Sich zum Experten für internationale Sicherheitspolitik weiterbilden

Starten Sie mit dem englischsprachigen Master International Security Studies eine erfolgreiche Karriere im Bereich der internationalen Sicherheit

General Information

Category: Social Sciences

Program Form: Full-Time or Part-Time

Start of Program: September, 1st (Full-Time Students)

Place of Study: Garmisch-Partenkirchen (George C. Marshall Center)

Duration: 12 Months

Workload: 60 ECTS Credit Points

Course Language: English

Tuition Fees: 11.000 € (Discounts for GCMC Alumni)


The Master of Arts in International Security Studies (MISS) is a unique post-graduate program for security professionals offered jointly by the Universität der Bundeswehr München (UniBwM) and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC). The one-year program is designed to prepare international military and civilian students with some years of professional experience for executive positions in the public and private sector.

MISS participants profit from the particular strengths of the partnering institutions: The program combines university modules taught by the UniBwM professors and selected international faculty with the policy-oriented programs of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, a German-American defense institution where students study alongside other government officials from 110 countries. It provides its students with a comprehensive understanding of international security and connects them to a network of more than 10,000 security professionals around the globe.

Four different study concentrations – Regional Security, Counterterrorism, Cyber Security, and Countering Organized Crime – offer students an opportunity to deepen their understanding and develop professional networks in their specific area of expertise.

The program is designed for full- and part-time studies and can be completed either as a twelve-month course starting in September or by attending modules individually over a duration of two years. The entire program takes place at the Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a mountain resort in Southern Bavaria.

The following pages will give you more information on career opportunities, program structure and admission requirements. If the website cannot answer all your questions or if you would like individual consultation please visit the contact section and reach out to the program leadership. We are always happy to help!

Program Structure


iss_modulplan.png 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 the introductory module “Theories and Methods”, in which students learn to understand the structures and processes behind international security policy. A particular focus of this module is also on consolidating the methods (analysis, writing, presenting) required for the program.

Subsequently, students attend the Marshall Center’s Flagship Course, the “Program on Applied Security Studies” (PASS). More than 100 international government officials participate in this eight-week foundation course, which makes it the perfect opportunity to exchange views and establish new contacts. The program consists of plenary lectures, small seminar discussion groups, expert panels, role-playing exercises, and a field study trip.

In the course of the module “Transnational and International Conflict”, students delve deeper into security and conflict studies and learn to understand and analyze historical and current international conflicts by extending their methodological understanding of sociological, political, and historical approaches.

The common curriculum concludes with a course in “International Humanitarian Law”, which provides students with a thorough understanding of international treaties and agreements. 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.


In the second half of the study program students have to attend one out of two electives.

  • “Transnational Governance” focuses on the effects of globalization on the governance-capacity of international organization and the role of the state in the international system

  • “Security and Development” examines the nexus of security and development in post-conflict settings

Study Concentration

Students have the chance to specialize in a specific area of security studies by choosing a study concentration. For this purpose four different Marshall Center residents programs are currently offered (for course descriptions please click on the links).

Master Thesis

The program concludes with a 15,000 word Master Thesis.

Teaching and Learning Style

The Master of Arts Program in International Security Studies is structured in separate modules. Modules last between two and eight weeks and either end with a 5000 word research paper or an oral examination. Classes during modules normally take place from Monday to Friday. In the time between modules students do not have to be present at the Marshall Center as this time is reserved for self-study (research paper, preparation for examinations).

This study structure has the advantage that part-time students do not have to be present over a long period of time for weekly classes, which makes the course accessible for student from abroad who can fly in and out for single modules. During their time off-campus students keep full access to resources and library databases via the e-learning platforms ILIAS and Globalnet.

As the MISS program only accepts up to 15 students each year, teaching is conducted in small seminar groups. This gives our professors the chance to actively involve the students in the seminars and enables a close supervision.

The whole program has an overall workload of 60 ECTS credit points and is separated in modules of 5 up to 9 credit points each, which corresponds to 150 up to 270 working hours (presence time and self-study).

Modular Studies

The modular structure of the program allows to attend single modules without having to finish the whole master program. Successful participants receive an official transcript from the Universität der Bundeswehr München in the amount of the respective ECTS credit points of the module. The obtained credit points can be applied towards degrees at other universities or if a student has attended and passed all modules under this scheme, he can be awarded with a master’s degree in International Security Studies from the Universität der Bundeswehr München if he also prepares a master thesis that meets the academic standards of the program.


Application and Contacts


The application deadline for the regular start of the one year full-time program is May 31st. For part-time or modular studies applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Admission Process

Admission occurs in three steps:

  • Submission of an application by the applicant and verification of eligibility
  • Invitation to an admission interview (also via video conference)
  • Offer of a seat in the program and enrollment via Firm Acceptance-Form

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet four requirements:

  • Completion of a typically four-year higher education degree accrediting a competence level equivalent to 240 ECTS points (Technical Degree (Diplom), Master’s or Bachelor’s Degree, or an equivalent domestic or foreign qualification usually requiring four years of full-time studies)
  • At least two years’ qualified professional work experience
  • A certificate of English language proficiency (CEFR Level B2)
  • Successful completion of an admission interview

If you are unsure whether you meet the admission requirements you can contact the program coordinator for an individual documents check before submission.

Application Documents

Applications must include the following materials:

  • Duly completed Application Form  (Available in the download section)
  • Certified copy (German or English) of higher education qualification certificate
  • Certified copy (German or English) of university degree certificate (incl. transcript of records)
  • Documents (German or English) attesting at least two years of qualified professional work experience
  • Certificate of English language proficiency (CEFR Level B2, For more information see: “”
  • A letter of motivation (The applicant should explain why he is interested in this specific program and how he sees it contributing to his further career)
  • A Curriculum Vitae (bio) listing all study courses hitherto completed by the applicant as well as a complete record of professional experience
  • One letter of recommendation (preferably from a former professor or supervisor)


Please send your application  via email to the Academic Coordinator:

Robert Becker


Comm.: +49 1511 7277 581



I only hold a three-year bachelor’s degree. Am I eligible?

No. The program only considers applicants with a degree corresponding to four years of studies or an equivalent of 240 ECTS credit points.

Can professional experience be accepted in lieu of a first academic degree?

No. Professional Experience can only be accepted to an extent of 30 ECTS credit points.

I do not possess an academic degree, but am a graduate of a military or service academy. Can I be considered for the program?

Yes, if your academy meets higher education standards. Please contact the program administration to find out whether your academy is considerable.

I have already completed a program at the Marshall Center or elsewhere. Can this previous coursework be recognized?

Comparable coursework completed at other institutions can be considered for MISS. The tuition will be reduced by the appropriate amount.

Do you offer courses online?

The module “Theories and Methods” can be completed via distance-learning. We are preparing to offer more such modules in the future.

Do you offer scholarships?

Unfortunately we do not offer scholarships or financial assistance. The website of the German Academic Exchange Service offers a good overview of available scholarships for studies in Germany:

Can the program be completed part-time?

Yes, the program is modularized and single modules can be taken individually.

I don’t want to undergo vetting through German and US authorities. Can I take part in the program?

No, successful vetting through German and US authorities is mandatory.


Program Features

  • Policy-orientated program on a high academic level

The combination of the  more theory-focused UniBwM modules with the more policy-oriented GCMC programs and seminars provides for unique insights on issues from both perspectives.

  • Specialization in one field of international security studies

Specialization in one field of security studies is a key feature of MISS. The modular composition of the program offers a broad variety of options and encourages specialization and the development of special expertise.

  • Seminar-based, active learning model

A special feature of this program is the inclusion of the professional experience of its participants as an important contribution. The methodology of the program therefore relies heavily on seminar discussions, debates, panels and role-play exercises, in which students can profit from their different professional and national backgrounds.

  • Intensive networking

Through their study with Marshall Center course participants, but also through the Marshall Center and Universität der Bundeswehr München Alumni associations, participants gain a great opportunity to get in contact with security professionals in their country, region and area of interest.

  • International faculty of academics and professionals

The cooperation of both institutions brings together more than 40 international experts and therefore offers an almost incomparably broad faculty, which is amended by selected other international professors. Apart from traditional academics, Marshall Center professors are hereby often senior practitioners with decades of professional expertise in their subject area.

  • Distinguished guest speakers

Due to its reputation as a highly respected German‐American government institution, the Marshall Center programs also often feature prominent guest speakers, which have included e.g. SACEUR, COMISAF, ASDs, DASDs, Deputy Ministers and Ambassadors. According to Marshall Center tradition, these speakers also attend subsequent seminars and give participants an opportunity to discuss issues face to face.

  • Field studies

Many modules feature up to week‐long field trips to security institutions, where students can gain first hand insights on the various approaches that countries take to international security problems.

  • Small class sizes

The MISS allows for a maximum of 15 students per year to guarantee for optimal individual super-vision. In class, seminars will also not exceed 10‐15 participants each, to allow for sufficient time for any discussant.

  • MISS seminars throughout the year

During the entire year, MISS students will meet with their program director for one seminar per month to discuss current affairs and program issues. Members of faculty and leadership of both institutions with subject matter expertise will join for specific topics.


The program offers young and mid-level professionals a post-graduate academic training in security studies that will enhance their understanding of global affairs and security challenges. Theory-loaded seminars are combined with policy-orientated courses to teach you how academic research can be useful in practice.

A master’s degree in International Security Studies qualifies you for various positions in the very diverse and complex field of international security. Students typically go to work in these sectors:

  • Government and Intelligence Agencies

  • International Governmental Organization

  • Non-Governmental Organizations

  • Private companies with a link to the security sector

Target Audience

The MA program in international security studies is aimed at young practitioners from all sectors of the security community

  • Officers at the end of their fixed term service (up to two years before discharge)

  • Serving officers as part of their advanced training

  • Civil servants in an early or mid-level of their career (Ministries, Police, Government Agencies)

  • Civilians with relevant work experience in the security sector

Six Good Reasons to Apply for the MA International Security Studies

  • Join a policy-orientated program on a high academic level

  • Profit from an international faculty of academics and practitioners with decades of professional expertise

  • The small class size of max. 15 students gives every student the chance to actively participate

  • Study at the campus of an international security and defense studies institute alongside government officials from 110 countries

  • The vast alumni network gives you the opportunity to get in contact with security professionals in your country, region and area of interest

  • Enjoy the unspoilt nature of Germany’s number one location for winter and alpine sports


GCMC Alumni

Alumni of most Marshall Center resident programs are likely to have already completed substantial parts of the M.A. International Security Studies:


  • Alumni of the PASS have already completed 18 of the program's total 60 ECTS credit points. They will be able to reduce their residency requirement to five months and can then choose to complete their Master Thesis either in Garmisch-Partenkirchen or at home.
  • Alumni of other GCMC resident courses (SRS, STACS, PTSS, PCSS, SCWMD/T, CNIT, SSCB, SSTaR) have already completed five of the program's total 60 ECTS points. They will be able to reduce their residency requirement to seven months and can then choose to complete their Master Thesis either in Garmisch-Partenkirchen or at home.


GCMC alumni still have to complete the required examinations for the MISS program in order to receive academic credit points. A tuition fee discount is offered for previously completed GCMC resident programs. Please contact the program coordinator to find out which discounts apply to you.

The application deadline for GCMC alumni is June 30th.

Wichtiger Hinweis

Der Masterstudiengang INTERNATIONAL Security Studies (M.A.) entspricht NICHT

dem Masterstudiengang INTELLIGENCE and Security Studies (MISS)!

Für weitere Infrormationen zu MISS wird auf die Internetseite verwiesen.

Advice and contact

A cooperation with the:                                                                                                 Accredited by:              

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                                 George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies