Eligibility & Overview

Student typically take three years to complete all 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.

Recruit division commanders salute graduating divisions as they enter Midway Ceremonial Drill Hall during a pass in review graduation ceremony at Recruit Training Command.
Please Note: Students are expected to keep the College of Distance Education informed of changes in the student's eligibility status, current address, phone numbers, email address, parent command, and current CO/supervisor contact information.


All applicants applying for this program must possess a Baccalaureate Degree (i.e., B.S./B.A.), preferably from a regionally accredited institution. Must be currently serving as active duty or reserve officer, federal employee, or congressional staffer. Contracted personnel are not eligible to apply.

Active and Reserve Officers

Active and reserve officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard must be in the grade of O3 and above to be eligible. Active and reserve officers in other military services must be in the grade of O4 and above.

Civilian Applicants

Any federal civilians in the grade GS11 and above, or equivalent, are eligible to apply for FSP. Selected congressional staff members in the federal Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches are also eligible.

Course Syllabi & Format

Each academic year students will take a core course: Strategy and War, Theater Security Decision Making, and Joint Maritime Operations. Classes meet one evening per week for three hours and run from the first week in September to the third week in May, 34 times per year. These seminars are conducted at the graduate level and require appropriate initiative, research, writing, and oral commentary from each student.

Classes are taught under the direction of a U.S. Naval War College (NWC) adjunct faculty member. Occasionally, formal presentations are delivered by resident faculty members from Newport, Rhode Island and by visiting professors from colleges and universities around the world.


The NWC Fleet Seminar Program (FSP) is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and awards graduate credits for successful completion of the following FSP courses, for enrollees subsequent to 1 March 1994.

  • Strategy and War: 7 Graduate Semester Hours
  • Theater Security Decision Making: 7 Graduate Semester Hours
  • Joint Maritime Operations: 7 Graduate Semester Hours


Students must coordinate in advance with their professor if they will miss a deadline for coursework, all delinquent work must be completed within 30 days.

Extension Request

Students unable to meet the deadline must request, in advance, an extension from the Dean of College of Distance Education.

Incomplete Grade

A student with an 'Incomplete’ grade will not be allowed to re-enroll until the 'Incomplete' is eliminated.

If a student is unable to complete a course, they may receive credit for work that has been successfully submitted. For more information please see Course Withdrawal and Re-enrollment.


All courses require the student's presence in class, they must coordinate with the professor to make up any missed classroom instruction.


Upon the fourth absence, or when it is anticipated, the student is evaluated for continuation in the course. If allowed, the fifth absence will result in disenrollment, no exceptions.


The college provides all study materials to the student on a loan basis.

Returning Materials

Once notified of their enrollment, a student will receive information for receipt of materials. During the course, a student will receive return labels for returning their books.

If a student fails to return materials, they will be billed for the replacements and no credit for the course will be granted until all materials have been returned or purchased.

Buying Materials

If you wish to purchase the course materials most books are available online or at bookstores.

Please Note: Regulations preclude direct purchase of this government property from the NWC or FSP.

Discover More on Fleet Seminar Program

If you are eligible to apply for the Fleet Seminar Program, please visit the Enrollment page for more information on the application process. For the latest on course locations please visit the Locations & Availability page.