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
  • December 1 deadline for admittance to the spring cohort.
    Spring Cohort Notified: February | Start of Online Orientation: February | 1st In-residence: April

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).

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

DHS Employees: Read this 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.
The Naval Postgraduate School adheres to federal, state, and local guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. There are currently no vaccination or mask requirements to attend CHDS programs; however, participants should be prepared to comply if new COVID-19 guidelines are implemented for any reason. If you have questions, please contact CHDS at

About AI Usage in CHDS Applications
The NPS Academic Honor Code holds that “unless otherwise stated by the instructor or advisor, all work submitted in fulfillment of graduation requirements will be the student’s own.” In keeping with this policy, it is not acceptable to submit as one’s own work any text, code, image, or multimedia output by generative AI tools. If any text, code, image, or multimedia output from generative AI tools is included in one’s work, it must be marked and attributed. No acknowledgement is needed for uses of generative Al to support (but not produce) one’s final product, much as one might use search engines, library databases, grammar checkers, online dictionaries and thesauruses, or task planners.

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 or the GRE
  • 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]

Interviews may be conducted on an individual basis when more information is needed.

INQUIRIES: Heather Hollingsworth Issvoran, Communications and Recruitment |, 831-402-4672 (PST)

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