Academic Program

The Academic Program consists of two parts: the summer preparatory portion, and the academic year coursework. Together they form a twelve-month intensive program.

Summer Academic Program

The goal of the Summer Academic Program is to get the Fellow and family settled so that he/she is able to concentrate on academics when school begins in August. The summer program begins in mid-June for NWC/ES and mid-July for CISA, and ends in early August. The first few days are devoted mainly to in-processing and briefings to help the Fellow get settled in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. During these weeks of summer, there are several tours of the local area, as well as picnics and other social gatherings. Families are included in most of the orientation events.

During the summer program, Fellows attend an accredited writing and research course (See link for English as a Second Language/Introduction to Graduate Writing and Research).

Additionally, NDU has undergone a curriculum redesign over the last year, known as the Joint Education Transformation (JET).  You can find out more about the  JET here.

The first six weeks of the curriculum will include a Strategic Leader Foundational Course.  NDU has made available some optional, but recommended, readings to help you prepare for the course.  Links to the readings are below:

Lessons Learned

“Decade of War, Volume I: Enduring Lessons from the Past Decade of Operations” Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis (JCOA) , 2012.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“Mission Command” and “America’s Military: A Profession of Arms” White Papers

Joint Force 2020 Vision

Reading List


Dean Acheson Lecture at National War College Dec 1947: Formulation of Policy in the United States 

Academic Year Program

Academic classes begin in early August. NWC and ES Fellows are assigned to a seminar that consists of U.S. military officers from all services as well as civilian students from various other government agencies, while CISA International Fellows make up the majority of the class with a minority of Americans. Fellows participate in the full curriculum and are treated exactly the same as every other student at NDU. Fellows must arrive fully qualified in the English language, as the University does not provide remedial language support.

To find out more about the College of International Security Affairs, National War College, or the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, please click on the links below: