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International Security Graduate Certificate

No Textbooks Required (all materials provided)
Certificate Stacks into the M.P.P.A. Master’s Program
Includes High Impact Practice (service learning or simulation)
Independent Research Focus 
Certificate Overview Open Accordion

Understand and solve security issues on the global stage

Gain skills, knowledge, and experience to understand and analyze the use of violence for political purposes. Become a competent analyst of international security issues. Increase your exposure to a wide range of topics including:

  • Interstate war and peace
  • Civil conflict
  • Environmental security
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Emerging threats
  • Terrorism
  • Cybersecurity
  • Infectious disease

Join a program that recognizes the diversity of security challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century, from the return of Great Power competition and large-scale interstate land wars to infectious disease and environmental insecurity. Integrate traditional and non-traditional approaches to the study of international security with a view to developing a holistic appreciation for the causes of insecurity in the modern world.

In this program, you will:

  • Develop an understanding of organized violence, human suffering, and insecurity during war and peacetime.
  • Learn in an interdisciplinary program that combines political science, International Relations, and public policy and administration.
  • Gain hands-on experience of researching solutions to current international security challenges.
  • Approach security topics from the standpoint of a problem-solver.
  • Learn how to develop a research question, apply theories and concepts, and marshal evidence in service of policy-relevant analysis.
  • Receive advice from International Relations experts on how to publish your own unique scholarly and public-facing commentary.

Learn online, on your time with experienced research-active professors

Complete your coursework at times that are convenient for you in a flexible online learning format. Receive the same high-quality education as students on campus. Learn from experienced instructors active in trending research in the field of international security.

Apply credits to a master's degree

Credits earned in this certificate can be applied toward your Public Policy and Administration master’s degree (after formal admission per University transfer policies). Note that successful completion of this certificate does not guarantee admission into the master’s program.

Explore Careers Open Accordion

Expand your career opportunities in a growing field

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of security analysts is expected to grow 35% in the next 10 years, much faster than the average occupation. Transfer skills you learn to careers in the public sector, think tanks, the military, national security, and other related fields.

With a graduate certificate in international security, you will qualify for roles such as:

  • Research Officer
  • Risk Analyst
  • Political Analyst
  • Internation Security Analyst
Curriculum Open Accordion

Required course:

  • POLS 531 – International Security Studies (3 cr.)

Select a minimum of 9 credits from the following:

Program Total Credits: 12

Note: Additional course work may be required due to prerequisites.

Faculty Open Accordion
Peter Harris

Dr. Peter Harris

Dr. Harris is an expert on international security and US foreign policy. He is the author of more than two dozen peer-reviewed articles and over 200 additional features, blogs, op-eds, and reviews. His scholarly work has appeared in journals such as Asian Perspective, Asian Security, International Affairs, Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, Marine Policy, National Interest, Parameters, Political Science Quarterly, Review of International Studies, and Third World Quarterly.

His work has been funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles Koch Foundation, and Smith Richardson Foundation. He is a Non-Resident Fellow with Defense Priorities and a Contributing Editor at

James Fielder

Dr. James “Pigeon” Fielder

Dr. Fielder researches interpersonal trust and emergent political processes through cyber-based interaction, speculative fiction analysis, and through tabletop, networked, and live-action gaming as natural experiments. He has over two decades of experience designing, executing, and assessing training exercises and wargames, from small-group tabletop discussions to multi-day exercises engaging 5,000+ participants.

Dr. Fielder earned his Ph.D. in political science from The University of Iowa in 2012 and retired from the military in 2019 after 25 years of service as a Lieutenant Colonel, Associate Professor of Political Science, and International Relations Division Chief at the United States Air Force Academy. He was formerly a Non-Resident Fellow, Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity, Marine Corps University, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Dr. Fielder is author of Current World Problems (Kendall Hunt) and co-editor of Simulations and Games in the Political Science Classroom (Taylor & Francis).

Eric Fattor

Dr. Eric Fattor

Dr. Fattor is an expert on international politics, political theory, and the politics of media (“strategy, struggle, and spectacle”). He earned his Ph.D. from the Korbel School of International Studies and has previously taught at the University of Denver, University of Colorado, and Hendrix College.

Dr. Fattor is the author of Crisis and Interregnum: World Order in Transition (Exeter University Press) and The American Empire and the Arsenal of Entertainment: Soft Power and Cultural Weaponization (Palgrave Macmillan).

Joonbum Bae

Dr. Joonbum Bae

Dr. Bae has broad expertise in international security and the international relations of the Asia-Pacific. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA and previously held positions at the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs (Texas A&M University), Colgate University, and the KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

His work has appeared in journals such as International Interactions, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Journal of Global Security Studies, and Foreign Affairs online. His current research interests include the relationship between international conflict and authoritarian stability as well as how (and whether) international politics in East Asia differ from other regions of the world. Dr. Bae’s work has been supported by the George Marshall Foundation and the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall:July 15
Spring:December 15
Summer:April 15

1Review Admission Requirements

Generally, graduate certificate applicants must meet or exceed the following criteria:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A cumulative 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework*
  • No GRE is required. However, recent TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE examination results are required for international applicants.

Note that meeting the minimum department standards does not ensure admission to the program. Admission to Colorado State University graduate programs is based on several factors, including prior academic and professional experience.

*Please submit an academic performance explanation with your application if your GPA was lower than 3.0

2 Prepare Application Materials

Prepare the materials below and upload when you apply online:

Current resume

Describe the responsibilities of your professional experience and what you accomplished while in those positions; show the length of time for each position (including the month and year). International applicants, please provide the city, state, and country for your employment and academic history. You will upload this document to your online application.

3 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

Under "Select an application type," choose the term (fall or spring) that you are applying to. Note: Some certificates have a preferred start term; please contact us for details.

  • Choose "International Security (Certificate) – Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select "Certificate" at the top.)

4 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript of all collegiate work completed from all institutions attended. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary)
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Alex Broz
Prospective Student Support Coach
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Program Details

$586 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Certificate Awarded
Graduate Certificate in International Security
Time Frame
3 Semesters

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 15
Spring semester
December 15
Summer semester
April 15

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