The CDROM-based Program is open only to applicants on sea duty or at remote duty stations with no internet access. If you have internet access please apply to the Web-Enabled Program.


The CDROM-based Program is offered to eligible sea service officers and civilians located throughout the world. Eligibility requirements are: All O-3 to O-6 Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard Officers, Active and Reserve, and DON civilians in the grade of GS-11 or above. Officers of other services are eligible for the Web-Enabled Program. The CDROM-based Program is derived from and closely parallels the College of Naval Command and Staff curriculum and the Fleet Seminar Program. The program is designed to be completed in 12 months or less and is accredited for award of a CDE Command and Staff diploma, JPME Phase I credit, and a JS7 additional qualification designation. Although the program is self-paced, a request for enrollment constitutes the commitment on the part of the student of an average of four to six hours each week. Failure to make steady progress will result in disenrollment from the program. In order to be eligible for the College’s June graduation, students must complete all requirements by 30 April in the year they wish to be listed in the graduation literature.

The CDROM-based Program consists of three core courses.

Course Title Course Length*
Strategy and War 9 wks
Joint Maritime Operations 24 wks
Theater Security Decision Making 15 wks

* The courses are designed to be completed in the amount of time listed at an average pace of 4-6 hours per week. While the course is self-paced and the student can progress faster if desired, these guidelines are provided as a reasonable amount of time for course completion. Students unable to meet the above timelines should notify the College and discuss an extension or voluntary disenrollment. (Voluntary disenrollment does not reflect negatively on your record. You can reenroll without penalty at a later date.)

The CDROM-based Program is an independent study program designed primarily for students on sea duty, remote/isolated duty, or who for other reasons do not have reliable Internet access. Independent study requires self-discipline and strong time-management skills.   CDE strives to provide a reasonable amount of flexibility for students with demanding schedules, and short extensions can be granted on a case basis. However, extended periods (> 60 Days) of inactivity are not permitted. Students who find that they are not able to make regular progress in a course should voluntarily disenroll until such time as their schedule permits regular study.

The Program is designed so that the three courses could be completed in 12 months or less. As stated above, extensions can be granted for valid operational or personal reasons. Unless there are exceptionally mitigating circumstances, in no case will total enrollment time be allowed to exceed 24 months, exclusive of times of voluntary disenrollment. Failure to make reasonable progress or to maintain and respond to communications with the Program Administrator will result in involuntary disenrollment. Readmission to the Program under such circumstances will require a written request to the Director of the College of Distance Education.  

Each course in the program is divided into modules or blocks. Completion of one module/block is a prerequisite to commencing study of the next module/block. Written requirements for modules/blocks vary. Specific guidance for all written assignments is provided with the course material.  The following definitions apply:

Course - A course is a major unit of study. (For example: "Strategy and War" is a course.)

Module/block - Each course is subdivided into a number of discrete modules/blocks that involve individual areas of study for which a grade is assigned. (For example: "Policy Analysis" is a module in the "Theater Security Decision Making" course.)

Essay - Student written requirement for most modules/blocks. The word "solution" is commonly used, but in no way should reflect that there is only one proper response.

Point Paper - A short concise paper used as a method of passing information.  A common form of submission for "Joint Maritime Operations" course blocks.

Acceptance into this program constitutes a commitment by the student to complete the entire program. As the student nears completion of one course, the material for the next course will be shipped automatically. Exceptions to this policy will be made on a case basis, but the expectation is to complete the three courses in succession within the recommended time allotments.  Students who have completed one or two courses via other CDE programs will not have to repeat them.

During this course of study, the student will submit a variety of written assignments. Time limits for submission of written materials are specified in individual syllabi. Partial submissions are not acceptable. Simultaneous multiple submissions of written assignments are discouraged unless operational commitments require it. If any circumstances preclude timely submission of written requirements, students must notify the CDE Program Administrator as soon as possible. Students who do not meet submission deadlines will be disenrolled from the program.

The College will complete review of student work as quickly as possible following receipt. Unless specifically directed otherwise, do not wait for instructor feedback on written assignments before proceeding with the rest of the course. Written requirements are evaluated first to determine if the student has demonstrated an understanding of the basic principles and concepts the course is designed to convey. They will then be evaluated in terms of logical development and, in some cases, depth of analysis. These reviews are intended to be a continuation of the learning process for all students. Study materials for each module/block should not be returned to the College until these reviews are received.


The College provides all study materials to the student on a loan basis. The administration and handling of materials varies depending on the program. Some material may be retained for the student's professional library, if desired. Please refer to the inventory sheet provided with the course material for specific instructions regarding what may be retained and what must be returned.

For the CDROM-based Program, students will receive course material via U. S. Mail. The materials for each module/block will be distributed individually well in advance of the required submission date for that module/block. These materials should be retained until student submissions have been reviewed by the College and returned, since reviews may make reference to specific pages within the text materials. Once the review comments have been read, prompt return of the material is requested. Mailing labels and envelopes are provided for the return of submissions and study materials.

Students will be billed for replacement of unreturned materials and no student will receive credit for a course until all materials have been returned. Many students wish to purchase their course materials; unfortunately, regulations preclude this. Most bookstores will obtain the textbooks for you. 

System Recommendations

Your computer should have the minimum equivalent of an Intel Core 2 processor with Windows XP operating systems. MAC users should ensure a minimum of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating system. 

You will also need the following hardware, software: 

  • DVD Player
  • Sound card with speakers or headphones
  • Browers - IE7 or greater, Edge, Safari, Chrome 38
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader, v9 
  • Macromedia Flash v18

Note: Technical FAQs are provided on the DVD to help resolve common problems.

Enrollment Procedures

An online application must be completed in order to apply for the CDROM-based Program. All applications should be filled-out accurately and completely for proper consideration. Applicants will be notified by email of their status.

Enrollment and subsequent administrative forms request certain information from potential students to facilitate enrollment or other processing in connection with program administration. Students are expected to keep the College informed regarding their current address, parent command, email address and other student information.


a. Disenrollment may be either voluntary or involuntary.

(1) Students are encouraged to disenroll voluntarily when the constraints of time and circumstance preclude course/module/block completion within the periods recommended. Requests should be in writing stating the reasons. These reasons for disenrollment are helpful in the review of administrative procedures and course content. Such disenrollments are without prejudice.

(2) Involuntary disenrollments are initiated by the Naval War College as a result of student failure to meet deadlines or academic standards. Prompt return of books and compliance with course deadlines is essential to ensure adequate availability of course materials for other students.


a. A student who voluntarily disenrolls will be given consideration for reenrollment without prejudice. 

b. In those cases of involuntary disenrollment, each request will be considered on its own merits. Reenrollment requests in this case must be by letter to the Director including an explanation of circumstances involved.

c. In either case, credit will normally be given for prior modules/blocks satisfactorily completed unless there has been a substantial revision in the interim, or an extensive delay since disenrollment.

If you have additional questions,

Contact Information:
EMAIL: CDROM@usnwc.edu
Comm: (401) 841-4688
DSN: 841-4688
FAX: (401) 841-2457
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