Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology

CMU's Home for Political Science and International Relations

CMIST logo

Minor in Military Strategy and International Relations

The minor in Military Strategy and International Relations offers undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon a course of study focusing on military strategy and doctrine, the current national security landscape, including how cybersecurity and artificial intelligence influence national security decision making, and the full range of strategic challenges facing future American leaders. While the minor is open to all CMU undergraduates, it is in part motivated by a desire to support CMU students embarking on the unique effort to serve and defend the country through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program and others interested in pursuing applied defense-related careers post-graduation. Indeed, CMU typically has several dozen ROTC students annually along with many others who go into related areas such as working in the Department of Defense, and these students are spread throughout the university. Many major in STEM fields, where they learn valuable technical skills but are exposed to little of the wider strategic context facing military leaders and decision-makers or the political and institutional frameworks in which they are embedded. The Military Strategy and International Relations minor aims to fill these needs, ultimately helping to foster future military and defense leaders who are fully cognizant of the national and international strategic context they will navigate.

Building squarely on the “3D” concept which has gained increasing currency in US foreign policy circles in recent years, the Military Strategy and International Relations minor recognizes that there can be no successful national defense without making diplomacy and international development key elements in our overall national security strategy. The Military Strategy and International Relations minor will shape future leaders who have a clear understanding of the intersectionality of diplomacy, development, and defense. The Military Strategy and International Relations minor will engage students in the whys and hows of national strategy, military planning, and the future of warfare. In addition, it emphasizes the political and institutional systems and rules in which military affairs are situated, with core courses on the topics of military strategy, governance, diplomacy, and policy decision making.  Finally, the minor stresses the use of cutting-edge analytical and social science methods to prepare students for advanced training, study, and government or military service in national and international security. 

Curriculum (60 units)

60 units

Core Courses
Students must take the following core courses (33 units):

Military Strategy
84-328 Military Strategy and Doctrine 9
84-319 Civil-Military Relations 9
Diplomacy (select one)
84-325 Contemporary American Foreign Policy 9
84-362 Diplomacy and Statecraft 9
84-450 Policy Seminar 6

Students must complete a total of 27 units (typically three courses) from the following list of courses. At least 9 units must be taken from the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy & Technology (CMIST) and have an 84-number.

84-104 Decision Processes in American Political Institutions 9
84-120 Introduction to US Constitutional Law 9
84-200 Security War Game Simulation 6
84-226 International Relations 9
84-274 An Introduction to Technology and War
(formerly 84-374 Technology, Weapons, and International Conflict)
84-275 Comparative Politics 9
84-280 Popcorn and Politics: American Foreign Policy at the Movies 10
84-303 International Human Rights 6
84-309 American Political Divides and Great Debates 9
84-312 Terrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa 6
84-313 International Organizations and Law 9
84-317 Defense Resourcing: From Strategy to Execution 6
84-318 Politics of Developing Nations 9
84-322 Nonviolent Conflict and Revolution 9
84-323 War and Peace in the Contemporary Middle East 9
84-324 The Future of Democracy 9
84-325 Contemporary American Foreign Policy If not used as a core course, course may count as an elective. 9
84-327 Repression and Control in Dictatorships 9
84-329 Asian Strategies 6
84-362 Diplomacy and Statecraft If not used as a core course, course may count as an elective. 9
84-363 Click. Hack. Rule: Understanding the Power & Peril of Cyber Conflict 9
84-365 The Politics of Fake News and Misinformation 9
84-367 The Politics of Antisemitism 9
84-370 Nuclear Security & Arms Control 9
84-372 Space and National Security 9
84-373 Emerging Technologies and International Law 9
84-380 US Grand Strategy 9
84-383 Cyber Policy as National Policy 6
84-386 The Privatization of Force 9
84-387 Remote Systems and the Cyber Domain in Conflict 9
84-388 Concepts of War and Cyber War 6
84-389 Terrorism and Insurgency 9
84-390 Social Media, Technology, and Conflict 9
84-393 Legislative Decision Making: US Congress 9
84-405 The Future of Warfare 9
17-200 Ethics and Policy Issues in Computing 9
32-201 Leadership & Management 9
32-310 Evolution Of Warfare 9
32-402 Leadership and Ethics 9
79-257 Germany and the Second World War 9
79-268 World War I: The Twentieth Century's First Catastrophe 9
79-302 Killer Robots:The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems 6
80-136 Social Structure, Public Policy & Ethics 9

Students may double count a maximum of two courses (18 units) with another major or minor.  Unlimited double counting is permitted with general education requirements.