Eligibility & Overview

The Online Program curriculum encourages critical thinking in multiple security environments and levels of war. Students study the relationship between security policy and military strategy, as well plan and conduct military operations. Students also examine the roles of political and military leaders in policy formulation, military planning, and the conduct of war. This program can be accessed remotely from any location that has reliable internet access.

Student using a computer at the U.S. Naval War College
Please Note: Students interested in the master’s degree through the Graduate Degree Program must complete all coursework through the Fleet Seminar Program; credit from the online program cannot be transferred.


Officers in grade O2 and below, International Officers, Defense contractors, Congressional Staff, and retired military personnel are not eligible to apply. All eligible applicants applying for this program must:

  • Possess a Baccalaureate Degree (i.e., B.S./B.A.)
  • Be currently serving as an active duty officer, reserve officer, or defense-related federal employee.
    • Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard must have pinned on the grade of O3 and above.
    • Active and Reserve officers in other military services must have pinned on the grade of O4 and above.
    • Defense-related federal civilians in the DoD, DoS, DHS, and the National Intelligence Community must be in the grade of GS11 and above.
  • US Army officers and civilians will not enroll in other than Army schools without written approval of the DCS, G–3/5/7 (Director of Training) per Army Regulation (AR) 350-1, 3-39.g(3).

Course Format

Classes consist of 17-20 students and proceed through the material in accordance with the schedule. This asynchronous course is not self-paced. Students will interface with the professor and each other using online discussion boards, group projects, individual essays, and other assignments.

The Naval Command and Staff (NC&S) online program is organized into five educational modules. Students must be committed to completing all modules during one session.

  • Module 1: Fundamentals of Strategy
  • Module 2: The Security Environment
  • Module 3: Operational Art
  • Module 4: Joint Capabilities
  • Module 5:  Joint Planning Process

Program Schedule

The Online Program is offered four times per year, March, June, September, and December. Please see the link below for an upcoming program schedule.


A six-week Foundational Knowledge Course (FKC) will help students become familiar with Blackboard, the Learning Management System, and give them the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in NC&S.

This pre-requisite is waived if the student has completed a core JPME-I course (Joint Maritime Operations, Strategy & War, or Theater Security Decision Making) through a previous online version, CD-ROM, Fleet Seminar Program, or NWC-at-Naval Postgraduate School course.

Graduate Credit for Courses

U.S. Naval War College awards graduate credits for the successful completion of courses based on the completion year.

May 2023 to Present

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February 2020 to September 2023

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October 1997 to May 2020

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Students can submit work before the due date each week and are not required to log in at a specific time. The average workload is 8-10 hours per week for 46 weeks. Please see the link below for credit on prior coursework.

Computer Requirements

For minimum and recommended computer requirements on taking courses via the online program please see link below. Please note that NMCI does NOT currently support the use of NWC Blackboard on their network. It is strongly recommended that you use a non-government computer and network to access your course materials.

Mobile Requirements

College of Distance Education Blackboard is currently using the Ultra based format and Learn 2016 Theme. Please see the link below for supported mobile browsers.

Discover More on the Online Program

If you are eligible to apply for the Online Program, please visit the Enrollment page for more information on the application process. Graduate Degree Program students interested in online electives, please visit the Electives & Area of Study page under Graduate Degree Program.