Naval Postgraduate School
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Doctoral Degree Programs

  • Doctor of Philosophy¬†
  • Doctor of Engineering

Doctoral Degree Program Admissions

NPS doctoral degree programs are available to officers of all U.S. services, civilian employees of the government, a limited number of DoD Contractors, and to international students from selected allied nations. Applications may be submitted at any time. An individual applying for admission to a Ph.D. program must hold a bachelor's degree qualifying the student for graduate status in the department of his/her major study, or shall have completed an equivalent course of study.

Naval Officers (USN and USMC) can only apply to Ph.D. programs under the annual USN PMP or Doctoral Studies Program or under the USMC Special Education Program (SEP). At this time, SEP has no quotas for Ph.D. programs. Applications from active duty Marine Corps officers will not be accepted for Ph.D. programs.

All U.S. applications shall be submitted to the Director of Admissions, who will be responsible for processing all applications. International applications shall be submitted to the International Graduate Programs Office. All applications are forwarded by the Director of Admissions to the chair of the Department of the proposed major subject area for determination of acceptability by the Department Ph.D. committee. The chair will recommend appropriate action to the Director of Admissions, who will notify applicants. The application must include the following:

  1. A completed online application form.
  2. Certified copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts. (Transcripts from NPS are not necessary.)
  3. Results of a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken within the past five (5) years.
  4. A brief outline (200 words or fewer) of specific areas of interest within the proposed major field of study.
  5. Two letters of recommendation regarding academic potential (three letters are required for Information Sciences, Curriculum 474).
  6. A writing sample for applicants to Security Studies, Curriculum 694.
  7. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English scores for all international applicants not currently enrolled at NPS whose native language is not English, or whose primary language of instruction was not English.  For specific test score requirements, click here.
  8. Attestation by the student's sponsoring agency or nation that they are committed to tuition and salary support during the student's residence at NPS.

Applicants should review the NPS catalog for specific application and admission timelines pertaining to their intended Ph.D. program. In particular, applicants for the Ph.D. in Security Studies should note that although the program accepts applications for its program year-round, admissions decisions are made twice yearly: during the first week in April and the last week in October. Furthermore, applicants for the Ph.D. in Security Studies must now possess a master's degree in Security Studies or a closely related field.

For more specific information, please visit the NPS Academic Catalog or contact the Admissions Office. To contact the International Program Office, please click here.

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