GPC FAQs Accordion - General FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below please find generalized FAQs below. Beneath those are branch-specific inquiries.

Curriculum 255 13-Credit Distance-Learning Certificate:


  • USN/USMC active-duty officer (commissioned and warrant)
  • Other active-duty US military officer (commissioned and warrant); GS civilians with a unit-funded support agreement

NS4000 Single Course Enrollment:


  • Distance learning, for credit
    • USN/USMC active-duty officers (commissioned and warrant)

    • Other active-duty officers and GS civilians

  • Distance learning, to audit
    • Any active-duty USN/USMC (officer and enlisted)

Addition of NS4000 as an Overload Course for Students Enrolled in Other Curricula:


  • All NPS in-residence students are eligible (add course in PYTHON)
    • E​​​​​​nrolled active-duty US military (officer and enlisted)

    • Non-USN/USMC reserve personnel

    • GS civilians

    • International students

Read the questions and answers below to figure this out. At its core, this program is about educating officers on what constitutes Great Power Competition for the purpose of translating policy into informed plans and strategies. This program does not make you an expert but provides a foundation that officers can use as they grapple with problem sets stemming from Great Power Competition. 

The program cannot accept the GI Bill or TA funding. All students are responsible for funding texts and materials. Students' commands are responsible for tuition payments.

This program is designed with three types of candidates. The first category would be officers, between O-1 and O-6, with interest in and potential to attend NPS in-residence via Advanced Civil Schooling at a later date. The second category are those who already have a graduate degree but see this certificate as a means of standing out for their assignment of choice in the AIM marketplace. The last category contains officers slated to or currently in a billet that actively works the GPC problem set who would find value in this program. Officers in this last category would likely be serving at HQDA, Joint Staff, Combatant Command, Army Service Component Command, Defense Intelligence Agency, Command and General Staff College, or on an embassy country team.

  • GPC Graduate Certificate is a 13-credit distance-learning certificate taught over a nine-month period.
  • The NS 4000 Lecture Series is a one-credit, pass/fail course taught in a asynchronous distance-learning format.

No. The certificate program does not require a GRE. However, if and when you apply to NPS for a full masters program, you will need a recent GRE score for that application.

No. ACS funding cannot be used for distance-learning or non-degree producing educational opportunities. 

No. You will need to compete for Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS) funding. Contact your branch manager for that process. Given ACS funding, you will then need to apply to NPS for the Masters of Arts in Security Studies curriculum. What the GPC certificate provides are 13 transferable credits towards this curriculum at NPS.

Yes. The credits earned via the NPS Great Power Competition (GPC) Certificate Program may be acceptable for use toward the Naval War College's Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies degree offered by its College of Distance Education's non-resident Graduate Degree Program (GDP). For more information concerning the applicability of GPC Certificate Program credits toward the degree, please contact the GDP program manager at or visit the GDP webpages at


This program can also be applicable to any NSA curriculum and could reduce your time in Monterey. For example, if applied to the 688 Strategic Studies curriculum, your time at NPS will be reduced by three months.

The button/link to the participation agreement will appear on the last page of the online application.

After your commanding officer/supervisor signs the form, send a completed form as an attachment via e-mail to the NPS admissions office.

The personal statement is a one-page letter (addressed to the program officer) explaining:

  • Your motivation to take this course.
  • Why you would be a good fit for this program.
  • How it will help you in your military career.


Suggested items to include in the personal statement:

  • Your work schedule.
  • How this course might lead to a future in-residence opportunity in Monterey.
  • Any hurdles you will have to overcome to complete this course.
GPC FAQs Accordion - Air Force

Air Force/Army FAQs

Identify whether you have a source of funding. Funding is the number one hurdle facing the vast majority of officers who want to apply.

Funding for graduate-level certificates will need to come from an official source that can be MIPR’d to NPS registrar office. NPS cannot accept tuition assistance or personal funds. The most likely funding source is your unit. In some cases it is possible that your branch/functional area proponent may have training funds available to support.

Graduate level certificates provide a professional development opportunity that will most likely have long term benefits beyond your current assignment. Whoever decides to fund this opportunity will need to understand how it is in the interest of the Army to make this long term investment in you. From the perspective of a commander or supervisor, this is an opportunity to reward hard workers with a developmental opportunity with mid-to long-term benefits for the officer and the Air Force.

For Curriculum 255 Certificate, tuition is $7,300 will be payable upon enrollment. Personal funds or tuition assistance cannot be accepted by NPS.

Applicants will need their tuition POC contact information inserted into their application prior to their application being considered complete. E-mail is


For NS 4000 Single Course Enrollment, tuition is $550 payable upon enrollment. Personal funds or tuition assistance cannot be accepted by NPS.

Applicants will need their tuition POC contact information inserted into their application prior to their application being considered complete. E-mail is

GPC FAQs Accordion - Marines

Marines/Navy FAQs

Per OPNAV Instruction 1520.23C, Naval officers participating in this program must agree to remain on active duty for a period of one year following completion of the certificate program.  This obligation is discharged concurrently with any other service obligation already incurred.  This agreement does not obligate the Navy to retain the officer on active duty. NPS is mission-funded to provide tuition-free graduate education to active-duty Navy and Marine Corps officers (in application, the tuition POC is NA).