• >National Security Studies Program

National Security Studies Program

Quick Links:

National Security & Strategic Analysis Certificate Program

NSSP Application

Bachelors of Liberal Arts Degree in Global and National Security

Click here for a complete list of NSSP supported classes spring 2019

NEW! LAIS 340 / POLS 300 SECTIONS FOR FALL 2018 ARE HERE. *Instructor permission is required.


Here is a brand-new presentation about the program given by Dr. Ken Carpenter, Academic Coordinator, NSSP.

 AGENCY RECRUITERS ON CAMPUS - November 6-8, 2018. See the EVENTS CALENDAR for further details!


The mission of the University of New Mexico (UNM) National Security Studies Program is to ensure that interested students develop the knowledge, skills and relationships necessary to successfully compete for Intelligence Community and related national security careers.

About Us

The National Security Studies Program (NSSP) is a student focused initiative helping a new generation of New Mexico students develop the knowledge and skills necessary in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. NSSP is tailored to prepare UNM students from a broad spectrum of disciplinary and professional fields of study for careers in U.S. government service. Click here for Intelligence Community career listings.

NSSP is sponsored by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is a member of the 17 member U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). UNM is designated as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence.

The program is designed for students at both the pre-baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate level. Currently NSSP is not part of a major or minor program of studies at UNM, but instead manages a National Security and Strategic Analysis Certificate designed to augment preparation in traditional disciplinary majors through focused courses, seminars, symposiums, individual mentoring, internships, intensive language study, and study a broad programs. 

Back to Top

The Challenges

The National Security Studies Program is by its nature multi-disciplinary and integrative. It draws upon business, law, the sciences, health sciences, the humanities and other areas of specialization. It aims to:

  • Provide interesting seminars and speakers on a wide range of national security related issues.
  • Provide a study abroad experience to select students focusing on a unique cultural experience.  
  • Develop critical thinking and innovative research opportunities.
  • Challenge and engage students and provide career and personal development opportunities.  
  • Acknowledge student accomplishment in national security studies through a Certificate Program designated on transcripts.

The National Security Studies Program at UNM emphasizes theoretical and practical preparation in four critical areas:

  1. Command of research, analysis and critical thinking skills.
  2. Expertise in science or professional fields or understanding of the complex interaction between science and policy.
  3. Knowledge of international, regional and cultural issues of national security importance.
  4. Proficiency in foreign languages and context-sensitive studies.

The program seeks to coordinate and support other activities on campus with related goals.

NSSP scholars' recent accomplishment highlights 

This past year many NSSP scholars interned at IC agencies or received scholarships and attended workshops and seminars throughout the country.

2018 Internships/scholarships/Study Abroad/IC Conferences include:

  •          Department of State Internships in Washington, DC - 2 scholars
  •          DIA Internships – 2 scholars
  •          IC CAE Summer Seminar in Washington, DC - 4 scholars
  •          Cusco, Peru
  •          Grenada & Madrid, Spain
  •          Paris, France
  •          Oaxaca, Mexico
  •          Panama City, Panama (Model UN) - 5 scholars
  •          Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
  •          Chengdu, China
  •          Popayan, Colombia
  •          Universitat Heidelberg, Germany
  •          Brazil / Portuguese Language study

 2017 Internships/scholarships/Study Abroad/IC Conferences include:

  •          Department of State Internships in Washington, DC - 2 scholars
  •          DIA Internships – 2 scholars
  •          IC CAE Summer Seminar in Washington, DC - 4 scholars
  •          Hudson Institute, Center for Political and Military Analysis Internship
  •          Spain Study Abroad
  •          Ireland Study Abroad
  •          Mexico Study Abroad
  •          Ireland Study Abroad
  •          Costa Rica Study Abroad
  •          Arab Study Abroad Amman, Jordan
  •          CLS Morocco
  •          Liden & Denz Russian Language course
  •          Liberia Universityà International degli Studi Social Guido Carli – Rome, Italy
  •          Talinn, Russia / Russian Language Program
  •          Jordan / Summer Arabic Language Program
  •          Berlin, Germany; Architecture of Justice

For more information about the program, call Dr. Frank Gilfeather at (505) 269-0346 or Jason Darensburg at (505) 277-3223 or make an appointment at gilfeath@unm.edu, or jdarrens@unm.edu. NSSP Offices are in Room 3019 Mesa Vista Hall (east of the SUB) on the UNM main campus, phone 277-3223. 

Back to Top