ic centers for academic excellence

IC Center for Academic Excellence

NSSP Staff

Dr. Frank Gilfeather 
Principal Investigator 
(505) 277-3223

Dr. Ken Carpenter
Academic Coordinator
(505) 277-3223

Candace Shirley
Sr. Program Manager
(505) 277-3223

General Inquiry Contact:
Jennifer Marie Nieto
Program Manager
(505) 277-3223

National Security Studies Program

MSC 01 1100
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Suite 137A, B & C

Phone: (505) 277-3223
Fax: (505) 277-2182

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Home Page - Global and National Security Studies at UNM

National Security Studies Program

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.


UPDATE: 2021 Summer Research Funding Opportunities for UNM Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Up to 40 Students from the 10 NSSP/CTSP Consortium campuses (including UNM Main Campus) will be chosen for stipends of $3,000 to conduct research, write an 8-page research paper, and present a poster on a topic involving global, national or human security and critical technology.  Students will work under the supervision of a designated faculty member/mentor. Projects must be completed during the summer (ideally in June - July).  Stipends will be awarded in the summer term when the project paper and a poster are submitted.  Posters will be presented at the Annual UNM Global, National, and Human Security Symposium September 14-15, 2021 in Albuquerque.  See here for an application due May 3, 2021.

Research Paper Guidelines available here.


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 areas of study for careers in U.S. government service. Click here for Intelligence Community career listings.

NSSP is sponsored by the 17 member U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). UNM is designated as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC-CAE).

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  UNM Certificate in National Security & Strategic Analysis designed to augment preparation in traditional disciplinary majors through focused courses, seminars, symposiums, individual mentoring, internships, intensive language study, and study a broad programs. 


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 academic fields. It aims to:

  • Provide interesting seminars and speakers on a wide range of national security related issues.
  • Encourage students to explore opportunities for foreign language study and education abroad programs.  
  • 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.

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