National and International Security Policy

The National and International Security Policy area of study provides courses that develop leadership, management and public service skills in the wide-ranging areas of national defense and foreign relations, intelligence and counterterrorism, peacekeeping, and conflict resolution, with an understanding of the interplay between policy, law and process and the ethical challenges national security presents. 

Students in this program are prepared to address contemporary security concerns that affect the economy, environment, food, health, technology, communications, law, and governance. 

In the years since September 11, 2001, fundamental changes were made to the way we conduct border security, transportation systems, communications, intelligence gathering capabilities, and counterterrorism procedures. In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security was created, marking a shift towards increasing interagency and cross-sector collaboration.  Cyber tools and emerging technologies have also transformed the nature and practice of security presenting new and evolving challenges, testing our understanding of security, privacy, law, and transnational boundaries. 

The field of security, like so many other sectors, is constantly in flux and requires government agencies to be nimble and forward thinking with well-honed technical skills, such as data analysis, GIS, and social science skills, such as policy analysis, and knowledge of history and international relations. 

Borders, leadership, actors, policies, and norms evolve at the same time that communications, intelligence gathering, and defense technologies advance at an ever-accelerating rate. New technologies consistently change the face of threats to security, and the tools used to address them — artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, robotics, unmanned aerial systems, virtual/augmented reality, among others. Political as well as environmental factors have also changed the nature of human migration, food, water, economic, and physical security. 

To keep pace with new developments, governments and policymakers must be ready to navigate this rapidly changing landscape by understanding the skills, technologies, and resources needed to implement effective, relevant security policies. 

ISPL: Institute for Security Policy and Law

The Maxwell School and the College of Law support a systematic, interdisciplinary approach to important questions of law and policy related to national and international security. Students in the MPA program can earn a Certificate in Security Studies within the 40-credit MPA program.

[Formerly known as the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT)]


PAIA Courses

  • US National Security & Foreign Policy
  • International Security
  • Responding to Proliferation
  • Central Challenges to National Security Law & Policy
  • Homeland Security: State & Local Preparedness and Response
  • US Intelligence Community: Governance & Practice
  • US Defense Strategy
  • Fundamentals of Post-Conflict Reconstruction
  • Fundamentals of Conflict Studies
  • Civil Wars and State Building

Related Courses

Political Science, Maxwell School

  • Theories of International Relations
  • Perspectives on Terrorism
  • International Security Theory
  • Foreign Policy Seminars
  • International Law & Organization
  • Transnational Crime, Drugs and Terrorism
  • International Peace & Conflict

Syracuse University College of Law

  • National Security Law
  • International Law
  • International Human Rights
  • National Security Research Center
  • Cyber Security Law and Policy
  • Counter Terrorism & the Law

Alumni Careers

Visit the Palmer Center for Career Development's Career Field Guides for more information about Careers in National and International Security Policy, Intelligence and related fields.   

Senior Intelligence Officer, Defense Intelligence Agency
Analyst, US Department of Defense
Special Assistant to the Air Force, Chief of Staff
Deputy Political Officer, US Department of State, deployed to Helmand Province of Afghanistan
Analyst, National Security Agency
Senior Policy and Communications Advisor, Office of Commander, NORAD
Policy Analyst, US Department of Homeland Security
Foreign Service Officer, US Department of State
Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Assistant US Attorney, US Department of Justice
Research Assistant, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism
Special Agent, Naval Service Warfare Center, Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State
Director, Homeland Security & Justice. US Government and Accountability Office
Major, US Army, Command and General Staff College
Foreign Affairs Specialist, National Nuclear Security Administration, US Department of Energy
Program Coordinator, Education for Peace in Iraq
Intelligence Officer, Office of Cyber Threat Analysis, Defense Intelligence Agency
National Security Analyst, Computer Science Corporation
Research Assistant, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University

International Government 

Diplomat, Embassy of Greece in Nigeria, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece
Diplomat. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Policy Analyst, Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Deputy Director, Estonian Ministry of Defense
Research Analyst, Public Safety and Border Security, Canadian Embassy
Strategy Analyst, Department of Security & Foreign Relations, Royal Institute of Strategic Studies, Morocco
Deputy Director, Public Security Department, Hainan Provincial Government