Graduate Certificate in National Security Affairs
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- An executive-level graduate education program tailored to the needs of the Department of Energy (DOE) National Security Laboratories and Facilities.
- Participants designated Fellows of the Bush School of Government and Public Service National Security Affairs Program.
- A four-course program, two courses in residence at Texas A&M during the summer and two courses delivered remotely in the fall and spring:
- INTA 617 Deterrence & Coercion, with Jasen J. Castillo (summer)
- INTA 689 Cyberspace & National Security, with J. Kevin McLaughlin (summer)
- INTA 631 U.S. Military Power, with Jasen J. Castillo (fall)
- INTA 685 National Security Research Seminar, with Jasen J. Castillo (spring)
- Texas A&M University Graduate Certificate in National Security Affairs awarded upon successful completion of the four-course program.
NSAP Informational Sheet (PDF)
The National Security Affairs Program (NSAP) is an executive-level graduate education program tailored to the needs of the Department of Energy (DOE) National Security Laboratories and Facilities. It provides selected personnel with the opportunity to explore the national security policy and the strategic dimensions of the science and technology work in which they are engaged. The program is collaboratively managed by the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Kansas City National Security Campus. Staff members selected for the program are designated NSAP Fellows at the George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service. The program is administered through the Albritton Center for Grand Strategy.
Fellows complete a series of four for-credit courses, two in-residence at Texas A&M University in College Station and two remotely. They also participate in seminars and other professional development activities over a twelve-month period. NSAP Fellows who complete the full four-course program are awarded a transcripted Certificate in National Security Affairs by the Bush School of Government and Public Service. One hundred and five Fellows have participated in the program since its inception in 2008.
Focused on national security policy and strategy issues that are critical to the missions of the DOE National Security Laboratories and Facilities, the broadening experience provided by the NSAP enables Fellows to engage more effectively with sponsors, and even come to anticipate sponsor needs, as they assume positions of increasing responsibilities at their home institutions. NSAP Fellows have developed proposals and received external funding they would not have pursued without having been in the program. The program has also prepared Fellows for IPA assignments—assignments for which they may not otherwise have been competitive—with sponsors in Washington, D.C. NSAP alumni have served in IPA assignments at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Administration, the Department of Defense, and the White House’s Office of Science, Technology, and Policy, among other offices.
The program of study for the Certificate in National Security Affairs entails successful completion of twelve credit hours of graduate instruction delivered in four courses during the program year. This program provides scientists, engineers and other technical specialists with working knowledge of a range of critical and enduring policy and strategy issues that those seeking to exercise national security leadership must possess. The following learning objectives are central to the program:
- Development of the ability to think analytically, critically, and systematically about national and international security;
- Development of an understanding of and the ability to apply the concepts, approaches and analytical frameworks that inform national security policy analysis;
- Development of the ability to identify and frame national security challenges and opportunities, identify and evaluate alternative courses of action, determine what course to pursue, and evaluate what capabilities are needed to support policy and strategy choices; and
- Development of a deeper understanding of the relationship between science and technology and national security.
Throughout the program Fellows consider the implications of national security challenges and opportunities for those engaged in science and technology research and development and explore the relationships among the topics introduced and their own fields of expertise.
The program is delivered through a combination of university courses in residence at the Bush School and other courses offered to participants remotely. If an organization selects five or more Fellows to participate in the program, the Bush School’s NSAP faculty will travel to their facility to deliver at least one session in-person per semester. All courses are structured to meet the University’s requirements for graduate instruction (e.g., number of contact hours, assignments, methods of assessing student performance).
During the start of the program, Fellows are in residence at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, for four weeks during the first summer term. They are provided office space during their residency and access to Texas A&M libraries and other facilities available to enrolled graduate students. During the first summer term they will:
- Receive an orientation to the National Security Affairs Program;
- Participate in and complete all requirements for two graduate courses;
- Participate in special seminars with guest speakers on national security affairs;
- Receive guidance regarding procedures for the two courses that they will complete in the fall and spring semesters of the program year (for those in the full four-course certificate program).
During the fall semester, Fellows complete their third course, participating in weekly classes remotely. In the following spring semester they complete their final course, which is also delivered via VTC. Two courses will be offered during the summer of 2021:
- INTA 617 Deterrence & Coercion, with Jasen J. Castillo: Introduces deterrence and coercion as instruments of defense policy by applying them to historical and contemporary security problems.
- INTA 689 Cyberspace and National Security, with J. Kevin McLaughlin: Government leaders around the world are increasingly confronted with the seemingly intractable problems posed by the rapid growth of cyberspace security issues. This course equips students with the insights and tools needed by policy makers in this complex arena.
Two additional courses are currently included in the four-course certificate program:
- INTA 631 U.S. Military Power, with Jasen J. Castillo: A comprehensive analytical overview of the central and enduring issues in U.S. national security and defense planning: contending conceptions of the evolving international security environment; grand strategy, defense strategy, military strategy, and theater strategy; and current and future military requirements.
- INTA 685 National Security Affairs Research Seminar, with Jasen J. Castillo: A research seminar in which Fellows, either in teams or individually, apply the skills and knowledge developed in the program by tackling challenging national security problems and developing white papers and briefings on issues of enduring interest to the Department of Energy.
Individuals may apply who hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited university. The program has been open primarily to candidates designated as an applicant by an agency or organization that has entered into a contract with the program. It is potentially open as well to individuals with a graduate degree and a minimum of three years employment experience in a firm, laboratory, agency, or nongovernmental organization engaged in the development or provision of systems, services, or products related to national or international security. Five years employment experience is required for those who hold a bachelor’s degree.
Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to graduate study at Texas A&M University as non-degree seeking students (G-6). Proficiency in reading, writing, and spoken English at a level necessary for graduate instruction is required.