Global Security, MA

The Master of Arts in global security is designed to empower graduates of the program with the capacity to understand and analyze the complex nature of conflict and global security challenges while developing specific tools, skills and insights to influence appropriate policies and programs for the future. A total of 30 program hours are required.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA Global Security

The MA in Global Security (MAGS) is an interdisciplinary, fully online graduate program that trains students to critically engage global conflict and international security in a comprehensive manner. The program connects critical concepts with practical, policy-oriented applications and is designed to aid professional advancement in military, government and private sector careers at a time when global security impacts nearly every aspect of our lives.

What makes the MAGS so valuable is our world-class faculty and the wealth of intellectual and practical expertise they bring to the program’s diverse course offerings. MAGS faculty include former top government officials, former general officers, award-winning conflict journalists, former heads of humanitarian assistance groups, as well as top academics with expertise in political science, strategic studies, law, anthropology, history and global politics.

The MAGS is highly flexible and designed for students from various backgrounds and with existing responsibilities. About half of our students are currently in the U.S. military or veterans, almost 50 percent come from minority backgrounds and nearly 40 percent are women. Most students in the program work full or part time as they study, and many pursue the degree while raising families.

Students may pursue the MAGS degree from anywhere in the world and proceed at their own pace. The program can be completed in a calendar year and the vast majority of our students graduate within two years. Many graduates attribute career advancement to completing the MAGS and to the skills they gained in the program.

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Courses and electives

The MA has two required courses.  The first required class is GSC 501 War, Conflict and Security which provides an overview of key interdisciplinary approaches to conflict and international security.

A student should take GSC 501 in the early stages of their participation in the program.

The second required class is GSC 550 Capstone, an individually structured class which represents a culminating experience within the program.  A student should take GSC 550 towards the end of their progress  through the  program and it is recommended (though  not  required) that the class is taken their final course.

All of the other courses in the program are electives.

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At a Glance: program details

  • Location: online
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Degree Requirements

The MA in Global Security requires the successful completion of 30 credits of coursework. Students must take GSC 501 as well as GSC 550, the independent capstone project. All remaining courses are electives.

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

Electives (24 credit hours)

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

Additional Curriculum Information
For electives, students take eight courses from a restricted list for a total of 24 credit hours. Students should contact the academic unit for the approved course list. Other coursework may be used with 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 the humanities (English, history, etc.); social sciences (anthropology, sociology, political science, etc.); sciences (biology, chemistry, etc.); policy (public administration, etc.); computer science; engineering (all subfields); or a closely related 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.

How to apply to the MAGS

To apply to the MAGS, please submit the following using the graduate admissions page:

  • graduate admission application and application fee
  • personal statement that explains why you are interested in the MAGS and provides some insight into who you are and what sort of a student and colleague you will be if accepted into the program
  • official transcripts (we prefer a GPA of 3.0 or higher, but we admit students with lower GPAs, sometimes as provisional admissions; also, we have no preference for any particular undergraduate major)
  • at least one letter of recommendation (applicants may submit additional letters)
  • c.v./resume

Please note, no GRE is required.

Proof of English language proficiency is required for some foreign applicants.

For additional application information please see the MAGS Student Handbook.

Application deadlines:

We review applications as they are submitted and provide decisions within 3-10 days after an application is complete. Students may enter the MAGS at the beginning of the fall, spring and summer sessions.

Deadlines are not necessarily firm as applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants may be admitted and start as late as the first day of class of each session. Nevertheless, we encourage prospective applicants to submit materials by July 23 for a fall start, December 14 for a spring start and April 19 for a summer start.

Transfer credits

We often accept transfer credits from prior graduate level courses and training. Generally, we accept up to 9 credits (3 courses) and occasionally we accept up to 12 credits (4 courses). To receive transfer credit for prior graduate level training, the student must have received grades of “B” or above, completed the course(s) within the last three years, and not used for the course(s) previously for the completion of a degree.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

The program and classes are not open for non-degree seeking students.

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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:

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

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

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.