The Master of Arts Program in International Security Studies (MISS) is a unique postgraduate program for mid-level security professionals offered jointly by the Universität der Bundeswehr München (UniBwM) and the Marshall Center. The twelve-month program, which requires attendance in seminars and the writing of a master’s thesis, is designed to prepare international military and civilian students who already have several years of professional experience for executive positions in the public and private sector. The entire program takes place at the Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
MISS participants profit from the particular strengths of the two partner institutions. The program combines university modules taught by the university’s professors and selected international faculty with the policy-oriented programs of the Marshall Center, where students conclude the PASS and an additional resident program.
Four different areas of concentration–Regional Security, Counterterrorism, Cyber Security, and Countering Transnational Organized Crime–offer students an opportunity to deepen their understanding of their specific area of expertise while developing world class professional networks.
The program is designed for full- and part-time studies and can be completed either as a twelve-month course starting in September or individually via roughly one-month modules. The M.A. in International Security Studies is accredited by the Bavarian Ministry of Higher Education and the German Accreditation Council.
The MISS is a twelve-month program that consists of a common study period of four modules as well as a three-module study concentration and the master thesis; it is designed as a taught residence program. For those professionals who are not able to take a sabbatical, the MISS is also offered on a part-time basis, where single modules can be completed individually over a period of two years.
The program’s common curriculum aims to provide students with a thorough knowledge of contemporary security studies from both theoretical and policy perspectives. It starts with an introductory module, “Theories and Methods,” in which students learn to understand the structures and processes behind international security policy and to explore the key theories of international relations and security. A particular focus of this module is also consolidating the methods (analysis, writing, presenting) required for the program.
With this framework, students join the Marshall Center’s flagship course, the PASS, which is a rigorous, intellectually stimulating seven-week course for civilian government officials, members of security and military services, and government academics. Its core activities include plenary lectures and small seminar discussion groups, led by Marshall Center resident faculty and guest speakers from around the world. Each carefully crafted seminar brings together participants from a wide variety of countries and professional backgrounds. Plenary and seminar sessions are complemented by expert panels, role-playing exercises, and field studies.
In the “Transnational and International Conflict” module, students delve deeper into security and especially conflict studies and learn to understand and analyze historical and current international conflicts by extending their methodological understanding of sociological, political, and historical approaches.
At the conclusion of their common curriculum, students choose their Study Concentration, which consists of one of four Marshall Center resident programs and two university modules. The offered resident programs are:
- Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS)
- Seminar on Regional Security (SRS)
- Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC, formerly CNIT)
- Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS)
Each student also participates in the module on "International Humanitarian Law," which provides students with a thorough understanding of international law. Students will learn to deal with aspects of jus ad bellum as well as jus in bello and assess the relationships between international law and politics. Depending on the Marshall Center resident program chosen for the study concentration, students then attend either the module “Transnational Governance” or the module “Security and Development,” which focus on dealing with transnational threats and
challenges and the nexus of security and development, particularly development in post-conflict settings.
The program concludes with a 15,000 word Master’s Thesis, which can be written under supervision of either UniBwM or Marshall Center professors. In a Master’s Thesis workshop, students present and discuss their preliminary findings midway into their thesis work.