National Security Management Course

Syracuse University

Syracuse University


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About the course

“This is my third executive education experience as a General officer and it is by far the BEST! From the incredible instruction, dynamic speakers, to the logistics and organization, it is obvious to me that much work and effort went into putting on this class.” — 2019 NSMC Participant

National Security Studies (NSS) is a premier professional development program for senior civilian and military executives in both the public and private sectors. The curriculum of this executive education program will include topics of foreign policy, intelligence, terrorism/counterterrorism, management, leadership, homeland security, global economics, and trouble spots around the world, to an array of current challenges facing the nation. This course will specifically focus on a wide spectrum of leader development competencies.

Our spring 2019 two-week course had 45 distinguished guest speakers. The course included lectures, discussions, simulations, and case studies. The agenda was tailored to meet the emerging issues and ever-changing demands of national security. We are committed to providing senior executives with similar strategic insights necessary to help them successfully navigate these challenging times each year.

The cost of the program is $10,000 for each attendee. This covers room, board, tuition, group transportation and materials upon arrival. Payment for the course is due before the first day of class. Transportation to and from Syracuse is at the expense of each participant. We have 55 seats available and there is no limit as to the number each agency or organization can send. Personnel at the ranks of 06/GS15, as well as Flag and General Officers, SESs, or those of a non-defense equivalent status, are welcome.

“Thank you for creating this amazing program and the opportunity to meet so many other senior leaders. This is hands-down the most well thought out and professional course I have attended.” — 2019 NSMC Participant

About NSS

The Maxwell School of Syracuse University has provided this program to participants since 1996 with a concentration on developing management, leadership, and decision-making competencies. This is done in the form of a two-week management course conducted each spring at Syracuse University. The National Security Studies Program offers a unique curriculum designed for each course at which distinguished guest speakers and members of the Syracuse University faculty interact with participants in the form of lectures, extended discussions, case studies, and simulations. The goal of the program is to address lessons of history and issues of contemporary relevance to national security.

NSS is a fully accredited OPM executive development program that is included for credit as a developmental opportunity as part of the SES Candidate Development Programs. NSS is recognized for credit by the Department of Defense, DOD Agencies, the Military Departments, and other Federal Agencies to whom the program has been opened. The Maxwell School of Syracuse University is an accredited institution of higher learning, and the NSS program is a recognized and qualified Executive Leadership Program within the school. An NSS participant is eligible for graduate credit if he/she completes our two-week National Security Management Course, then pursues three credits by submitting an approved topic in the form of a written paper.

The three credits are awarded through the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School, a top-ranked school of public administration in the nation. The Department and School are members of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a recognized professional body that reviews and accredits graduate degree programs in public administration. Additionally, Syracuse University is a member of the Middle State Association (MSA), a regional academic accreditation organization.

During the time the program has resided at Syracuse University, over 2,000 people have participated in the NSS program. Each has received a Certificate of Completion signed by the Maxwell Dean and the Program Director.

Frequently Asked Questions


The program fee covers the cost of all ground transportation to and from course-related events. Program participants, or their sponsoring agency, are responsible for the total cost and arrangements for transportation to and from Syracuse, New York. Please indicate on the Administrative Registration Form the specific details of your travel plans so we can be prepared to assist you.


You will stay at the Sheraton University Hotel and Conference Center, just a five-minute walk from the Maxwell School, where the majority of your classes will be held. Once you register for the course, we will secure your reservation at the Hotel.

The tuition covers all lodging expenses and meals, the majority of which will be served either in private hotel dining facilities or catered on campus. Telephone charges and miscellaneous expenses such as room service, alcoholic beverages, movies, or dry cleaning are your own personal obligations.

Weekend Travel, Minnowbrook Conference Center at Blue Mountain Lake The class will take a two-and-a-half day trip to a Syracuse University retreat in the Adirondacks for a case study simulation. For more information on the weekend accommodations please visit Minnowbrook's website.

Daily Schedule

Morning classes begin at 8:30 am and generally last three hours. Afterwards, lunch is provided and typically host to distinguished guest speakers. There are three or four hours of lecture and class work in the afternoons, followed by an informal dinner at the Sheraton from 6-8 p.m.

Non-Attribution Policy

This is an unclassified executive development program, and all presentations, comments, and discussions among peers, staff, faculty, and guest speakers are not for attribution.


You will be assigned a computer account and given access to the library. On campus, you may use Maxwell's internet to complete your assignments and access your home systems.

The Sheraton Hotel offers free wifi and high-speed ethernet access to those who bring their own laptops.

Contacting You during the Program

Colleagues, friends, and family will be able to contact you by mail, email, and phone at either the Maxwell School or the Sheraton Hotel. Contact details will be provided prior to the start of the program.

Weather and Fun

Spring weather in upstate New York in May is unpredictable but most often beautiful. Our area also boasts of beautiful lakes, rivers and streams where you might enjoy fishing, canoeing, or kayaking in your free time.

As a participant of the program, you will have access to campus fitness and workout facilities.

The Syracuse area is surrounded by some of upstate New York's finest golf courses. If you play golf, bring your clubs. The academic agenda is quite full but does include one afternoon for a golf outing for the class; all participants, regardless of skill level, are encouraged to play a round of golf as our invited guest.

Optional Activities

We are proud to have both an Army and Air Force ROTC program here on the SU campus. Each year during the program, volunteers from the class speak to the cadets if available.


David Van Slyke

Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business and Government Policy Degree Ph.D., Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1999 Specialties Public and nonprofit management, gov...

Steven Lux

Currently the Director of Executive Education at the Maxwell School, Steve is responsible for overseeing the School’s mid-career graduate degree programs (roughly 150 full and part-time students from thirty countries around the world) and developing and managing various executive management train...

National Security Management Course at Syracuse University

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