Explore National Security Policy at Batten

In preparation for UVA’s Intelligence & Security Careers Week 2021, we thought we would highlight some of the ways Batten prepares students for careers in national security. From the National Security Policy Center to academic courses to internships and careers, read on for ways to get involved with this important policy area at Batten!

National Security Policy Center

The National Security Policy Center (NSPC) is housed at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. The Center provides evidence-based teaching, research, and policy engagement on pressing security issues facing the United States and the globe. We prepare students and security professionals for the challenging security issues of the twenty-first century. We seek to increase knowledge, build capability, develop relationships, and improve communication, both within the U.S. government, between the U.S. government and academics, and between the U.S. and foreign powers. Students interested in learning more about upcoming events and signing up for their newsletter can do so here.


Academic Classes

Batten courses are taught by distinguished faculty who are committed to supporting students’ academic success. Courses are designed to broaden students’ understanding of national security issues, while equipping them with the skills they need to thrive in the modern workplace. Below is a sample of our recent course offerings at the undergraduate and graduate level.

  • LPPS 3340: H4D: Defense Innovation and Problem-Solving
    • Hacking for Defense (H4D) is an interdisciplinary course that gives students the opportunity to work on actual national security problems in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • LPPS 3040: US National Security Policy
    • This course examines the problems and issues confronting American national security policymakers and the factors that influence the policies that emerge. 
  • LPPS 3095: Human Security
    • This course focuses on the things that threaten and empower individuals and their families. As noted in UN resolution 66/290, “human security is an approach to assist States in identifying and addressing widespread and cross-cutting challenges to the survival, livelihood and dignity of their people.”
  • LPPP 5350: NGO Leadership in Public Policy: Best Practices
    • NGOs play a growing role in shaping U.S. public policies. Skepticism of federal policymaking has opened opportunities for policy entrepreneurs to challenge well-funded private sector lobbies in shaping the agenda. This seminar will examine tactical options and key case studies to equip future NGO activists. 
  • LPPP 6500: National Security in the Age of New Tech
    • This class will explore the critical implications that new technologies have had and will continue to have on the U.S. National Security.
  • LPPS 7050: The National Security Process
    • This seminar will cover the national security process in the US from the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 to the present.
  • LPPP 7040: Foreign Policy Failure: Case of US policy to China
    • Within a few years of the Tiananmen Crisis of 1989, US & Chinese leaders launched efforts to build a more stable & cooperative relationship. By the 2016 American presidential election there was a growing consensus in the US that many strategies had failed. What went wrong?
  • LPPS 7184: Innovating for Defense
    • In this course, students (in multi-functional teams from the Schools of Law, Engineering, and Public Policy) will work on real, national security-related problems facing the U.S. Government.


Recent Internships and Career Placement

Batten students and graduates often intern and work in the Intelligence and National Security sectors. For example, both our undergraduate and graduate students complete summer internships with the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, among other agencies. We also have students who intern with the U.S. Department of State (both in Washington, D.C., and at U.S. embassies abroad) and the National Security Innovation Network. After graduation, students work for many of these same agencies, but they also complete one- and two-year fellowships through the Presidential Management Fellowship program and the National Nuclear Security Administration. While many Batten graduates serve as “Analysts”, all of these Intelligence and National Security agencies are large organizations and employ graduates in many roles, including personnel, finance, logistics, etc.


Upcoming Events to Attend with the UVA Career Center

Students interested in careers in the intelligence and security field should attend Intelligence & Security Careers Week! Come learn from UVA and Batten career staff and agency representatives from a number of intelligence organizations about current student opportunities and how to gain access to this competitive and secretive industry. There is a full week of amazing programs (search “intelligence” in events under Handshake), including: