Students in class at Naval War College

Naval Command College Core Curriculum

The Naval War College has three core teaching departments: Strategy and Policy, National Security Affairs, and Joint Military Operations, each with separate faculty. Each department teaches one intermediate level course (ILC) and one senior level course (SLC).

The Naval War College (NWC) education provides a framework in which military and civilian leaders gain a profound understanding of strategy and operations, as well as the ability to think critically, deal with uncertainty and surprise, be proficient in joint matters, comprehend the security environment, and all elements of national power. The College achieves this through the combined efforts of its three core academic departments - National Security Affairs, Joint Military Operations, Strategy and Policy - and through the College of Distance Education, the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School, the electives program, and focused conferences and lectures. The ten month curriculum for resident students is divided into trimesters of three to four months.

Strategy and policy curriculum

Teaches students to think strategically and prepares them for positions of strategic leadership. Strategy is the relationship between war’s purpose, objective, and means. The course is designed to sharpen each student’s ability to assess how alternative strategic courses of action achieve broad, national-level objectives. Students will think in a disciplined, critical, and original manner about the international strategic environment, about a range of potential strategies, and about the strategic effects of joint, interagency, and multinational operations.

Joint Military Operations curriculum

Focuses on the joint war fighting at the theater-strategic and operational levels of war. The JMO course prepares future military and civilian leaders for high-level policy, command, and staff positions requiring joint planning expertise and joint warfighting skills. It emphasizes the theory and practice of operational art in terms of maritime and joint forces. JMO students will learn to apply operational art, the joint operation planning process and critical thinking skills in a seminar environment to employ joint forces to achieve a broad array of objectives. Extensive faculty and student interaction fosters professional attitudes and perspectives essential to successful military operations.

National Security Affairs (NSA) curriculum

The National Security Affairs (NSA) curriculum educates students in effective decision-making and leadership on security issues, particularly those involving force selection and planning challenges within national and theater resource constraints. The curriculum focuses on national defense and military strategic concepts.

International officers join with the U.S, students for the entire academic year. The structuring of the course work permits one faculty, in one facility, to teach both senior and intermediate students, an effective and efficient use of resources.

News, Media, & Events


Issues in National Security: Looking Outward to the Future

Jan. 23, 2018
4:30 p.m.
U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

Blue Hair in Gray Zone

Jan. 10, 2018
War on the Rocks
Article Publication

Courses in NCC

Joint Military Operations (JMO)

The Joint Military Operations (JMO) Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) curriculum focuses on joint warfighting at the theater-strategic and operational levels of war.

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National Security Decision Making (NSDM)

The National Security Affairs (NSA) Department’s course of study in National Security Decision Making (NSDM) is designed to engage senior-rank students in the current and future complexities of a rapidly evolving national and international security environment.

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Strategy & Policy (S&P)

Our Strategy and Policy Course is designed to teach students to think strategically and to prepare for positions of strategic leadership. Strategy is the relationship between war’s purpose, objective, and means.

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