Doctor of Strategic Security


The Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Security (H-PSSS) is designed to contribute to the establishment of higher education standards in the areas of strategic security. Designed for board of director level leaders and managers or their military equivalent, the ultimate purpose of the Doctor of Strategic Security (DSS) is to enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals. Graduates will be able to coordinate effectively a wide range of strategic security resources and personnel, across multiple agencies if necessary, to produce timely, objective, and accurate intelligence and other security-related products to help prepare those choosing to protect others, organizations, and the nations of the world. It is evident that the need for such training and education grows ever more rapidly during these tumultuous times, especially with numerous shifts in geopolitics.

Graduation Requirements – DSS

  • A minimum of 90 quarter units (20 courses) in doctoral level university courses.
  • Completion of all work products and assignments, including a written dissertation and oral defense.
  • Successful completion of formal evaluations by a doctoral committee.
  • Passing score on a comprehensive examination to be completed prior to beginning the dissertation
  • A minimum CGPA 3.0/4.0 scale completed from the university.
  • Payment of all financial obligations to the school.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the doctorate program will be able to:

  • DSS-PLO1: Produce quantitative and qualitative research at the theoretical, strategic, operational, and tactical levels.
  • DSS PLO2: Develop a conceptual framework that incorporates the key variables of the security environment in order to prevent and forestall emerging threats.
  • DSS PLO3: Assess information, approaches, criticality, viability, systems, resources, and cultures necessary for engaging issues in strategic security.
  • DSS PLO4: Appraise the character, communications, organizations, influences, and technologies associated with strategic management leadership relevant to promoting effective security outcomes.
  • DSS PLO5: Effectively communicate key concepts and ideas in verbal, non-verbal, and written forms to influence diverse audiences and decision-makers in strategic security.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to this program must have a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree and the equivalent of 45 quarter credits (30 graduate-level semester hours) in Strategic Security or a related field from an appropriately accredited university.

The enrollment committee evaluates an applicant for the doctoral program on multiple criteria upon the receipt of the following:

  • Completed application.
  • Background check and/or letter of good standing.  Letter of good standing accepted from active military or law enforcement only.
  • Documentation of five years’ experience in a security-related field.
  • Official transcripts documenting completion of a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree and 45 quarter credits (30 graduate-level semester hours) in strategic security or related field.
  • Participation in a verbal interview with the associate dean of the DSS program (or a designee).
  • Completion of a timed writing assessment.

Additional materials may be requested.


Course Listing

DSS700     Advanced Strategic Security Analysis and Critique
DSS710     Advanced Counterterrorism Research Methods
DSS720     Strategic Security Information Literacy
DSS730     Applied Research Methodology
DSS740     Topics in the History of Strategic Security
DSS750     Briefings, De-briefings, and Presentations
DSS760     Advanced Leadership and Management
DSS770     Case Studies in Intelligence Regulation and Reform
DSS780     The Strategic Intelligence Process and Policy
DSS790     The Strategic Security Community
DSS800     Protection and Operations Management
DSS810     Advanced Business Communications
DSS820     Advanced Research in Terrorism/Counterterrorism
DSS830     Intelligence Practicum
DSS840     Protection Practicum

Doctoral practicum courses DSS830 Intelligence Practicum and DSS840 Protection Practicum may be substituted for upcoming internship work or upcoming student-employee projects related to strategic security.

DSS851     Directed Dissertation Research I
DSS852     Directed Dissertation Research II
DSS853     Directed Dissertation Research III
DSS854     Directed Dissertation Research IV
DSS855     Directed Dissertation Research V

Specialty Courses

Course availability is subject to minimum class size requirements.