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 national 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.
We work from the premise that, when it comes to the most challenging issues in international security, divergent preferences must be taken seriously. The greatest threats to the security of the United States come not from disagreement, but from miscalculation. Peace and prosperity are therefore best assured by facilitating informed communication that can convey goals and capabilities accurately and credibly. Toward this end, the NSPC builds “constructive counterparts,” across US government and among key international partners, who are trained in rigorous analytical methodology and informed by the best research. This will contribute to strategic clarity that will underpin successful US foreign policy.



The NSPC trains highly qualified early and mid-level professionals from across US government and select international partners who are interested in developing knowledge and analytical skills in the area of national security. Opportunities range from a full Masters of Public Policy (MPP) degree to short courses on foreign policy technologies, problems, and assessment.


The NSPC supports academic research and contractual services to government on vital issues of national security for the United States. Drawing on expertise from around the University of Virginia, the Center contributes to understanding and policy in areas including use of conventional force, cyber security, nuclear security, sub-state violence, and future threats. 


The NSPC plays a facilitating role in diplomatic initiatives. Drawing on the network of “constructive counterparts” generated by the training and research missions, the NSPC serves as a facilitator for “track 1.5” nation-to-nation interaction.

The UVA Advantage

The University of Virginia offers a unique combination of academic excellence, a tradition of policy engagement, and a commitment to public service. Our proximity to Washington DC allows easy access for policymakers, but the 100 miles between Charlottesville and Washington also provide a buffer from the Beltway that facilitates thoughtful discussion. Finally, as a nonpartisan, academic institute, the NPSC provides credible and pragmatic research that avoids ideological and partisan bias.