International Security

The International Security (IS) field offers courses related to the onset, conduct and termination of large-scale political conflict, violence and war, as well as civil-military relations, crisis management, decision-making, intelligence, non-violent resistance, strategy and statecraft. The field also provides courses devoted to emergent security threats, including cybersecurity, climate change, terrorism, and demographic shifts as well as emerging tools for addressing insecurity such as security sector reform. Course offerings reflect theoretical and practical considerations and historical and contemporary perspectives. Courses might be based in case studies of countries or regions, examine the play of politics within states, or span the international and global system of states. In addition to studying critical events around violence, war, and peace, students will engage crucially important concepts and phenomena including power, legitimacy, authority, sovereignty, institutions, cooperation, democratization, ethnicity, nationalism and  self-determination, and religion. The field also offers courses in international relations theory and political systems that seek to describe, explain, and compare the different units and actors that comprise the world in the 21st century.  

In essence, students in the IS field are presented with a broad understanding of the historical and contemporary dynamics of the international security environment and acquire requisite knowledge of the key theories, concepts, and leading thinkers in this field. Our curriculum is geared towards developing graduates who can effectively analyze, discuss, and act on key challenges in the contemporary international security environment.  

The many achievements of former students and military fellows attest to the efficacy of the International Security field at Fletcher. Our students have gone on to successfully work in a variety of professional career fields, including in the U.S. government, foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, international and national policy institutes, global consulting, international and national media, and academia.

Field Advisor(s)

Richard Shultz

Richard Shultz

Research Centers 

Students in the field also have access to and are supported by five security related programs and centers listed below. Each hosts an array of fellows, speakers, workshops, and events throughout the academic year and provides financial and logistical support to student-oriented activities, including student-led conferences and publications.  

Center for Strategic Studies

Cyber Security and Policy Program

The Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World

International Security Studies Program 

Maritime Studies Program  

Russia and Eurasia Program  

Field Requirements 

MALD and MIB: 4 courses in field of study (one core, one field elective, and two additional electives) 

MGA: 6 courses in field of study (two core, one skills course, and three additional electives) 

Total Credits Required   

MALD and MIB: 12.00 credits 

MGA: 18.00 credits

  • MALD and MIB 

    DHP P240 The Role of Force in International Politics 


    DHP P233 International Security 

    DHP P240 The Role of Force in International Politics

  • MALD and MIB 

    DHP P205 National Security Decision Making: Theory & Practice 

    DHP P233 International Security  

    DHP P241 Policy and Strategy in the Origins, Conduct, and Termination of War  


    DHP D220 Processes of International Negotiation 

    DHP P203 Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions 

    DHP P207 GIS for International Applications 

    EIB B291 Leadership: Building Teams, Organizations, and Shaping Your Path 

    ILO L215 Ethics in Practice of Foreign Affairs

  • DHP D282 Contemporary Issues in U.S.-Russian Relations DHP H204 Classics of International Relations 

    DHP H205 The Historian’s Art and Current Affairs 

    DHP P200 International Relations: Theory and Practice 

    DHP P202M Security Sector Reform: Conceptual and Contextual Debates in Peacebuilding 

    DHP P205 National Security Decision Making: Theory & Practice  

    DHP P206M Maritime Security 

    DHP P209M Demography and National Security  

    DHP P233 International Security 

    DHP P241 Policy and Strategy in the Origins, Conduct, and Termination of War  

    DHP P243 Internal Conflicts and War  

    DHP P244 Modern Terrorism and Counterterrorism  

    DHP P246M Civil Resistance: Global Implications of Nonviolent Struggles for Rights and Accountability 

    DHP P248 Strategy and Grand Strategy: Theory, Art and Practice 

    DHP P249 International Cyber Conflict 

    DHP P263 Civil Wars: Theory and Policy 

    DHP P265 21st Century Intelligence and National Security Seminar 

    DHP P277 Introduction to Nuclear Security 

    DHP P291 Power in World Politics 

    EIB B223 Informal and Underground Finance 

    ILO L216 International Humanitarian Law  

    ILO L224 Peace Operations  

    ILO L262 Foreign Relations and National Security Law

  • A practicum is required for MGA students.

Faculty with expertise in the field:

Richard Shultz

Richard Shultz

Daniel Drezner

Daniel Drezner

Abigail Linnington

Abigail Linnington

Robert Pfaltzgraff

Robert L. Pfaltzgraff