Accolades A Collection of Student Scholarship
steve gonzalez

I found the motivation to finish my degree for the potential to increase my intellectual capital, and lead by example for my daughter as well as those that I served with.

Steve Gonzalez, SOCM, USN, Ret.
Norwich Graduate, Class of 2016

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Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Securing the Global Landscape

In order for nations to keep pace with the rapid evolution of global geopolitics and the corresponding defense needs therein, Norwich University’s Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis (SSDA) program seeks to build multidimensional leaders with the conceptual knowledge and practical skills necessary to protect their countries and communities.

The program is specifically designed for active duty, Reserve and National Guard servicemen and servicewomen, and Marines assigned to or retired from one of the subordinate commands with the U.S. Special Operations Command and NATO Special Operations Forces. Through the SSDA curriculum, you will apply your current and prior military experience and education to field exercises designed to help you develop your research, critical thinking, ethical decision making and leadership skills.



  • Bachelor of Science
  • Students select elective courses

Why Norwich?

Transfer up to 90 semester credits and complete your degree in less than two years.

Take advantage of a wide array of highly relevant electives, including National Security Policy and Comparative Politics.

Through our flexible online platform, you can access program content and contribute to class discussions on your own schedule and at your own pace each week.

Our experienced faculty of working experts provides unparalleled insight into defense strategy.

As the nation’s first military college, Norwich is proud to support you as you balance an active duty schedule with academic pursuits.

Quick Info

100% Online

All classes taken online

60 Credits

Program Entry Requirement

18 Months

Typical time to program completion

7 January

Next Start Date

10 December

Application Deadline

Accreditation & Recognition

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. - the nation's oldest regional accrediting body - through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). Regional Accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.


SSDA Program Curriculum

Norwich's Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis (SSDA) curriculum includes four areas of instruction - general education, program-specific electives, field studies and a capstone project. Courses are taught by a faculty of defense strategy experts from around the world, and the program culminates in a series of independent research projects that focus on a country or region of your selection, taking into account the historical, economic and sociocultural influences at play in order to recommend methods of improving conditions in the region. This research is not simply relevant to your work in the field, but is also applicable to the military’s body of knowledge of regions around the world. For a Norwich bachelor's degree, you must earn at least 120 semester credits, including transfer credits.

Core Curriculum

Degree Electives

Students complete 18 credits of the following course options:

Field Studies and Capstone


Non-Discrimination Statement

Norwich University, in compliance with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or physical handicap in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.

Tuition & Fees

Careers & Outcomes

Capitalizing on an Elite Education

As the nation’s first military college, Norwich University has a nearly 200-year legacy of producing graduates who are proud, principled leaders in the military, business, government, and communities worldwide. Now more than ever, academic credentials are critical components for career advancement within the military and retirement transition. The strategic studies and defense analysis online program make use of our flexible virtual learning platform to help you complete your formal education and supplement your valuable Special Operations Forces training. Whether you are hoping to advance within your command, or transition to a new career outside the military, Norwich is here to serve, support and challenge you every step of the way.

Career Outcomes

Norwich’s Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis (SSDA) program is home to Special Forces leaders from around the world, in all branches of the military. The program’s innate flexibility and dedicated faculty of experts have made it possible for you to complete your degree while serving active duty in the military. No matter your ambitions, the SSDA program helps qualify you for a wide variety of career options.

Example Career Paths

  • Deputy of Operations
  • Policy Analyst
  • Military Consultant
  • Operations & Logistics Manager
  • Program Analyst
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Strategic Planner
  • Protective Agent
  • Investigative Research Analyst
  • Technical Security Lead
  • Training & Development Coordinator
  • Special Forces Intelligence Analyst
  • Principal Network Warfare Analyst
  • Special Forces Warrant Officer
  • Irregular Warfare Analyst
Example Employers

  • U.S. Army
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • DoD Overseas Contractor
  • Federal Government
  • Management Consulting Firms
  • NGOs & International Aid Organizations
  • Government and Private Think Tanks
  • Defense Contractors
  • Private Security Firms
  • Education & Training Firms
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Marine Corps
  • State & Municipal Law Enforcement
  • Department of the Air Force
  • Technology Companies
  • U.S. Navy

*Source: Norwich University Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis, fielded in March 2014.

Where are Norwich Alumni Today?

Brett J. Morash, MBA, MA

SSDA professor named director of operations and finance for foundation

Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Andrew Lankford

Soldier seeks educational options with the Joint Special Operations University.

Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Mark Roland

Current student helps develop Special Forces doctrine.

Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Terry Shelton

Strategic Studies alumnus has article published in Special Warfare magazine.

Class of 2012,
Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis

Faculty & Staff


Get to know the graduates of Norwich’s online Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis program.

Online Learning

How do you fit an online program into your busy life?

Norwich has developed online programs that provide a gateway, not a barrier, to maximize your career potential. Get to know a few graduates -- with busy schedules -- and how they made their education fit.

Residency at Norwich

While not required for completing your bachelor's degree, the Residency Conference is a unique educational and social experience that culminates your time at Norwich.


Residency enabled me to connect more deeply with the brick-and-mortar and the faculty and staff of Norwich. It enabled me to put location and faces to the institution and those who had been prominent in achieving my educational goals. Norwich forever!

William Seaman
Class of 2015
Bachelor of Science in Strategic Studies and Defense Analysis


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