admissions notice

International Academic Programs & Enrollment


Eligibility and General Information

The Naval Postgraduate School is an accredited graduate degree university established for the advanced education of selected United States and allied military officers on active duty. The only civilian students eligible for admission are employees of an agency within the United States government or of sponsoring allied governments.

admission procedures

Admission Procedures

Unlike civilian schools, the Naval Postgraduate School does not accept applications for admission directly from prospective students. All international students must be formally sponsored and nominated by their respective governments. For admission into a specified curriculum at NPS, requests for evaluation of academic records should be made through appropriate channels in the prospective student’s Ministry of Defense, which will coordinate the prospective student’s request through the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the U.S. Embassy in country. The ODC will forward the required academic records to NPS for formal evaluation for admission to the specified curriculum. Ideally, academic records should be received by NPS four to six months prior to the requested start date. 

admissions accordion

Admission Requirements

Baccalaureate Degree

  • All students accepted for admission must possess, at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree or equivalent. This course work must have been completed at a recognized university or college with a grade point average of at least C+ (2.30 on a 4.0 scale). 
  • For curricula in the Department of National Security Affairs, a candidate’s grade point average must be at least 2.6. 


  • A legible copy, in English, of the official transcript from each college and university attended by the prospective student is required for evaluation. 
  • Transcripts should include the titles or subject areas of each course completed, the number of credit hours or units earned per course, the grade or score received for each course, and the date and name of each degree and certificate awarded. 
  • Transcripts should also explain the grading system or scale in use and define the minimum passing grade according to that system. 
  • For technical or engineering programs, successful completion of calculus and calculus-based physics must be documented as well. 
  • The Department of Defense Management and Special Operations curricula require successful completion of college level algebra. 

An advanced level of English language proficiency is critical to an international student’s success at the Naval Postgraduate School. Unless an international applicant is exempt or waived from English language testing in accordance with Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Policy Memorandum 21-68 published in December 2021, English proficiency must be demonstrated through testing.

TOEFL Exempt Countries 

  • Antigua, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and United Kingdom.

TOEFL Waivers 

  • Applicants are waived from taking the TOEFL if they hold a Baccalaureate or Master's degree from an accredited U.S. university, a university in a TOEFL-exempt country, or a university in which the instruction was conducted in English.

TOEFL Requirement

  • International candidates for degree and certificate programs at NPS without a TOEFL waiver or country exemption will be required to validate their fluency in English through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Minimum TOEFL Scores 

  • For international candidates without a TOEFL exemption or waiver, the minimum TOEFL score required for direct entry to NPS is 83 iBT (Internet-based test) or 560 PBT (paper-based test). Additionally, the IGPO requires that a candidate achieve a minimum of 18 in each of the four testing sections of the iBT (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). 
  • Candidates applying for entry into the Department of National Security Affairs (curricula 681-693 and 245-249) are required to score 90 or higher on the iBT. Waiver requests for scores between 83 and 90 will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Candidates for PhD programs or accelerated programs are required to score a minimum of 100 on the iBT. Waiver requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis for scores between 90 and 100 and on the overall application package.

TOEFL Testing 

  • The TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Visit the ETS TOEFL website for information about registration, cost, and testing dates and locations. 
  • Take the TOEFL two to three months before the requested NPS start date to ensure the scores are reported to NPS in time.
  • TOEFL test results are valid for two years from the test date and must be valid when the student reports to NPS. 

NPS TOEFL Code 4831

  • When registering to take the TOEFL, include the NPS identification code 4831 so that a copy of the TOEFL results will be sent directly to NPS. 

DLIELC TOEFL Preparatory Course

  • A candidate who fails to achieve the minimum 83 iBT score required for admission to NPS may be eligible to attend the 12-week TOEFL Preparatory Course, MASL D177040, at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. 
  • Entry requirements for this course are either a score of 70 on the TOEFL iBT or a score of 80 on the English Comprehension Level (ECL) test with a 2/2 on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). 
  • Upon completion of the TOEFL Prep course, the minimum TOEFL score requirement for admission to NPS is 78 (iBT) with a minimum of 16 in each of the four testing sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). For candidates applying for entry into the Department of National Security Affairs (curricula 681-693 and 245-249), the minimum requirement upon completion of the TOEFL Prep course is 85 (iBT).
  • For more information, see the DLIELC catalog and SCO handbook.

2023-2024 DLIELC TOEFL Prep Course Dates

International English Learning Testing System (IELTS)

  • The IELTS may be substituted for the TOEFL test in countries where the TOEFL is not available. A score of 6.5 is required for direct entry to NPS. A score of 5.0 will be required for entry to the TOEFL Prep course.

To be eligible for a Ph.D. program, a prospective student 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. Follow procedures outlined for general admission to NPS to submit Ph.D. packages.

Ph.D. application packages must include the following:

  • Full name, title/rank, date of birth and SSN.
  • Current mailing address, telephone and email.
  • Department of the proposed major subject area.
  • Description of current position and responsibilities.
  • A brief outline (200 words or fewer) of specific areas of interest within the proposed major field of study. (For candidates pursuing a PhD in Security Studies, an expository writing sample demonstrating potential to do work of high academic quality (master’s thesis) in the proposed major field of study.)
  • Identification of source of support for attendance at NPS.
  • Certified copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts. However, transcripts from NPS are not necessary.
  • Results of a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken within the last five-years.
  • Two letters of recommendation.