Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation

Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation

Program Description

The Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation (NWEPP) Graduate Certificate Program is a series of courses educating students in a broad range of nuclear weapons issues at the graduate level. There are four courses in the NWEPP program; students must complete three of the four courses to receive the graduate certificate. The four courses in the NWEPP program courses address the topics: the historical and current state of US nuclear policy and strategy implementation, the elements and technology involved in building nuclear weapons capabilities, the unique effects of nuclear weapon detonations, and applications of electromagnetic (EM) phenomena related to nuclear weapons.


Target Audience
The AFIT NWEPP program is targeted to mid-career Air Force officers, non-commissioned officers, and civilians with current or future assignments in the Air Force and DoD nuclear enterprise. The primary focus of NWEPP is providing formal graduate education in the areas of nuclear weapon effects, nuclear proliferation and technologies, and nuclear weapon strategy and policy to the Air Force's operational nuclear community.


Expected Completion Time
The NWEPP program consists of four, 10-week academic quarters (~9 months), part time. Students must complete three of the four courses, and maintain a grade point average of at least 3.00. The student must fulfill the course and GPA requirements within two years of enrolling and successfully completing the first course. Prospective students should be aware that this is a graduate level program with an expected time commitment of at least 12 hours per week for each class.


Program Format
The program consists of four distance learning (DL) academic courses intended to educate students in a broad range of nuclear weapons topics including: weapon effects, key technologies required to develop and sustain a nuclear weapons program, non-proliferation challenges in the modern world, and the evolution of nuclear weapon policy and strategy from the Manhattan Project to the present. Students receiving the NWEPP certificate will develop skills necessary to advise and develop new nuclear strategy and policy as world events change. They will sufficiently understand the technical nature of nuclear weapons to interface with the technical communities in the DOD and DOE responsible for developing and maintaining the nuclear stockpile. Finally, they will appreciate why nuclear weapons are unique, why they have provided an active deterrent for the US and its allies since their inception, and why that critical mission continues today.

Admissions Requirements

Academic Eligibility

A bachelor's degree is required with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and candidates must have earned a C or better in college level Algebra.* This program is open to students in residence at AFIT and candidates that are nominated to the program by AETC/A10 in consultation with Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Interested persons outside of this scope must coordinate with AETC/A10 to gain entry. This certificate is available to US citizens only.

If you have any questions regarding admissions, please contact the Admissions Staff at ENE_Admissions@afit.edu or (937)255-6565 x3184

*Exceptions for selected individuals with high potential for completion will be determined by the Engineering Physics Department.


NWEPP Enrollment

Enrollment selections are coordinated through the Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy, and Proliferation (NWEPP) certificate program director. Once the program director announces the course roster, you will receive course registration from the NWEPP administrator.

*Please note that applying and enrolling in the NWEPP graduate certificate program is a TWO step process.

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Outcomes & Objectives

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

  • Apply knowledge and skills to solve problems that arise in the technical work they conduct or supervise.
  • Understand the science, phenomenology, and technology involved in nuclear weapons effects, nuclear weapons proliferation, and nuclear policy.
  • Communicate technical subjects orally and in writing, perform analysis, and interpret results.
  • Apply their knowledge to meet the defense needs of their organization and the nation.
  • Understand the international political environment as it applies to the interplay among technology, national objectives, and adversary postures that shape nuclear policy.

Student Outcomes (SOs)

  • Understand the science, phenomenology, and technology involved in the areas of nuclear weapons effects, nuclear policy, and nuclear proliferation.
  • Apply advanced concepts in the areas of nuclear weapons effects, nuclear policy, and nuclear proliferation.
  • Perform analysis on data, working independently and in groups, with a focus on applications to nu- clear weapons effects, nuclear policy, and nuclear proliferation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to quantify and estimate various nuclear effects in a scenario.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze nuclear policy decisions and ramifications.
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify and analyze nuclear proliferation areas of concern.

Program Chair

Dr. John W. McClory

Degree Information

Degree Type: Certificate

Delivery Method: Distance Learning

Degree Requirements

All students successfully completing and maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0 in the NWEPP program (12 credit hours) will receive a certificate and have the completed certificate noted on their Air Force Institute of Technology graduate transcript.

Graduate School Catalog
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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
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