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Special Operations/Irregular Warfare (699)

The Department of Defense Analysis is home to two very unique and highly respected  graduate programs:  1) the USSOCOM-sponsored Special Operations and Irregular Warfare (SO/IW) program, and 2) the relatively new USDP-sponsored Joint Information Operations curriculum. Both programs feature an interdisciplinary faculty representing a wide range of academic and operational specialties. For representative SO/IW course matrices, click here.

The Special Operations and Irregular Warfare curriculum provides a focused curriculum of instruction in irregular warfare.  Courses address counterinsurgency, terrorism and counterterrorism, unconventional warfare, information operations, and other "high leverage" operations in U.S. defense and foreign policy. The core program also provides a strong background in strategic analysis, decision modeling, organization theory, and formal analytical methods.

Student programs of instruction are built around a common set of core courses and a selected specialty track. The individual student, depending on his or her interests and academic background, chooses the specialty track. In selected cases, students are able to develop a tailored area of specialization to satisfy a particular interest or requirement. Graduates are awarded a Master of Science in Defense Analysis, with their specialty track so specified.

The Special Operations and Irregular Warfare curriculum is the only education program in DoD in which 100 percent of the instruction is dedicated directly or indirectly to the study of irregular warfare.

While the Special Operations and Irregular Warfare curriculum is sponsored by US Special Operations Command, the curriculum actively solicits students from across the services, regardless of branch, MOS, or AFSC.  In addition, international students are considered an important asset of the program. Students are encouraged to apply for an admission beginning with either the Winter or Summer Quarter, thereby permitting them to take maximum advantage of the program’s sequenced course of instruction. The program extends for 18 months and requires a completed master’s thesis prior to graduation.

The Special Operations/Irregular Warfare curriculum is open to officers, select NCOs, and civilian employees of the U.S. Government and other countries. U.S. officers and NCOs must be eligible for a TOP SECRET clearance with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information based on a Special Background Investigation completed within the last five years. A baccalaureate degree earned with above average academic performance and a minimum academic profile code (APC) of 265 are also required.

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