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U.S. Space Force

West Space Scholars Program –
Senior Level Education (SLE)

A highly competitive U.S. Space Force program designed for military officers, government civilians, and partner nation students through a tailored track within the Johns Hopkins SAIS Master of International Public Policy degree.

Space Force conference

The goal of the program is to develop space-minded, senior leaders in support of the National Defense Strategy who are prepared to dominate the space domain in today’s complex global environment. This program is named after Dr. Gladys Mae West, a renowned mathematician who was among the so-called “Hidden Figures.” She executed complex computing and modeling that was incorporated into satellite geodesy models and the Global Positioning System in the era before electronic computing systems.

Johns Hopkins SAIS and the U.S. Space Force have partnered to offer this SLE Program, which is designed to be a JPME II-awarding program. This unique one-year master’s program, which begins with the first cohort in the 2023-2024 academic year, annually selects a small group of talented, senior, strategic-level military officers, government civilians from multiple agencies, and partner nation military officers to participate in this distinctive curriculum leading to a Master in International Public Policy (MIPP) degree.

Space Force Shutter

Application Process

There is a two-step application process. The first step is internal to DoD. The Services, other government agencies, and partner nations will make nominations, recommendations, and selections for their respective organizations. For example, the U.S. Space Force will make the selections for Guardians. Guardian packages are due by approximately April of each year and selections are made by about August for the following academic year (i.e. selections in August 2022 for academic year 2023-2024). See specific service-level guidance on when to apply for intermediate and senior-level developmental education opportunities.. Note: All military officers nominated for the program must be in the paygrade of O5 or O6 and have already completed Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase 1. Government civilians should be in the pay bands of GS 13-15 and have demonstrated a record of academic excellence. Previous graduate-level education is beneficial, but not required.

The second step requires those initially selected above to apply directly to the Johns Hopkins SAIS MIPP degree here.

How the West Space Scholars Program is tailored within the Johns Hopkins SAIS Master of International Public Policy Degree:

32 total credits are required for the Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) degree. Students in the West Space Scholars Program will meet those requirements by enrolling in 16 credits of core JPME courses and 16 credits of general electives. Eight credits of core JPME courses and eight credits of general electives will be taken each fall and spring semester.

Students in the West Space Scholars Program take 16-credits of the MIPP in USSF-JPME core courses as a cohort to facilitate diverse, joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational critical thinking and collaboration. These specifically designed courses, intended to meet J7 requirements for JPME accreditation, draw on the disciplines of international security, strategic leadership, comparative grand strategy, military strategy, spacepower development, and joint global campaigning. Students enroll in a total of four 2-credit courses and two 4-credit courses. This program also incorporates Pre-Term, Intersession, staff rides, a research symposium, and a capstone wargame.

  • Col Stacy Godshall, Associate Dean and Director of the West Space Scholars Program
  • Col Kirk Johnson, Commandant
  • Dr. Gregory Miller, Dean of Space Education

Students in this program will have exclusive access to world-class instructors, policy experts, and military faculty who are each renowned for their scholarship and experience in diverse organizations both within and outside the Department of Defense.

U.S. Space Force Contact

Dean of Space Education Dr. Gregory Miller
Delta 13, Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM)
[email protected]