Naval War College (NWC) with museum in the background

Academic Departments

U.S. Naval War College’s academic departments support our curriculum by providing core and elective coursework, and through research, gaming, and educational programming opportunities. Our three primary teaching departments, Strategy & Policy, Joint Military Operations, and National Security Affairs, each offer one intermediate-level and one senior-level course.

NWC Academic Departments

International Flags Hanging

International Programs

Each year we bring 100 to 150 foreign officers to the U.S. from around the world. They study strategy, warfare, decision making and operational art. Equally important, they learn how the United States works as a country through the field studies program. Each officer is greatly influenced by what they see and learn in the United States while forming strong and lasting bonds with their U.S. and international classmates.

The Joint Military Operations (JMO) department at U.S. Naval War College (NWC), Newport, Rhode Island, hosts its Capstone educational event which is designed to expose students in the courses to maritime warfare problems and how to creatively approach them.

Joint Military Operations

The Joint Military Operations department addresses enduring principles that govern military operations, including collaborating with other services, U.S. agencies, and multinational partners. Its courses focus on the theater-strategic and operational levels of war.

Army Lt. Col. Patrick Pflaum, a U.S. Naval War College student in the National Security Affairs department participates in the National Security Decision Making Final Exercise in the college’s Spruance auditorium in Newport, Rhode Island.

National Security Affairs

We’re one of the nation’s oldest and largest graduate departments focused on national and international security studies. Our rigorous courses, designed for mid-career professionals, focus on theater decision-making and global and regional strategy.

Books on a desk with student

Strategic and Operational Research

Strategic and Operational Research is home to a variety of specialized centers, groups, and institutes, all of which work to produce innovative, strategic research and analysis for the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. Its faculty members teach electives, supervise student research projects, and support curriculum development.

Students at S&P Lecture
U.S. Naval War College (NWC) students listen to a keynote address on sea power and national strategy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jess Lewis/released)

Strategy & Policy

Our Strategy & Policy department teaches students how to make sound judgements in joint, interagency, and multinational environments. S&P’s courses explore case studies and offer a blend of liberal arts and professional disciplines, from political science to multicultural studies.

Game board with pieces


The wargaming department conducts high-quality research, gaming, and analysis. Here, future leaders can hone their strategic, risk-assessment, and decision-making skills. Wargaming efforts also help inform key Navy decisions.