Certificate of Graduate Study

The certificate program is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate studies but do not need a degree, and those students who already have an advanced degree yet need additional graduate credentials. It is intended to encourage students’ continued professional growth, and to serve as a valuable indicator of achievement and knowledge for current and prospective employers and professional colleagues.

The Institute awards students a Certificate of Graduate Study upon successful completion of 20 credit hours (five courses) in one of the following areas of specialization: American Foreign PolicyComparative Political Culture; Conflict Prevention; Corporate StatecraftCounterintelligenceCounterterrorismCyber Statecraft; Economic Statecraft; Homeland Security; IntelligenceInternational PoliticsNational Security Affairs; Nonviolent ConflictPublic Diplomacy and Political WarfarePeace Building, Stabilization, and Humanitarian AffairsStrategic Communication; and Strategic Soft Power.

For each certificate there are at least two required courses, and these should be completed prior to the electives whenever possible. Students may choose the other courses needed to complete the certificate in any sequence unless otherwise noted and as long as they comply with any prerequisites. Students must take all courses for credit (not as an auditor), must attain a 3.00 GPA, and complete the certificate within three calendar years. Although there is some overlap between the certificates, completed courses apply toward one certificate only. Students may earn more than one certificate if they so desire. The Institute does not accept credit transfer for its certificate program.

Acceptance into a certificate program does not guarantee acceptance into the Master's degree program. Students who are interested in the degree program should refer to "Changing to Degree Status" under Admissions Requirements.

Areas of Specialization


Certificate in American Foreign Policy

This certificate is designed to provide an understanding both of the moral and philosophical principles underlying U.S. foreign policy as well as the history of its conduct since America became a world power. The program also covers selected policy issues.

Certificate in Comparative Political Culture

This certificate is designed for students seeking an understanding of many of the political, ideological, religious, legal, institutional, and larger cultural influences on the behavior of various states and non-state actors in the world.

Certificate in Conflict Prevention

This program examines various methods of detecting, preventing, and mitigating various types of international, inter-tribal, and other civil conflicts which may have international sources and implications.

Certificate in Corporate Statecraft

The Corporate Statecraft certificate provides an introduction to the political challenges corporations face abroad. 

Certificate in Counterintelligence

This certificate is designed to better prepare domestic security officers to confront the vast array of threats, challenges, and problems facing the public at all levels in the post-911 world. Students must choose at least three electives for this certificate.

Certificate in Counterterrorism

This certificate is designed to provide an in-depth study of the various topics relevant to countering terrorism at home and abroad, including intelligence policy, enemy threat doctrine, and national security strategy, in a historical and cultural context. Specific emphasis is placed on counterintelligence and security. Elements of this program also address the problem of understanding foreign cultures and the practices of foreign powers.

Certificate in Cyber Statecraft

This certificate reflects the increasing importance of the cyber domain, a relatively new frontier whose effect on all elements of statecraft and security cannot be overstated, and for which a broader and deeper understanding is necessary if tomorrow's strategic thinkers are to operate effectively.

Certificate in Economic Statecraft

The purpose of this certificate is to provide a strong foundation in the relationship between political and economic freedom, the instruments of economic warfare, and the strategic use of humanitarian assistance and other soft power tools. Important elements of economic power are presented in a strategic context, including the role of energy security, monetary policies, and national productivity.

Certificate in Homeland Security

The purpose of this certificate is to provide both the theoretical context for homeland security and the institutional framework, including current laws and legislative history, organization, definitions, historical background, bureaucracy, role of the private sector, and domestic intelligence. An introduction to Homeland Defense will be provided, along with an overview of specific threats, notably human trafficking, narcotics, gangs, and other illicit activities.

Certificate in Intelligence

This certificate is designed to provide a comprehensive study of the various issues of intelligence policy, process, epistemology, analysis, and history that are rarely studied systematically in preparation for professional work in intelligence, counterintelligence, and security. Elements of this program also address the problem of understanding foreign cultures and the practices of foreign powers.

Certificate in International Politics

This certificate is designed to provide an understanding of the history of international relations, the current world order, its dominant trends, and its likely evolution. It also addresses selected international policy issues that may be studied according to a student’s interests or professional requirements.

Certificate in National Security Affairs

This certificate is designed to provide an understanding of the elements of the theory and practice of national security policy, process, and implementation both at the level of grand strategy as well as on the tactical level. Significant parts of this certificate program address a number of vital current policy issues. Only one area course may be taken with this specialization.

Certificate in Nonviolent Conflict

The purpose of this certificate is to promote a strategic understanding of non-violent tools of statecraft in conflict situations, based on an appreciation of how to manage pluralism within and among societies where some conflict is inevitable and even constructive. Non-violent is not to be confused with pacifist. Conflict, adequately understood in economic and political context, need not degenerate into destructive civil or international warfare with terrible human costs.

Certificate in Peace Building, Stabilization, and Humanitarian Affairs

This certificate is designed to provide an understanding of the principles required for establishing stable and effective states, whose institutions seek to promote democratic values and individual human well-being, in the context of American foreign policy and ongoing global challenges.

Certificate in Public Diplomacy and Political Warfare

The purpose of this certificate is to provide specialized study of two unconventional and often misunderstood tools of statecraft – public diplomacy and political warfare – and to provide a starting point for the practitioner to integrate them with each other and with other instruments of policy. This program is the only one of its kind in the United States.

Certificate in Strategic Communication

The purpose of this certificate is to promote an understanding of an often misunderstood and misnamed tool of statecraft, which is sometimes confused with public diplomacy or public affairs and which even is used as a euphemism for advertisement and propaganda. The coursework is designed to provide the practitioner with an appreciation for the need to integrate policy with all instruments of statecraft, while focusing on specific targets and effective messaging.

Certificate in Strategic Soft Power

The purpose of this certificate is to promote a strategic understanding of the non-coercive tools of foreign policy and national security, and how they are and should be integrated for effective strategy. They include public diplomacy, counterpropaganda, counter-influence operations, humanitarian and economic assistance, political warfare, and the intelligence needed for such tools of statecraft. Graduates of this program are prepared for careers in diplomacy, foreign assistance, information support, intelligence, and counterintelligence.