DSCU: Academic Center for Security Cooperation

One of five components reporting to the Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) is the Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU).  DSCU’s mission is to meet the current and future global security cooperation mission by delivering the education, training, research, and workforce analysis required to develop an agile, certified, and experienced U.S. Government security cooperation workforce and implementing institutional capacity building, security cooperation education, and related programs and initiatives with our allies and partners.  DSCU aspires to be the leading academic institution for security cooperation knowledge and practice.  Advancing the National Defense Strategy and foreign policy interests of the United States is the “North Star” of DSCU’s dedicated professionals.

The Secretary of Defense directed DSCA to establish a Security Cooperation Workforce Development Program and lead the Department’s education, training, and certification program per 10 USC, Section §384. In September 2019, DSCA launched DSCU to support the DSCA’s mission for training, certifying, and providing for the long-term development of the security cooperation workforce at home and abroad.  DSCU’s role was further expanded in April 2021 with the inclusion of the Institute of Security Governance, Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, and other elements of international training and education programs, thus broadening the scope of the university and inclusive of program implementation.

DSCU is comprised of the International School for Education and Advising, the School of Security Cooperation Studies, and the Office of the Provost (which includes Enterprise Support functions), each led by a Deputy Assistant Director who reports to the DSCU President.  Though geographically dispersed and comprised of component offices with distinct functions, DSCU is one university focused on its vision to be the  Department of Defense’s Center of Excellence for security cooperation education, training, development, research, and institutional capacity building.

  • The International School for Education and Advising is comprised of the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies located in Newport, RI and the Institute for Security Governance located in Monterey, CA.  This School is charged with advancing national security and foreign policy objectives by building partner institutional capabilities and capacity, advancing security governance and management, enhancing the approach and conduct of institutional capacity building to address shared security challenges, and promoting compliance with human rights standards, international humanitarian law, and democratic rule of law.
  • The School of Security Cooperation Studies, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH  and in National Capital Region, supports DSCA’s mission of training, educating, and providing for the long-term development of the security cooperation workforce and providing training and education for the security cooperation enterprise.
  • The Office of the Provost and Enterprise Support, located in National Capital Region, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, provides key university functions to facilitate the delivery of Security Cooperation Workforce education and training, advances key workforce initiatives to enhance the Security Cooperation Workforce’s ability to drive desired outcomes, and leads security cooperation training and education programs that improve partner nation capabilities.

Since the University opened their doors, DSCU students have completed over 45,000 discrete courses and approximately 12,500 personnel are in progress towards Security Cooperation Workforce Certification.  Additionally, DSCU faculty members have developed 26 new courses while rapidly transitioning 20 courses to virtual learning platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This team of teams is now working across functional areas to create synergies that benefit students, strategic partners, and other external stakeholders.  An agile mindset and desire to innovate in response to the real-world challenges and requirements of those the University serves characterizes the work DSCU performs in collaboration with DSCA.

For more information about DSCU, please visit the DSCU website at www.dscu.mil or LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/company/dscu/.


One of DSCA’s top five goals is to develop a diverse, certified, adaptable and resilient Security Cooperation workforce to meet shared U.S. and international security challenges.

Leading that role for more than 20 years was Dr. Ronald Reynolds, the former commandant of what is now DSCA’s Defense Security Cooperation University-West at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

As we celebrate DSCA’s 50th anniversary, we are grateful for such dedicated professionals as Dr. Reynolds, who exemplifies public service, embodying our security through global partnerships ethos.

The veteran Air Force officer served both a full military and civil service career, shaping a generation of Security Cooperation leaders before retiring in December 2020. Click here for more.

View this one-minute video on the mission-set: