Missouri State University students could one day take on jobs for the protection of the world’s nations.
A two-year process to accredit an MSU professional doctorate degree program has finally concluded. The Doctor of Defense and Strategic Studies program was approved July 29 by the Higher Learning Commission, an organization that accredits colleges and universities across a 19-state region.
“The professional doctorate degree program will prepare students for a career in international security,” Dr. John Rose said. Head of the defense and strategic studies department at MSU’s Fairfax, Virginia campus, Rose said the new program is different than a PhD program.
“A PhD program is focused on enhancing research skills,” Rose said. “A professional doctorate degree prepares candidates for the practical application of skills necessary to work in policy and strategic positions with the federal government, state and local authorities, think tanks and industry.”
Furthermore, the program will enable students to study subjects such as advanced nuclear strategy and deterrence and arms control. It will also offer several seminars, including:
- Advanced Survey in International Security Affairs.
- Grand Strategy.
- Role of the U.S. Congress in National Security.
- Advanced Cyber Warfare Challenges.
- Advanced Intelligence and Emerging Strategic Challenges.
“All seminars are focused on the application and understanding of policy pertaining to national and international security issues,” Rose said. “They are taught by experienced security professionals, so our students learn in ways not available at other higher education institutions.”
Rose said the program will allow part-time, and seated or online, enrollment. Additionally, it will not require a residency, further enabling working professionals to achieve a doctoral degree at their own pace.
The degree program requires a written doctoral capstone project.
“It is an analytic research product comparable to a major report produced by a national security professional,” Rose said. “Project topics will vary, depending on student interest and faculty approval.
Rose and other DSS colleagues will begin a pilot program in Virginia this fall. It will involve six to 10 students.
“The pilot program will allow DSS to ensure it has all procedures and processes adequately in place for a larger cohort of doctoral students to enter the program for the spring 2021 semester,” Rose said.
Rose said over 100 students in the past year have expressed interest in applying to the doctoral program.
“I look forward to watching them grow,” Rose said.