The National Security Studies (NSS) teaching methodology blends theory and practice in a fresh and innovative curriculum with substantive content that meets the highest standards.


NSMC Guest Speaker

NSS participants have many opportunities to hear the views of, and interact with, Maxwell faculty members and distinguished guest speakers, all of whom have extensive experience in government, private industry, journalism, or other professions related to national security.

Case Studies and Small Group Decision-Making

Given the complexities of the problems and processes that exist in the world of national security, both inside the government and beyond its formal boundaries, the ability to lead small, multidisciplinary strategy and decision-making teams is critical. Small group case-study discussions and assignments create opportunities to consider and practice sophisticated analytical, management, and leadership skills.


Simulations are designed to challenge NSS course participants to think beyond the convention of their current work environment, forcing them to examine the decision-making process in deliberate planning and crisis management. NSMC Participants in simulation exercise Many simulations are designed to integrate all of the various analytical and managerial techniques discussed in the course and focus on the inter-organizational and institutional dynamics that shape strategic plans and long-range resource considerations.

Other simulations examine complexities of national-security decision-making in crisis situations. Participants are required to assess a rapidly evolving situation that threatens U.S. national interests, challenges the validity of current U.S. foreign policy, stimulates a response—diplomatic or military—and demonstrates the interplay of political, institutional, organizational, and interpersonal dynamics that influence policy and strategy.