Learn From a Leading Provider of Education for Global Security and Intelligence Professionals

Our applied doctoral programs online in global security and strategic intelligence are the first programs of their kind taught online by an accredited university and backed by decades of experience by our highly-credentialed faculty working in the field. 


Our Programs

Brought to you by the APU School of Security & Global Studies, our applied doctoral programs online are terminal degrees designed to equip you with professional skills and research-based acumen for performing at an executive level in your field. You’ll acquire highly specialized knowledge within your research area and broad interdisciplinary knowledge throughout the program.

Research in an applied doctoral programs online focuses on real-world scenarios and solving problems with actionable results. Learnings can be put to immediate use on the job and will help you to:

  • Synthesize research
  • Craft policy
  • Evaluate multi-faceted challenges
  • Lead organizational change

Applied doctorate degrees, also called professional doctorates, are common in disciplines such as law (JD), medicine (MD), and education (EdD). The key difference between this degree and a PhD is the type of research conducted.

Doctor of Global Security (DGS)

Explores the complex global security environment, with a focus on the role actors play in the formulation and implementation of international, bilateral, corporate, and state policies. Designed for those working in government, corporate leadership and security, NGOs, and international institutions, the program also addresses the effect of global security issues on national security, international negotiations, and foreign policy.

View program details

Doctor of Strategic Intelligence (DSI)

Addresses intellectual, cultural, and organizational challenges in the emerging field of intelligence studies. You’ll study the activities and relationships between actors in the global community, along with domestic intelligence topics and issues of strategic concern to the U.S. The curriculum integrates practice, research, and multidisciplinary study to enhance your understanding of the complex problems you face in your professional practice today.

View program details

View doctoral staff and faculty


Admission to APU doctoral programs is selective. You are expected to have earned your master’s degree (minimum 3.0 GPA) and have work experience in a discipline related to the doctoral program for which you are applying.

Detailed admission requirements are shown on the Doctor of Global Security or the Doctor of Strategic Intelligence program pages.

Important Dates

Our doctoral programs are offered two times a year in January and September.

January Cohort Start

Application Deadline: August 1

September Cohort Start

Application Deadline: April 1

All required admissions documents are due before the review can begin. When you submit your application, it will be reviewed for the next available cohort. We recommend you apply at least 3 months in advance of your preferred cohort start month.

More Information

Our doctoral programs are offered in cohorts of 30 students or less. You will take all courses together with your fellow students until year two when you choose your electives. You will also attend most residencies as a cohort. Research is conducted individually, but there will be opportunities for peer feedback and group discussion of research methods.

Our doctoral programs are designed for working adults and taught predominantly online. You may continue working in your field during your studies, but the curriculum workload is considered full time. Plan to spend at least 15-20 hours per week on your studies.

Completion of the program requires 8 terms plus your dissertation. Each 16-week term includes:

  • 8-week course (3 credits)
  • 8-week course (3 credits)
  • 16-week course (1 credit)

In addition, you will need to be excused from your professional work responsibilities while attending the required annual residencies.

Our doctoral programs are backed by decades of experience by our highly-credentialed faculty working in the field. Read our doctoral leadership bios to learn about the experience we bring.

To help keep you on the path toward completion, APU offers eligible doctoral students* the chance to apply for the Pathways to Completion Scholarship. Learn more to see how our doctoral program can enhance your knowledge.

*Must be an active doctoral student who has completed at least one full term, in good academic standing, and has not received another doctoral scholarship from APUS.

Annual Residency Requirements

APU doctoral programs are taught online with the exception of yearly residency requirements.

Year 1 and Year 3 Residencies

Students will attend these 3-day residencies with their cohort in virtual sessions, the first weekend of Term 1. The first residency begins the programs. It establishes program expectations and helps you build rapport with your fellow students, as well as doctoral staff and faculty. In year 3, the residency focuses on dissertation preparation.

Year 2 Residency

For both Global Security and Strategic Intelligence: students will present at an academic conference of their choice, and are responsible for all costs associated with this programmatic requirement.

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