Academics at the Perry Center

The effect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to take protective measures to safeguard the health of our team and our partners. As the pandemic situation improves and we are able to host more in-person courses, we will post the latest information on our web site and social media accounts.

OUR COURSE OFFERINGS (click on the + below to open the individual items)

The Perry Center conducts between six and ten courses a year covering a variety of topics ranging from cyber security to human rights and the rule of law. The informational blocks below will give you a brief description about each course we offer. Please note, not all courses are offered every year.

For an up-to-date list of all of our upcoming courses (including application deadlines and other pertinent information), please review the calendar, or the list of courses displayed on the side of this page. Descriptions of one-off courses may not appear alongside our regularly programmed courses.

The objective of the CDSC is to help participants develop and expand their competence in analyzing issues and working with policy, strategy, planning, and resource management in the security and defense sectors. Participants study international and national security environments and processes; defense and security policy formulation and implementation; resource management; cooperation between civilians and the military in the enforcement of laws; defense economics; transnational security issues; and interagency and international coordination, in order to produce more effective national security and defense policies. The course highlights the issues and challenges confronting the English-speaking nations in the Caribbean region.

The CTTN course is a six-week specialized course, with a four-week online phase plus a two-week residential phase, tailored in response to the defense policy goals of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs and the objectives of the Combatant Commands, particularly those related to DoD efforts to combat transnational threats, including transnational organized crime, which pose complex challenges to the stability of the Americas.

The Cyber Policy Development course is a six-week specialized course, with a four-week online phase plus a two-week residential phase. The course is tailored in response to the defense policy goals of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs and the objectives of the Combatant Commands, particularly those related to DoD efforts to (a) improve governance in the security and defense sectors through the strengthening of institutions; (b) combat transnational threats, including transnational organized crime, which pose complex challenges to the stability of the Americas; and (c) build trust, confidence, and mutual understanding on common defense and security challenges.

Designed for senior security and defense decision-makers (Lieutenant Colonel/ Commander (O-5) and above, plus their civilian equivalents), DG participants undertake a comprehensive overview of existing methodologies used to analyze the ever-changing nature of security and defense challenges and assess the capabilities of the state to respond to probable future challenges. Participants develop tools for risk-forecasting and for writing effective policies to appropriately prepare the state to counter the impact of these challenges. Participants discuss the characteristics of unconventional “conflicts” and assess the ability of the state to prevent future conflicts or mitigate their impact; apply new, specific methodologies to reduce uncertainty in conflict forecasting; learn to identify and distinguish the peculiarities of the security and defense establishments in their respective strategic and political contexts (both domestic and regional); assess the impact of these organizational peculiarities; and develop tools to craft effective policies to support decision-making related to the management and transformation of security and defense organizations.

The objectives of this course are to build the capacity of senior executives in the security and defense sectors to better manage their respective sector through effective policies and integrated decisions, support a broader framework of security & defense institution building (SDIB), and to sustain a community of practice in managing security and defense within the region.

The principal objective of this course is to offer participants the theoretical foundations and analytical tools to help them develop and/or expand their ability to be active participants in the processes of security and defense strategy and policy formulation, decision-making, implementation, and control and oversight. Using the international and hemispheric security and defense environment as a framework for reference, the course deals with the challenges faced by Latin American countries to provide security and to improve defense administration. Participants analyze, at the political level, the links and the different perspectives in dealing with security challenges at global, regional and national levels. The curriculum also deals with concepts and theories that allow for a better understanding of the national decision-making process, international cooperation, and the implementation of directives in response to priorities in the classical and non-traditional use of the armed forces in democratic societies.

The HR/ROL is a six-week specialized course, with a four-week online phase plus a two-week residential phase, tailored in response to the defense policy goals of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs and the objectives of the Combatant Commands, particularly those related to the critical mission of the US Government and the Department of Defense to strengthen whole-of-government approaches to the promotion of democratic accountability, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

The Washington Security and Defense Seminar allows participants to develop their knowledge and improve their analytical skills about the security and defense environment and the policymaking processes of Washington. During a one-week program, participants identify issues and comprehend the main perspectives on national objectives, preferences on strategies, policy guidelines, and the dynamics of decision-making in a democratic society. In an academic, non-attribution environment, participants have the unique experience of listening to and exchanging ideas with key civilian and military officials and advisors of the Executive Branch, as well as interacting with civilian academic professors working on issues related to the Western Hemisphere. The presence of representatives from the Department of Defense (J-5 and the Office of the Secretary of Defense), the Department of State, the National Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Congress provides diverse exposure to perspectives, responsibilities, bureaucratic issues, and policy challenges and preferences. The curriculum combines lectures, question-and-answer sessions, and moderated seminar discussions lead by Perry Center professors.

This workshop is scheduled at the request of a country’s senior political leaders and is carefully developed in close coordination with the United States Embassy, plus host-nation officials, considering country-unique requirements. Participation in an NSPW is by invitation only.

The Perry Center offers a deployable, tailored, governance seminar which is oriented either bilaterally or regionally and conducted in locations outside of the United States. Regional Governance Seminars will build on partner nation requirements and interests, in concert with US stakeholder discussions, and will have content which is tailored from other Perry Center Governance Program products or developed specifically for the approved engagement. The overall focus will be to expose security and defense professionals to the concept of governance and its application to the defense and security sectors.

This is a one-week seminar. During the seminar each invited country’s CTOC strategy will be introduced and examined.

The Regional Transnational Threat Seminars will be conducted at different locations throughout the hemisphere. A primary goal of these seminar is to expand a Community of Interest on combatting transnational threats, including international terrorism, transnational organized crime, cybersecurity and emerging technologies. For that reason the target audience for each seminar will primarily be graduates of Regional Center courses from the Perry Center, the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.


THE APPLICATION PROCESS (click on the + below to open the individual items)

Please review the information below regarding the application process. Application forms are located on each course's page. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Perry Center Registrar's office at

The majority of civilian candidates are identified in partnership with the ministries of the host-nation’s government, including the police and security forces. Government and non-government civilian candidates may also apply directly to the Perry Center.

All military participants are selected by the US Security Cooperation Office (SCO) / US Military Liaison Office (MLO) in partnership with the host-nation’s Ministry of Defense. Military candidates must submit their application through these channels. The preferred rank for resident courses is Lieutenant Colonel/Commander (O5) or Colonel/Captain (O6). US military officers or their training office should contact the Perry Center Registrar office directly.

Graduates of Perry Center resident courses must wait a minimum of eighteen (18) months to apply to a new course. Example: if you graduated from a resident course that began in October 2016 you may apply to a resident course that begins in April 2018 or later.

Graduates of Perry Center resident courses are eligible to apply to the Strategy and Defense Policy (SDP) or Caribbean Defense and Security (CDSC) courses. Graduates of previous DPRM, SDPe, SDPm, and SDP courses are INELIGIBLE to apply to upcoming SDP courses.

All candidates must possess a university degree or equivalent practical experience. Military and police personnel must have completed a command and staff course or equivalent. Exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please make sure to review specific course pages for any additional requirements, educational or otherwise.

Resident courses are conducted in either Spanish or English, with no interpretation. Participants in all specialized courses conducted in Spanish must also be capable of reading and analyzing graduate-level English. Except for courses entirely in English, English writing and speaking skills are not required. During the application process for certain courses you are required to submit current (within five years) test results from an English reading proficiency test (TOEFL, TOEIC, ECL, etc.) or an explanation of how you acquired your English reading skills. Courses requiring English skills are identified in the course description.

All supporting documents must be submitted simultaneously via e-mail. The subject line should be your last name, country, and the acronym for the course to which you are applying. (e.g. Subject: Martínez – Mexico – SDP 2019)

A complete application consists of:

  • Application form
  • Curriculum vitae (not to exceed four pages)
  • Letter of recommendation from supervisor
  • Second letter of recommendation
  • Up to two additional letters of recommendation (optional)
  • Documentation of English-reading proficiency (when required)

Approved formats for submitting attachments are: DOC, DOCX, PDF, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, and TXT. Original documents are not required. NOTE: Documents compressed using the ZIP format may not pass through the National Defense University (NDU) firewall and the entire message may be deleted automatically without notice. Deadline extensions are not granted for messages rejected by the NDU firewall.

Two letters of recommendation are mandatory for all courses. One letter must be from your supervisor/chain of command and specifically indicate, should you be selected to participate, what you would be contributing to the course, and what benefits you and/or your organization would derive from your attendance. The second letter should address the same points. All letters must be addressed between 60 days of applying. Individuals who are independent contractors or sole proprietors must still submit two letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation should be addressed to the Director of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies.

Completed applications and related documentation for all non-US citizens and dual-citizens (USA and another country) seeking a scholarship must be submitted by the stated deadline in order to be considered. The same deadlines apply for those people (US citizens and others) who are applying in a self-funded capacity.

The Perry Center Registrar office will acknowledge receipt of your application via email. This will occur within ten working days. If you do not receive an email acknowledgement of receipt after ten working days please contact the registrar’s office via email at

Many factors are considered during the evaluation process including the candidate’s professional and academic background, the number of previous courses a person has attended, and the interval between courses, both at the Perry Center and at other Regional Centers (including the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC), the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI-APCSS), and the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA).

All candidates will be notified via email approximately ten weeks before the resident phase begins whether they were 1) selected as a participant, 2) selected for the waiting list, or 3) not selected. Since each course receives many more qualified applicants than there are seats, it is not possible to provide a detailed explanation as to why any individual candidate was not selected.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (updated) (click on the + below to open the individual items)

The Perry Center grants full scholarships to individuals selected to attend resident courses in Washington, DC. Scholarships include round-trip airfare, lodging for the duration of the course, and all meals (combination of contracted meals and per diem payments). There is no cost (tuition) to attend the course itself. While the current fiscal environment has significantly reduced the overall number of scholarships available, the Perry Center remains dedicated to providing opportunities equitably to a diverse audience. Scholarships are not available for certain courses such as the Washington Security and Defense Seminar (WSDS).

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of countries with designated income levels established by the World Bank are not eligible for scholarships. At this time, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a self-funded status. Self-funded candidates must meet all eligibility standards and comply with all application requirements, including application deadlines, as well as being able to cover the expenses of their own travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals. US citizens cannot (by law) receive scholarships, but may apply to attend in a self-funded status. US citizens and other self-funded candidates should contact the Registrar’s office for additional guidance.

Scholarship recipients are responsible for obtaining a valid visa to enter the United States. The Perry Center does not guarantee the issuance of visas for courses. It is recommended that applicants have a current visa, as visa processes are taking longer than usual. Costs to procure a visa specifically to attend a Perry Center course are reimbursable (receipts required). The Perry Center cannot reimburse candidates who are not selected to attend, or who do not make it off the wait list. For additional information, please contact the Consular Office at your nearest U.S. Embassy. Please note the U.S. Military Group at the Embassy does not process and is not responsible for visas.

Fees to obtain a passport are not reimbursable.

From National Defense University's Office of Academic Affairs

Breaches of academic integrity are not tolerated. Breaches include, but are not limited to: falsification of professional or academic credentials; obtaining or giving aid on an examination; having unauthorized prior knowledge of an examination; doing work or assisting another student to do work without prior authority; unauthorized collaboration; multiple submissions; and plagiarism.

Falsification of professional or academic credentials: Students are required to provide accurate, documented, and verifiable information on their educational and professional background. A student admitted to the University on the basis of false credentials is subject to sanctions up to and including disenrollment.

Unauthorized collaboration is defined as students working together on an assignment for academic credit when such collaboration is not authorized in the syllabus or by the instructor. This includes papers submitted that were created by another person, agency, or essay writing service.

Multiple submissions are instances in which students submit papers or work (whole or multiple paragraphs) that were or are currently being submitted for academic credit to other courses either within National Defense University or at other institutions. Such work may not be submitted for academic credit at National Defense University without the prior written approval of the instructor of the course for which the paper or work is being submitted.

Plagiarism is the theft of the intellectual work of another person and passing it off as one’s own, or the use of the intellectual work of another person without providing proper credit to that person. While most commonly associated with writing, all types of scholarly or academic work, including but not limited to computer code, speeches, slides, music, scientific data and analysis, government publications, and electronic publications are intellectual work, the use of which requires proper credit to the original source.

Specific examples of plagiarism include:

  • Using another person’s exact words without quotation marks and a footnote/endnote.
  • Paraphrasing another person’s words without a footnote/endnote.
  • Using another person’s ideas without giving credit by means of a footnote/endnote.
  • Using information from the internet, a web page, or a government publication without giving credit by means of a footnote/endnote. (For example, if a student copies or uses material from Wikipedia into a paper, even if that material is not copyrighted, that section must be properly cited to show that the original material was not the student’s.)

Sanctions for violating the academic integrity standards include but are not limited to disenrollment, suspension, denial or revocation of degrees or diplomas, a grade of no credit with a transcript notation of "academic dishonesty;" rejection of the work submitted for credit, a letter of admonishment, termination of employment or other administrative sanctions. Additionally, members of the United States military may be subject to non-judicial punishment or court martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

National Defense University is committed to establishing, maintaining, and enforcing a high level of academic integrity throughout the entire University community. For any suspected violations of this policy, the component in which the case originated will notify the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Academic Affairs immediately and consult with both prior to taking any action as well as during the processing of the case.

When the identification of a breach to the academic integrity directive is made after a student departs the University, the Office of Academic Affairs will consult with the Office of General Counsel and the component to decide on the appropriate course of action

To foster an environment of openness and candid exchanges during seminars and other events, the Perry Center follows the Chatham House Rule. The Rule is simple: "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

All course materials (including the required and recommended readings) are made available through the Blackboard Learning System. We encourage participants to download the readings to their personal devices prior to their travel to Washington, DC. As we are unable to provide large-scale printing facilities, those people who prefer hard copies to electronic ones, are advised that they should make plans to print their own materials.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own personal devices (laptops, tablets, etc.) for use during the residential phase of the course. The Perry Center will provide loaner laptops to those participants who choose not to bring their personal devices, or who prefer to leave their devices at the hotel while in class. These laptops will be pre-loaded with the required course readings, along with other software which will be useful during the course (Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, etc.).

Due to the fact that we are operating in an increasingly restricted IT environment, the Perry Center is unable to offer in-classroom WIFI to its participants during its courses. Free internet access is available to all students who are lodged at the contracted hotel. Students who wish to have in-classroom Internet access during the course should make plans to obtain a data plan/hotspot for their smartphone or other device(s).

The Perry Center will provide complete support for all equipment it issues (laptops, external keyboards, power adapters, etc.). Due to the small size of the IT team at the Center, support of any personally owned devices will only be given on a “best effort” basis, as we won’t necessarily have all of the tools needed to resolve your issue. Should your personally owned laptop cease to function properly during your time at the Perry Center, we will be more than happy to loan you a computer to use for the remainder of the event.

Current Courses

Upcoming Courses