War Studies Summer Program 2018, USA

Publish Date: Dec 12, 2017

Deadline: Feb 12, 2018

War Studies Program

The Hertog War Studies Program is an intensive two-week program run by the Institute for the Study of War in Washington DC. The program aims to educate advanced undergraduate students about the theory, practice, organization, and control of war and military forces. Over the course of two weeks, students will learn from and interact with distinguished senior leaders in the national security and military communities. Students will gain a deeper understanding of specific topics in military history and their intersection with modern warfare and policy. Opportunities to learn about military history in a hands-on environment include participating in a battlefield staff-ride to Gettysburg to explore the relationships between terrain, timing, and decision-making in war. Previous editions of the Hertog War Studies Program have featured topics including the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the ongoing threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in Syria and Iraq.


The Hertog War Studies Summer Program provides students with a unique opportunity to learn alongside academic and military leaders and engage in challenging coursework on topics including past and future military doctrine, past military operations, and the lessons they teach us for the future.

Throughout this program students will be exposed to the technical language of war, military doctrine, the organization and functioning of armed forces, and the relationship between armies and states.

Each day consists of morning and afternoon seminars led by our four permanent instructors. Some days include small-group discussions with a distinguished guest lecturer in the afternoon or evening. At the end of this program, students will have:

  • Learned the technical language and grammar of military force;
  • Mastered the basics of military theory;
  • Understood the relationships between war and politics, and between the armed forces and political leadership;
  • Experienced a battlefield staff ride to understand the relationships between terrain, time, and decision-making in war.

View our syllabus from the 2017 War Studies Program to learn more about the student experience. Previous guest speakers have included Gen. Martin Dempsey, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Gen. David Petraeus, and Amb. Ryan Crocker, among others.

The Hertog War Studies Program relies on students’ broad educational background. We will not consider students until they have completed their sophomore year in college. Most successful applicants have completed their junior or senior years.
War Studies is an interdisciplinary program, and we seek applicants from many disciplines, not just history, political science, or international relations. Successful past participants have also majored in philosophy, math, computer science, engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, literature, foreign languages, political theory, classics, and psychology.
  • A CV or résumé
  • Personal Statement: Describe your background, your intellectual interests, and your future ambitions as they relate to the program (1,000 words or less)
  • A college transcript (unofficial)
  • Two academic letters of recommendation that specifically speak to your background and interests as they relate to the program
  • An academic writing sample (20 pages maximum -- Send your best writing sample, not your most relevant writing sample.)


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