National Security Studies FAQs

1. What does the national security studies bachelor’s degree completion program entail?

The national security studies program bachelor’s degree completion program is designed to help those protecting the United States from threats ranging from hurricanes to terrorists attacks. With a U.S.-centric perspective, the program expands on students’ training and knowledge in vital areas such as sociology-anthropology, geography, cultural awareness, regional politics as well as general education areas. Principles of critical thinking, ethical decision making, and leadership are interwoven throughout the curriculum.

2. Who may enroll in the program?

Applicants must be one of the following:

  • Member or former member of Combat Arms, Combat Support or Combat Service Support MOS in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marine Corps
  • Federal, State or Local law enforcement personnel
  • Federal, State or Local government employees
  • Member of the military or civilian intelligence community
3. Is the program entirely online?

Yes. Norwich has built a leading-edge online learning environment that promotes networking, peer support, and one-on-one interactions with faculty and student support staff. Classrooms are virtual, accessible from your home military base or in a theater of operations, and filled with extensive online learning resources.

4. What are the admission requirements for the program?

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the program:

Applicants must be one of the following:

  • Member or former member of Combat Arms, Combat Support or Combat Service Support MOS in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marine Corps
  • Federal, State or Local law enforcement personnel
  • Federal, State or Local government employees
  • Member of the military or civilian intelligence community

An associate degree or a minimum of 30 credits from a combination of:

  • Prior college courses, completed with a grade of C or better, from regionally or nationally accredited institutions of higher learning, or the equivalent from a foreign institution, as evaluated by WES, IERF, SpanTran, or CED.
  • ACE-reviewed military or professional training for which college credits are recommended.*
  • Other military or professional training reviewed by Norwich University for which college credit has been assessed, or is stipulated in an MOU.
  • Credit recommended based on scores on standardized tests such as CLEP.

*Courses in these areas are offered for students who may need them.

To apply, you must submit the following items:

  • Application form
  • Letter of Intent (1-2 pages) outlining your experience, prior learning, and educational/career objectives.
  • Resume or ERB
  • Official military training transcripts (Joint Services Transcript/CCAF), mailed to the address below
  • Proof of English language proficiency if applicable (TOEFL).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges previously attended.

Mail official transcripts to: Norwich University College of Graduate and Continuing Studies – ATTN: NSS, PO Box 367, Northfield, VT 05663

6. How many credits will I take, and can I transfer additional credits to apply toward my degree?

To complete your national security studies degree, you must earn 120 credits. As an admissions requirement, 30 of those credits must be earned prior to enrolling in the program through military training, CLEP, or college courses completed at another institution. You may transfer up to 90 additional semester-credit equivalents from other accredited institutions of higher education for courses that meet specific SSDA requirements.

7. How much does the program cost?

The per-credit cost for the national security studies program is $375 for non-military members and $250 active duty military members. The federal government’s Tuition Assistance (TA) program covers the per-credit cost for active duty military personnel. For detailed information about program costs and fees, visit the tuition information page.

8. I would like to use my VA benefits. What is the process, and whom do I contact for more information?

The national security studies program is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, all GI Bill® and other military payment options will be available to students applying for admission to the program. For consolidated information about specific programs, visit our Veterans Benefits page.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

9. Is this program covered under federal financial aid?

The national security studies program is eligible for Federal Student Aid, including need-based (i.e., Pell Grants and Direct Subsidized Loans), and non-need based (i.e., Direct Unsubsidized Loans) programs. To get started on your Federal Student Aid application, you will need to complete the FAFSA.

10. How long is each trimester, and how long will it take me to finish the program?

Each trimester is 16 weeks long and made up of two eight-week sections. There is a one-week break between trimesters. There is no break between sections within the trimester. Full-time students (meaning they must take at least 12 credits per term) may complete the program in less than two years. This estimate does not factor in planned or unplanned leaves from the program, which may occur from time to time. Part-time enrollment will take longer. 

11. How many hours a week must I commit to my studies?

You should plan to spend approximately 15 to 20 hours each week on readings, discussion postings, and written assignments. This will vary depending on the number of courses and the types of courses you’re taking. Students new to the program will spend more time as they get used to online learning and delivery.

12. What happens if I am suddenly deployed and need to withdraw from a course or the entire program?

The program is designed with the duties of military personnel in mind and can be flexible to accommodate the needs of students in the field. Unexpected interruptions won’t impact your learning plan. Your student services advisor will work with you so you are able to leave and return to the program as needed.

13. When can I begin the program?

There are three starts per year: January, May, and September. Additional flexibility around start dates may be possible. Speak to your admission advisor for more details.

14. How large will my class be?

Approximately 15 to 25 students will be in your class. You will break into groups of six or fewer so that discussions and projects are productive and manageable.

15. How do I plan my curriculum and program schedule?

Once accepted into the program, you will work with one of our student services advisors to outline your degree plan, which will determine the courses you need to graduate.

16. What credentials will my instructor have?

Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies recruits from a national market and cultivates a very selective faculty. Most national security studies instructors have a PhD and significant experience teaching in face-to-face and online environments. Many have direct military and law enforcement experience and experience educating service members. They are devoted to students and passionate about teaching and learning. All complete specialized online teaching training and are held to the college’s high standards with regard to quick turnaround on communications and grading of assignments.

17. What Norwich University resources will be available to me?

You will have access to vast online resources through Kreitzberg Library, including our dedicated distance learning librarian. You will also receive academic support from your instructor, administrative support from program staff, and technical support for the online learning platform.

18. Is Norwich University accredited?

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Inquiries regarding our accreditation status should be directed to: Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, 209 Burlington Road Bedford, MA 01730-1433, phone: +1-781-271-0022, email:

19. Will there be a graduation ceremony when I complete the program?

Graduating students are welcome to attend the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies residency in June, where they can participate in a commencement ceremony with other graduating students at the College, and an academic recognition ceremony with their program peers. Due to the nature of our students’ commitment to service obligations, participating in residency events at Norwich University is optional, not required. Once students have fulfilled their degree requirements, Norwich University will confer the degrees and send them to students not participating in the commencement on campus. Degree conferrals take place in June and December.