The Master of Arts in National Security
and Intelligence Studies Degree
The National Security and Intelligence Studies program at Notre Dame College supports the College’s mission to prepare students for personal, professional and global responsibility. The mission of the National Security and Intelligence Studies program is to provide future and public and private leaders with the necessary framework and practical skills to succeed in contemporary and future security environments. Students will be prepared to develop strategies, plans and programs to prevent and respond to man-made and natural incidents. They will also contribute to the development of the emerging discipline of homeland security and intelligence studies through the application of domestic and international security policy analysis, related theories and research into effective practice.
The Master of Arts in National Security and Intelligence Studies at Notre Dame College is a unique program that seeks to develop public and private professionals transitioning from tactical leadership positions to new roles as strategic analysts, planners, managers and decision-makers. For those not currently working in the national security and intelligence fields, the NSIS program will provide the knowledge and skills to pursue new careers in the public and private sectors in various analytical positions.
The program provides students with: a comprehensive understanding of multiple aspects of homeland and international security issues; knowledge of the public policies that are a response to strategic security concerns; and processes for designing effective programs and projects to achieve homeland security public policy goals. The program focus is an “all hazards” approach which mirrors the mission of the Department of Homeland Security.
The “all hazards” focus requires a basic framework for preparation, resiliency and response to all kinds of disasters: from a terrorist attack, to a flood, or even a pandemic outbreak. The program is enhanced by an interdisciplinary perspective that will integrate knowledge from a variety of fields (criminal justice, public administration, political science, law, intelligence, environmental health and safety, nursing, and leadership). This interdisciplinary focus complements the skill set and experiences students bring into the program.
The program also provides students with unique opportunities to test assumptions and skills through various case-studies and virtual/tabletop exercises. A unique feature of this program is the on-campus weekend session that includes discussion of assigned readings on leadership and ethical decision-making, the analysis of case studies, and a
team-oriented analytic crisis exercise. The program culminates in a Capstone project where students explore a topic related to national security based on previous coursework and individual experiences.
1. Assess current national security policies, strategies, operational theories and
issues from both domestic and international perspectives.
2. Critically analyze and assess responses to a vast array of transnational threat
streams, both man-made and naturally occurring.
3. Critically evaluate current policies and practices and be able to apply decision-
making strategies in order to foster and implement ideas to address crucial
national security issues.
4. Critically analyze policy issues related to the cooperation and collaboration among the international community, state governments, local jurisdictions, and the private sector in an effort to enhance intelligence operations, infrastructure protections, emergency preparedness, responses to terrorist threats, and the development of homeland security.
5. Demonstrate the ability to solve complex problems by using analytic strategies to produce original research that contributes to the development and progression of national security and intelligence studies.
The Graduate Admissions Committee is looking for well-rounded students who
demonstrate a sincere interest and desire to make a positive impact in the field of
homeland security, intelligence and emergency management. Students who meet or exceed the minimum requirements below will be considered for admission:
• Students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.
• Undergraduate GPA must be a minimum of a 3.0.
• Applicants with below a 3.0 average will be considered only if relevant work
experience and/or other qualifications can be produced to complement his or her
• Applicants should submit an essay of between 1,000 and 1,500 words that briefly
describes his/her academic and professional experience and the reason this
program is appropriate to his/her personal, academic and professional goals. The
essay should also describe the applicant’s thoughts on the most pressing
national security issue facing our country.
• Complete the free graduate online application
• Send official transcripts of all college coursework to:
Attn: Graduate Admissions
Notre Dame College
4545 College Road
South Euclid, OH 44121
• Complete an interview with the Graduate Admissions Committee (face-to-face or phone interviews are acceptable). To schedule your interview, call The Finn Center at 216-373-5173 or toll free at 877-NDC-OHIO extension 5173.
• Submit additional documentation as listed under Admission Requirements
Transfer of Credit
Upon acceptance into one of the Master Degree programs, transcripts from previous graduate programs will be evaluated.
No more than six graduate credits may be transferred into the Master of Arts in National Security and Intelligence Studies program. The Program Director will review potential transfer items for applicability to the program’s goals and objectives. Since the program is highly proscribed, there are not the opportunities for transfer that might be in programs
with elective options. Previous training and experience may be considered for transfer,
particularly applicants who currently or previously worked for the Federal Government.
Applicants who desire this experience to be considered must contact the American
Council on Education (www.acenet.edu). Only transfer credit related to public policy,
public administration or international relations will be considered.
To graduate with a Master of Arts degree, a student must
• maintain a 3.00 cumulative grade point average and have successfully
• A minimum of 36 semester credits of graduate credit
• Completion of a residency requirement
• Completion of Capstone II experience and final project
The Master of Arts in National Security and Intelligence Studies curriculum is a 36-credit
hour program blending face-to-face teaching with online education and learning. The
program has one residency requirement, which takes place over the course of an
intensive weekend during the spring semester:
• SPS 550: Leadership, Ethics, and Threat Analysis: a team-taught course that
brings students to the Notre Dame College campus for discussions of assigned
readings, guest speaker presentations, analysis of cases studies, and a team-oriented
Analytical Crisis Exercise that simulates unfolding events requiring
analysis of evidence and evaluation of responses under tight time constraints.
SPS 510: Security Policy Research Methods
SPS 511: Issues in Homeland Security
SPS 520: Terrorism & Counterterrorism
SPS 530: Critical Infrastructure: Threat Analysis & Resiliency
SPS 531: Strategic Intelligence & Warning
SPS 540: Geopolitics
SPS 550: Leadership, Ethics, and Threat Analysis
SPS 600: Essentials of Cybersecurity
SPS 610: Transnational Threats
SPS 620: Biodefense & Disease Surveillance
SPS 630: Science, Technology and Security
SPS 640: Capstone
Recommended Course Sequence
Semester 1 / 510, 511, 520
Semester 2 / 530, 531
Semester 3 / 540, 600, 610
Semester 4 / 550, 620, 630
Semester 5 / 640
Information Related to Gainful Employment
As required by federal regulations, Notre Dame College will provide information as it
becomes available for this new program on our graduation rates, the median debt of
students who completed the program, and other important information, can be found at
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