Military, Security and Strategic Studies

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

Our PhD program addresses a critical need for analysts who can study and assess the multitude of security threats that exist around the world, emphasizing the importance of both a theoretical and policy perspective. This thesis-based degree is focused on interdisciplinary work and is designed to help students interact with military officers, government personnel, security-focused NGOs, and military scholars. With flexible programs, leading scholars in a variety of disciplines, and highly competitive funding packages, we strive to ensure our PhD students achieve success in their strategic studies.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Classics of Strategy, Advanced Analysis of International Relations and Strategic Studies.

  • Block Week Course: Students will complete Military and Strategic Studies: Questions and Methods in the week preceding their first term.

  • Additional Courses: May include arctic security, Canadian military studies, U.S. security, ethics and morality, intelligence, and other topics.

  • Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.

  • Thesis: Students are required to submit and defend an original research thesis.


Banking, Police Service, Government, Military Procurement, Oil and Gas, NATO, Advocacy Groups.

A PhD in military and strategic studies is usually considered a final degree.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Three core courses and three electives

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time; six years maximum


A supervisor is required, and must agree to oversee the student's research before admission will be granted

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Ian Brodie

    Ian Brodie

    Accepting Inquiries
    Political science, Political science
  2. Gavin Cameron

    Gavin Cameron

    Accepting Inquiries
  3. Alexander Hill

    Alexander Hill

    Accepting Inquiries
    Soviet military history, The Second World War, Soviet military and naval policy, The Soviet Union and southern Africa
  4. Rob Huebert

    Rob Huebert

    Accepting Inquiries
  5. Thomas P Tom Keenan

    Thomas P, (Tom) Keenan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Social Implications of Technology, Privacy and Security, Smart Communities, Technocreepiness, Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare, Non-financial Applications of the Blockchain
  6. Frank W Stahnisch

    Frank W Stahnisch

    Accepting Inquiries
    History of Medicine and the Life Sciences, History and Philosophy of the Neurosciences, History of Physiology, Medical Visualizations throughout History, History of Public Mental Health and Psychiatry

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

A completed Master's degree.

Work samples

A representative piece of written work, normally a master's thesis chapter or major research paper.


  • A detailed statement of the proposed thesis research
  • A completed application to the Centre, along with supporting documentation
  • All post-secondary transcripts

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline (admission and funding)
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline (admission and funding)

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Centre for Military, Security & Strategic Studies

Social Sciences 856
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website