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NSEC504 - International Security

Course Details

Course Code: NSEC504 Course ID: 3476 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

During this course, the student analyzes the domestic and international contexts that shape the behavior of state and non-state actors, and which affect the formulation of national security policies. The course provides an assessment of major social, cultural, political, military, economic, technological, and historical issues that influence the international context; the roles and influence of international organizations and non-state actors; and the key transitional challenges to national security such as weapons proliferation and terrorism. The student will examine the issues and national security interests of the U.S. in regions of the world, how the U.S. has carried out its foreign policy in those regions to protect its national security, and the security interests of the nations in those regions. This course will prepare the student to conduct strategic assessments of selected organizations, regions, states, and other actors on the international stage.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/20 - 01/01/21 01/04/21 - 02/28/21 Winter 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

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

CO-1: Assess the economic, political, social military, technological and other factors contributing to contemporary threats to international security

CO-2: Appraise international security structures

CO-3: Examine international security community activities in light of contemporary threats and existing security structures

CO-4: Analyze future international security challenges.

CO-5: Develop future scenarios and perspectives reflecting current obstacles and limitations to international security.

Discussion Forums – 20 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Research Proposal – 20 percent

The purpose of this assignment is to make a plan for your research. It will take a few steps for you to get to a complete proposal. It must include: research question/introduction, hypothesis, methodology, literature review, conclusion, and proposed source of data.

Literature Review – 30 percent

Most research projects include a literature review to determine what knowledge exists on the subject under study and (if necessary) to describe the theoretical framework that will be used in the study. The literature review sets the context for the entire research project by explaining what others have found in researching the same or similar specific research questions.

Final Research Paper – 30 percent

The final research paper should build on your proposal and lit review (with improvements in editing and content as needed). The following is a good guideline to use, along with suggested page lengths for each section. Note that the Analysis section is the most lengthy and significant part of the paper.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Week 1 Forum 2.50 %
Week 2 Forum 2.50 %
Week 3 Forum 2.50 %
Week 4 Forum 2.50 %
Week 5 Forum 2.50 %
Week 6 Forum 2.50 %
Week 7 Forum 2.50 %
Week 8 Forum 2.50 %
Research Proposal 20.00 %
Research Proposal 20.00 %
Literature Review 30.00 %
Literature Review 30.00 %
Final Research Paper 30.00 %
Final Research Paper 30.00 %

Required Readings

  • External websites and other assigned readings are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons 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.