Strategy and Defense Engineering

Program Overview

The 100% online concentration in Strategy and Defense Engineering offers an area of specialization in the Interdisciplinary Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)/ Master of Science (MS) degree. The concentration provides the skills and knowledge needed to join the defense industry or the military institutions that make informed decisions about future defense technologies. The target learning population are mid-career or retiring military officers, civilian employees of prime defense contractors, Capitol Hill staffers or think thank researchers, and/or graduate students.  

Through the curriculum, students will be trained in technology and innovation, decision making, leadership, skills, and values domains. These domains provide a balanced education and practical training, preparing graduates as strategy makers and actors.  

Course Topical Areas: 

Technology and Engineering Innovation Strategy and Defense Decision Making 
Leadership Skills and Values  U.S. Space Strategy 
Economic Decision and Risk Assessment  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Defense Strategy 

Degree Requirements with the Strategy and Defense Engineering Concentration

The Interdisciplinary Engineering (MSE or MS) degree requires a total of 30 credit hours with at least 18 credits of Purdue, graduate level, engineering courses.Engineering courses have one of the following subject prefixes: AAE, ABE, BME, CE, CEM, ChE, ECE, ENE, IE, ME, MSE, NUCL, SYS. Non-engineering courses include the following prefixes: SCLA, MA, STAT, ENGR, GRAD, and others. The Strategy and Defense Engineering concentration must be completed within these degree requirements. 

SCLA courses offer social and technology studies from the College of Liberal Arts. 


  • SCLA 50500 Technology War and Strategy - 

    This course defines the concepts of strategy and “strategic defense technology,” affirming that any technology may be strategic if it is defined so in use and supported by military necessity, political expediency, and economic capacity.

And choose one of the below courses:

  • SCLA 50600 Space Strategy - 

    This course will present the major military, political-regulatory, and economic dimensions of the US Space strategy.

  • SCLA 50700 Grand Defense Engineering Challenges - 

    This course will discuss the strategies used by engineering teams to bring defense systems to life, for which science offered a clear path while the engineering process was yet to be invented. 

Two of the following: 

Any courses listed on our courses page will fulfill this requirement. A reminder that the MS/MSE degree requires a minimum of 12 credits of engineering coursework.  

All questions regarding courses and transfer credits should be directed to a student’s academic advisor.  

Creating Your Plan of Study 

The MSE/MS master's program offers a wide range of flexibility in course options. After you begin your studies at Purdue, an academic advisor will help you create an Electronic Plan of Study (EPOS) to best fit your educational needs and career goals.   

The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements. This website is a knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.