connor laclair graduate

Diplomacy fascinates me. In today’s uncertain world, proven and competent diplomats have never been needed more.

Connor LaClair
Norwich Graduate, Class of 2018

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Master of Arts in Defense Policy

Grow your career in the interests of national defense.

Insightful and influential policymakers at the highest levels of national defense remain vital to the protection of the United States and its citizens and to the diplomatic presence of the U.S. abroad. Emphasizing both theory and practice, the Norwich University online Master of Arts in Defense Policy (MDP) prepares students to take on advisory and supervisory roles with the Department of Defense and other government agencies, independent contractors, think tanks and organizations in the defense industry. The program explores the relationship between defense policies and national power and provides students with the research, analytical and communications skills to think and act decisively in critical, real-world defense scenarios.

One of only a few master’s-level programs, the Norwich MDP is the crucial next step for military veterans, for professionals seeking to advance their current careers in non-combat military roles and for civilians working in the Department of Defense, the State Department and defense-related industries. Grounded in historical context, coursework equips students to evaluate significant trends in defense policy as it relates to human rights, international law, intelligence, kinetic operations, diplomacy, conflict management and interagency activities. Expert faculty with deep experience in the field guide students toward a graduate-level understanding of the current security environment, national and international defense policies, defense strategies and decision-making methodology.

  • Master of Arts
  • Students take elective courses

Why Norwich?

Learn from expert faculty—retired military and defense personnel, as well as academic specialists—who are dedicated to your career success.

Develop a professional understanding of national and international defense policies and strategies, as well as higher-level decision-making methods.

Prepare for advisory and supervisory roles with the Department of Defense and other government agencies, independent contractors, think tanks and defense-related organizations.

Advance your current career in a non-combat military role or as a civilian working for the Defense Department, State Department, government agency, independent contractor and more.

Balance school, work and military schedules with a flexible curriculum.

No GRE required

Quick Info

100% Online

All classes taken online

24/7 Access

Access the online classroom anywhere, anytime

11.2k Graduates

Over 11,000 previous online students

6 March

Next Start Date

6 February

Application Deadline

Accreditation & Recognition

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).

We're Here to Help

Andrea  Thunberg, M.S.
Assistant Director of Admissions

Core Curriculum

Norwich’s online master’s courses are delivered over 11 weeks at a time, and the typical program completion time is 18 months. Please view the course catalog for curriculum information. 

MDP Admissions Information

At a Glance

  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • Undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher

Admissions Requirements »

Next Start Date

Monday, March 6, 2023

Application Deadline

Monday, February 6, 2023

Contact Admissions

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT
Extended hours available by appointment


Call: 1-866-684-7237


  • student writing in notebook
    Transfer Credits
    You may receive the equivalent of up to 12 semester credits for study conducted elsewhere. Norwich complies with VA regulations and guidelines as it pertains to transfer credits.
  • international student at graduation
    International Admissions
    Norwich University welcomes students from all countries who want to study through our online programs. You must complete all steps in the admissions process.
  • benjamin bragdon on norwich campus, graduate
    Norwich Alumni Benefits
    Reconnect with Norwich to complete your master's degree. As apart of our alumni community, you are eligible for a $2,500 scholarship and other benefits.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Norwich University, in compliance with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or physical handicap in any of its policies, practices, or procedures.

Tuition & Fees


Norwich provides a top-notch educational experience; we also work hard to help make it affordable. There are many ways to get financial aid and several strategies to help you finance your education. Norwich is committed to making this often-difficult process easier for you.

Tuition at a Glance

  • Credit Hours: 30
  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $698 or $550 (active military; veteran; first responder)

Financial Aid Resources

Ways to Pay

2022-23 Tuition and Fee Schedule - Master's Programs

Rate Per Credit Term Tuition Additional Expenses Total
$698; $550 (active military; veteran; first responder) $3,300-$4,188

Technology - $300/term
Library - $75/term
Graduation - $150/one time


Careers & Outcomes

The demand for professionals with a broad understanding of national and international defense policies has never been greater. Norwich MDP graduates can expect to undertake a wide array of roles across government and defense-related industries, many of which are expected to see increased demand in the coming years. For example, employment for information security analysts, including intelligence analysts, is projected to increase 35% by 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (* 

Our graduates can be prepared for roles in:

  • Foreign Area Officer
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Federal Government Analyst
  • Department of Homeland Security Officer
  • International Research Specialist
  • Lobbyist
  • Policy Advisor
  • State Government Advisor/Analyst
  • Immigration Officer
  • Instructor
  • Military Officer
  • Veterans Affairs


Faculty & Staff

Academic Director

Lasha Tchantouridzé, PhD

Dr. Lasha Tchantouridzé is Professor and Director of the graduate programs in Diplomacy and International Relations. He is also a Davis Center Associate, Harvard University, Boston, MA; Research Fellow, the Center for Defence and Security Studies, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada; and Advisory Board Member of Peace & War Center at Norwich University. He earned his PhD in International Relations from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Tchantouridzé’s research interests are at the intersection of diplomacy and force in international politics, and his academic publications are in the areas of geopolitics, Russian foreign policy, Canadian foreign policy, the Arctic, the Black Sea basin, international politics in the Caucasus, and NATO-Russia relations.

Recent Publications:

“The Black Sea question in Russo-Turkish Relations,” in Contemporary Russo-Turkish Relations: From Crisis to Cooperation, ed. by Ali Askerov, Lexington Books, 2018.

“Contending Policies of Russia and Turkey: The Syrian Crisis,” co-authored with Ali Askerov, in Contemporary Russo-Turkish Relations: From Crisis to Cooperation, ed. by Ali Askerov, Lexington Books, 2018.

“Appeasement of Russia and the Return of Great Power Politics in Europe,” Eastern Europe – Regional Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2017.

“საპარლამენტო სისტემის პრობლემები განვითარებადი დემოკრატიის პირობებში” (“Problems of the Parliamentary System in Developing Democracies,” in Georgian), პოლიტიკა (Politics), 2017, Vol. 1, No. 3.

“Unipolarity: End of an Error,” in Michael Hawes and Christopher Kirkey, eds. Canadian Foreign Policy in a Unipolar World. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2016.

“Canada’s Northern Dilemma: Resurgent Russia and the Competition over the Arctic,” Asian Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2, fall 2014.

“Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan: Comparing Canadian and Soviet Efforts,” International Journal, a special issue: Canada and Afghanistan: a Political, Diplomatic, Security, Economic & Social Assessment, Volume LXVIII, No. 2, summer 2013.

“Unipolarity: Theories, Images, and Canada’s Foreign Policy Priorities” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Volume 18, Issue 2, 2012.

“Political Economy of Kyrgyzstan’s Domestic (In)Stability,” The Journal of Central Asian Studies, Srinagar, Kashmir, Vol. XX, No. 1, 2011, pp. 89-102. 

“Realpolitik and the Russo-Georgian War: Three Years On,” with Ryan Dessayn, Central Asia and the Caucasus 13 (1) 2012. 
In Russian: Лаша Чантуридзе и Р. Дессейнь, «Realpolitik и война России с Грузией: Три года спустя,»  Центральная Азия и Кавказ 15 (1), 2012.

“Canada and the New Russian-European Condominium,” Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3.
In French: “Le nouveau condominium russo-européen : Réévaluer les engagements pris par le Canada envers l’Europe en matière de défense,” Revue Militaire Canadienne, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2011.


GD510 Theory and the International System
GD542 Terrorism: Introduction and State Sponsored Terrorism
GD560 Military Intervention and Conflict Management in the International System
IR510 World Politics – International Relations
IR531 National Security

Meet Lasha »

Program Staff

Andrea Thunberg, M.S.
Assistant Director of Admissions
Assistant Director of Admissions

Featured Faculty

Lasha Tchantouridzé, PhD
Program Director
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