Next Application Deadline July 1 Get Info

Launch your career in global security through a unique focus on addressing the challenges posed by domestic and international terrorism, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and financial crime.

Our Master of Arts in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies (NPTS) gives you specialized knowledge and skills that will distinguish you from other graduates. Gain professional experience through real-world projects with this STEM-designated, four-semester degree.

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Fall or spring 60 4 semesters Monterey, California Live

Find out if NPTS is right for you

Upcoming Events

How to Apply and Why Start Your Program in Spring

June 8 at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Join our admissions team as they guide you through the application process, give you tips on financing your education, and clarify why starting your program this spring may make sense for you! Sign up today.

Preview Day, July 14

Join us on July 14 for our summer Preview Day in Monterey, California, and experience firsthand how our in-person and online master’s programs will transform your global career. Our expert discussion will feature Dr. Jeff Langholz speaking on The Future of Water—Closer and Better Than You Think. Sign up today.

Summer 2023 Preview Day Poster
Join us on July 14 for our summer Preview Day in Monterey, California. Sign up today.

Study In Person and/or Online

Earn your master’s online or in person at our Monterey, California, campus. The admission requirements, faculty, curriculum, and per-credit cost are the same for both formats so you can switch between the two experiences as your personal and professional needs allow. You may start and complete your entire degree program remotely, but please keep in mind your time zone as you will attend many of your online courses live (synchronously).

Working Toward a World of Change

[Jeff Knopf, Program Chair:] The subjects that we focus on in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies keep us interested. They’re important problems with big real-world implications. We want to make sure that there’s never a nuclear war, that new states don’t get chemical or biological weapons, that we find effective strategies for fighting back against terrorism.

[Professor speaking in class:] Conflicts and strife within the Muslim community, the Middle East communities from the very beginning. And then of course when Mohammed died, it was more conflicts over the succession.

[Jeff Knopf:] And all I have to do is read newspaper headlines in the morning when I get up and I know I have an important job and an important mission to help educate our students to work professionally in these fields.

[Student speaking in class:] We’ve really sort of been left on our own to defend ourselves. And do you think, is this the moment Jacob to be open about the fact that we have a nuclear weapon?

[Professor speaking in class:] The IDF is not the custodian of nuclear materials.

[Sarah Bidgood, student:] I’ve been able to take my Russian language skills that I came to the program with, and really build them so that I can use them in a professional setting. So now I feel like I can actually talk about real-life problems, talk about arms control issues in this very specific context here at the Institute.

[Student speaking in class:] We call all seats in the region to declare the Middle East to be a region free of nuclear testing even for those states who have not signed or ratified.

[Francisco Pareda, student:] The NPT simulation is a class where you simulate the negotiation of the nonproliferation treaty. It’s a really interesting class, you learn a lot about your country. It’s a lot of work, but the fun part is that you are interacting all the time. You’re representing a different state and representing different interests that you may or may not align with.

[Farah Al-Mousrawi, student:] It made me confident that I was able to accomplish such projects. And that I can go into the workforce loaded with the knowledge that I needed.

[Sarah Bidgood:] For me that felt like a class where I was able to take everything I’ve learned in my introductory courses that far and apply them to real-life problems. And after I completed that course, I had the chance to then go and serve as an intern at the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs in New York, where we were working on that exact treaty. So I took the skills that I learned in that seminar and applied them directly to supporting the secretariat in that endeavor.

[Jeff Knopf:] Every time I take a trip to Washington, DC, I bump into one of our alums who’s working in DC at the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Defense Department, for Congress, I mean, really have students working just all throughout the U.S. government.

[Sarah Bidgood:] The greatest thing about the Middlebury Institute is that it combines not only excellent academics but also professional opportunities.

[Jeff Knopf:] What we do is pretty unique. We have a very specialized niche. And if what we’re doing is what interests you and it’s what can help you get launched on the kind of career you want. Then I think it’s very hard to do better than to come here.

Transform Your Career

Career and Academic Advising

We integrate your career and academic advising, making sure your coursework aligns with your career goals. The same advisor will guide you from course registration to preparing for interviews and negotiating new career opportunities.

Practical Experience

Our graduates are often hired before they complete their program, leveraging real-world projects from their classes and internships to showcase their relevant experience.

  • Our research centers and initiatives offer paid graduate research assistantships, summer internships, full-time employment, and hands-on learning opportunities.
  • The Professional Service Semester (PSS) helps students secure graduate-level internships, jobs, or consultancies in international organizations in the U.S. and abroad including the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • The Institute has partnerships with organizations like the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for unique internship opportunities.
  • Our Middlebury in DC office provides the entire Middlebury community with a wealth of resources.
  • The annual Career Exploration Week in the nation’s capital gives you facilitated and direct access to D.C.-based employers and our alumni who help us to plan the event. 
  • Our large and influential alumni network in Washington, D.C., and other centers of global security are eager to mentor and help you prepare for your next steps.


You’ll be prepared to work at international organizations; government agencies, including the intelligence community (IC), think tanks, and NGOs; and a range of private-sector employers, including those in the nearby Silicon Valley tech industry. Our graduates find meaningful careers at organizations like the U.S. Department of State, INTERPOL, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Google, and Deloitte. 

Explore careers.


Our interdisciplinary curriculum covers international security, science and technology, history, and regional studies, along with language studies and significant real-world opportunities to apply your learning. Build your expertise in these areas:

See curriculum for more details.

War college
Student participants engage in a negotiation session representing China and Norway on March 4, 2023, at the Middlebury Institute as part of the International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise. 
4 semesters
60 credits

Faculty: Professors and Practitioners

Our faculty are regularly featured in the media for their groundbreaking work. They are active in international diplomatic forums, interact with government officials on current policy issues, conduct policy-oriented research, and develop new tools to monitor global threats.

While other graduate schools rely on teaching assistants, you will have direct access to faculty, collaborating with them on research papers and projects sponsored by government agencies, think tanks, and foundations. They are genuinely committed to your success and will become your mentors and colleagues throughout your career. Meet your faculty.

Faculty Highlights

  • Financial Crime Management program head Professor Moyara Ruehsen serves on an international task force aimed at combating money laundering. As a leading voice in the field, she also consults for the U.S. government, multilateral organizations, and the private sector on threat financing.

    Moyara Ruehsen

    Professor, Financial Crime Intelligence

    Meet Moyara Ruehsen
  • Jason Blazakis directs the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism (CTEC) at the Middlebury Institute. CTEC is partnering with Meta and the White House to engage in groundbreaking research to help communities combat radicalization through social media and the resulting violent extremism.

    Jason Blazakis

    Professor of Practice; Director of CTEC

    Meet Jason Blazakis

Customize Your Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Degree

Our flexible curriculum means you can customize your degree:

  • STEM designation: expanded career opportunities for international students and scholarships for U.S. students.
  • Study a second language.
  • Dual Degree in Nonproliferation Studies with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
  • The Financial Crime Management specialization prepares you to skillfully prevent, detect, and investigate illicit financial activities.
  • Our partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) gives you access to a broad array of courses with the Department of National Security Affairs and Department of Defense Analysis.
  • Accelerated- and advanced-entry: complete your degree in two or three semesters.
  • Joint BA/MA: earn a bachelor’s and master’s in just three years through this transfer program.
  • Peace Corps: Coverdell Fellows program for returned volunteers and an option to integrate Peace Corps service for potential volunteers.

Check out the program details for your options.

Research and Practice

Build valuable professional experience while earning your degree through paid graduate research assistantships and events at our world-renowned research centers and initiatives:

Young male student working at a computer.

Center for Nonproliferation Studies

CNS is the leader in training the next generation of nonproliferation specialists. It is at the cutting edge of using open-source information to track proliferation in countries such as North Korea and Iran. CNS is headquartered in Monterey and has offices in D.C., and Vienna, Austria. Visit CNS.

Students working on computers with illuminated network above them.png

Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism

CTEC focuses on crucial areas like threat finance and sanctions, extremist messaging and terrorist use of the Internet, and the use of special operations forces to counter violent actors. A recent $2 million gift will fund expansion of the center. Visit CTEC.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

More than 95 percent of students who request scholarship consideration receive institutional support. You may receive merit, need-based, partner, and external scholarships and financial aid, which are available to both U.S. and international students.

Your personal enrollment advisor can help you think through financing this important investment in your career development.

Review tuition costs.

Full Scholarship for Language Study

Students admitted to our MA in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies are guaranteed a full scholarship (covering tuition, housing, and food) for a summer language program at the Middlebury Language Schools. Learn more.

Conflict Transformation Fellows

This select group of Middlebury Institute students will focus on the ways that conflict transformation manifests in diverse contexts. Fellows will receive numerous benefits including a maximum $10,000 scholarship per academic year. Learn more.

How to Apply

We take a holistic approach when considering your application, looking at your academic background, international exposure, professional experience, and career goals. We welcome applicants with or without work experience, and our program has numerous opportunities for you to gain professional experience before you graduate. This approach aligns with the Institute’s core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We do not require GRE or GMAT scores for our master’s programs but competitive scores may strengthen your application and positively influence scholarship decisions.

Learn how to apply.

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NPTS Career Outcomes

Our graduates find rewarding careers promoting the reduction and elimination of weapons of mass destruction and countering threats of terrorism.

Career Outcomes

employed or continuing education within one year of graduation
earn $61K+ annually
using a second language at work

How will you change the world?

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What makes us different?

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Next Application Deadline: July 1

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