NSSA Undergraduate Certificate Program

The undergraduate certificate in National Security and Strategic Analysis (NSSA) is an interdisciplinary certificate designed to prepare students for careers in national security within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and other governmental agencies, national and international business companies, policy think tanks and non-governmental organizations (NGO)s worldwide. The primary focus is on learning analysis methods used by governmental and NGOs for strategic planning, policy setting, and decision making. This interdisciplinary effort integrates techniques and methodology of information collection and data and policy analysis with diverse knowledge.   

The process uses knowledge such as national and international political movements, social and demographic trends, climate and environmental stresses, technology and policy for weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and nonproliferation issues.

The NSSA program is administered by the UNM National Security Studies Program (NSSP) under the University College. A Faculty Advisory Committee assists in attaining the goals of the program, and provides certificate course approval for the student’s studies.

NSSA students will gain expertise in their major area and apply it to develop:

• knowledge about intelligence and strategic analysis institutions
• skills in analysis methods and strategic forecasting
• writing and briefing skills related to national security issues
• knowledge about intelligence policy and technical areas relating to national security
• an ability to apply advanced analysis to national security policy, science, and engineering

The Undergraduate Certificate program is open to undergraduate students who are interested in national security and strategic analysis. Undergraduate NSSA certificates may be earned by successful completion of a prescribed program of study for students also earning an undergraduate degree at UNM. There is a post baccalaureate option for recent graduates. The certificate is designed to provide specific knowledge and competencies to complement and extend the student's undergraduate degree and to provide exposure to a range of topics in the interdisciplinary field of national security and strategic analysis.

Admission to the NSSA Program and approval of a program is required one year prior to graduation or completion of the certificate. Prospective students should fill out an Application and Approval Form and understand the requirements for the NSSA Certificate.

Additional information about the program can be obtained by contacting The NSSA Program Director, Professor Frank Gilfeather at gilfeath@unm.edu or contacting the NSSP office at 277-3223 in Mesa Vista Hall #3019.