MNSP is for those currently working in national security who have at least seven years of work experience. The program requires occasional trips to Duke for on-campus immersion, so applicants from the Southeast region may find it easier to participate.


Student Profile - 7 years experience

Military - This program will help active-duty military personnel with promotion and to contribute more as senior level staff. In addition you will gain an enhanced understanding of problems of the world, and will understand national security in new way.

Mid-career contractors and consultants working in public policy / national security - The program will help with promotion and broad understanding of client needs.

Civil service professionals working in national security - The program will help you get a world class education and compete for promotion.

What we look for

We welcome diverse applicants from a variety of backgrounds to apply by January for priority admission for the following June.

Our selection committee considers:

  • statement of purpose
  • national security experience
  • number of years of work experience (7 preferred)
  • strong academic performance
  • leadership experience
  • demonstrated analytical skills

Before applying

  1. Complete our inquiry form. It is a great first step and will allow you to connect with someone from our admissions team. Also, you will receive news and upcoming event information from Sanford and our MNSP program.   
  2. Gather required materials and references.
  3. Apply to the MNSP program


Questions? Contact us.


Mark Hart

Director, Digital Learning

Mark Hart is the Director of Digital Learning at Sanford and leads digital initiatives both on-campus and through specialized hybrid programs like the Master of National Security Policy and the Master of Public Affairs program. In addition to overseeing administrative efforts for the MNSP, Mark is instrumental in faculty professional development, optimizing the use of Duke's Learning Management System (Canvas), managing the recording studio, and providing instructional design support for all courses.

With a doctorate degree in Curriculum, Instruction & Educational Technology from the University of Florida, a master's degree in Liberal Studies from Loyola College in Maryland, and a bachelor's degree in History and Education from Indiana University, Mark's academic background greatly benefits the Sanford community. He served as the Director of Online Learning for the Masters and PhD in Public Health - Social Behavioral Sciences at the University of Florida for ten years, and in 2019 recognized for Faculty Excellence. Before working in High Education, Mark was a K-12 administrator and teacher for over 15 years.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Mark finds solace in walking, listening to podcasts and indulging in reading.


2023 Cohort


Congratulations to the inaugural graduates of Sanford's Master of National Security Policy Program (2023).