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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: NSEC501 Course ID: 3475 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AS YOUR SECOND CLASS in National Security Studies. The course will cover the roles, missions, organization, capabilities, unique cultures and strategic purposes of the President, the Departments of State and Defense, Congress, National Security Council, Armed Forces, intelligence community, and NGOs, as well as how these actors interact to formulate national security strategy. Students will examine some of the successes and failures of the interagency process and will gain an appreciation of the capabilities, limitations and organizational cultures of the players in the national security community, as well as providing an overview of legal and ethical issues that impact on the development of national security policy.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Analyze the recent history and evolution of the U.S. national security community institutions.

CO-2: Examine the structure, function, capabilities and contributions of individual U.S. security community members.

CO-3: Assess the impact of individual actors’ roles and contributions to national security policy.

CO-4: Appraise the impact of interagency relationships on U.S. national security policy decision making

CO-5: Differentiate among conflicting and competing interests and their impact on national security policy development.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussions – 15 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive (complete with proper citations) initial post by Thursday at 11:59 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates (in at least two separate discussion threads) by Sunday 11:59 pm ET (complete with proper citations.) You must also post at least two conversational comments per week. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Assignment 1 - Policy Backgrounder - 25 percent

Assignment 2 - Policy Recommendations - 25 percent

Assignment 3 - Comprehensive Policy Memo - 35 percent

Required Readings

Weekly readings are found in the Content area of the classroom.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.