Short-Course Programs

Joint Combined Warfighting School

Joint Forces Staff College

The Joint Combined Warfighting School, or JCWS, is a 10 week course which conducts Phase II of Joint Professional Military Education. JCWS educates national security professionals to plan and execute joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational operations. Graduates are critically-thinking, operationally-minded, skilled joint warfighters who can operationalize national, military, and theater security strategies into design-informed operational plans. Graduates have a primary commitment to joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational teamwork, attitudes, and perspectives. The school accomplishes this through exercises and case studies in a joint seminar environment. JCWS fosters a mutual understanding and rapport that develops when students from all Services share and challenge the ideas, values, and traditions of their Services and solve joint military problems together. The goal of the Phase II program at JCWS is to build on the foundation established by the institutions teaching JPME Phase I. In addition, the faculty and student interaction in the fully joint environment of the JFSC campus cements professional joint attitudes and perspectives essential to future successful military operations. JCWS Resident and Satellite programs are 10-weeks, and the Hybrid program is 40-weeks with three weeks resident and 37 weeks of distance education. These instructional periods will require your full participation, regardless of program modality.  Whether you are a Resident, Satellite, or Hybrid student, plan accordingly to achieve the educational requirements while balancing your other roles and responsibilities during this remarkable period in history. The minimum ECL score for international candidates is 80. 

Learn more →

Joint Information Operations Planner's Course

Joint Forces Staff College

The mission of the Joint Information Operations Planners Course (JIOPC) is to establish a common level of understanding for IO planners and IO capability specialists who will serve in joint operational-level IO billets. This course is for personnel assigned to the Joint IO career force. The primary objective of the JIOPC is to educate and train military students between the ranks of 0-3 through 0-6, and DoD Civilian equivalents, to plan, integrate, and synchronize IO into joint operational-level plans and orders. The school accomplishes this through a combination of in-residence class presentations, guest lectures, case studies, and practical exercises in a joint seminar environment. Specifically, the course focuses on the following six (6) learning areas:

  1. Joint Planning Process
  2. Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment (JIPOE)
  3. IO Planning
  4. Interagency Planning & Coordination
  5. Military Deception (MILDEC)
  6. Operations Security (OPSEC)

Throughout the course the students execute joint panning from an IO perspective. The course is based upon joint doctrine that is reinforced, when necessary, by various tactics, techniques, and procedures from throughout the Department of Defense.

The JIOPC is only taught in residence at the Joint Forces Staff College.

Learn more →


Chief Information Officer Leadership Development Program

College of Information and Cyberspace

CIC Fellows

The National Defense University (NDU) College of Information and Cyberspace (CIC) Chief Information Officer Leadership Development Program (CIO LDP, or LDP for short) is the College’s flagship resident program for rising senior-level managers and leaders responsible for promoting and attaining national and international security goals through the strategic use of information and information technology as identified in the CIO competencies. The CIO LDP is administered in an intensive and highly interactive fourteen week forum. The student centered educational experience emphasizes developing leadership skills and abilities while learning CIO content through completion of six courses. The leadership skills and abilities are put into practice and the learned knowledge is employed as students participate in a domestic field study. The domestic field study examines how private and public sector organizations implement CIO competencies. CIO LDP students form a learning community that fosters multiple perspectives on a wide range of issues.

Learn more →

Homeland Defense Fellows Program

College of International Security Affairs

The Homeland Defense Fellowship (HDF) program is a fourteen week-long program awarding up to eight graduate-level credits to qualified students. Upon completion of the course, the students should be able to think critically about strategic challenges to reduce the preconditions, risks, and effects of terrorism.  Students work to increase their understanding of the emerging threats to the homeland and of the possibilities for organizing effective responses. Students leave the program with a certificate of completion. This program is offered at the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University campus on Fort McNair.

The HDF program is conducted with both classroom and field experience in homeland defense strategies.

During this course, dependents are not authorized to accompany students.

Learn more →

Photo of CISA Students Photo of CISA Students