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Masters in International Security Studies

Overview: 
Master of Arts in International Security Studies 
 
The Master of Arts in International Security Studies is a fully online program taught by University of Arizona faculty. Each course is specifically designed for distance learning and is not available on campus. The program is aimed at military and civilian personnel seeking careers in intelligence, foreign policy analysis, and Foreign Service. It is also aimed at people who work with government, government contractors and nongovernmental organizations with interests in international affairs. 
 
This program is designed to expose future decision makers and analysts to the wide range of security challenges faced by the United States and the global community. As contemporary security goes beyond military capacity and force, the program seeks to address challenges related to demographic, environmental, developmental, and social trends. Courses cover a wide variety of topics, including armed conflict, terrorism, economics, foreign policy, and the environment, and also cover a number of regions around the globe, including Europe, the Middle East, Eurasia, the United States and East Asia.
 
Expected Learning Outcomes: 
The learning objectives of the ISS program are to enable students to:
 
•  Identify the central themes of modern security studies, especially as related to the student’s concentration and interests. This may include:
o Traditional security threats, such as war and violence.
o Non-traditional security threats, such as the environment, resource management, and human security.
o Foreign policy, including foreign policy creation, the influence of important foreign policy actors, and areas of foreign policy (such as democracy promotion).
o The influence of globalization.
•  Demonstrate the ability to comprehend and explain international security phenomena as well as the broad theories and principles of international security studies. 
•  Demonstrate critical thinking skills in the analysis and evaluation of the modern security environment and foreign policies. 
•  Build and present arguments relating to international security, by conducting original research, generating arguments, and communicating those arguments through academic writing.
 
Assessment Activities: 

Assessment Tools Summary

Course

Assessment Activity

Learning Objectives

Rubric

     Mid-Career Assessments

Cumulative

Overall GPA

1

 

Designated courses throughout the program

Instructor assessment of major writing assignment

2, 3, 4

Standardized Rubric

     End of Program Assessments

Portfolio: POL 695A

Instructor assessment of writing sample

2, 3, 4

Standardized Rubric

Portfolio: POL 695A

Student assessment of writing sample

2, 3, 4

Standardized Rubric

Portfolio: POL 695A

Instructor assessment of academic synthesis assignment

1, 2, 3, 4

Academic Synthesis Rubric

 

Standardized Rubric for ISS

Learning Objective

Target (10 points)

Acceptable (5 points)

Under Performing (1 point)

Demonstrate ability to comprehend international security phenomenon (Objective 2)

There is a clear explanation of the phenomenon under study. Information is accurate and clearly presented.

The explanation given provides a picture of the phenomenon under study. The information given lacks detail needed to build a clear picture and/or lacked some clarity in writing that obscured the main points.

The explanation of the phenomenon under study is flawed. There are serious inaccuracies in the information presented. Required information was absent and/or so poorly written as to be difficult to understand.

Demonstrate critical thinking skills in the analysis and evaluation of international security phenomena (Objective 3)

There is high quality analysis or assessment of the phenomenon under study. High quality analysis is based in fact, logically sound, and clearly presented.

There is mid-quality analysis or assessment of the phenomenon under study. There are minor flaws in the analysis, whether in the logic of the arguments or clarity of presentation. The analysis provided lacks detail needed to build a clear picture of the overall argument/assessment.

There is low-quality analysis or assessment of the phenomenon under study. There are major flaws in the analysis, whether large jumps in logic and/or arguments so poorly written as to be difficult to understand.

Build and present arguments: Research (Objective 4)

There is high-quality research in terms of the quality/types/and quantity of sources used.

There is mid-quality research in terms of the quality/types/and quantity of sources used. 

There is low-quality research in terms of the quality/types/and quantity of sources used. 

Build and present arguments: Writing and Communication (Objective 4)

The paper is well written, and arguments are well organized.

The paper has some mistakes in writing, and/or arguments can be better organized.

The paper has significant mistakes in writing, and/or arguments need to be reorganized.

 

Rubric for Assessing the Academic Synthesis Essay for ISS

Learning Objective

Target (10 points)

Acceptable (5 points)

Under Performing (1 point)

Demonstrate ability to explain international security phenomenon, including the main theories and principles within specific issue areas (Objective 2)

There are clear descriptions of the main themes of the courses students completed, with a focus on explaining the international security phenomena, theories, and principles explored in the courses. 

The description provided the reader with a description of the courses, but the focused on giving descriptions rather than interpretations and analysis for  why these phenomena occur

The description attempted to provide the reader with a picture of the courses, but information was absent and/or so poorly written as to be difficult to understand.

Demonstrate ability to identify the central themes of international security (Objective 1)

There is a clear consideration for overall themes of international security (beyond any specific course).

There is some consideration for the overall themes of international security. The description lacked the detail needed to provide a clear picture, or the description was embedded in a single course.

There is little consideration for the overall themes of international security. Information was absent and/or so poorly written as to be difficult to understand.

Demonstrate critical thinking skills in self-reflection (Objective 3)

Areas of personal growth in the understanding of international security are clearly identified and discussed.

Areas of personal growth in the understanding of international security are identified but require further discussion to be understood.

Areas of personal growth in the understanding of international security are either not identified or so poorly written as to be difficult to understand.

Build and present arguments: Writing and Communication (Objective 4)

The paper is well written and well organized.

The paper has some mistakes in writing and/or can be better organized.

The paper has significant mistakes in writing and/or needs significant reorganization.

 

Updated date: Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:48