The mission of the Defense Analysis Department is simple: to foster critical thinking skills and specialized knowledge needed for waging and prevailing in today’s complex conflicts — and those to come.

  • Put Irregular Warfare on the map for DoD; Joint Staff recognized DA as “center of gravity” in IW education
  • Interpreted the strategic implications of the information revolution for defense strategy and military operations
  • Brought networks and network analysis/science to the forefront of DoD education; leading academic center on dark networks
  • Create a hub for thinking and educating about strategic design

Unique Qualities

  • Combat-proven student body from all services
  • Significant international presence – over 25% of program
  • Purposefully-developed, cross-disciplinary faculty
  • Emphasis on student research through thesis or capstone project
  • Respected, valued research lab and centers
  • Rapid response to sponsor needs
  • Continuous engagement with services and the Academy
  • Core-and-track system gives breadth and depth to our curricula
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DA Department Catalog

Applied Design for Innovation (Curriculum 697)

The Applied Design for Innovation curriculum provides students with experiential learning around the challenges of innovation. Students will use a blend of design-thinking and analytic social science methods to engage in the problem-framing, ideation, creative collaboration, and stakeholder engagement necessary for successful innovation. This curriculum is designed to meet the changing needs of Naval Special Warfare in the context of rapidly changing technology and Great Power Competition.

Information Strategy & Political Warfare (Curriculum 698)

The Information Strategy & Political Warfare curriculum focuses on the strategic and operational dimensions of information—relative to the use of force—as an instrument of statecraft. Graduates will be able to develop information strategies to support military action by taking advantage of information technology, exploiting the growing worldwide dependence on automated information systems, and capitalizing on the near real time global dissemination of information to affect an adversary's decision cycles—all with the goal of achieving information superiority. This capability is dependent upon students acquiring a thorough understanding of the enduring nature of war.

Special Operations/Irregular Warfare (Curriculum 699)

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.


DA Faculty

Seminal Early Scholarship

Dorothy Denning, Computer Scientist

John Arquilla, International Relations

Department Cyber/Intel Elements

Both Technical and Non-technical

Home to CIA’s National Intelligence Chair

Congratulations to Professor Strawser!

2018 Winner of the Menneken Award: Highly Meritorious Research by a Junior Naval Postgraduate School Faculty Member

Dr. Strawser’s research is both prolific in output and outstanding. In his career so far, he has published seven different academic books, with two more academic books forthcoming that are presently under contract with a top university press. Those books have been published along with 17 separate peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings, not to mention several opinion pieces in major media outlets, such as the New York Times and the UK Guardian. He also guest edited a special issue of a top journal in his field, on the topic of the ethics of cyberwarfare. Dr. Strawser's work has made him a world expert in the debate over the ethical use of remotely controlled weapons systems (so called “drones") and their future use by increasingly autonomous machines.


Centers and Labs

Information Operations Center

Defense Analysis hosts DoD’s IO Center for Research.

  • Sponsored by Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
  • Tracks of Study Include Cyber and Intelligence
  • TS/SCI – Intel Support to Field Operations
  • Research Contributions:  Cyber Analogies (CYBERCOM); Ethics of Cyberwar (National Science Foundation); Special Journal Issue on Intelligence and Terrorism (ASD/SOLIC)


DoD’s Premier Academic Network Analysis Lab.

  • Fuses Relational, Geospatial, and Temporal Data to Illuminate Dark Networks
  • Leading Research Center on Social Media Exploitation, e.g., ISIS Study (SOCOM/Joint Staff/SOCCENT)


Defense Analysis is helping to build the Global Network.

  • 18-Month Programs for US Joint and International Communities--Officer, Enlisted, and Govt Civilians
  • Provides unique IW and IO-focused Education
  • Teach at both Classified and Unclassified Levels
  • Leader in Strategic Gaming

Fast Facts


MS Degrees offered

2  |  1

Centers  |  Labs




International Students


Contact the DA Department

Department of Defense Analysis
(Code DA)
589 Dyer Rd , Room 214
Naval Postgraduate School
Monterey , CA

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