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National Security Studies


Have you ever wanted to work in the government? The diplomatic corps? The private security industry? America’s intelligence agencies? Ripon College is one of the only liberal arts and sciences colleges in America to offer a minor in what is arguably the topic most relevant to those students interested in any of those possibilities: National Security Studies.

National Security Studies is a minor designed to be far more than simply being aware of foreign threats to America’s security. The National Security Studies minor includes classes in foreign policy, terrorism, international relations, comparative religion & ethics, and history, among others.

The minor is designed to educate students well beyond the normal level of international politics, and it demands a serious intellectual look at difficult, profound issues.

The minor reflects the need for experts from all persuasions and all schools of thought. The program is designed to allow each student the opportunity to build his or her own path, regardless of department or major, and – following the liberal arts and sciences theme – diversification is encouraged. Independent study on contemporary issues is the strongest emphasis of the program, and students are expected to produce a professional-level research presentation and briefing by the end of their study in the minor.

Why National Security?

Some may ask, “Why national security”? One needs only compare two photographs of New York City. One taken before Sept. 11, 2001, one taken after. 9/11 changed aspects of American politics, world politics and our lives – and the world it has created is the one where today’s students will be the politicians, decision-makers and forces majeures. Tomorrow’s leaders will need to understand everything about the new world 9/11 has created, and that is precisely what the National Security Studies minor instills: knowledge, awareness and understanding of the changes that are shaping our world. The National Security Studies minor prepares students to be informed international citizens for the future.

“My experience as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State makes me an ideal resource for matters in the National Security field,” says Lamont Colucci, associate professor and National Security Studies coordinator. “Intro to International Relations,” “U.S. National Security Policy,” “U.S. Foreign Policy” and “Terrorism and Intelligence” are just a few of the classes offered which make up the broad, deep academic inquiry of National Security Studies at Ripon College.

The end result of the National Security Studies minor is just as diverse and varied as the end result of any liberal arts and sciences education. Should there be students seriously interested in a career in the State Department, CIA or any other branch of the government, the National Security Studies minor is an ideal starting point for a rich academic and professional career. If a student is more interested in pursuing a career of public office, the minor can provide a background and resource for any who eventually may need to be informed of such affairs while campaigning. Or if a student is merely aware of the fact that international affairs, national security and foreign policy are vitally important for any global citizen and wishes to be informed, the minor supplies an excellent amount of information which can be used to further a student’s lifelong passion for learning and understanding.Ripon College’s National Security Studies minor is the ideal minor for anyone looking to complement a major or to gain a broader perspective of her or his world. National Security Studies minor graduates have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in national security at Georgetown and Texas A&M universities.



Program Spotlight


Lamont Colucci

Associate Professor of Politics and Government

[email protected]


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon.

Career Tracks

What can I do with a National Security Studies minor?

An undergraduate focus on National Security Studies rapidly paves the way for graduate programs and careers in law, political science and international affairs. Alumni of our program are enrolled in a variety of graduate-level programs at some of the nation’s most prestigious research universities, including: Georgetown University, George Washington University, Texas A&M University and the London School of Economics.

Their post-graduate focus areas have included: political management, security studies, law school, international affairs, and communication.

Off-Campus Study

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.

Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.