Insurgency (3)
GSC 571 Narrative Conflict (3)
GSC 572 Proxy Warfare, Strategic Thinking, History and Operational Arts (3)
GSC 573 Understanding Great Power Competition (3)
GSC 598 Special Topics

Restricted Electives (12 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
GSC 550 Capstone (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
For electives, students take coursework from a restricted list for a total of 12 credit hours. Students should contact the academic unit for the approved course list. Other coursework may be used with the approval of the academic unit.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants are required to submit:

  • graduate admissions application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • one letter of recommendation
  • personal statement
  • professional resume
  • proof of English proficiency

Additional Admission Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

The personal statement must be two to three pages in length.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BS - Political Science

Interested in politics and public issues in the United States and abroad? See yourself heading to law school, working on political campaigns or as a diplomat? Springboard your education in preparation for a wide variety of careers, both inside and outside of government.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BA - Global Studies

Study how cultures, economics, institutions and social issues shape our increasingly globalized world. Through a global experience or an internationally focused internship, you'll put your learning to work as you help to address current challenges.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BA - Political Science

Interested in politics and public issues in the United States and abroad? See yourself heading to law school, working on political campaigns or serving as a diplomat? Springboard your education in preparation for a wide variety of careers, both inside and outside government.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
July 26th



Session A/C
December 16th



Session A/C
April 15th

Career Opportunities

Graduates possess a grounded and relevant understanding of major global trends as well as critical analytic skills, improving their capacity to succeed in multiple career paths related to domestic and international security.

Career area examples include:

  • conflict zone and post-war reconstruction
  • consulting for private, public and nongovernmental organizations acting in conflict zones
  • global security intelligence (public and private sector)
  • military advancement
  • risk assessment (public and private sector)
  • security policy analysis

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.