University of Calgary : Military and Strategic Studies - CMSS

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Graduate Studies Calendar 2011-2012 Program Descriptions Military and Strategic Studies CMSS
Military and Strategic Studies - CMSS
Contact Information Location: Library Tower, 7th floor
Faculty number: 403.220.4038
Fax: 403.282.0594
E-mail address:
Web page URL:
1. Degrees and Specializations Offered Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Strategic Studies (MSS), course-based (including the co-operative education option) or thesis-based
Students in the Master of Military and Strategic Studies program may choose an interdisciplinary specialization in Israel Studies. For further information on the Israel Studies (Interdisciplinary) specialization, see the separate listing in this Calendar.
2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements of the Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts, CMSS requires:

Master of Strategic Studies (MSS), course-based and thesis-based
a) A Bachelor’s degree grade point average of at least 3.40 on a four-point scale
b) A writing sample
c) Agreement to supervise from a potential supervisor from applicants to the thesis-based program
d) A research proposal from applicants to the thesis-based program

Doctor of Philosophy
Applicants will be admitted only if the CMSS Graduate Committee is satisfied that adequate supervision is likely to be available for the duration of their studies. Successful applicants should be aware that admission to the program does not imply a Centre commitment to provide supervision for all research interests they may have. Students are also advised to consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies Handbook of Supervision and Examination.

Prerequistes for admission to the PhD program are:
a) A completed Master's Degree.
b) A GPA of 3.70 on a four-point scale over all completed graduate courses in the Master's program; 3.40 in the Undergraduate program over the last 20 half courses or two years of study.
c) A completed application to the Centre, along with supporting documentation.
d) A detailed statement of the proposed thesis research.
e) A representative piece of written work, normally a Master's Thesis chapter or major research paper.
f) The Centre requires a tentative agreement from a faculty member to supervise, so students need to contact potential supervisors at the beginning of the application process.
g) All students whose native language is one other than English are required to pass the TOEFL test with a minimum score of 600 (written), or 92 (internet-based), or 7+ on the IELTS test, or 84 on the MELAB test, or 70 on the PTE test. The test must have been taken within the last two years.
h) Two letters of reference.
i) All post-secondary transcripts.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for the submission of complete applications:

January 15 for September admission and funding

4. Advanced Credit

In the course-based Master’s program, advanced credit may be given for a maximum of two half courses at the senior undergraduate (500) level. The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to the required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

Master of Strategic Studies

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies requires:

a) That all Master's students take, in any sequence, the following three core area half courses:
Strategic Studies/History 655 Classics of Strategy
Political Science 681 Advanced Analysis of International Relations
Political Science 685 Strategic Studies

b) That students take, in any sequence, two of the following half courses from the listed areas of concentration:

(1) Arctic Security
Strategic Studies 661 Circumpolar Security

(2) Canadian Military Studies
Strategic Studies 609 Canadian Military and the Second World War
Strategic Studies 611 Canadian Military Studies
Strategic Studies 613 Canada and the First World War

(3) US Security Policy
Political Science 633 US Security Policy

(4) Domestic Security/Hemispheric Security

(5) Ethics and Morality in Conflict
Political Science 619 War and Interpretation
Philosophy 609 Topics in the History of Philosophy – Just War Theory

(6) Intelligence and Security
Strategic Studies 657 Intelligence, Information Operations and Command, Control, Communications and Computers

(7) Israeli Security Studies
Israel Studies 601 Modern Israel

(8) Military Anthropology
ANTH 641 Graduate Seminar in Civil Military Relations

(9) Sea Power
Strategic Studies 659 Sea Power

(10) Unconventional Warfare
Political Science 689 Unconventional Warfare
Political Science 675 Special Topics in Comparative Politics

c) That all students take one elective half course:
Strategic Studies 651 Reading Seminar I
Strategic Studies 653 Research Seminar I
Any other graduate course pertinent to the student's thesis topic (with the approval of the Graduate Director).

d) That in addition to the aforementioned half courses, course-based students take seven half course electives Consult the department website for a list of recommended elective courses. The co-operative education option is part of the course-based MSS program. Students will complete an eight-month work placement during their second year, which will replace three elective half courses. Thesis-based MSS students will be permitted to transfer to the co-operative education option during their first year of study. For further information interested students should contact the CMSS faculty co-operative education advisor or the department website.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) Course Work:
Each student must normally take four half-course equivalents including three core courses:

Students will have two major fields of study, one of these being strategic studies and the other the thesis area, and will be required to take one half course in each, namely Political Science 685 and an appropriate elective.

b) Written and oral candidacy examination
c) Doctoral thesis proposal
d) Written doctoral thesis
e) Oral thesis defence.

6. Additional Requirements None.
7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses Students enrolled in the thesis program may apply to take one 500-level half course for graduate credit, but may be required to complete additional assignments for the course.
8. Time Limit Expected completion time for the thesis-based and course-based Master of Strategic Studies is two years. Maximum completion time is four years for the thesis-based Master of Strategic Studies and six years for the course-based Master of Strategic Studies.
Expected completion time for the PhD in Military and Strategic Studies is four years. Maximum completion time for the PhD in Military and Strategic Studies is six years.
9. Supervisory Assignments Students must contact a possible supervisor before admission. Agreement from a supervisor must be included in the application package.
10. Required Examinations

For the PhD program, all course work must be completed, the second language requirement met (if applicable), and a thesis proposal approved by the Supervisory Committee before the candidacy examination can be taken.

There will be two three-hour written examinations, one in each field, as well as the single oral examination covering the content and questions on both of the written exams. There will normally be two fields – a major field and a second field. The major field will always be strategic studies, while the second field will be in an area closely related to the student’s thesis research. Military and Strategic Studies is an interdisciplinary program, and our doctoral students will draw upon a wide variety of disciplines for their second field.

A candidacy examination consists of both written and oral components. CMSS requires that the written component be taken after the completion of course work and no later than 28 months of initial registration into the program, although completion within 16-20 months is encouraged by the Centre. For CMSS purposes, this component will consist of written examinations in the two major fields of study. The oral examination will be held no later than one month after the written examination.

Final thesis oral examinations are open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements The thesis proposal is submitted to the members of the student's Supervisory Committee, and the student defends the proposal in a meeting of that Committee. After the proposal is passed by the Committee, the student can go on to write his or her candidacy exams.
12. Special Registration Information None.
13. Financial Assistance Not applicable.
14. Other Information None.
15. Faculty Members/Research Interests Faculty members and their areas of interest may be found at