Please Note: Students applying to the Graduate Degree Program must have completed one or more Fleet Seminar Program courses with no course grade lower than a B-.
Both the NWC in-residence curriculum and NWC’s Online Program offer a very limited number of elective courses—under limited circumstances some students may be allowed to take electives offered in residence at NWC.
GDP students will most likely need to take elective courses from non-NWC institutions regionally accredited to award graduate degrees.
Please Note: It is the responsibility of each student taking courses at other institutions to comply with that institution’s procedures and policies concerning admissions, registration, and fee payment.
All elective work must be at the graduate level and elective courses must be relevant to (or represent advanced study in) one or more of the three core course disciplines. Courses must be administered through and credits awarded by institutions that are regionally accredited to award graduate degrees.
Students admitted to GDP must complete all electives under a single Area of Study.
Requesting Approval for an Elective
Electives will only be approved if they have been determined to meet NWC’s quality and academic standards and are in congruence with the overall focus of the NWC program.
Before enrolling in or registering in any elective course (even those offered by NWC), students should receive approval from the GDP manager to use that course. Students must use the Request for Approval of Elective Course form.
Transferring Elective Credit from Non-NWC Institutions
To transfer credits awarded for completion of approved non-NWC elective courses, students should have the institution from which the course was taken send an official transcript directly to the GDP manager. Official transcripts (either hard copy or electronic) are acceptable.
- Students taking more than one course from an institution can wait until all courses are complete before ordering their transcripts.
- A student will not be awarded more credits than what is documented on the transcript.
Transcripts can be sent to GDP@usnwc.edu or:
College of Distance Education (Code 1G)
Graduate Degree Program Manager
686 Cushing Road
Newport, RI 02841-1207
Please Note: Coursework applied for credit in any other degree program cannot be used to meet a requirement for this degree. Additionally, courses that are part of a JPME-granting curriculum cannot be used to satisfy, in whole or in part, the elective requirement.
Area of Study
Students must complete all nine semester hours for electives under a single Area of Study (AOS) to fulfill the elective requirement.
Available AOSs and Associated Additional Qualification Designation (AQD) Codes:
- Greater Middle East (AOS 1, AQD 244)
- Asia-Pacific (AOS 2, AQD 241)
- Western Hemisphere (Latin-America) (AOS 3, AQD 242)
- Eurasia (AOS 4, AQD 246)
- Africa (AOS 5, AQD 243)
- Enterprise Strategic Planning (AOS 8, AQD 245)
- Operational Law (AOS 9, AQD 229)
- Strategy, Operations and Military History (AOS 10)
- Information Operations (AOS 11, AQD 249)
- Irregular Warfare (AOS 12, AQD 248)
- Leadership and Ethics (AOS 13)
- Homeland Security/Homeland Defense (AOS 21, AQD 276)
Available Electives Offered by the Online Program
The following courses are offered by NWC’s Online Program and last 12 weeks. Students will earn three semester credit hours if they complete a course with a B- or better.
EL674W Intermediate Force Capabilities: Supporting the Joint Force Across the Competition ContinuumClick to Open
Please Note: This course is only appropriate for students studying under the Irregular Warfare Area of Study.
Intermediate Force Capabilities: Supporting the Joint Force Across the Competition Continuum
Convening Dates: April 2021 and July 2021
This course focuses on a variety of lethal and non-lethal technologies to support mission accomplishment. Use of these technologies requires a grasp of operational concepts, dynamic political policies and the balancing of training and resource requirements.
Non-lethal weapons (NLWs) provide the military a means to accomplish many of today's dynamic mission requirements. By providing the means to control the escalation of violence while conducting a wide spectrum of missions, NLWs provide capabilities to mitigate the adverse potential of "shout or shoot" situations. This provides the military the ability to maintain the "moral high ground" while attempting to win the hearts and minds of both foreign and domestic non-belligerents without losing the right to self-defense. Register for elective
EL775W Climate Change and National SecurityClick to Open
Please Note: This course is only appropriate for students studying under the Strategy Operations and Military History Area of Study.
Climate Change and National Security
Convening Dates: January 2021
This course introduces a student to the basics of climate change and human security and how these topics are currently interpreted through the lens of U.S. national security. The first part of the course examines climate change through an international, national, and national security perspective to build a foundation for the issues presented in the rest of the course. Human security is described using the three primary components which include human rights, economic development, and security.
After providing a framework for climate and human security, students explore specific human security topics to include:
- Development and economic insecurity/poverty
- Food insecurity, population
- Environmental insecurity
- Water scarcity
- Health insecurity
- Humanitarian response
- Sea level rise
Students will define the topic, understand the international governance and actors, and relate current events. Caselets highlight course concepts. The course has a current events focus that is practical, policy focused, and solution oriented. Register for elective
Directed Research Project
GDP students may elect to conduct a Directed Research Project (DRP) in order to satisfy part (two or three semester credit hours) of their elective requirement. DRPs are independent studies that must be conducted under the sponsorship of a current Naval War College faculty member and support the student's Area of Study. More information can be found via the links below. For specific questions, contact the manager of the Graduate Degree Program at GDP@usnwc.edu.
DRP Policy DRP Proposal Form DRP Grade Sheet