The College of Arts & Letters has added a minor in international security studies (ISS) to help students understand root causes of war and other violent conflicts in order to pursue paths to peace.
Based in the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC), the minor will seek to help students deepen their knowledge about national and international security as well as develop an awareness of past and present global conflicts, and access tools to evaluate security arguments.
The field of security studies is of profound importance to the safety of the world and its inhabitants, said Dan Lindley, associate professor of political science and associate director of the Notre Dame International Security Center.
“We will give students the tools to evaluate security arguments and be more informed global citizens through cutting-edge scholarly research in this field,” he said. “ISS will also provide valuable mentorship to students who are interested in pursuing careers in international security, as NDISC faculty have years of experience helping students land internships and find jobs.”
To comprehend the origins, conduct, and consequences of war, Johnson said students need an interdisciplinary range of courses that provide historical context and a theoretical framework for understanding the threat of organized violence in international affairs.
“The new international security studies minor aims to provide exactly that,” he said.
“NDISC’s new minor constitutes a major step forward in framing international security studies in its larger interdisciplinary context, as well as affording a larger number of Notre Dame undergraduates the opportunity to prepare for careers in this growing and important field.”
Disciplines associated with the minor could include Arabic; Chinese; computer science; economics; English; film, television, and theatre; history; engineering; physics; political science; Russian; and sociology, among many others.
While political science majors already have the opportunity to earn a certificate in international security studies, the new minor will make it possible to better serve students in other Arts and Letters majors, and even other colleges, who are interested in security studies.
Students accepted in the program must take five courses related to security studies, including the National Security Policymaking course, a course in military history, and three electives. They will also choose a theme they wish to explore through research and coursework.
Having students with diverse perspectives and from a wide array of fields is expected to both enliven discussions and enrich research, said Michael C. Desch, the Brian and Jeannelle Brady Family Director of NDISC and the Packey J. Dee Professor of International Relations.
“NDISC’s new minor constitutes a major step forward in framing international security studies in its larger interdisciplinary context,” he said, “as well as affording a larger number of Notre Dame undergraduates the opportunity to prepare for careers in this growing and important field.”