The National War College curriculum is composed of a core program, elective
courses, and regional studies. A common core program is required of all
students. It provides grounding in national security strategy and policy,
and military strategy and operations. The core curriculum focuses on the
domestic and international contexts in which national security policy is
developed, national security organizations and decision-making processes,
and the formulation and implementation of military strategy.
The electives program complements the core curriculum. The College offers
a wide range of courses, which provide students the opportunity to broaden
and deepen their study.
The College conducts a field studies program throughout the year. The program
begins soon after the start of the academic year when students register
preferences to study particular regions of the world. The program builds
throughout the year and culminates in May, with a multiple-day visit to
the region, where students meet with key leaders, foreign affairs officials
and senior military commanders to study first-hand their security concerns,
military capabilities, and perceptions of U.S. policy.
Core Curriculum Objectives
The NWC core courses are designed to prepare students to:
- Analyze the logic of strategic thinking for national security matters.
- Analyze how national, transnational and international factors shape
policy and strategy.
- Evaluate how U.S. domestic factors influence the development of
strategy and policy.
- Analyze war across its spectrum as a holistic phenomenon.
- Analyze the nature, purpose, capabilities, limitations, and principal
concepts for use of the non-military instruments of power (e.g., diplomatic,
economic, and informational) in peace, crisis, and war.
- Develop national security strategies in peace, crisis, and war.
- Examine how strategic leaders shape and implement policy and strategy.
NWC Core Program
All students, including research fellows, normally must complete the core
curriculum. The core program averages 9 to 13 class contact hours per week,
generally in the mornings, and consists of the following major courses: