Global Security Coursework

Coursework introduces students to a broad range of topics that envelop contemporary global security. Introductory courses focus on the evolving concept of security, asking students to critically question the basis for understanding war, conflict, and security and reimagine what it looks like in the 21st century. Later coursework will take a high-level, policy-focused, practitioners’ approach to studying specific issues in the global security environment. Courses are designed by experts in their fields; learn more about our distinguished faculty here.

GSC 509 Emerging Technologies and Global Security

This course examines the implications of accelerating changes in military and security technologies, fueled by rapid developments in five core technology systems: nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communications technology (ICT), robotics and applied cognitive science. It also introduces the idea of ‘revolutions in military affairs,’ a concept that has been used to frame discussions about the strategic implications of new technologies from drones to cyber.

GSC 598 Adaptation and Military Innovation Since the Cold War

Since the end of the Cold War the US and the West have maintained an unequivocal dominance of the conventional military realm. However, contrary to some bold predictions, history did not end. As Clausewitz would remind us, "no result in war is final." Would-be adversaries of the US and the West have adapted the ways in which they seek strategic geopolitical objectives. This course provides a framework for understanding adaptation and innovation, illustrating them through case studies including China, Russia, Iran, and more.

GSC 598 Understanding Great Power Competition

Dramatic changes in the global strategic environment have altered the dynamics of war, peace, and nation-state development, bringing about a new era of Great Power Competition. What is the meaning of this trend? How is this shaping up in comparison to past cycles? How does this influence our understanding of the use of military force, power intentions, and global security? This course interprets the current inflection moment through the framing concept used by the U.S. Department of Defense for strategic study and operational praxis.

GSC 563 Cybersecurity Planning and Strategy

Since cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, many aspects of planning are in a state of continual evolution. Broad-based, flexible strategies are necessary to enable key actors and institutions to engage in adequate policies to ensure general cybersecurity preparedness. This course introduces key institutions in cyber policy and regulation, central concepts of threat analysis, issues of cybersecurity strategy, and ways to conceptualize the future of cybersecurity. It examines the complex interplay of governmental, intergovernmental, commercial, and non-state actors engaged in cyber threats and protective action.

GSC 512 Global Trends

This course takes a broad look at emerging global patterns as they relate to governance, security, and social order. It examines a number of interrelated topics, including: globalization and various forms of backlash; populist movements; socioeconomic inequality both within and between societies; the shifting of economic power from the global west to the global east; demographic changes and the resource strain that results; democratic backsliding, protests, and social unrest; and the weakening of state-society relations. It situates these conflicting trends within a bigger question: What does it all mean for global stability? Do these new challenges signify the erosion of an aging order, and if so, what emerges from the upheaval?

GSC 598 Overview of Biosecurity

This course provides an overview of biosecurity with a focus on its relationship to broad national and international security issues and to fundamental shifts in conceptualizing safety and resilience in a globally interconnected world. The class explains core concepts of biosecurity, pandemics, biological threats, and the ways in which our reliance on international social, political, and economic networks require a process of reimagining the security landscape. It introduces key ideas of biological threats, human positioning within a broader ecosystem, preventive measures, monitoring, and policy responses. It introduces students to key international and U.S. actors and institutions engaged in biosecurity issues and illustrated central concepts with detailed case studies.

GSC 598 Security and the Global Economy

Contemporary international relations – especially great power competition – is conducted primarily through economic means. When great powers compete, the whole world gets sucked in, disrupting global stability. This course frames the link between global stability, national security, and economics in the context of competition between the world’s predominant power and its rising one, asking how this is changing the global order. It examines the ways this competition plays out through key concepts such as geoeconomics, weaponized interdependence, economic statecraft, and more. The course also explores economic security risks in key sectors, including leading edge technology, food supply, rare earth elements, and energy security. It concludes by unpacking structural shifts in state-industry relationships. No prior knowledge of economics is required for this course.

Other courses may include:

GSC 501 War, Conflict and Security
GSC 502 Security Studies
GSC 503 Future of War
GSC 504 Understanding Conflict and War
GSC 505 Law of War
GSC 506 U.S. Politics of Security
GSC 507 Global Politics of Security
GSC 508 Comparative Studies of Conflict
GSC 509 Emerging Technologies and Global Security
GSC 510 Governance in Post-Conflict/Transitional Contexts
GSC 511 Terrorism and Insurgency
GSC 512 Global Trends
GSC 560 Overview of Cybersecurity
GSC 561 Cybersecurity Threats and Trends

GSC 562 Cybersecurity, Global Politics and Resiliency
GSC 563 Cybersecurity Planning and Strategy
GSC 598 Migration, Environment, and Global Security
GSC 598 Human Rights and Armed Conflict
GSC 598 International Criminal Tribunals and Global Security
GSC 598 Urbanization, Security and Conflict
GSC 598 Narrative Conflict  
GSC 598 Proxy Warfare: Strategic Thinking and History  
GSC 598 Conflict Reporting
GSC 598 Adaptation and Military Innovation Since the Cold War
GSC 598 Overview of Biosecurity
GSC 598 Strategy for Armed Conflict
GSC 598 Post-Soviet Geopolitics
GSC 598 Understanding Great Power Competition

See course catalog for more information

Students also have the option of taking professional development courses designed to build tangible skills to advance their careers, like Analytical Writing, Professional Briefing, and Writing for National Security Professionals

Here’s what they had to say about the practical skills gained from these opportunities: