PUBPOL 873 - Methods of Policy Analysis

Students will gain exposure to quantitative and qualitative methods of inference with the emphasis on the application of these methods for policy analysis. The overall course objective is to make students conversant in quantitative and qualitative methods that might be employed in policy analysis, how they function, and the strengths and limitations of each approach.  Students will apply this methodological understanding to their team-based learning and professional practice courses in the spring.  Students will also be able to recognize bias, omitted variables, and measurement error when receiving analysis for more informed decision-making.

PUBPOL 874 - Leadership in the National Security Policy Environment

This course is designed to invest in the leadership development of each student.  Topics will emphasize individual leadership self-evaluation.  The course will be highly participative and engage students in ways that challenge them to grow.  The course will use case studies, scenarios, and guest speakers to highlight the importance of leadership in the national security apparatus.  This course will also assist students in incorporating consideration of issues of the effects of racism, sexism and issues related to structural inequality into their leadership approaches.

PUBPOL 875 - National Security Ethics

This course complements the Leadership course by establishing a fundamental baseline of ethical understanding, problem solving methodologies, and case studies.  Students will be exposed to a wide array of existing ethical challenges in the national security arena in order to develop and understand approaches to address them.  This course will also include considerations of structural inequality and systemic racism, both nationally and globally, as these topics intersect with questions of national security.


PUBPOL 876 - Budgeting for National Security

The course will familiarize students with national security budgetary concepts and processes in the context of the iterative national security strategy design process, the appropriations pathways for national security institutions, and accompanying production of budgets and resources.  Students will explore the national security policy and political tradeoffs associated with the budget process.  Additionally, students will develop an advanced understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the executive and legislative branches in resourcing the national security effort. 

PUBPOL 877 - National Security Strategy

This course is designed to analyze the framework and non-static concepts of strategy and policy that compose national security in a globalized world.  Students will examine national security issues from both U.S. and international contexts with a focus on the fluctuating world of allies, partners, adversaries, threats, and

PUBPOL 878 - Institutions of National Security

The course introduces students to the wide array of national security institutions in a way that enhances their understanding (roles, missions, organization, capabilities, cultures, and strategic purposes) of how each institution contributes to the security of the nation.  Beginning with the Office of the President and the National Security Council and moving through key Departments and Agencies (State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Community) and shifting to other contributing organizations (NGOs, International Organizations, Treaties and Alliances), students will discover the challenges and opportunities of such a multifaceted construct.  

PUBPOL 879 - Team-Based Learning for National Security Professionals

This course fulfills the first part of the team project requirement.  MNSP students are placed into teams and assigned a national security research area.  Throughout the semester, they receive instruction on team dynamics, federated research, and collaborative analytical methods.  Students will be given a real-world problem, or project, to solve or create through a national security entity.  Students will work closely with the faculty member to have the opportunity to focus on one singular project, allowing them to fully benefit from a structured editing process.


PUBPOL 880 - Threats and Opportunities

As a complement to the strategy course, this seminar pursues a deeper understanding of threats (great-power, cyber, disinformation, proliferation, regional, transnational) in a way that contributes to the students’ work on their capstone project. The course will incorporate how issues such as humanitarian crises, environmental crises and political instability (including human rights abuses) contribute to the threat environment, as well as how issues of international development intersect with national security. The course will establish a base line familiarity with the US intelligence apparatus, approaches to gathering information, analysis of information, and critical thinking.  

PUBPOL 881 - Professional Practice in National Security

This course would entail a significant — semester-length — piece of analysis on a national security topic.  It would entail a long analytical memo (~8-10 pages) to ensure that students are at least capable of writing the sort of paper that serves as a discussion prompt for an interagency working group.  Additionally, it would require a formal team presentation to program faculty and invited scholars/practitioners. The project would include components that are more media friendly: an Op-Ed; a short video; or a podcast where they are the experts and someone else is interviewing them.