The Graduate Institute of Strategic Studies (GISS) was formerly the Military Institute in the University of the Armed Forces established in 1984. Chief of the General Staff at that time, Hau Pei-Tsun, funded the Military Institute in order to enhance the strategic literacy of high ranking generals as well as to foster advanced teaching personnel for the war college. Military personnel above the rank of associate division commander (associate wing commander and captain) were recommended by the commander of the army (headquarters) to take an entrance exam before official admission. Many high ranking generals and high-level military training instructors today are outstanding alumni of the Military Institute.
In light of dramatically changing international relations in the post-Cold War era, cross strait relations surfaced as a new field where the importance of strategic studies cannot be overstressed. In order to cope with the changing global political climate, it is our goal to transform the armed forces into modern military officials with global perspectives. Education principles are adjusted accordingly in collaboration with Tamkang University Graduate Institute of Strategic Studies. An updated strategic military education in alignment with the lifelong learning policy is in place. Ratified by the Ministry of National Defense, the college has been renamed the Graduate Institute of Strategic Studies since 1995.
The University of the Armed Forces was restructured as National Defense University in accordance with the academic planning of the Ministry of Education in May 8th, 2000. “Strategic and International Affairs on-the-job Master Program” is held in collaboration with National Cheng-chi University through the Graduate Institute of Diplomacy, setting an unprecedented military academic collaboration of a dual higher education system.
National Defense University is dedicated in the cultivation of doctoral teaching personnel specialized in strategic and international studies. With sufficient teaching resources, the Graduate Institute of Strategic and International Affairs started to be in charge of student admission of the “Master Program of Strategic and International Affairs” in March 2006. Admission is also open to students at ones’ own expense. A cross-school cooperation agreement is made with National Chung Cheng University and Central Police University acknowledging inter-school course credits. Military academic collaborative education is more well-rounded as students will be awarded master degrees upon completing their studies. As the impact of low birth rate is seen in the decrease of university students, the institute suspended general student admission at one’s own expense in 2014. Military officials are admitted instead for the purpose of facilitating middle and high level military academic collaboration. Meanwhile, admission is diversified to allow talents to stand out in the entrance exam of the War College. After completing their studies, students will be awarded with dual degrees.
In 2014 an International Master Program in Strategic Studies (IMPSS) was established which promotes military cooperation and exchanges at an international level. Its admission is open to middle and high ranking officials and officers from allies of the Republic of China. The goal is to foster talents in strategic studies that will contribute to the basis of future cross-boarder military cooperation.