Apply to the Master's Degree 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

If you are a DHS employee, review these instructions before you start an application.

If you are an active duty military officer, review these instructions before you start an application.

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If you have an incomplete application on file, read this section.

Retrieving Information from the Legacy Application System
CHDS changed application management systems in December 2019, and records were not directly migrated from the old to the new. If you want to use information submitted prior to December 2019 to complete an application or edit an existing one, you will need to copy/paste or download/upload any records you wish to carry forward. When you start/continue an application, you will have access to your legacy data. There is no need to request new transcripts and letters of recommendation. Once you insert your information, we will attach the transcripts and letters on file. Contact with questions or for help.

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:

1. The application will ask you some basic information about:

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

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

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

3. 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:

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

Read the complete program overview.