William D. Ferree, a professor in U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) College of Distance Education (CDE) gives a faculty development presentation to NWC staff and faculty members.
William D. Ferree, a professor in U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) College of Distance Education (CDE) gives a faculty development presentation to NWC staff and faculty members. The presentation dealt with contemporary issues in online education and was held in NWC’s Spruance Auditorium. The mission of the CDE is to develop and administer an extension of the education program of NWC’s College of Naval Command and Staff to nonresident military officers and select government employees. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jess Lewis/released)

Fleet Seminar

The Naval War College Fleet Seminar Program (FSP) offers joint intermediate level PME through a set of three core courses: Strategy and War, Theater Security Decision Making, and Joint Maritime Operations. These courses are offered in seminar format at multiple locations in keeping with efforts of the Chief of Naval Personnel to foster a deliberate and flexible learning environment. Each course normally requires one academic year to complete, which runs from September through the following May; the courses may be completed in any order. Once a student completes their first FSP course, they can enroll in the Graduate Degree Program and complete additional elective courses can earn the Master of Arts degree in Defense and Strategic Studies.


Enrollment Eligibility

Enrollment is open to eligible active and reserve officers in the Sea Services (Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) in the grade of O-3 and above. Active and reserve officers in other military services must be in the grade of O-4 and above to be eligible. Federal civilian employees in the grade of GS-11 and equivalent or above are also eligible. Contracted personnel are not eligible. Through CNO agreement, selected staff members in the federal Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches are also eligible. All applicants must possess a Baccalaureate Degree (preferably from a regionally accredited institution).

Seminar Format

Seminars meet one evening per week (34 times per year) for 3 hours per night typically from the first week in September through the third week in May, under the direction of a Naval War College adjunct faculty member. From time to time, formal presentations are delivered by resident faculty members from Newport and by visiting professors from colleges and universities around the world. The seminars are conducted at the graduate level and require appropriate initiative, research, writing, and oral commentary on the part of each student.


Courses require the student’s presence in class. Upon a fourth absence, or when a fourth absence is anticipated, students are evaluated for continuation in the course. If they are allowed to continue, a fifth absence (no matter what the reason) will result in disenrollment. Students must coordinate with their professor to make up missed classroom instruction.

Course Work

Students must coordinate in advance with their professor if they will miss a deadline for course work. All delinquent work must be resolved prior to the end of the academic year. Students unable to meet that deadline must request an extension, in advance, from the Dean, College of Distance Education. All work not completed before classes end must be submitted to the College of Distance Education for processing in Newport. In no event will an extension be granted beyond 1 August. No student with an "Incomplete" grade will be allowed to reenroll until the "Incomplete" is eliminated. A student unable to complete a course may receive credit for that work successfully completed. On a case basis, students may be enrolled in a subsequent academic year at the point at which they were previously withdrawn from a course as long as they maintain eligibility. See Course Withdrawals and Re-enrollment below.

Enrollment Procedures

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Graduate Hour Credits

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Course Withdrawals

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Contact Information

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For more information visit our FAQ page.

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Apply for Fleet Seminar & More

Apply for Fleet Seminar Program

The application for the Fleet Seminar Program is an online application. The application period for Academic Year 2018-19 opens on 1 April 2018 and closes on 31 May 2018 for classes that begin the week of 3 September 2018.

Application for 2018 - 2019 is now closed.

JPME Phase I

FSP students earn JPME Phase I credit and a NWC diploma with successful completion of the three core courses. Those FSP students that enroll in the Graduate degree program and complete additional elective courses can earn the Master of Arts degree in Defense and Strategic Studies.

More Information

Graduate Degree Program

The Graduate Degree Program (GDP) offered by College of Distance Education provides an opportunity for students enrolled in the Fleet Seminar program to earn a master of arts degree. Students accepted into the GDP from the July 2015 admissions board forward will receive the M.A in Defense and Strategic Studies.

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