FAQ

For more information regarding the NDISC Undergraduate Program, consult the following FAQ.


What's in it for you?

Who is this for? Am I eligible?

What is the deadline?

The required GPA is 3.72 for acceptance into the program, but there is some flexibility.

What are the requirements?

Why is Introduction to International Relations a required prerequisite?

Internships

Extracurricular Activities

What about internship and research support?


What's in it for you?

Political Science majors selected for this competitive program gain access to:

  • Specialized courses
  • Research support
  • Internship funding
  • Dedicated mentoring

Who is this for? Am I eligible?

The NDISC Undergraduate Program is for Political Science majors. All of our courses should count toward the major.

What is the deadline?

The deadline is April 1st, 2018, but we will consider applications for special circumstances after the deadline.

The required GPA is 3.72 for acceptance into the program, but there is some flexibility.

3.72 is the current requirement for minimum Latin honors, ie. cum laude. The certificate is a competitive privilege. That said, GPAs often increase over time and the normal applicant is a rising junior.  Also, some students face/d challenges along the way. Thus, students whose GPA is below 3.72 may submit an additional paragraph to their statement of interest justifying their current GPA and explaining why it will improve.

What are the requirements?

A number of courses (including Introduction to International Relations), a related internship, and participation in our extracurricular activities is required for the Undergraduate Certificate Program.

The courses are as follows:

  • The NDISC Security Studies Certificate Gateway course, to normally be taken during junior year. The Gateway course will focus on the theory and practice of National Security Policy.
  • Two additional elective courses at the 30000 level or above, including relevant junior and senior seminars.  
  • A senior thesis, to be completed over two semesters. 

Why is Introduction to International Relations a required prerequisite?

  • To make sure our students begin with at least some familiarity with the topics and theories in the field.
  • The course US Foreign Policy is also acceptable. Others may also be acceptable, to be approved by the Certificate Fellow Director.

Internships

On internships, examples of acceptable internships include:

  • Working for an NGO/IGO dealing with conflict/security.
  • Participation in the Washington Program, with where the internship component is focused on National or International Security.
  • Interning for a member of Congress whose sits on the Foreign Relations, Armed Services, or Intelligence Committee, and similar.
  • Interning at the Pentagon or elsewhere in the U.S. National Security bureaucracy.
  • Working as a research assistant for a professor conducting research in international security, subject to approval only under extenuating circumstances.

Examples of unacceptable internships include:

  • Study Abroad programs with no work component.
  • Interning for a local politician.
  • Interning at a private company that does not deal with international security issues.

For details and decisions on particular internships and circumstances, please consult the director.

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities details:

  • During your time after acceptance, you must attend our seminars from 4:30-6:00pm on Tuesdays. These are every 2-3 weeks. You MUST keep this time free. (If you can not, please explain your circumstances to the director for a waiver.
  • You will periodically be invited to dine with our speakers, so please try to be free some Tuesday evenings.
  • We also conduct orientation visits to military and political sites, bases, etc., as well as hands on training led by the ND ROTC program.

What about internship and research support?

NDISC has some funds to help students pay for their required internships as well as some funds to support senior thesis research. Please consult the following handouts for details on how to apply, which sorts of internships count toward the Certificate, etc.

Internship support application information

Senior thesis research funding application information

We also offer extensive mentoring to help students attain internships and careers in the policy and academic sides of the national security field.

  • Our professors have many decades of experience mentoring students in this competitive field.
  • NDISC professors, staff, and affiliates have worked at high levels in the Pentagon, founded the ND Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, worked in the policy world in Washington DC, and administered and attended the top graduate programs and post-graduate fellowships in the country.
  • We are deepening our relationships with the ND Career Center, the ND Washington Program, our own contacts, the Keough school, and other sources to help you.

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