May 28, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Global Security Studies (MA)

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The Master of Arts in Global Security Studies is a two-year program designed for students who already have a substantial undergraduate background in social sciences or relevant professional experience in subjects such as international relations, political science, environmental studies and social sciences. Students in the program may concentrate in one of three issue areas: security, intelligence and military issues; human security and humanitarian crises issues; or environmental security issues. These concentrations lead to a career in public service, the corporate world or in a nongovernmental organization (NGO) working in the ever-expanding global civil society. Students may opt to study one semester in USC’s Washington DC Semester Program or at Vrije Universiteit’s Institute for European Studies in Brussels, Belgium.

Requirements for the completion of this degree program are 48 units, including 8 units of credit for internship, a first year policy exercise, and a required final policy project related to a major global issue addressed in the program.

The program requirements are as follows:

Concentrations (24 units)

Selected in consultation with an adviser, students are required to take two courses in two different concentrations (16 units) and up to two additional courses in their area of specialization (8 units).

  • Security, Intelligence and Military Issues
  • Human Security and Humanitarian Crises Issues
  • Environmental Security Issues

Internship (8 units)

Internships for credit must be selected in consultation with a GSEC Program adviser.

Additional Requirements

First Year Policy Exercise

In the last two weeks of the second semester, those students in residence will participate in a problem-based learning policy exercise. Students will apply policy skills mastered in their first-year courses to develop a policy response to a timely real-world issue.

Final Policy Project (4 units)

The final requirement for the Master of Arts in Global Security Studies is the completion of a comprehensive policy project related to the security concentration or concentrations selected by the student. Students will explore the nature of a problem, provide a comprehensive review of related existing literature and current research, and offer possible policy prescriptions aimed at mitigating the impact of the problem explored.

The course(s) taken to complete this requirement will be selected in consultation with an adviser. Two faculty members selected by the student will supervise and evaluate the project. A student may add an external expert as a third member of the committee with the permission of the two supervising faculty members. This external member may be a faculty member at another university or a staff member in a government agency or nongovernmental organization.

Students must earn a grade of B or higher to pass this requirement. A list of selected topics and an archive of completed projects will be available for review.

Minimum Units Required: 48

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