The Naval War College's first mission function, educate and develop leaders, is the main focus of our academic programs. This education effort is the principal responsibility of our academic faculty, but they are augmented in this endeavor by our research, analysis and gaming faculty.

Each year, approximately 600 outstanding mid-career level officers of the Navy, all other U.S. services, civilian federal agencies and international naval officers come to the U.S. Naval War College as resident students to pursue a rigorous 10-month course of postgraduate studies.  Most graduates earn Joint Professional Military Education Phase I or II credit as well as a master's degree in national security and strategic studies.

The Naval War College's Joint Professional Military Education curriculum focuses on three core courses offered by the Strategy and Policy, National Security Affairs and Joint Military Operations Departments. The 10-month curriculum for resident students is divided into trimesters of three to four months. Additionally, three abbreviated 12-day core curriculum courses are offered annually for U.S. military reservists.

The College of Distance Education (CDE) provides active duty officers, reservists, eligible civilian employees of the U.S. government and a limited number of allied naval officers the opportunity to complete the NWC curriculum, receiving a diploma and Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I credit.

The College of Operational and Strategic Leadership (COSL) provides Professional Military Education (PME), focusing on leadership development and integrating leadership, ethics, and character development into the Navy's PME Continuum for Navy officer and enlisted personnel.

The Senior Enlisted Academy, aligned with the Naval War College in 2008, is a six-week leadership course administered to Chief Petty Officers seven times a year, and each class may have a select few international students.
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