Asset Publisher

NPS Launches Distance Learning Graduate Certificate in Great Power Competition

NPS Launches Distance Learning Graduate Certificate in Great Power Competition

The Naval Postgraduate School is set to launch a new distance learning graduate-level certificate program in Great Power Competition (GPC), with the first cohort starting in the winter quarter of 2021. Applications are open now until September 28.

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is launching a new distance learning graduate certificate in Great Power Competition (GPC), with the first cohort starting in January of 2021. With applications from active duty Navy and Marine Corps Officers being accepted now through September 28, School of International Graduate Studies officials anticipate the program’s open seats will fill quickly. 

“NPS holds a key role as the United States Navy’s premier graduate institution to educate the force,” said Cmdr. Paul Rasmussen, National Security Affairs (NSA) Program Officer. This certificate from the NSA Department contributes to broad Navy efforts to ensure that the officer corps is educated effectively in the area of Great Power Competition to help Naval leadership better understand how we need to shape our tactics, policies and procedures moving forward, he said.

The COVID-19 environment, and the subsequent increased use of distance learning coursework has enabled NPS to expand its portfolio of distance learning programs. Resident professors have rapidly learned new ways to teach and reach students beyond the Monterey classrooms. 

“We have a world-class faculty in NPS’ National Security Affairs (NSA) Department, and they have delivered all NSA courses through distance learning this past Spring and Summer,” said Rasmussen. “Through this certificate we will be able to expand our reach and educate a broader student base that previously was unable to take advantage of what NPS has to offer.”

As detailed in Great Power Competition Distance Learning communications to the fleet, the certificate consists of four courses: GPC in Modern History, Current GPC Policy and Strategy, Russian Domestic Politics, and Chinese Domestic Politics. Students who complete this certificate can later apply these credits towards an NPS in-residence degree. According to Rasmussen, it’s an attractive option for officers in under-represented designators at NPS, like aviation, who do not typically have time in their career track to come to Monterey. 

“An NSA degree normally takes 18 months,” said Rasmussen. “However, if you complete this certificate before you come to NPS, and subsequently enroll in our 688 Strategic Studies master’s degree curriculum, with only one year in Monterey an officer could get an in-residence NPS master’s degree and simultaneously complete Joint Professional Military Education phase one.

“A common tenant across all current naval and defense strategies is the need for continuous learning across the force,” Rasmussen continued. “This certificate is very well targeted to meet multiple Navy and broader DOD education initiatives that are coming out of the Pentagon. In an era of Great Power Competition, where military versus military is not the only battlefield, it’s important to prepare the minds of our current and future leaders.”

For more information on the program, and to submit an application package, contact NSA Program Officer Cmdr. Paul Rasmussen at


bookmarks move script

Current Headlines Sidebar
Asset Publisher

empty content


Media contact box


Office of University Communications
1 University Circle
Monterey, CA 93943
(831) 656-1068