US Naval War College Logo
Contact Us
Site Map
NWC on Facebook NWC on Twitter NWC on Flickr NWC on Blackboard

Spring Registration opens Thursday, February 27th at 1700
Finalized Course Offering Now Available

Elective courses are grouped into Areas of Study (AoS) relevant to the development of leaders in the military profession. Students must commit to a designated AoS before their first term of study commences. Student assignment to an AoS may be limited by the total number of seats available in the elective courses being taught in a particular term.

All U.S. CNC&S students in residence in Newport shall complete three elective courses within a single AoS in order to qualify for the College’s JPME I diploma and the Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. All U.S. CNW students will complete two courses within an AoS and have the option to take a course in another AoS in trimesters two or three provided there are open seats.

The Area of Study Description (PDF) link, offers brief descriptions of each area. This will aid the student in determining the best choice for their career goals. TheCourse Descriptions (PDF)  link allows the student to see all offerings during the upcoming Academic Year. Each Area of Study has listed; available courses and the trimester it will be offered. Not all areas have multiple courses running each trimester. Historical student enrollment determines how many courses are offered in each area of study.
Once an Area of Study has been decided upon the student should use the current Trimester Offering Link to decide which course they would like to enroll in. Some areas of study are very competitive. If your Area of Study offers more than one course, when registering please choose more than one and prioritize your choices.

An extensive Electives Program expands both the breadth and depth of the College’s educational offerings by providing opportunities to explore subjects not included in the core curriculum or to investigate in greater detail specific elements of that curriculum.

The elective courses are offered in twenty-one distinct Areas of Study (AoS). The Electives Program offers sixteen areas of individual study ranging from five regional area studies to leadership and ethics, Joint Warfare Analysis for the Commander and enterprise strategic planning to operational law, insurgency and terrorism or information operations, command and control and battle-space awareness, and strategy, operations, and military history.

There are also five Areas of Study designed for group study. Normally, interested students apply and then are selected to participate in one of these programs. Programs include the Halsey Groups, Gravely Naval Research Group, the Mahan Scholars, the Stockdale Group, the Joint Land Aerospace Sea Simulation (JLASS), and MAWS.
Students must choose an elective AoS and then take courses from that track; for most of the concentrations, Navy students earn an additional qualification designator (AQD) permanently identifying the key skills and competencies developed over the course of study and required by the Navy. These elective courses occupy approximately twenty percent of the students’ total academic effort, meeting for three hours per week for ten weeks. All U.S. students must take one elective each trimester.

Each academic year, the Electives Program offers approximately 120 courses, individually designed and conducted by their instructors. About forty are offered each trimester.

By offering the faculty and staff the opportunity to teach in their areas of strongest expertise, the program expands the academic dimensions of the institution, and enriches and diversifies the total educational experience. The Electives Program intentionally mixes students from the intermediate and senior colleges to bring another dimension to student diversity.

Methodology is at the discretion of the instructor, but most courses employ a seminar or informal lecture technique in order to maximize student involvement. While demanding in their requirements—60 percent of a student’s grade must be based on written work—elective courses are graded on a high pass/pass/fail system. This system of grading maximizes freedom of choice in pursuing elective tracks; since these courses are not included in academic standing, students are more willing to pursue studies that will broaden their knowledge.

Contact us at