The College of Distance Education (CDE) enrolls U.S. military officers and U.S. federal government civilian employees and a limited number of foreign officers in a curriculum that parallels offerings in the College of Naval Command and Staff.

If you are a Navy reservist and have already been board selected and are applying for your second or third core course then you may apply directly without screen or re-screen by the Reserve Board.

The diploma may be earned through different programs:

Additionally, Fleet Seminar students who wish to continue their academic studies and earn the Naval War College MA degree may do so through the:

Academic Philosophy

The Naval War College programs are conducted as graduate courses and students must perform at that level. The style, organization, and content of student submissions should reflect generally accepted graduate-level requirements.

The College employs no "school solutions", but rather emphasizes the logical application of information in support of individual analysis and problem solving. Invariably, alternative, logical interpretations or courses of action will exist. The faculty often will comment upon these other options in analyzing student work.

Students may consult with others enrolled in CDE courses or with persons knowledgeable in the subject matter. This exchange of views increases understanding. The presentations submitted to the College, however, must represent the individual student’s own work.

Academic Honor Code

The Naval War College Organization and Regulations Manual, Instruction 5400.1N, describes the College’s academic honor code. The Naval War College enforces a strict academic code requiring students to credit properly the source of materials directly cited in any written work submitted in fulfillment of diploma or degree requirements. Simply put: plagiarism is prohibited. The code prohibits cheating and the misrepresentation of a paper as a student’s new thought. Plagiarism is the act of taking ideas, writings, or the like from another and passing them as one’s own.

Plagiarism includes the following:

  • The duplication of an author’s words without both quotation marks and accurate references or footnotes.
  • The use of an author’s ideas in paraphrase without accurate reference or footnote.

Students are expected to give full credit in their written submissions when borrowing another’s words and ideas. This code does not prohibit borrowing of words or ideas, with proper attribution, when preparing a paper or essay. A substantially borrowed but attributed paper may, however, lack the originality expected of graduate level work. Submission of such a paper may merit a low or failing grade.

Materials submitted for grading must be in conformance with the Naval War College Academic Honor Code.

Academic Standards


Grading is in accordance with the Naval War College Organization and Regulations Manual, Instruction 5400.1N, Section A-2-C, Examination and Grading. Letter grades (with pluses or minuses as appropriate) will be assigned to all graded assignments as follows:

  • A : Work of very high quality, clearly above average graduate work
  • B : Expected performance of the average graduate student
  • C : Below the average performance expected for graduate work
  • F : Unsatisfactory work


Fleet Seminar students who rank in the top five percent of their graduating class will be designated in both the commencement program and on individual diplomas as having graduated "With Highest Distinction". This standing will be determined mathematically based on the grades attained in each of the three equally weighted courses. Fleet Seminar students who rank in the next 15 percent of the class in rank order will be designated in both the commencement program and on their individual diplomas as having graduated "With Distinction." "With Highest Distinction" honors are not awarded to Web-Enabled and CD ROM-Based Program graduates. The College bases "With Distinction" honors for Web-Enabled and CD ROM-Based Program graduates on the grade range determined for such honors for the resident College of Naval Command and Staff for the preceding June graduation. In no case will a GPA of less than 90 (A-) earn distinction status.


Any course work graded "F" must be reworked and returned to the College within 30 days of receipt if the student desires to continue in the course. While the caliber of the resubmitted written work must be equal to B- or higher to continue in the course, the maximum grade assigned for that module is C-. While this adjustment to a C- will be applied in computing the course grade, it will still be recognized as an "F" in evaluating compliance with the college rule that any student receiving two grades of "F" in the same course will be disenrolled. For attainment of a certificate of completion or diploma, see Diploma Requirements below.


Within 15 days of receiving a grade for a written assignment, a student may request, in writing, that it be reviewed. Initial review may be the original grader, another faculty member, one of the division heads, or Director of CDE. Such a review may sustain, raise, or lower the grade. Appeals may be carried through the Director of Distance Education to the Provost/Dean of Academics whose decision will be final. The final course grade is not subject to review except for computational considerations.

Diploma Requirements

A Diploma is awarded for satisfactory (overall graduation grade of "B-" or higher and no more than one core course grade in the "C" range) completion of the three core courses. Note: In order to qualify for a diploma, no core course can have started before August 1997.

Diplomas Offered

A Naval War College, College of Naval Command and Staff diploma may be earned through successful completion of all three core courses (S&W, TSDM & JMO) through the fleet seminar program.

A College of Distance Education Command and Staff diploma may be earned for successful completion of the three core courses S&W, TSDM and JMO through the Web-Enabled program, CD ROM-Based program or through a combination of fleet seminar, web-enabled, or CD-ROM Based core courses. Note: Credit will sometime be granted for partial completion of a fleet seminar course toward a web-enabled or CD ROM-based course; however, partial completion of a web-enabled or CD ROM-based course does not yield credit towards completion of a fleet seminar core course.


JPME Phase 1

The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff has certified each of the Naval War College nonresident programs as an intermediate level (Command and Staff) school for Joint Professional Military Education, Phase I credit. This credit is extended to all Navy and Marine Corps personnel. However, acceptance of Phase I credit by other services varies. Prospective students from other than the Navy or Marine Corps should check on the individual service policy before enrolling.

Graduate Degree Program

The Naval War College has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1 March 1984. Beginning in the fall of 2001, the Masters Degree Accreditation was extended to the Fleet Seminar Program in the National Capital Region.  Today, students at all certified sites are be able to earn a Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies degree from the Naval War College. To achieve this, students must be admitted into the Graduate Degree Program, successfully complete the three core courses, and complete an additional nine graduate semester hours in one of a number of NWC-approved Areas of Study.

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