Master's Degree

The Graduate Degree Program (GDP) offered by College of Distance Education provides an opportunity for Fleet Seminar Program students and graduates who meet the program's eligibility requirements and are accepted into the 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 upon program completion. Those accepted prior to that admissions board and graduating after June 2015 will have the option to be awarded either the M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies or the M.A in Defense and Strategic Studies.
Randy Forbes, senior distinguished fellow of U.S. Naval War College (NWC) Foundation and former representative, gives remarks to NWC students, staff, faculty and guests during his keynote address on sea power and national strategy during EMC Chair Symposium on Maritime Security, “Sea Control and Foreign Policy,” held at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island.

General Information

Eligibility

Active Duty and Reserve Military Officers, Civilian Federal Government Employees and "Congressional Staffers" who meet the eligibility requirements as described on the Graduate Degree Program webpage.

Location & Duration

The Program's core course requirement consists of the three courses administered by NWC's Fleet Seminar Program. These courses are offered at various locations within the continental United States. (See the Fleet Seminar Program webpage for more information). Elective courses can be taken through a variety of sources including: Naval War College (resident and Web-enabled Program) and other institutions that are regionally accredited to award graduate degrees (see the Graduate Degree Program webpage for more information). All coursework used to meet the degree requirements must be completed within a seven year time window and no coursework can be more than eight years old at time of graduation.

Learning Format

The Fleet Seminar Program courses (which make up GDP's core course requirement) are conducted in seminar format similar to the NWC resident programs. Elective courses can be conducted in a variety of formats.

Outcome

Students who successfully complete the Graduate Degree Program's requirements are awarded the NWC Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies.

Program Structure

JPME I and M.A.

Joint Maritime Operations (JMO)

Required | Core Course
The Joint Maritime Operations Intermediate Level is designed to prepare mid-career U.S. and international military officers and civilians to expand critical and creative thinking and develop problem solving skills as they pertain to decision making and leadership in the maritime domain. Once grounded in operational art, students learn to balance the ways, means, ends, and risks to achieve theater-strategic, and operational objectives.

Strategy and War (S&W)

Required | Core Course
The Strategy and War Course examines how the overall strategic environment shapes operational choices and outcomes. In turn, the course also examines the strategic effects of operations, exploring how battlefield outcomes can change the strategic environment.

Theater Security and Decision Making (TSDM)

Required | Core Course
The Theater Security Decision Making (TSDM) course educates intermediate military officers and U.S. government civilians in the College of Naval Command and Staff and Naval Staff College on effective decision making and leadership on security issues, focusing primarily at the theater strategic level.

Elective Course Requirements for M.A. Degree

Required | Electives
In addition to the satisfactory completion of the three core courses (grade of B- or higher), the equivalent of nine semester hours of elective coursework is required. While a limited number of elective courses have historically been offered through CDE’s Web-enabled Program each year, most students complete their elective work at other institutions. Under limited circumstances some students may be allowed to take electives offered in residence at NWC. All electives must fall under a single Area of Study (AOS).

Incoming Students

Contact Information

Graduate Degree Program

More Information

To find out more information visit the links below.

Lt. Lindsay Conte, a U.S. Naval War College (NWC) student, returns to her seat after receiving her Masters of Arts Degree in Defense and Strategic Studies during a commencement ceremony at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island.
Lt. Lindsay Conte, a U.S. Naval War College (NWC) student, returns to her seat after receiving her Masters of Arts Degree in Defense and Strategic Studies during a commencement ceremony at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island. The graduating class of 2017 included 423 resident students of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, federal civilian employees and 105 international students. Additionally, 1,079 students completed coursework through NWC’s College of Distance Education programs. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zach Allan/Released)
Graduate Degree Program Requirements

Receiving Masters in 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. In addition to the satisfactory completion of the three core courses (grade of B- or higher), the equivalent of nine semester hours of elective coursework is required.

See Electives