National Security Studies

Anderson University now offers national security studies and cybersecurity. These programs are unique from public universities in providing students the inclusion of Christian ethics as a foundation in preparing for a career in public service.

Hear an interview with Dr. Michael Frank and President John Pistole

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This program is interdisciplinary.

Anderson University’s National Security Studies Program is one of the few interdisciplinary, undergraduate security studies majors in the country. This major is taught by our talented faculty across campus, including our School of Science & Engineering and School of Humanities and Behavioral Science.

Coursework from history, political science, criminal justice, sociology, social work, computer science, math, Christian ministry, and psychology provides a well-rounded liberal arts education. Our program includes work in:

  • The American policy-making process, with a specific emphasis in national security policy
  • Research methods
  • Professional ethics from a Christian perspective
  • A senior seminar capstone experience that includes a faith-reflective component related to the student’s career goals



What classes will I take?

  • American National Government
  • Political Violence and Terrorism
  • Homeland Security
  • American Foreign Policy

View the academic advising sheet for courses in the national security studies major.



What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?

  • Linguist/Foreign Language Expert
  • National Security Analyst
  • Security Officer
  • Intelligence Officer

Students have the opportunity to learn from Anderson University President John Pistole, former TSA director and FBI deputy director, and through professionals in the National Security Studies Fellows.

The Situation Room, opened on Feb. 14, 2018, is modeled after the room in the White House. This room gives students classroom space to respond to mock crises and a video conferencing setup to allow more opportunities to hear from National Security experts. “The nature of a class changes dramatically to a more professional environment when you’re seated together around a table,” says Dr. Michael Frank, professor of political science. “It’s one thing to write a memo or read about a situation, but to be involved as it’s unfolding really gives students important skills.” The generous donor for this project is Charles R. Carroll ‘77, senior vice president for Identity Services and NorAm at IDEMIA.

National Security Studies Fellows

Melvin Carraway visit campusThe Anderson University National Security Studies Fellows connects students to professionals with current or recent experience in national security who visit campus, network with students, and provide insight to classroom study.

The Situation Room gives students classroom space to respond to mock crises and a video conferencing setup to allow more opportunities to hear from National Security Studies Fellows and other experts. The generous donor for this project is Charles R. Carroll ‘77, senior vice president for Identity Services and NorAm at IDEMIA.


National Security Studies Fellows

  • Matthew Olsen: American prosecutor and the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Olsen is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School 
  • Lloyd Rowland: Appointed in 2006 as the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) after serving in numerous leadership positions throughout NGA. Rowland is a 24-year veteran of the United States Air Force, and now is a private national security consultant. 
  • David Shedd: Retired U.S. intelligence officer whose final post was acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He also served in senior positions in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and at the White House. 
  • Juan Zarate: Senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, chairman and cofounder of the Financial Integrity Network, and a visiting lecturer in law at the Harvard Law School. Zarate served as the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism from 2005-2009. Zarate is a former federal prosecutor who served on terrorism prosecution teams prior to 9/11.
Security Guest Speaker Series
  • Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General (Video)
  • John Brennan, former director of CIA
  • Matthew Olsen, former director of National Counterterrorism
  • Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI
  • James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence
  • Alice Hill, senior director for Resiliency, National Security Council (Video)
  • Representative Pete Hoekstra, former House Intelligence Committee Chair
  • Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of Homeland Security
  • Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Dr. Paul Stockton, managing director of Sonecon and former Assistant Secretary of Defense
Technology Requirements


Students are expected to spend significant amounts of time mastering software tools.  Our goal is to use software tools that are cross-platform and easily installable on student laptops to remove as many barriers to learning as possible.  The laptop and engineering calculator are crucial to the learning process and thus justify the financial investment.  Selecting software tools that students can use directly on their laptops, as opposed to only in computer laboratories, has shown to increase the time students spend using the tools because they can use the software more easily, wherever they are working, and whenever they are doing homework and/or projects.  There are many auxiliary student benefits of owning and operating a laptop such as gaining experience with system administration, troubleshooting/problem solving, and a deeper understanding of computing systems.  Software not capable of being installed on student laptops is installed for student use in specialized computer laboratories.


Each student is required to have a reliable laptop capable of running engineering and computer science software (provided by the university) such as AutoDesk Inventor, Spice, and software compilers.  Therefore we have established the following minimum requirements:

  • Operating system options:
    • Windows 10+ (64 bit) with a VM for Linux or BSD as necessary
    • Mac OS X with a VM or bootcamp for Windows
    • Linux or BSD with a VM for Windows
  • RAM: 8 GB (16 GB recommended)
  • CPU: modern 64 bit processor such as i5 or i7 with at least two physical cores
  • Storage capacity: 200 GB (400 GB for a Mac, Linux, or BSD because students will need to run Bootcamp with a 200 GB partition for Windows)
  • Connectivity: 2x USB2 or USB3 and 1000Base-T ethernet (adaptor OK)
  • WiFi (IEEE 802.11n with WPA2)
  • Graphics card needs to support at least one external display via HDMI (preferred) or VGA (adaptor OK) to be able to use the projectors for presentations.

Note that these requirements can change without notice (but within reason) due to changes in the system requirements from the vendors of the software used within the program. Please keep in mind that these are minimum requirements and there are software packages that benefit from a more capable computer system. The minimum cost for a new Windows machine that meets the requirements is $900 and for a Mac it is $1500.  About half the students use Mac and the other half use Windows. Usually, there are a few Linux users.


Calculators are often allowed on exams and are needed for completing homework. The calculator needs to be able to graph functions, use complex numbers, and solve linear systems of equations with complex coefficients. It is also helpful if the calculator has a computer algebra system (CAS).  One of the following (or equivalent) is required:

  • TI-89 (recommended)
  • TI-Nspire CX CAS

The average cost of the above calculators is approximately $130. Note that none of these calculators are currently allowed on the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam (the allowed calculators have a much more limited capability and are relatively inexpensive at around $30).