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National Defense University

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1976
    • Size:
    • Small (<5000 students)
    • Type:
    • Public
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Military, federal
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Temperate
    • Location:
    • 300 5th Avenue SW, Building 62, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, District of Columbia, United States, 20319-5066
    • Phone:
    • +12026854700
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Rural

The History of National Defense University

The National Defense University (NDU) is an institution of higher education funded by the United States Department of Defense, intended to facilitate high-level training, education, and the development of national security strategy. It is chartered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Vice Admiral Fritz Roegge, USN, as president. It is located on the grounds of Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.

"NDU educates joint Warfighters in critical thinking and the creative application of military power to inform national strategy and globally integrated operations, under conditions of disruptive change, in order to conduct war."

The school's master's program is a one-year intensive study program.

Academic Highlights

The National Defense University includes:

  • Colleges and Schools
  • College of International Security Affairs
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (The Eisenhower School), formerly the Industrial College of the Armed Forces
  • College of Information and Cyberspace (formerly "Information Resources Management College (IRMC)" or "iCollege")
  • Joint Forces Staff College
  • National War College
  • Research Centers and Components
  • Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Center for Strategic Research
  • Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs
  • Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • NDU Press
  • Center for Applied Strategic Learning

Life in National Defense University

NDU Press publishes Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ) four times per year. As stated on their home page "JFQ is the Chairman's joint military and security studies journal designed to inform and educate national security professionals on joint and integrated operations; whole-of-government contributions to national security policy and strategy; homeland security; and developments in training and joint military education to better equip America's military and security apparatus to meet tomorrow's challenges while protecting freedom today."

School Ranking


Applying Coursework Earned Prior to Program Admission

  • Graduate Certificate Program Participants
    • The NDU CIC does not accept transfer credits from outside institutions. CIC courses taken for non-credit may not be used to fulfill certificate requirements. Eligible courses may be used to fulfill requirements across multiple certificate programs. All coursework applied toward a certificate must be completed within four years of program admission.
  • Master of Science Program Participants
    • Subject to the graduation time limit requirements, a student may use up to eight NDU CIC classes passed with a grade of B or higher toward attaining the M.S. degree. No courses from other institutions are accepted for transfer. NDU CIC courses taken for non-credit may not be used to fulfill M.S. degree requirements. All coursework applied toward a M.S. degree must be completed within seven years of program admission.

Notable Alumni

  • Martin Dempsey
  • Colin Powell
  • John McCain
  • Benny Gantz
  • Marie Yovanovitch
  • Eric Shinseki

Acceptance Rate

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