Apply to the Master’s Program

Master’s Program applications are now being accepted.

  • May 1 deadline for admittance to the fall cohort.
    Fall Cohort Notified: July | Start of Online Orientation: July | 1st In-residence: September, Monterey CA
  • December 1 deadline for admittance to the spring or summer cohorts.
    Spring Cohort Notified: February | Start of Online Orientation: February | 1st In-residence: April, Monterey CA
    Summer Cohort Notified: March | Start of Online Orientation: April | 1st In-residence: June, Potomac MD

Applicants may submit applications at any time, but to be considered for the next cohort(s), complete application packets (including all required essays, transcripts and letters of recommendation) should be received by the application deadline (see above). Successful applicants who applied in the winter deadline cycle will be assigned either to the spring cohort in Monterey or to the summer cohort in the National Capital Region. Successful applicants who applied in the summer cycle will be assigned to a Monterey cohort.

Submitting an application does not indicate acceptance into the program. Each complete application will be reviewed and evaluated using an objective, weighted system assessing the background, credentials, and experiences against the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with the graduate coursework. Applicants will be notified of their status once the admissions committee makes its recommendation.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the application

Note before starting an application.
All DHS components require their employees to apply through their training and education department before submitting an official application on the CHDS website. If you are a DHS employee, see the list of the points of contact for each component.
If you are an active duty military officer, review these instructions.

Note before starting an application.
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Naval Postgraduate School adheres to federal, state and local guidelines. Only vaccinated individuals will be allowed in the classroom. Applicants should only apply to CHDS programs if they are able to comply with the vaccination requirement and attend the scheduled in-residence, classroom sessions in-person. Vaccinated students in-residence may be required to wear masks and social distance as guidelines and policy recommend. NPS policies are continually evaluated and may be subject to change. If you have questions, please contact CHDS at chdsmaap@nps.edu.

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Reapplying to the Program

If you have previously applied to the program, and not been accepted, your scored, completed application will remain on file for three years from the date of your most recent application. You do not need to do anything to be considered for admission to future cohorts. However, it is highly recommended you make changes that might significantly improve your application score. Recommended changes are:

  • Re-write one or all of your essays from a strategy/policy perspective and make the case for the criticality of your position to homeland security
  • Provide additional information about your potential for contributing to the future of homeland security
  • Submit a standardized test score such as the LSAT, GRE or Millers Analogy Test
  • Garner additional letters of recommendation
  • Update employment information if you were promoted
  • While updating your application, you will be asked to briefly describe the significance of the changes you made in each section. You will also be given an opportunity to articulate to the Application Committee why you feel your materials should be reassessed.

Application overview

The application will ask you some basic information about:

  1. Your current contact information
  2. Your current organization/agency and your position in it, along with your employment history
  3. Your educational history (official transcripts from each institution will be required)
  4. Letters of recommendation from your supervisor, a peer, and a public official
  5. Other optional information that may support your case (e.g., optional test scores)
  6. Your resume

You will be asked to write the following narratives (3-5 pages, double-spaced):

  1. Self-assessment essay
  2. Experience Portfolio: Narrative 1, Application
  3. Experience Portfolio: Narrative 2, Analysis
  4. Experience Portfolio: Narrative 3, Synthesis
  5. Experience Portfolio: Narrative 4, Evaluation

You may submit an optional creative submission using whatever medium you wish.

Once CHDS receives the complete application packet, the Admissions Committee will consider the materials, using the following criteria:

  1. Academic credentials and potential for graduate study [25% of weighted application score]
  2. Experience portfolio [25% of weighted application score]
  3. Potential for future contributions to homeland security, as expressed in the self-assessment and other materials [20% of weighted application score]
  4. Communication skills, as reflected in all written materials [20% of weighted application score]
  5. Recommendations and commitment of support [10% of weighted application score]

INQUIRIES: Heather Hollingsworth Issvoran, Communications and Recruitment | hissvora@nps.edu, 831-402-4672 (PST)

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