In the U.S., 48% of veterans who pursue a postsecondary degree or certificate do not complete their study.

We developed the Military and Veterans Initiative to improve this success rate.

The School of Professional Studies at Columbia University prepares students for successful transitions.

The Military and Veterans Initiative gives U.S. military personnel and veterans crucial support and training in market-driven careers that will help them succeed in the workforce.

initiative news

A Partnership to Strengthen Cybersecurity

OCTOBER 2016 – The SPS Military and Veterans Initiative, in partnership with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the Army Cyber Institute (ACI), is launching a year-long research effort to determine how to recruit, educate, train, and employ the talent needed to meet ever-evolving cyber security threats. This effort integrates the best minds from across the military, academia, think tanks, and the corporate world to build a roadmap for effective education and talent management in the realm of cybersecurity.

key areas

Each area will evolve to encompass multiple initiatives. These examples illustrate what we’re working on now.


The Initiative collaborates with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), an independent nonpartisan think-tank, on research focused on career transition, transferable skills and capabilities from military service, leadership development, talent management, technology, and cybersecurity.


A pillar of the School is to develop high-quality academic programming and curricula. To maximize the potential of service members outside the military, we will customize programs for military cohorts, some in partnership with likeminded initiatives and corporate partners.

community and engagement

The Yellow Ribbon Program provides a financial aid opportunity to students who served in the U.S. Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001, as well as qualifying dependents. Starting with academic year 2016–2017, the School significantly expanded both its funding and the number of students it supports for the Program.


By aligning with various groups within academia and the military as well as nationally recognized foundations and initiatives, we will extend our reach and broaden our support for military personnel and veterans.


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Jason Dempsey, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor, Military Affairs
Columbia University, School of Professional Studies

Dr. Jason Dempsey is an Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and the co-founder of MILLIE, a company designed to ease the process of moving for military families and veterans. He is the author of Our Army: Soldiers, Politics, and American Civil-Military Relations and has also written extensively on Army efforts toward gender integration, the experiences of Hispanics in the military, and U.S. counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan.

Dr. Dempsey served in the Army as an infantry officer and deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. Now retired from the Army, Dr. Dempsey last served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dr. Dempsey is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

"Service members and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are an important part of the School of Professional Studies community. The Military and Veterans Initiative will serve the needs of these men and women as they look to transition to civilian life and succeed in their careers."

Jason Wingard, Ph.D.

Dean of the School of Professional Studies