NSSA Certificate Requirements

The National Security and Strategic Analysis (NSSA) Undergraduate Certificate Requirements 

 Here is the new NSSA Certificate FLIER. Here is a PDF of the NSSA Certificate requirements.

Undergraduate Certificate Program (from 2018 UNM Catalog).

Undergraduate NSSA certificates may be earned by successful completion of a prescribed program of study as described below for students also earning an undergraduate degree at UNM. 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. The capstone is a demonstration of competency by the student through a coherent and critical analysis activity and academic paper based on their individual academic path and range of classes. 

A student’s program of studies must satisfy the following requirements and be pre-approved by the NSSA Faculty Committee one year prior to graduation. An approval form is available on line and should be submitted to the NSSP office Mesa Vista 3019. Address questions to the NSSA Program Director, Professor Frank Gilfeather c/o National Security Studies Program, 3019 Mesa Vista Hall, or by e-mail: gilfeath@unm.edu. Upon completion of all requirements a completion form will be generated and a designation added to your transcript noting the completion of the NSSA Certificate.

To earn the NSSA Undergraduate Certificate the student must: 

1.  Complete or have completed a baccalaureate degree at UNM. 

2.  Take a 3 credit course, Introduction to National Security and Strategic Analysis, or a pre-approved alternate course. 

3.  Take 9 credit hours of classes in groups A and B below with at least 3 credits from each group. 
     Group A - Political/Social Analysis 
     Group B - Quantitative Analysis 
     See additional discussion below in Courses in Group A and B

4.  Complete a field analysis or research analysis project related to national security, strategic analysis or intelligence analysis as at least a 2 credit independent study course. Complete either a or b below as part of this requirement.

a. An analysis paper based on work in an approved internship or

b. An analysis paper based on an independent and faculty directed research project.

5. Take at least 3 semesters of a foreign language or demonstrate equivalent competency in a foreign language; or three additional courses in group B. 

Shared Credit Hours between Undergraduate Certificates and Degrees 
As long as courses taken for an undergraduate certificate fall within the prescribed time limits for an undergraduate degree, the University allows shared course work between undergraduate certificates and a baccalaureate degree. If the student completes the certificate in conjunction with an undergraduate degree program, the student may use 100% of the certificate course work toward an undergraduate degree as long as it is approved as part of the degree. For post-degree certificates courses should be taken in the last 6 years. 

Capstone Project Details 
For details on completing this requirement see the capstone project requirement description page. 

Courses in Group A and B 
Courses are not offered each year and some courses are topics or seminar courses.  For topics and seminar courses, approval of a specific topic is required by the NSSA Faculty Committee.  Other courses can substitute for these courses upon approval of the student's program by the committee. To encourage a multidisciplinary approach, at most 3 credits per department is allowed in each of Group A and B.  Only one course can be taken at the 100-200 level. Students need to be aware that many courses require one or more prerequisites, which may or may not count towards the certificate, thus effectively increasing the credit hours needed to earn the certificate. 

Group A: 

AFAS Aerospace Studies 

400 National Security Affairs

401 National Security  Affairs-Seniors


AFST Africana Studies

329 Introduction to African Politics

340 Race and Globalization

397 T: Interdisciplinary Topics

495 T: Africana Studies


AMST American Studies

309 T: Social Movements


ANTH Anthropology

339 Human Rights

340 T: Conservation, Environment & Indigenous People


BIOL Biology

419 T: Global Change Biology

CE Civil Engineering

491 ST: Sustainability Engineering


CJ Communication and Journalism

314 Intercultural Communications

317 International Cultural Conflict and Community Building

334 Political Communication


ECON Economics

421 Latin American Economics

423 T:Topics in Latin American Development

424 International Trade

429 International Finance

478 Seminar in International Studies


EPS Earth and Planetary Science

436 Climate Dynamics

352 The City as Human Environment (Also offered as GEOG 466)


GEOG Geography

352 Global Climate Change

461 Environmental Management

466 The City as Human Environment (Also offered as EPS 352)


HIST History

473 Indigenous Peoples of Latin America

350 Modern U.S. Military History, 1900 to Present


INTS International Studies

402 Honors International Studies

499 T:Topics International Studies


LAIS  Liberal Arts, Global, National Security & Human Security

309 T: Global, National & Human Security


ME Mechanical Engineering

217 Energy, Environment and Society


MGMT Business/Management

328 International Management

420 Management in Latin America

421 International Entrepreneurship

422 Mexican Economy Markets

474 International Financial Mgmt


MLSL Military Science & Leadership    

402 Leadership in a Complex World


NVSC Naval Science

331 Evolution of Warfare


POLS Political Science

240 International Politics

329 Introduction to African Politics

340 Topics in International Politics.

341 International Conflict and Cooperation.

342 American Foreign Policy

346 International Political Economy

441 Civil Wars

442 International Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution

496 Seminar: International Relations


SOC Sociology

461 Visualizing Global Change

478 Seminar International Politics 


Group B:


ECON Economics

408 Economic Forecasting Methods:  A Time Series Approach


GEOG Geography

380L Basic Statistics for Geographers

381L Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

482L Positioning Systems

483L Remote Sensing Fundamentals

484L Applications of Remote Sensing

485L Internet Mapping

486L Applications of GIS

487L Spatial Analysis and Modeling.

488L GIS Concepts and Techniques


STAT Statistics



CS Computer Science



MGMT Business/Management   

329 Data Management


CE Civil Engineering

491/492 T: Special Topics in Civil Engineering

493 T: Special Topics – Honors

NE Nuclear Engineering

491/492 Undergraduate Problems

496 Honors Problems

499 T: Selected Topics

ECE Electrical and Computer Engineering

491 Undergraduate Problems

493 Honors Seminar

495 T: Special Topics

ME Mechanical Engineering

461/462 T: Special Topics

463 Undergraduate Honors Thesis


                                                                                           Revised 9/2018