Graduate Certificate in National Security and Public Policy

Graduate Certificate in National Security and Public Policy


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The Graduate Certificate in National Security and Public Policy at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government offers an overview of theory and practice in public policy, peace operations, national security management, history of military operations, national security decision-making, law and policy, illicit trade, national security and the global economy, transnational crime and corruption, grand strategy, and global governance.



  • Completion Requirements: 5 courses (15 credits) listed below
  • Duration: 1 to 1.5 years on average
  • Semester of Entry: fall and spring

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Notice:
Mason has moved to virtual instruction for its on-campus programs for the spring 2020 semester. Faculty and staff who normally work on-campus are teleworking and are fully available to support students. Visit Mason's Coronavirus Information page for more information, including affected dates and frequently asked questions. For questions as a prospective student, please don't hesitate to contact the Schar School Office of Graduate Admissions at

Certificate Program Requirements

REQUIRED COURSES (1 course | 3 credits)

Students are required to take the following course:

PUBP 500 Theory and Practice in Public Policy
Theories of public policy emphasizing historical intellectual development, and role theory and ethics may play in public policy making. Assumptions made by policy professionals examined against broad range of philosophical, social, political, and economic imperatives affecting public policy environment.

ELECTIVE COURSES (4 courses | 12 credits)

Select four elective courses of your choosing. Courses vary semester to semester, but past elective courses available to students have included:

* One of the four electives must have an international focus (marked by Int’l)


Earn your master's degree faster by starting with a certificate program. Students can apply up to 12 credits from a certificate program toward a Schar School master's degree upon acceptance into a master's program. Upon completion of this certificate, many students go on to pursue the Schar School's Master's in Biodefense, Master's in International Security, and Master's in Public Policy degree programs, among others.


Have questions about this certificate program? Contact the Admissions Office.