The National Security Program, an academic minor, is designed for students who are interested in the historical, political, and ethical dimensions of national security policy as well as the place and role of the military in American society.

Required courses address the military in American society, military history, leadership, and ethics. Electives include classes in U.S. national intelligence, American foreign policy, public speaking, world religions, organizational psychology and the history of American foreign relations.Students may apply for admission to the program during the fall semester of their sophomore year. For more information, contact Dr. Simms at the Wilson Center.


The aim of this interdisciplinary program is to prepare students to think about military action and national security policy in the context of constitutional principles, inter- and intra-governmental relationships, social and cultural constraints, and competing views of ethical human behavior.

Dr. David E. Marion, Wilson Center


The Military Leadership and National Security Studies Program is designed for students who are interested in the historical, political, cultural, ethical, and legal dimensions of national security policy, as well as the place and role of the military in American society. Those who successfully complete the minor receive the National Security Studies Program Certificate and have their participation noted on their transcripts. Students who wish to participate in the program must apply for admission in the fall of their sophomore year. 

Eligibility Requirements

Course Requirements

Students enrolled in the military leadership and national security studies program must complete one required course during each of their final three years at Hampden-Sydney College:

  • The Military and American Democracy - INDS 275 (sophomore year)
  • Military History - Hist 377 (junior year)
  • Leadership and Ethics - INDS 440 (senior year)

Students also must complete at least two courses from separate departments. The following courses are acceptable electives for this program:

  • U.S. National Security (GVFA 442)
  • U.S. National Intelligence (INDS 465)
  • American Foreign Policy (GVFA 242 or 342) or History of American Foreign Relations (HIST 313)
  • Public Speaking (RHET 210)
  • Christian Ethics (REL 225) or Philosophy Ethics (PHIL 314)
  • Introduction to World Religions (REL 103)
  • Organizational Psychology (PSYCH 310)
  • Literature of War (ENG 194)
  • American Public Administration (GVFA 230) or Constitutional Dimensions of Public Service in the U.S. (INDS 375)

In addition, candidates for the ML/NSS certificate will be expected to satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • Hold a student leadership position
  • Participate in the Society of '91 Program, and/or
  • Complete an approved summer military training program

Participation in the Military Leadership and National Security Studies program should enrich the training received by students enrolled in the ROTC program or who hold positions with National Guard or Reserve units. Students need not be in the ROTC program to participate in the ML/NSS certificate program, and participation in the ROTC program will not guarantee admission to the ML/NSS certificate program.