The national security studies minor (NSST) is an interdisciplinary program that provides undergraduates across campus (in any department or college) with relevant knowledge of various aspects of global security and the theory and analytical skills necessary for dealing with global security studies issues. Students interested in national security issues, security-related job opportunities, or a desire to have a set of analytical skills relevant to global issues will benefit from the NSST. Students who have completed the NSST requirements will, upon graduation, receive a minor in national security studies.

Four principles train students to systematically and coherently analyze national security issues, develop writing and critical thinking skills, negotiate multiple and competing interests, and develop in-depth knowledge and application in substantive international policy issue(s).

The minor requires 21 credit hours of coursework with a grade of B- or better, including a 3-credit-hour capstone course (NSST 475 Threats and Solutions to Global Security in the 21st Century).

College Admission

The entrance requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), including any of the majors or minors offered through the college, are the same as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln General Admission Requirements. In addition to these requirements, the College of Arts and Sciences strongly recommends a third and fourth year of one foreign language in high school. Four years of high school coursework in the same language will fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences’ language requirement. It will also allow students to continue language study at a more advanced level at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and provide more opportunity to study abroad.


Academic and Career Advising Center

Not sure where to go or who to ask? The Advising Center team in 107 Oldfather Hall can help. The Academic and Career Advising Center is the undergraduate hub for CAS students in all majors. Centrally located and easily accessed, students encounter friendly, knowledgeable people who are eager to help or connect students to partner resources. Students also visit the Advising Center in 107 Oldfather Hall to:

  • Choose or change their major, minor, or degree program.
  • Check on policies, procedures, and deadlines.
  • Get a college approval signature from the Dean’s representatives.

CAS Career Coaches are available by appointment (in-person or zoom) and located in the CAS Academic and Career Advising Center, 107 Oldfather Hall. They help students explore majors and minors, gain experience, and develop a plan for life after graduation.

Assigned Academic Advisors

Academic advisors are critical resources dedicated to students' academic, personal, and professional success. Every CAS student is assigned an academic advisor based on their primary major. Since most CAS students have more than just a single major, it is important to get to know the advisor for any minors or additional majors. Academic advisors work closely with the faculty to provide the best overall support and the discipline specific expertise. They are available for appointments (in-person or zoom) and through weekly virtual drop-ins. Assigned advisors are listed in MyRED and their offices may be located in or near the department of the major for which they advise.

Students who have declared a pre-health or pre-law area of interest will also work with advisors in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center (Explore Center) in 127 Love South, who are specially trained to guide students preparing to enter a professional school.

For complete and current information on advisors for majors, minors, or pre-professional areas, visit, or connect with the Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center, 107 Oldfather Hall, 402-472-4190,

Career Coaching

The College believes that Academics + Experience = Opportunities and encourages students to complement their academic preparation with real-world experience, including internships, research, education abroad, service, and leadership. Arts and sciences students have access to a powerful network of faculty, staff, and advisors dedicated to providing information and support for their goals of meaningful employment or advanced education. Arts and sciences graduates have unlimited career possibilities and carry with them important career competencies—communication, critical thinking, creativity, context, and collaboration. They have the skills and adaptability that employers universally value. Graduates are prepared to effectively contribute professionally and personally with a solid foundation to excel in an increasingly global, technological, and interdisciplinary world.

Students should contact the career coaches in the Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center in 107 Oldfather Hall, or their assigned advisor, for more information. The CAS career coaches help students explore career options, identify ways to build experience, and prepare to apply for internships, jobs, or graduate school, including help with resumes, applications, and interviewing.

ACE Requirements

 Students must complete one course for each of the ACE Student Learning Outcomes below. Certified course choices are published in the degree audit, or visit the ACE website for the most current list of certified courses.

ACE Student Learning Outcomes
ACE 1: Write texts, in various forms, with an identified purpose, that respond to specific audience needs, integrate research or existing knowledge, and use applicable documentation and appropriate conventions of format and structure.
ACE 2: Demonstrate competence in communication skills.
ACE 3: Use mathematical, computational, statistical, logical, or other formal reasoning to solve problems, draw inferences, justify conclusions, and determine reasonableness.
ACE 4: Use scientific methods and knowledge to pose questions, frame hypotheses, interpret data, and evaluate whether conclusions about the natural and physical world are reasonable.
ACE 5: Use knowledge, historical perspectives, analysis, interpretation, critical evaluation, and the standards of evidence appropriate to the humanities to address problems and issues.
ACE 6: Use knowledge, theories, and research perspectives such as statistical methods or observational accounts appropriate to the social sciences to understand and evaluate social systems or human behaviors.
ACE 7: Use knowledge, theories, or methods appropriate to the arts to understand their context and significance.
ACE 8: Use knowledge, theories, and analysis to explain ethical principles and their importance in society.
ACE 9: Exhibit global awareness or knowledge of human diversity through analysis of an issue.
ACE 10: Generate a creative or scholarly product that requires broad knowledge, appropriate technical proficiency, information collection, synthesis, interpretation, presentation, and reflection.

College Degree Requirements

College Distribution Requirements – BA and BS

The College of Arts and Sciences distribution requirements are common to both the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees and are designed to ensure a range of courses. By engaging in study in several different areas within the College, students develop the ability to learn in a variety of ways and apply their knowledge from a variety of perspectives. All requirements are in addition to University ACE requirements, and no course can be used to fulfill both an ACE outcome and a College Distribution Requirement.

  • A student may not use a single course to satisfy more than one College Distribution Requirement, with the exception of CDR Diversity. Courses used to meet CDR Diversity may also meet CDR Writing, CDR Humanities, or CDR Social Science.
  • Independent study or reading courses and internships cannot be used to satisfy distribution requirements.
  • Courses from interdisciplinary programs will be applied in the same area as courses from the home/cross-listed department.
College Distribution Requirements
CDR: Written Communication3
Select from courses approved for ACE outcome 1.
CDR: Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences with Lab4
Select from biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, geology, meteorology, mathematics, and physics. Must include one lab in the natural or physical sciences. Lab courses may be selected from biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and physics.
Some courses from geography and anthropology may also be used to satisfy the lab requirement above. 1
CDR: Humanities3
Select from classics, English, history, modern languages and literatures, philosophy, and religious studies. 2
CDR: Social Science3
Select from anthropology, communication studies, geography, political science, psychology, or sociology. 3
CDR: Human Diversity in U.S. Communities0-3
Select from a set of approved courses as listed in the degree audit.
CDR: Language0-16
Fulfilled by the completion of the 6-credit-hour second-year sequence in a single foreign language in one of the following departments: Classics and religious studies or modern languages and literatures. Instruction is currently available in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.
A student who has completed the fourth-year level of one foreign language in high school is exempt from the languages requirement, but encouraged to continue on in their language study.
Credit Hours Subtotal: 13-32

Language Requirement

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the College of Arts and Sciences place great value on academic exposure and proficiency in a second language. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln entrance requirement of two years of the same foreign language or the College’s language distribution requirement (CDR: Language) will rarely be waived and only with relevant documentation. See the main College of Arts and Sciences page for more details.

Experiential Learning Requirement

All undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete an Experiential Learning (EL) designated course. This may include 0-credit courses designed to document co-curricular activities recognized as Experiential Learning.

Scientific Base - BS Only

The bachelor of science degree requires students to complete 60 hours in mathematical, physical, and natural sciences. Approved courses for scientific-based credit come from the following College of Arts and Sciences disciplines: actuarial science, anthropology (selected courses), astronomy, biochemistry (excluding BIOC 101), biological sciences (excluding BIOS 100 or BIOS 203), chemistry (excluding CHEM 101), geography (selected courses), geology, life sciences, mathematics (excluding courses below MATH 104), meteorology, microbiology (excluding MBIO 101), and physics (excluding PHYS 201.)

See your Degree Audit or your assigned academic advisor for a complete list, including individual classes that fall outside of the disciplines listed above. Up to 12 hours of scientific and technical courses offered by other colleges may be accepted toward this requirement with approval of the College of Arts and Sciences. See your assigned academic advisor to start the approval process.

Minimum Hours Required for Graduation

A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences. A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 is required.

Grade Rules

Restrictions on C- and D Grades

The College will accept no more than 15 semester hours of C- and D grades from other domestic institutions except for UNO and UNK. All courses taken at UNO and UNK impact the UNL transcript. No transfer of C- and D grades can be applied toward requirements in a major or a minor. No University of Nebraska–Lincoln C- and D grades can be applied toward requirements in a major or a minor. International coursework (including education abroad) with a final grade equivalent to a C- or lower will not be validated by the College of Arts and Sciences departments to be degree applicable.

Pass/No Pass Privilege

The College of Arts and Sciences adheres to the University regulations for the Pass/No Pass (P/N) privilege with the following additional regulations:

  • Pass/No Pass hours can count toward fulfillment of University ACE requirements and college distribution requirements up to the 24-hour maximum.
  • Most arts and sciences departments and programs do not allow courses graded Pass/No Pass to apply to the major or minor. Students should refer to the department’s or program’s section of the catalog for clarification. By college rule, departments can allow up to 6 hours of Pass/No Pass in the major or minor.
  • Departments may specify that certain courses of theirs can be taken only on a P/N basis.
  • The college will permit no more than a total of 24 semester hours of P/N grades to be applied toward degree requirements. This total includes all Pass grades earned at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and other U.S. schools. NOTE: This 24-hour limit is more restrictive than the University regulation.

Grading Appeals

A student who feels that he/she has been unfairly graded must ordinarily take the following sequential steps in a timely manner, usually by initiating the appeal in the semester following the awarding of the grade:

  1. Talk with the instructor concerned. Most problems are resolved at this point.
  2. Talk to the instructor’s department chairperson.
  3. Take the case to the Grading Appeal Committee of the department concerned. The Committee should be contacted through the department chairperson.
  4. Take the case to the College Grading Appeals Committee by contacting the Dean’s Office, 1223 Oldfather Hall.

Course Level Requirements

Courses Numbered at the 300 or 400 Level

Thirty (30) of the 120 semester hours of credit must be in courses numbered at the 300 or 400 level. Of those 30 hours, 15 hours (1/2) must be completed in residence at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Residency Requirement

Students must complete at least 30 of the 120 total hours for their degree at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Students must complete at least 1/2 of their major coursework, including 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level in their major and 15 of the 30 hours required at the 300 or 400 level, in residence. Credit earned during education abroad may be used toward the residency requirement only if students register through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Catalog to Use

Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the catalog for the academic year in which they are first admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In consultation with advisors, a student may choose to follow a subsequent catalog for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single catalog year. Beginning in 1990-1991, the catalog which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.

Transfer Students: Students who have transferred from a community college may be eligible to fulfill the requirements as stated in the catalog for an academic year in which they were enrolled at the community college prior to attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This decision should be made in consultation with academic advisors, provided the student a) was enrolled in a community college during the catalog year they are utilizing, b) maintained continuous enrollment at the previous institution for 1 academic year or more, and c) continued enrollment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln within 1 calendar year from their last term at the previous institution. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single catalog year and within the time frame allowable for that catalog year.

Requirements for Minor Offered by Department

Students will develop a plan of study in consultation with the national security studies minor coordinator.

Core Course
POLS 160 / GLST 160International Relations3
or NSST 175 Introduction to National Security
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Writing and Analysis Courses
Select one of the following: 13
Writing and Communities
Writing and Briefing for the National Security Enterprise
Critical Thinking/Analysis
Select one of the following:3-4
Research Methods
Analysis for the National Security Establishment
Political Analysis
Research Methods and Data Analysis
Introduction to Social Research Methods
Introduction to Social Statistics
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Topics in Security
Select three courses with at least one at the 300 level and one at the 400 level. 19
Anthropology of War
Principles of GIS
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Digital Image Analysis of Remote Sensing Data
Geo-demographic and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
United States Military History Since 1917
Algeria and France
The Cold War
History of Modern Espionage and Intelligence
History of Terrorism in the Modern World
History of Radical Islam
Climate in Crisis
Introduction to Geospatial Technologies
Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Causes of War and Peace
From National to Human Security
Climate Change: Policy and Politics
Globalization, Human Rights and Diversity
United States Foreign Policy
Conflict and Development in Africa
Transnational Criminal Networks
International Human Rights
State Terror
Ethnic Conflict and Identity
American Foreign Policy and the Use of the Military
Insurgency, Guerrilla Warfare, and Terrorism
Islam in the Modern World
Fundamentalism, Religion, and Politics
Credit Hours Subtotal: 9
NSST 475Threats and Solutions to Global Security in the 21st Century3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 3
Total Credit Hours21

Grade Rules

C- and D Grades

A grade of B- or above is required for all courses in the minor.

Pass/No Pass

No course taken Pass/No Pass will be counted toward the minor.

Introduction to National Security

Description: Topics ranging from terrorism and international organized crime to environmental degradation and post-conflict reconstruction. Introduces each topic through both a theoretical and empirical lens, helping understand what is happening in the world and why.

Course details
Credit Hours:3
Max credits per semester:3
Max credits per degree:3
Grading Option:Graded with Option

Credit Hours:3


Weapons of Mass Destruction

Description: Examination of the scientific and technological details of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons and potentially massive disruptive effects of cyber-attack and electromagnetic events. Topics include: history and proliferation of weapons, political will and 'red lines', applicable treaties and disarmament agreements involved in deterrence and WMD counterproliferation.

Course details
Credit Hours:3
Max credits per semester:3
Max credits per degree:3
Grading Option:Graded

Credit Hours:3


Writing and Briefing for the National Security Enterprise

Description: Write clearly, concisely, and convincingly across a range of formats common in the national security enterprise. Orally present complex subjects clearly, succinctly and with authority.

Course details
Credit Hours:3
Max credits per semester:3
Max credits per degree:3
Grading Option:Graded with Option

Credit Hours:3


Analysis for the National Security Establishment

Description: Overview of the analytic process, along with various tools students can use to approach problems and generate and test hypotheses. Presented in three sections: Approaching Problems, Hypothesis Vetting, and Specific Tools.

Course details
Credit Hours:3
Max credits per semester:3
Max credits per degree:3
Grading Option:Graded with Option

Credit Hours:3


Threats and Solutions to Global Security in the 21st Century

Prerequisites: National Security Studies Minor.

Capstone course for all senior National Security Studies minors.

Description: Focus on simulations of threats to national security and challenge problems to reach solutions.

Course details
Credit Hours:3
Max credits per semester:3
Max credits per degree:3
Grading Option:Graded

Credit Hours:3