The Georgetown Summer Institute in National Security is a 10-week, 12-credit, in-person undergraduate program. The Institute will take place from Monday, June 3 to Thursday, August 8, 2024.
SEST 3000: Inside The National Security Enterprise (3 credits)Dr. Jennifer Jefferis
In this intensive, four-day, 36-hour course, students learn about the instruments of national power (diplomatic, informational, military, and economic) and how they are used to achieve strategic objectives in support of U.S. national security policy. Students will learn about the institutions and processes that shape U.S. national security policy. The course culminates in a simulation in which students will role-play key national security actors and develop viable policy proposals regarding an evolving security crisis. Students will be graded on the written proposal they create as well as their ability to get their proposal adopted through the competing interests, institutions, and objectives of other players.
Course meets June 3–7, Mon.–Fri., 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
SEST 3001: Understanding War (3 credits)Dr. Michelle Trusso
This course introduces students to strategy formulation and war. Core concepts include the nature of war, what constitutes military strategy and why it can be difficult to create and implement, and an overview of the organizational culture of the U.S. military services and how it impacts strategy. Through the use of historical case studies, this course demonstrates the effectiveness and limitations of the military instrument of power and provides students with a framework for how to assess military strategy during wartime.
Course meets June 11–August 6, Tue., 1:00–5:00 p.m.
SEST 3002: Contemporary Security Challenges (2 credits)Dr. Rebecca Patterson
This course is a survey of contemporary issues and challenges in the field of national security. Topics covered include nuclear weapons, terrorism, irregular warfare, the war in Ukraine, artificial intelligence, alliances, multinational corporations, international organizations, intelligence, and strategic competition with China and Russia. Students will write policy memoranda and op-eds and present brief presentations on contemporary security challenges throughout the course.
Course meets June 12–August 7, Wed., 1:00–5:00 p.m.
SEST 3003: Congress And National Security (3 credits)Prof. Alex Gallo
This course explores the critical role Congress plays in the formulation, implementation, and oversight of U.S. national security policy. Students will learn how the national security-related committees in Congress function, about the defense budget, Congress’s interactions with the executive branch, including the Department of Defense and military services, and contemporary policy debates today.
Course meets June 13–August 8, Thu., 5:30–9:30 p.m.
SEST 3004: Decision Making and War (1 credit)Dr. Brad Wineman
This course offers a unique and immersive study of decision making in the context of war, set against the backdrop of a Civil War battlefield. Students will engage in an in-depth exploration of military strategies, leadership challenges, and critical decisions. Through a guided tour of the battlefield, expert lectures, and interactive discussions, students will analyze how terrain, resources, technology, and human factors influenced the outcomes of these pivotal conflicts. Emphasizing the complexities and ethical considerations of wartime decision-making, the course integrates historical data, and contemporary military theory, providing an understanding of leadership under pressure. Field exercises and scenario-based learning activities enable students to apply theoretical knowledge to simulated situations, fostering skills in strategic thinking and crisis management.
Course meets Wednesday July 24 and July 31, 8-5 p.m.
You must participate in all scheduled programming. You may not partially participate in the Institute. Any outside commitments you may have—including but not limited to summer internships—cannot conflict with either class meetings or experiential components. Students who wish to take one of the courses à la carte may do so through the Georgetown School of Continuing Studies, space permitting.
Please reach out to the Summer Institute in National Security program staff at email@example.com with your specific questions regarding courses and participation.