International Security Studies Program

The International Security Studies (ISS) program in the College of Business and Global Affairs  prepares graduates for further study in a master’s program in international affairs or for security-related entry-level positions in government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and think tanks.


The academic program consists of a concentration in International Security Studies,  through Political Science or in Strategic Studies in International Studies.  The student takes a combination of five to six courses that will begin with classic national security issues affecting war and peace and then tackle more recent transnational threats and challenges in food security, energy security, and cyber security.  Minors in interdisciplinary offerings across campus, such as GIS and foreign languages, are encouraged. Travel study and  internships in Washington D. C. and abroad are an integral part of the program.  Frequent guest speakers will offer students a chance to hear and meet practitioners in the field.


Students practice written and oral skills needed by analysts in the field by learning to write policy, background and intelligence briefs. Crisis simulation and tabletop exercises are common classroom activities.


From the beginning, the ISS program has benefited from the active participation of former U.S. Congressman John Tanner and Lt. Gen. John Castellaw USMC (ret).  They have been frequent speakers both at evening dialogues and in smaller classroom settings. The program enjoys a close relationship with the American Security Project, a think tank in Washington D.C. which includes annual visits to the think tank by faculty and students, lectures by ASP experts at UT Martin and student internships.


Most recently, the ISS program hosted the following speakers:


“The Foreign Service Today,” and “Multilateralism and US Foreign Policy,” Mark Powell, Diplomat in Residence, State Department, April 7, 2015.


“The Role of the US Government in Export Support,” David Spann, US Department of Commerce, February 12, 2015.


“The Importance of Agricultural Trade to Tennessee” Louis Buck, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, March 2105


“Climate Change: Risks for National Security,” with Andrew Holland of the American Security Project, Brigadier General John Adams, US Army (Ret.) And Lt. General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.), April 7, 2014


“The Process of Negotiations: US and Iran Nuclear Talks,” Terri Lodge, American Security Project, March 2014. Skype lecture and discussion.


“Challenges for the U.S. Armed Forces in 2020,” Lt. General Dennis Cavin, US Army (Ret), February 11, 2014.


On the annual May trip to Washington DC in 2015, students and faculty interacted with mid level officials in the Pentagon, Department of State, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, US Institute of Peace, Devex  and the American Security Project among others.


ISS courses being offered in 2015-2016:

  • Introduction to International Security Studies (POSC 482)
  • US Foreign Policy (POSC 322)
  • Travel Study to Washington, DC (POSC 467)
  • International Organizations and Law (POSC 423)
  • Comparative Government (POSC 323)
  • Dimensions of Globalism (POSC 491)
  • Political Geography (GEOG 462)
  • Climatology (GEOG 472)
  • Principles of Geographic Information Systems (GEOG 310)
  • Politics of Developing Countries (POSC 490)
  • History of US Foreign Relations (HIST 463/464)

For further information contact:  Dr. Malcolm Koch at or Sandra Koch at

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