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ODU Graduate Program in International Studies Awarded NATO Accreditation

Photo of Regina Karp and Lt. Gen. Karlheinz ViereckRegina Karp and Lt. Gen. Karlheinz Viereck

The Old Dominion University Graduate Program in International Studies (GPIS) recently became the first American master's degree program to be accredited by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

NATO, a military alliance of 28 North American and European countries, accredited the ODU GPIS degree program as a "Selected Program" for alliance members' education and training. NATO will promote the master's program throughout its member and partner nations as one that offers the comprehensive and forward-looking education military officers need in the 21st century security environment.

Currently, no other civilian academic institutions have been awarded the "Selected Program" designation by NATO.

Lt. Gen. Karlheinze Viereck, deputy chief of staff, Joint Force Trainer at Allied Command Transformation, characterized ODU's GPIS as "highly appreciated and considered to be a significant contribution to our efforts."

ODU GPIS faculty and NATO's Allied Command Transformation staff have worked together for over a decade cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship. Several NATO officers are GPIS alumni and a number of GPIS students have had the opportunity to complete internships through NATO and the Civil-Military Fusion Center. The internships add invaluable hands-on experience to the students' skill sets, making them much more competitive when they enter the job market, said Regina Karp, director of the International Studies Program in ODU's College of Arts and Letters.

GPIS and NATO have also collaborated on several crisis simulation events that provide real-time decision-making experience to GPIS students.

The designation expands ODU's relationship with NATO and raises the university's growing international profile.

"This is a significant step in continuing and strengthening our relationship with Allied Command Transformation," Karp said.

For more information, visit the ODU Graduate Program in International Studies website.

Located in ODU's Innovation Research Park, the Civil-Military Fusion Center and Civil-Military Overview (CFC/CMO) is an office under the control of NATO's Allied Command Operations headquarters, which manages the flow of information between the military and civilian arenas during complex crises in an attempt to reduce any communication conflicts for first responders.

The division chose to locate in Innovation Research Park to foster collaboration with students in ODU's Graduate Program in International Studies, further building upon the decade-long relationship between the university and NATO. For more information, visit the Civil Military Fusion Centre website.