The Graduate Portfolio in Security Studies is a transcript-recognized credential for students who complete an interdisciplinary focus in security studies. It provides graduate students an opportunity to develop an interdisciplinary expertise in security studies from a variety of interrelated fields, including diplomacy, defense, intelligence, national security policy, homeland security, international affairs, human rights, war, peace, and conflict. The goal is for students to recognize and deepen their understanding of the interrelatedness of history and policy in the fields of national and international security. Students will be equipped to tackle key security challenges in academia or public service.
Students in the portfolio program receive multidisciplinary training in security studies by completing graduate coursework offered by the Departments of History and Government and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Additionally, students will attend and present security-related research at a required security studies seminar. Students receive feedback to improve their research, communication, and presentation skills. The seminar series includes discussions with other students and with established scholars and practitioners in the field.
Application deadline. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
Courses. Certification in the portfolio program requires completion of four courses (12 credits hours) that have been approved by the Portfolio Steering Committee. Click here for a list of approved courses (updated October 2018). Each student’s portfolio must include courses from two graduate programs outside of the student’s own program and no more than two of the courses can be from the same department or program.
GPA. All portfolio classes must be taken for a letter grade (i.e., not on a CR/NC basis). Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on portfolio coursework in order to be certified as having completed the Graduate Portfolio in Security Studies. Students must also be in good academic standing as determined by the Graduate School in order to have the portfolio completion noted on their official transcript as an official degree notation.
Research Paper. Research is a critical component to the portfolio program. It is expected that students enrolled in the portfolio program will already be performing research in a field related to security studies. Prior to admission to the portfolio program, a student must submit a one page research proposal to be evaluated by the Portfolio Steering Committee. Although a student's actual research may deviate substantially from their originally proposed objectives, it is expected that students enrolled in the portfolio program will continue to conduct research in the area of security studies. Students are required to update the Portfolio Steering Committee of significant changes in research direction.
Each student must draft and present one research paper on new work in the field of security studies. A dissertation, thesis, or seminar paper on a suitable topic would meet this requirement. Alternatively, a student may choose to design a separate research project, as not all participating students will be engaged in a degree program related to security studies or that requires a dissertation or thesis. In all cases, the student must provide the Security Studies Portfolio Director with the name of the faculty member who has agreed to supervise a security related research project and review the resulting report/paper.
The project is regarded as complete when the research supervisor notifies the Program Director that the research and the resulting report/paper meets standards appropriate to the student’s level of study (Master’s, doctoral, Master’s proceeding to doctoral). The Portfolio Steering Committee will evaluate the research paper.
Seminar Participation. All students in the portfolio program participate in a monthly seminar series for at least two semesters. This series includes presentations from graduate students meeting their portfolio research paper requirement, as well as presentations from established scholars and experienced practitioners in the field of security studies. The seminar series is supervised and administered by at least two members of the Steering Committee. The seminar series will not count for academic credit. Students attend the seminar each month, give feedback on other students’ work, and present their own research at one meeting.