Student's Frequently Asked Questions


Are there any readings I should do or preparations I should make before reporting?

While there is no official requirement to do so, it is recommended that you read Freedom’s Forge by Arthur Herman prior to reporting. This book provides valuable historical context into the last major mobilization of American industry for a concentrated war effort and lays the foundation for the ideas you will discuss and spectra of subjects you will cover during your time at Eisenhower. We also recommend that you visit the National Defense University Writing Center to become familiar with the requirements of writing at the graduate level. NDU provides writing coaches to assist students throughout the writing process. Once your NDU account is created, you can learn more about the NDU Writing Center on their site hosted by LibGuides.

Are there any fees associated with reporting in that are not covered by tuition?

There are no fees associated with reporting in. However, once the Student Council is formed, one-time dues are collected from each student to cover things like class socials, holiday parties, and the class gift. This amount is voted on by the Council, but the average amount is around $250 and it is normally collected during the first month of classes. You may also be asked for an additional contribution depending on which Industry Study you are assigned to. Other expenses can include about $30 for a blue Ike polo shirt for “Eisenhower Casual” days.

What expectations are there regarding participation in student activities outside of academics?

Extracurricular activities are highly encouraged as a means of social networking and building esprit de corps. Various intramural sports are offered. Additionally, students will be expected to fill the roles of seminar leads, yearbook representative, class gift representative, and other peer leadership roles during the academic year.

What are the commuting options to Fort McNair? Are reimbursements available?

The NDU campus offers parking for students, though spaces close Eisenhower Hall can fill up quickly. Students who want to carpool will be able to sign up for carpools; more information will be available at student check-in. Carpools receive parking passes for designated parking spaces. Vehicle access to Fort McNair is through the 2nd Street Gate (open 24/7) at the corner of 2nd and Q Streets SW. As with all military installations, proper identification (CAC card) is required.

The Waterfront metro station offers the closest access to Fort McNair; the station is a little over one mile from the 2nd Street Gate. The Department of Defense offers a Mass Transit Benefits Program in the form of a public transportation subsidy to eligible DoD personnel stationed in the National Capital Region. See information on eligibility and how to apply. You must first obtain a durable Metro Smartrip card, which can be purchased at any mass transit station in the DC metro area. You will be required to apply monthly, around the 15th of the month prior to the month in which you desire to receive benefits. Failure to apply will result in the loss of benefits for the following month. Your faculty adviser or service/department chair will serve as the approver of your monthly application.

Do I need to bring my own computer and supplies?

Yes. Students are required to bring their own supplies and computers. Students will not be issued government computers from NDU. A Common Access Card (CAC) reader is recommended for convenience in completing required online training, but is not required. Once your in-processing cybersecurity requirements are fulfilled, you will receive log-in credentials and access to the University’s Learning Management System, Blackboard, and to its productivity/collaboration environment, Microsoft Office 365.

Review NDU’s minimum computing requirements.

You’ll use your laptop in class every day and carry it around with you, so a heavy, outdated machine or one without an adequate battery will make your life more difficult. If you are buying a new computer, keep in mind that you will be reading hundreds of pages of PDFs each week. Think about what PDF reading software you will use (favorites include Goodreader for Macs, EndNote for PCs, and OneNote for either), and whether it would be advantageous to have a touch screen to facilitate highlighting text.

If you want to familiarize yourself with Eisenhower’s software platforms before you arrive, focus on Office 365 for email and Blackboard for assignments and readings. Note that some Blackboard programs require Microsoft software. If you’re using an iPad or Mac, there will be extra steps to submit required papers. NDU’s software is optimized for Windows and iOS operating systems, and students with Android devices have had difficulty with some functions.

What attire is required at Eisenhower?

Attire for the first week on campus is Class B service uniforms (summer whites for Navy, Service Charlie for Marines) for military students and Business Dress for civilians. Military students should be prepared to switch to Class A service uniforms (still summer whites for Navy, Service Alpha for Marines) for possible distinguished speaker events and the NDU Convocation.

After the first week, the normal student attire is "business casual," i.e. long-sleeve, button-down shirt, jacket, dress pants, and dress shoes, and equivalent attire for women.

Occasionally, students will be required to wear a suit and tie (equivalent attire for women) or Military Class A uniforms for special guest speakers. Fridays will normally be a blue long or short sleeve collared shirt, typically with ES logo, and dress pants.

Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and exercise apparel are never appropriate for class or official events.