Sailors stand at parade rest during a change of command ceremony aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp.
Sailors stand at parade rest during a change of command ceremony aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). Wasp, flagship of Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force for any type of contingency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin F. Davella III/Released)

Application & Enrollment

A U.S. Naval War College (NWC) education provides a framework in which military and civilian leaders gain an understanding of strategy and operations, as well as the ability to think critically, deal with uncertainty and surprise, be proficient in joint matters, and comprehend the security environment and all elements of national power.

Please Note: Enrollment is not open to the general public. Domestic and international officers, along with select civilian applicants, are typically selected and assigned to the different programs.

Attending the College

The U.S. Naval War College serves as “a place of original research on all questions relating to war and to statesmanship connected with war, or the prevention of war.” More than 600 domestic and international students participate annually in resident Joint Professional Military Education programs at NWC, and hundreds more learn at sea or on location through distance learning.

Resident Programs

Intermediate- and senior-level domestic and international officers, along with civilian leaders, are typically selected and assigned to the college. Students attending will participate in the 10-month resident program and will have a variety of additional academic opportunities from which to pick.

For more information on the different colleges and opportunities, please see our "Programs Offered” page.

Programs Offered

Select Civilian Applicants

Admission for certain civilian students, nominated by their parent agency, are required to submit a formal application package to NWC. For more information on the application process for selected civilian applicants, please visit our registrar's office page.

Distance Education Programs

Through the College of Distance Education (CDE), military officers and select government employees can apply and pursue the same caliber of courses as resident students through convenient and flexible formats.

For more information on the different distant programs, please visit the College of Distance Education.

Please Note: The general public and contractors may not apply to CDE programs.

Explore Distant Programs

Professional Military Education Courses

The College of Maritime Operational Warfare (CMOW) is responsible for a series of Professional Military Education (PME) courses that vary in length from one week to three months. Personnel attending CMOW courses typically include domestic and international officers and government civilians, though individual course makeup varies.

For more information on the different PME programs, please visit the College of Maritime Operational Warfare.

Discover PME Programs

More Information on the College

Our Mission

The mission of the U.S. Naval War College is to educate and develop future leaders by growing strategic perspectives, critical thinking, and cultural awareness.

Defining our Goal

History of the College

The U.S. Naval War College’s rich history of professional development and research has evolved for over a century with the changing conditions of our nation and world.

Explore History

Our Colleges & Academies

The U.S. Naval War College is home to individual colleges that contribute to our mission, from rigorous academics to professional development opportunities.

See Colleges

News, Media, & Events