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Curriculum

The program consists of a core of 7 courses (21 credits). Pedagogically, the program core focuses on building the critical analytical skills graduates need to succeed professionally and academically in the field of national security affairs. The ability to critically analyze intelligence information and global security issues, interpret historical and contemporary issues informing the field, and perform textual analyses, defines the program core's most important learning outcomes. The program is offered in entirely online format and in hybrid format. Students selecting the hybrid format would take a combination of courses at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus and online. A minimum of one campus-based course is offered each semester.

Following completion of the program core, students must complete 15 credits of coursework from the list of available electives. The majority of the elective offerings were developed specifically for the national security and international relations program, with a small number drawn from closely related fields. The elective list contains both courses that emphasize domestic security and courses that have a broader international focus, resulting in sufficient breadth of subject matter to allow students to tailor their choices around particular academic or professional interests.

Students interested in Cyber Security can choose to take a specific concentration in this area. Students who choose this option must complete 9 credits from the Cyber Security concentration and 6 credits from the elective list. Before choosing this option students must secure permission from the Department of History and Political Science. After a consultation, it will be determined whether the student can enter the cyber security concentration or if additional foundation courses will be required in order to enter and successfully complete the concentration.

NSAM 5001 - Current and Historical Issues (3 credits)

This course is an introductory seminar dealing with current and historical issues in American national security affairs. In the age of globalization and international terrorism it is imperative that we understand the history, topics, and concepts of national security affairs. The pursuit of security involves a wide range of both domestic and international activities that fall under the umbrellas of political, economic, and military relations and procedures. This course examines the history of American security, the workings of the American national security institutions and organizations, cooperative security systems like NATO and the United Nations, international institutions, political violence, terrorism, war, and both domestic and international law on security. On all these topics, this course will emphasize both theoretical and practical issues that will further the student's knowledge of American national security affairs.

NSAM 5003 - National Intelligence Collection (3 credits)

This course examines the work of current and future managers in the federal intelligence and homeland security arenas. Students will be introduced to the various ways in which the social and behavioral sciences inform approaches to intelligence collection and analysis and how these scientific approaches can facilitate the goals of countering terrorism and hostile intelligence service actions. Specifically, the emerging field of-Futuristics will be explored in this context so that managers can forecast, manage and create preferable future outcomes for their agencies and the nation.

NSAM 5004 - Border Protection (3 credits)

This course is an in-depth analysis of the importance and the difficulties in security measures and tactics used to protect a sovereign nation's borders. Border protection is an essential part of National Security. The threats to domestic populations include drug-smuggling, terrorism, human and arms trafficking, and illegal immigration. Theoretical and applied case studies will facilitate student engagement. The course will serve as an introduction to the theories and applied practices of successful border protection.

NSAM 5005 - Research and Evaluation in National Security Affairs (3 credits)

This course provides an in-depth introduction to the fundamental logic and principles of research design, with additional focus areas in critical thinking and analysis. Students will gain familiarity with key concepts in the philosophy of science and current debates over appropriate methods of data collection and analysis of the social sciences. Students will learn the differences between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research; from here the student will be introduced to the foundations of these approaches and learn what strategies, methods, and techniques are in use. Students will then be expected to formulate a research question, develop a set of hypotheses, develop a strategy for data collection, develop a literature review, and finally to formulate ways to operationalize their study.

NSAM 5010 - US Foreign Policy and National Security (3 credits)

This course examines the history of United States foreign policy from World War II to the present, with an emphasis on the emergence of national security as the dominant feature of policymaking in this period. In this class, we will explore the expanding global reach of U.S. interests since 1945, paying considerable attention to the role of the Cold War and the War on Terror in the creation of and continued expansion of a national security apparatus within the United States government. In readings and course discussions students will be exposed to key concepts such as the national interest and identity, isolationism and internationalism, and realist and idealist approaches to foreign policy. Students will also be exposed to the major schools of thought on US foreign policy, and develop a greater contextual understanding of contemporary policies and issues in national security.

NSAM 5014 - Ethical Issues in National Security (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to moral reasoning through a philosophical examination of major ethical problems in the context of national security, such as those encountered by security professionals; intelligence gathering; military engagements; responses to terrorism, among others. The relationship between security interests and traditional democratic values such as, privacy, truth and honesty will also be explored. Student will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of normative ethical (philosophical) theory. 

NSAM 5016 - Civil Liberties and National Security (3 credits)

This course focuses on understanding the interconnection between Civil Liberties and National Security. Both elements are important – the first being the mechanism by which the Republic as an entity protects itself and the second by which many of the principles of the Republic are protected. How these two elements are balanced and shaped by the needs of the day will be examined by focusing on the historical development of this interaction, as well as the modern intersection by looking at readings in history, law and politics.

NSAM 5002 - Terrorists and Terrorism (3 credits)

This course analyzes terrorism from a number of perspectives including law enforcement (FBI), defense (DOD), and diplomatic (DOS) orientations in order to understand mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery measures with regards to counterterrorism and antiterrorism. Individual (lone wolf) and group (Islamist) terrorist mindsets will be examined, as well as international and domestic domains.

NSAM 5015 - International Relations: Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course is a survey of the dominant theories of international relations including (but not limited to) realism, liberalism, their neo-variants, as well as critical theories. The course will examine the “great debates” within international relations and apply these theories to historical case studies and current issues in U.S. national security.

NSAM 5020 - International Law and Institutions (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the sources of international law, treaty and custom, and explains how the International Court of Justice at The Hague as well as American courts work with international rules in deciding cases. It considers the operation of the United Nations in creating international norms and in handling international disputes. This course covers as well bases of international criminal jurisdiction, state recognition, sovereign immunity as well as state responsibility. After considering the critical and fundamental concepts in the field, the course will explore a few interesting transnational problems relating to security issues, namely controlling piracy, preventing human smuggling, and stopping terrorism.

NSAM 5030 - American Government and Domestic Security (3 credits)

This course is examination of the domestic national security state. It will explore the ways that concerns over domestic security have shaped the actions of American government and conversely, the ways that the structures of American Government have shaped our responses to domestic security concerns.

NSAM 5040 - Cyber Conflict and Statecraft (3 credits)

This seminar introduces the concept of international conflict in cyber space and the related statecraft involved in addressing American national security affairs while sustaining international relationships. This course examines the history of American cybersecurity, vulnerabilities to past attacks, and attempts to interdict and mitigate damage inflicted by future attacks on the national cyber system. Additionally, through examination of multiple international cyber conflicts a view of this component of the changing nature of modern warfare helps to illuminate the varied issues facing federal, state, and critical infrastructure operators across the country. On all these topics, this course emphasizes both theoretical and practical issues that will further the student's knowledge of America's cyber vulnerability and the potential employment of cyber weapons in future conflicts.

DEM 5090 - Weapons of Mass Threat and Communicable Diseases (3 credits)

This course will provide students with an understanding of pandemic influenza and other communicable diseases. Students will also be introduced to potential chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive weapons and will learn the expectations of preparations and response to a pandemic or CBRNE event.

MHS 5314 - Bioterrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction (3 credits)

NSAM 5502 - Directed Readings in National Security Affairs (3 credits)

This course examines specific aspects of national security affairs. It is designed so it may be taken as an independent study or with a small group of students so topics of individual research interest in this area may be pursued. Under the instructor¿s guidance, the directed readings, the final project, and any other assignments will be set forth. The course will provide an opportunity for the enhancement of subject matter knowledge and expertise.

NSAM 5650 - Economic Statecraft in National Security Affairs (3 credits)

This course examines the economic strategies employed by states to press other states to follow established agendas. Achieving National Security Policy objectives frequently involves the integrative use of sanctions, embargoes, boycotts, dumping, freezing of assets, strategic materials policies, tarrifs, as well as opening of markets, foreign investments, partnerships, and other developmental activites. Economic Statecraft is seen as a peaceful strategy to force countries to negotiate and then build their economy for strategic alignment.

NSAM 6130 - Practicum I: Supervised Field Experience (3 credits)

This course is a field research project that incorporates classroom knowledge and real world settings. Students will demonstrate their ability to apply theory to practice and analyze situations utilizing knowledge from previous course work.

NSAM 6690 - Special Topics in National Security Affairs and International Relations (3 credits)

Special Topics in National Security Affairs and International Relations is reserved for advanced studies in the field. Specific focus and topics are to be approved by the chair of the Department of History and Political Science and advertised to students in advance of each offering. If the content changes, this course may be repeated with the prior permission of the department chair.

NSAM 6700 - Directed Thesis in National Security Affairs and International Relations (6 credits)

The directed thesis serves as a capstone on the student’s experience in the National Security Affairs and International Relations (M.S.) program. As such preparation for this course began on day one of the student’s course of study of in the program. The theories, research methods and analytical skills, and substantive knowledge acquired by the student through the master’s curriculum provide the foundation upon which this thesis project is built. Students must complete all other coursework in the program before undertaking the directed thesis. Working under the direction of a designated faculty member in the program students will be responsible for developing and planning an innovative project, crafting a viable thesis, engaging in research using appropriate primary and secondary resource material, and executing a polished work of analysis that contributes to knowledge in the field. In addition to submitting a written thesis, students are required to offer an oral defense of their project.

MMIS 0683 - Fundamentals of Security Technologies (3 credits)

An overview of the technical aspects of information security. Issues discussed include authentication, confidentiality, access control, trust and non-repudiation. Investigation of fundamental assurance technologies that can be applied to interface specifications, architectures, and implementations of information security mechanisms. The selection of appropriate security applications, security lifecycles, and interoperability issues will also be covered.

MMIS 0684 - Information Security Management (3 credits)

Provides an understanding to implement effectively the information security vision and strategy set forth by the executive management. The emphasis will be on the management of an information security program. Focus is on the implementation of information security policy, information security planning, development of information security processes, and establishment of information security measures. Concepts and techniques from the management and organizational behavior disciplines will be integrated in order to identify and propose solutions to the problems of information security administration.

MMIS 0685 - Information Security Governance (3 credits)

Challenges and opportunities of effectively governing an organization's information security requirements and resources. Information security governance lays out the vision for the information security program. Discussions include what constitutes good information security governance, and development of an effective information security strategy and policy. Also focuses on how to improve information security accountability, regulatory compliance, and maturity.
Prerequisite: MMIS 0684.

MMIS 0686 - Information Systems Auditing (3 credits)

Fundamental concepts related to an information systems audit. Principles and practices related to secure operation of existing information technology. Information security accountability, development of internal control objectives and framework, and identification of appropriate audit procedures for a secure information system. Prerequisites: MMIS 0683, 0684.

MMIS 0687 - Information Security Project (3 credits)

This project course integrates all of the knowledge accumulated through the previous courses. The class focuses on best practices demonstrated through case studies and systems assessment. Students may enroll in this class only after completing all of the information security concentration courses.
Prerequisites: MMIS 0683, 0684, 0685, and 0686.

For the most up to date information on the Cyber Security concentration, please be sure to check the College of Engineering and Computing or contact their department.

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