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Nuclear Deterrence Graduate Certificate

  • Get Started

    No Application Required

  • Format

    Online for 2021–2022

  • Average Course Tuition


  • Courses


atom molecule in femal hands

Gain understanding of the history and contemporary issues related to nuclear deterrence, security, nonproliferation, and arms control.

Through this professional graduate certificate—developed in consultation with the US Air Force—you build expertise in deterrence theory and policy to help advance a career in the military, government, or an international organization.

What You'll Learn

  • Understanding of nuclear deterrence theory, the history of nuclear weapon development and proliferation, and the cold war’s impact on the arms race.
  • Knowledge of the types and effects of the various types of delivery systems and nuclear arms, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
  • Insight into past and current international relations’ frameworks, nuclear security policies in the US and other nation–states in the post-Cold War era, and the changing context of global conflict.

Certificates are the fastest-growing post-secondary credential in the United States. Learn how to get started, track your progress, and successfully earn a certificate.

  • 72%

    Pursued Certificate to Deepen Expertise or Advance Career

  • 97%

    Working Full Time

  • 25%

    Applied Certificate to ALM Degree

  • 100%

    Would Recommend Certificate

Earning Your Certificate

To meet the requirements for the certificate, you must:

  • Complete the four certificate courses for graduate credit.
  • Earn at least a B grade in each course.
  • Complete the courses within three years.

Learn more about pursuing a certificate and the process of requesting your certificate.

Certificate Courses

The professional graduate certificate in Nuclear Deterrence requires four courses:

  • History of the Cold War (required)
  • Nuclear Weapons and International Security (required)
  • Origins and Evolution of Deterrence Theory (required)
  • International security elective (choose one course from select group)

Recommended Course Path: We recommend completing the three required courses in the order listed above, when possible. Your elective course may be taken at any point in your certificate studies.

Ready to take the next step?

You can enroll in your first course in the:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

See the schedules in the academic calendar.

Search For Courses

To find courses that apply toward the certificate use DCE Course Search and Registration:

  • Scroll through the search filters to “Courses in a Graduate Certificate.”
  • Choose “Nuclear Deterrence Certificate” to explore program courses.


Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

Our Tuition (2021–22 rate) $2,980 per 4-credit course ($745 per credit)
Average Tuition of Peer Institutions $5,476 per course
Average Total Cost $11,920

Learning & Connection

Deep learning springs from human connection. That’s why we work so hard to bring people together — whether in a live virtual classroom or an in-person seminar on campus.

Our approach to online learning fosters interaction without sacrificing flexibility. Each week, you’ll engage with your instructor, participate in peer discussions, and receive one-on-one support from teaching staff—all from your home or office.

Online Learning at Harvard Extension School
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