General Information

Inter-American Defense College

The Inter-American Defense College (IADC), located on Fort Lesley J. McNair, was formally opened on 9 October 1962 when the Honorable Dean Rusk, then Secretary of State of the United States, presented the building and furnishings donated by the United States Government.

The Inter-American Defense College is an international academic institution that belongs to the Organization of American States (OAS). Currently our Students are eligible for an IADC Masters’ degree, which focuses on the security and defense of the Western Hemisphere. Students will also be given the opportunity to work towards additional degree programs, based on IADC agreements with other universities. During an intensive 12-month period, senior civilian, military, and law enforcement officials discuss the Inter-American system in detail, the current international environment, and the complex multidimensional problems of security and defense of the hemisphere.


Each academic year, Students at the College examine a wide range of topics including the Inter-American system, international affairs, international institutions, international economic policies, human rights, civil-military relations, and negotiated conflict resolution. The academic program is designed to provide each Student with the tools and expertise needed to conduct a comprehensive strategic analysis, and the ability to think critically about complex defense and security issues.


It is important that Students are prepared and aware of the implications of this challenge as a Master’s degree with a university of international standing, demands time and dedication. Our goal is to prepare leaders who will be at the forefront of their nation’s national security organizations to effectively analyze the security and defense prospects of the hemisphere.


Academic Enrollment Process (IADC)


During the first in processing day, Students and Advisors go through the formal enrollment process and complete any personal data forms that could not be filled out online. Students receive their e-mail accounts (e-mail), lockers, information on permitted parking places, seating assignments in the auditorium, as well as additional administrative and regulatory information on College procedures.


It is important that both Students and Advisors accurately fill in the information required online as this information will be used to process identification cards, make name cards, invitations and programs. In short, be diligent so you and your family are able to take advantage of every opportunity.




IADCMoodle.org is the College’s Learning Management System (LMS). This will be the Students’ primary access to all course material and registration/in-processing documentation.


Students please refer to Appendix B for instructions on how to access your IADCMoodle.org account.




The official languages of our College are: Spanish, English, Portuguese and French Presentations and conferences are offered in the original language of the guest speaker with simultaneous interpretation provided by the College.


NOTE: It is advisable that Students and Advisors have basic knowledge of Spanish and English as well as their native language, if applicable. Although there is simultaneous interpretation at the College during class periods, the relationship with partner educational institutions and other opportunities in the United States require proficiency in the English language. English also facilitates a good working relationship with the public and private entities that are visited during the course. In addition, because the majority of students are native Spanish speakers, basic proficiency in Spanish facilitates small group work.


Class Schedule


The core class schedule is from 08:00 until 16:00. Attendance is mandatory and requires the punctual proactive participation of Students in all activities.


Trips and Visits


The Academic Program includes study trips to countries with a geostrategic position in Latin America. These trips will enrich the understanding and appreciation of both Advisors and Students of hemispheric security and defense issues, while increasing their potential to solve them. Trips will also strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation throughout the region.


The College also schedules trips in the United States, including several formal visits to military and civilian organizations. It provides Students and Advisors with the opportunity to visit relevant institutions such as the United Nations (UN) in New York, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Pentagon in Washington. When visiting military organizations and security entities, Students will gain an understanding of the capabilities and management of state-of-the-art defense and security systems.


Accommodation and meal costs for these trips are paid for by the government of the country sending the Student. It is important to ensure you have the funds to cover travel expenses before leaving your country as they will be necessary from the beginning of the course. For your convenience, this document includes a table with “estimated” costs for travel in the United States and abroad.


Weather in the Washington, D.C. Area


Due to its location, Washington, D.C. and the regions of Maryland and Virginia have four clearly defined seasons:


• Summer from 21 June to 20 September.

• Fall from 21 September to 20 December.

• Winter from December 21 until March 20.

• Spring from March 21 until June 20.


Temperatures vary with the seasons. Although Spring and Fall are warm, you will experience intense heat in the Summer [average of 79.8°F (26.6°C)] and intense cold in the Winter [average approximately 38°F (3.3°C) with snowfall averaging 15.5 inches (39cm)]. This information is important because it will help you plan your stay in the United States and select the clothing you will need to prepare.




Advisors and Students will participate in several events that require the use of different uniforms and appropriate attire for civilian personnel. To help you be better prepared, the main uniforms are:


1. Formal Uniform, (Uniform # 1): Formal is the uniform used for official ceremonies, receptions, and special lecture events, equivalent to the suit and tie, for civilians. Some countries have seasonal formal Uniforms.

2. Daily Uniform, (Uniform # 2): The daily uniform used for work, and usually consists of short-sleeved shirts with an open neck or a sweater, depending on the weather conditions and uniform regulations of the respective countries.

3. Gala Uniform, (Uniform # 3): The uniform used for evening ceremonies and formal receptions, equivalent to the civilian tuxedo for men and evening gown for women.

4. Business Suit, (Uniform # 4): Equivalent to a suit worn by civilians consisting of a jacket and tie.

5. Casual attire, (Uniform # 5): Consists of a nice shirt and dress pants with a sweater or jacket optional. No blue jeans or tennis shoes.


Each country has different types of uniforms as per internal regulations, but they do not differ substantially between services, even when they are from different countries. This has been considered when establishing the above-mentioned uniforms. Appendix D includes pictures of examples of the various uniforms to help you recognize the types of uniforms that you must bring.


The first day at the College Students are required to wear Uniform #1. There will be opportunities to learn more about the use of uniforms; however Students are required to wear their daily uniform to attend classes unless otherwise instructed. There are formal events in December and June that will require Advisors and Students to wear their Uniform #3.


Circle of Friends


The spouses of Students, Advisors, directors, delegates and heads of delegation of the Inter-American Defense Board organize an event called Circle of Friends at the College. These events are organized by different countries and aim to strengthen the bonds of friendship in the hemisphere. These meetings usually consist of presentations that display examples of the local culture, crafts and traditional food.


Cultural Gathering


During the summer the College organizes a cultural day in which the Students, Advisors, and their relatives exchange traditional foods. In springtime, the Inter-American Defense Board organizes an Inter-American cultural event in which each delegation displays its local crafts, dances, and food.

During these events it is customary for participants of each country to bring samples of traditional products and objects that represent their cultural customs. Students are advised to consult with alumni of the College for ideas on what to bring.


Established in 1962

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Inter-American Defense College

210 B Street Suite 1

Fort McNair Washington, DC 20319-5008


The Inter-American Defense College is licensed under the Degree Granting Institution Regulations of the District of Columbia.

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