Mahan Scholars Group

The Mahan Scholars Group is an Advanced Research Program (ARP) that is a year-long, seminar-based program of study focused mainly on deterrence at the strategic level. Students utilize critical thinking, research skills, and analytical writing in order to apply these deterrence concepts to a variety of realms, domains, and tools. Our focus is primarily nuclear but includes space, cyber, special operations, and potentially others.

Director, Mahan Scholars

About this Program

The Mahan Scholars Group at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) is a collaborative student-faculty program that focuses on identifying and addressing challenges at the strategic level of war. Over the course of their time in the program, students submit at least one piece for external publication.  

Program Curriculum

This 10-month specialized program of study is completed in conjunction with either the NWC U.S. resident College of Naval Warfare senior level course or the College of Naval Command and Staff intermediate-level course core curriculum. The program involves multiple writing assignments of increasing length and culminates in a faculty-mentored research paper, which matches the standard elective requirements.

This program is conducted during the elective time slot in all trimesters and is graded on a pass/fail basis with a limited opportunity for high passes. In addition to Mahan, students take all core courses.

Navy students who complete this specialized program of study are awarded an Additional Qualification Designator (AQD 275).

Signing Up

Interested students apply for consideration and are selected by the Mahan Scholars director based on aptitude, interest, and skillsets required by the Mahan Scholars program. There are only a selected number of graduating students each term.

For more information on the Mahan Scholars Groups, contact or (401) 856-5842. Students may apply for admission to this group only during the fall trimester ARP Fair.