Science, Technology, and Security Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology, and Security at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government provides an introduction to the intersection of science and security, covering topics such as the technology of CBRN weapons, proliferation, technical countermeasures, and the role of science and technology in the policy-making process.

Program At-a-Glance

  • Completion Requirements: 5 courses (15 credits) listed below
  • Duration: 1 to 1.5 years on average
  • Semester of Entry: fall and spring

Certificate Program Requirements

Required Courses (2 courses | 6 credits)

Students are required to take the following two courses:

BIOD 706 – Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons Policy and Security
Explores the causes, conduct, and consequences of the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Covers the historical, technological, normative, and strategic factors that have promoted and restrained the spread of these weapons. Addresses the motives for states to develop these weapons and the debate over the security implications of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapon proliferation.

BIOD 760 – National Security Technology and Policy
Introduces students to the intersection of science, technology, and policy in national security. Will examine the players in the formation of science policy; the roles they play; how the types, uncertainties, and availability of data affect science policy debates; and how science policy decisions are made. Topics to be covered include weapons of mass destruction, nonlethal weapons, nanotechnology, bioengineering, energy security, and pandemic influenza.

Elective Courses (3 courses | 9 credits)

Select three elective courses of your choosing. Courses vary semester to semester, but past elective courses available to students have included:

Students may also take other Schar School courses with prior written approval of program director.

Apply This Certificate Towards Your Master's

Earn your master's degree faster by starting with a certificate program. Students can apply up to 12 credits from a certificate program toward a Schar School master's degree upon acceptance into a master's program. Upon completion of this certificate, many students go on to pursue the Schar School's Master's in Biodefense and Master's in International Security degree programs, among others.


Have questions about this certificate program? Contact the graduate admissions office.