The department of National Security Affairs (NSA) specializes in international relations, regional studies, military history, and security policy. NSA brings together an outstanding faculty of historians, political scientists and, economists, with students from all the U.S. armed forces, from various defense agencies, and international officers and civilians from more than 60 countries around the world.
NSA's mission is to use education to create more proficient and professional officers. Because NSA professors undertake research projects sponsored by various U.S. government agencies, or travel abroad on Mobile Education Teams to assist countries dealing with security challenges, they bring first-hand experience, unique insights, and understanding of a country or region to the classroom.
This, combined with the knowledge that many students have gained in their deployments or bring from their host countries, creates a dynamic learning environment that combines academic perspectives with "real world" experience. This enhances the students' understanding of the political/military dynamics of the country or region, and allows students to better appreciate the complexity and implications of the security issues they will confront in future assignments. Most NSA students write a thesis, which allows them to study a particular issue in depth.
NSA offers fully accredited programs leading to the Master of Arts and Ph.D. programs in Security Studies. Master of Arts degrees always entail concentration in a particular regional or topical specialty, which is noted as part of the degree.
NSA is one of the leading centers for Regional Security Studies in the world. Its curricula meet the high standards set by the U.S. armed forces for Foreign Area Officer education. Students can specialize in the following four areas:
- Curriculum 681 - Middle East, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa
- Curriculum 682 - Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific
- Curriculum 683 - Western Hemisphere
- Curriculum 684 - Europe and Eurasia
In addition to its regional curricula, NSA offers a number of degree programs focusing on topics or problems with broad application to international security generally:
- Curriculum 685 - Civil-Military Relations
- Curriculum 686 - Stabilization and Reconstruction
- Curriculum 688 - Strategic Studies
- Curriculum 691 - Homeland Security and Defense
- Curriculum 693 - Combating Terrorism - Policy and Strategy
- Curriculum 694 - Doctor of Philosophy in Security Studies
NSA also offers Academic Certificate Programs in Regional Security Studies which are designed to support Foreign Area Officers who will benefit from a renewed period of serious engagement with current academic and policy work on their region of specialization and supports the following four areas:
- Curriculum 246 - Regional Security Studies (Middle East, South Asia, & Sub-Saharan Africa)
- Curriculum 247 - Regional Security Studies (East & Southeast Asia)
- Curriculum 248 - Regional Security Studies (Western Hemisphere)
- Curriculum 249 - Regional Security Studies (Europe & Eurasia)
The Defense Language Institute offers language support and instructional materials to NSA students in a variety of languages and on a needs basis.