Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is a public graduate school operated by the United States Navy and located in Monterey, California.

Naval Postgraduate School
Praestantia Per Scientiam
Motto in English
Excellence through Knowledge
TypeGraduate school
Endowment$5.08 million (2016)[1]
PresidentAnn E. Rondeau[2]
Location, ,
Location in the United States

It offers master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 70 fields of study to the U.S. Armed Forces, DOD civilians and international partners.[3] Established in 1909, the school also offers research fellowship opportunities at the postdoctoral level through the National Academies' National Research Council research associateship program.[4]


On 9 June 1909, Secretary of the Navy George von L. Meyer signed General Order No. 27, establishing a school of marine engineering at Annapolis, Maryland.

On 31 October 1912, Meyer signed Navy General Order No. 233, which renamed the school the Postgraduate Department of the United States Naval Academy. The order established courses of study in ordnance and gunnery, electrical engineering, radio telegraphy, naval construction, and civil engineering and continued the program in marine engineering.

During World War II, Fleet Admiral Ernest King, Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief United States Fleet, established a commission to review the role of graduate education in the Navy. In 1945, Congress passed legislation to make the school a fully accredited, degree-granting graduate institution. Two years later, Congress adopted legislation authorizing the purchase of an independent campus for the school.

Herrmann Hall
1997 art

A postwar review team, which had examined 25 sites nationwide, had recommended the old Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, California as a new home for the Postgraduate School. During World War II, the Navy had leased the facilities, first for a pre-flight training school, then for part of the Electronics Training Program. Negotiations with the Del Monte Properties Company led to the purchase of the hotel and 627 acres (254 ha) of surrounding land for $2.13 million.

The Naval Postgraduate School moved to Monterey in December 1951. Today, the school has over 40 programs of study including highly regarded M.S. and PhD programs in management, national security affairs, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and astronautical engineering, systems engineering, space systems and satellite engineering, physics, oceanography meteorology, and other disciplines, all with an emphasis on military applications.

Former Guantanamo Bay Naval Base commander and World War II and Korean War veteran, RADM Edward J. O’Donnell, assumed the role as superintendent of the school in 1965. He himself graduated from the school in the 1930s with a degree in ordnance engineering. He would leave the role of superintendent in 1967 after retiring from the Navy.[5]

The Naval Postgraduate School has graduated more than 40 astronauts, greater than any other graduate school in the country.[6] The school is home to the Center for Information Systems Security Studies and Research (CISR)[7] and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS).[8] CISR is America's foremost center for defense-related research and education in Information Assurance (IA), Inherently Trustworthy Systems (ITC), and defensive information warfare; and CHDS provides the first homeland security master's degree in the United States.[9]

On 27 November 2012, Vice Admiral Daniel T. Oliver (retired)[10] and Provost Dr. Leonard Ferrari were relieved of duty by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.[11] A Navy press release cited findings from a Naval Inspector General investigation which included Oliver's misuse of standard contracting procedures to circumvent federal hiring and compensation authorities.[11] The investigation also found that both Oliver and Ferrari "inappropriately accepted gifts from an independent private foundation organized to support the school."[11]

In October 2013, retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route became the second civilian president of the Naval Postgraduate School. Vice Adm. Ann E. Rondeau relieved Route to become the 49th president of the university in January 2019.

In 2019, NPS renamed its business school, the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, to the Graduate School of Defense Management (GSDM) in an effort to better signal its unique defense-focused identity and mission to strategic stakeholders and its academic peers. GSDM offers degree programs in nine different fields, ranging from logistics to information technology management to manpower, as well as three, unique distance learning programs.[12]

In December 2020, NPS leadership officially commissioned the Wayne P. Hughes, Jr. Naval Warfare Studies Institute (NWSI) NWSI’s mission is to expedite the DON’s access to the university’s intellect and resources for solving warfighting issues. NWSI consists of NPS’ Senior Service Representatives and Warfare Chairs, as well as the Military Associate Deans of all four NPS graduate schools (international studies, operational and information sciences, engineering and applied sciences, and defense management). NWSI provides operational and functional expertise as well as access to all areas of study and research, every faculty member and the entire student body. NWSI also partners with outside entities, including the Naval War College, that complement their educational and research activities.[9]

In 2021, NPS refurbished a county wastewater treatment plant into an all-domain defense technology lab, The Sea Land Air Military Research (SLAMR) lab. Situated just across the street from NPS’s main campus, the SLAMR facility houses a series of open-air water treatment tanks that were recently renovated and now serve as SLAMR’s aquatic environment laboratory. SLAMR uses the existing infrastructure, such as multiple 450,000 gallon water tanks that have been recently cleaned and renovated, as an affordable and sustainable location for research projects focusing on national defense applications in robotics, autonomous systems, cybersecurity and maritime related 5G telecommunications.

The SLAMR lab site will see moderate day-to-day activity with a handful of researchers on site, and with its water-based capabilities, it will also be a key venue for NPS’ quarterly Joint Interagency Field Experimentation (JIFX) event that hosts research collaborators from around the country. The location also provides a great site for youth STEM activities and the SLAMR lab has already hosted a regional high school underwater robotics competition.[13]


NPS offers graduate programs through four graduate schools and twelve departments. The different schools and departments offer various PhD and M.S.-level degrees:

  • Graduate School of Defense Management includes the academic groups:
  1. Acquisition Management
  2. Enterprise Management
  3. Financial Management
  4. Management
  5. Manpower and Economics
  6. Operations and Logistics Management
  • Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, includes the units:
  1. Applied Mathematics Department
  2. Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
  3. Mechanical and Astronautical Engineering Department
  4. Meteorology Department
  5. Oceanography Department
  6. Physics Department
  7. Systems Engineering Department
  8. Space Systems Academic Group
  9. Navigation Systems Engineering Institute
  10. Under Sea Warfare Systems Academic Committee
  11. Remote Sensing Center
  12. Spacecraft Robotics Laboratory
  • Graduate School of Operational & Information Sciences includes the departments, located in Glasgow Hall, which has 50 stairs:
  1. Computer Sciences
  2. Defense Analysis
  3. Information Sciences
  4. Operations Research
  • Graduate School of International & Defense Studies with multiple centers:
  1. National Security Affairs Academic Program
  2. Defense Resource Management Institute
  3. Center on Contemporary Conflict
  4. Center for Civil Military Relations
  5. Center for Stabilization Reconstruction and Studies
  6. Leadership Development and Education for Sustained Peace
  7. International Defense and Acquisition Resource Management
  8. Center for Homeland Defense and Security
  9. International Graduate Program Office
  10. Program for Culture & Conflict Studies

NPS also operates an active, and for US warfighters and civilian government employees.

Center for Homeland Defense and Security Emergency responders including local, tribal, state, and federal can enroll in a variety of programs including online distributed learning program, executive education programs, and most prominently a Master of Arts program.

Masters of Arts Program The M.A. program is offered at no cost to eligible local, tribal, state, and federal officials. To accommodate participants' time constraints, NPS requires students to be in residence only two weeks every quarter (for a total of twelve weeks for the whole program). Students complete the remainder of their coursework online.


NPS students are mostly active-duty officers from all branches of the U.S. military, although U.S. Government civilians and officers from approximately 30 partner countries can also matriculate under a variety of programs. Most of the faculty are civilians.

Notable alumni

  • Earl E. Stone – class of 1924 – First Director of Armed Forces Security Agency
  • Arleigh Burke – class of 1930 – Chief of Naval Operations
  • Edward J. O’Donnell – 1930s – Superintendent of Naval Postgraduate School 1965-67
  • Joseph Weber – class of 1945 – Regarded as the "Father of Gravitational Wave Detection"
  • David B. Hertz – class of 1944 – Operations researcher; a pioneer of Monte Carlo methods in finance
  • Stanley Thomas Counts – class of 1955 – Rear Admiral; NATO RIM-7 Sea Sparrow project manager[14]
  • Wayne E. Meyer – class of 1955 – Regarded as the "Father of Aegis"
  • John H. Miller – class of 1957 – Marine Corps Lieutenant general
  • James D. Watkins – class of 1958 – Secretary of Energy, Chief of Naval Operations
  • Wilbur F. Simlik – class of 1959 – Major general in the Marine Corps
  • Edgar Mitchell – class of 1961 – Astronaut
  • Gerald Carr – class of 1961 – Astronaut
  • Ronald Evans – class of 1964 – Astronaut
  • Paul Weitz – class of 1964 – Astronaut
  • Robert F. Overmyer – class of 1964 – Astronaut
  • Eugene Cernan – class of 1964 – Astronaut
  • Jack Lousma – class of 1965 – Astronaut
  • James G. Roche – class of 1966 – 20th Secretary of the Air Force
  • Michael Smith – class of 1968 – Astronaut
  • James D. Beans – class of 1971 – Marine Corps General
  • Robert Springer – class of 1971 – Astronaut
  • Jon McBride – class of 1971 – Astronaut
  • George A. Fisher Jr. – class of 1972 – retired Army lieutenant general, commander of First United States Army
  • David Leestma – class of 1972 – Astronaut
  • Thomas E. White – class of 1974 – United States Secretary of the Army
  • Patricia Ann Tracey – class of 1974 – First woman to earn third star in the US Navy
  • Glenn Ewing – class of 1975 or 1976 – American microcomputer industry pioneer (IMSAI)
  • Gordon Eubanks – class of 1976 – American microcomputer industry pioneer (IMSAI, Compiler Systems, Digital Research, Symantec)
  • David Hilmers – class of 1978 – Astronaut
  • Stan Arthur – class of 1979 – Vice Chief of Naval Operations
  • Michael Coats – class of 1979 – Astronaut
  • William S. Wallace – class of 1980 – Commanding General, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command
  • Winston Scott – class of 1980 – Astronaut
  • Lillian E. Fishburne – class of 1982 – First African-American female Rear Admiral (RDML) in the United States Navy
  • Keith B. Alexander – class of 1983 – Director of the National Security Agency
  • Harvey E. Johnson Jr. – class of 1983 – Chief operating officer of Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Michael Lopez-Alegria – class of 1984 – Astronaut
  • Kenneth S. Reightler Jr. – class of 1984 – Astronaut
  • Mark E. Ferguson III – class of 1984 – Vice Chief of Naval Operations
  • Michael Mullen – class of 1985 – 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Mike Foreman – class of 1986 – Astronaut
  • Thomas R. Turner II – class of 1986 – Commanding general of the United States Army North
  • Kent Rominger – class of 1987 – Astronaut
  • Jeffrey Williams – class of 1987 – Astronaut
  • Brent Jett – class of 1989 – Astronaut
  • Carlos Noriega – class of 1990 – Astronaut
  • Robert Curbeam – class of 1990 – Astronaut
  • Cecil D. Haney – class of 1990 – Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
  • Scott Altman – class of 1990 – Astronaut
  • Dan Bursch – class of 1991 – Astronaut
  • Christopher Ferguson – class of 1992 – Astronaut
  • William McCool – class of 1992 – Astronaut
  • William H. McRaven – class of 1993 – Commander, United States Special Operations Command
  • John Scott Redd – class of 1993 – Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
  • Mark Kelly – class of 1994 – Astronaut, United States Senator from Arizona
  • Stephen Frick – class of 1994 – Astronaut
  • John Herrington – class of 1995 – Astronaut
  • Alan G. Poindexter – class of 1995 – Astronaut
  • Edward G. Winters, III– class of 1995 – Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command
  • Kenneth Ham – class of 1996 – Astronaut
  • Marcos Pontes – class of 1998 – Astronaut
  • Nancy E. Brown – class of 1999 – Principal advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Eric T. Olson – class of 1985 – Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
  • Elizabeth Hight – class of 2001 – Vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency
  • Jan Tighe – class of 2001 – Deputy director of operations for U.S. Cyber Command, first female IW flag officer
  • Victor J. Glover – class of 2009 – Commander, US Navy - Astronaut
  • David Clarke – class of 2013 – Sheriff and commentator
  • Rear Admiral S M Abul Kalam Azad – class of 2017 – Bangladeshi Naval officer
  • Arthur K. Cebrowski – Director of the Office of Force Transformation
  • Ben Connable – retired Marine major, professor at the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Lee F. Gunn – Naval Inspector General USN
  • Mark Weatherford – first deputy under secretary for cybersecurity at the DHS
  • Qamar Javed Bajwa – Chief of Army Staff Pakistan Army
  • Bujar Nishani – President of Albania
  • Samuel Paparo – Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet (current)
  • Guillermo Barrera – class of 1983 – Commander of the Colombian Navy
  • Carlos Del Toro – class of 1989 – 78th Secretary of the Navy (current)

Notable faculty

See also

  • Air Force Institute of Technology, the US Air Force sister school of NPS
  • America's Army, a training video game developed at the MOVES Institute at NPS
  • Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
  • Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Asymmetric Warfare (CAW)
  • Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques
  • Center for Homeland Defense and Security


  1. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  2. Staff Report (10 October 2018). "College of DuPage president who took over after predecessor's firing is leaving for Navy job". Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  3. "About - Naval Postgraduate School". Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  4. Research Associateship Programs. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  5. "NPS Presidents & Provosts - Dudley Knox Library - Naval Postgraduate School". Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  6. "SSAG - Space Systems Academic Group - Naval Postgraduate School". Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  7. "Center for Information Systems Security Studies and Research". Monterey, CA, USA: Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  8. Center for Homeland Defense & Security. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  9. "NPS Launches Naval Warfare Studies Institute to Expedite Fleet Warfighting Solutions". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  10. "VADM Dan T. Oliver, USN, Ret. - Members".
  11. "SECNAV Relieves Top Leaders of Naval Postgraduate School". United States Navy. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  12. "NPS Announces Graduate School of Defense Management". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  13. "NPS Refurbishes Old Wastewater Plant into a Lab for Defense Tech". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  14. "Obituaries: RADM Stanley Thomas Counts, USN (Ret) '49". The USNA Alumni Association San Diego Chapter Newsletter. The USNA Alumni Association (May): 2&3. 2015.

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