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Naval Studies Certificate Overview

The Naval Studies Certificate program is the core program of every degree program offered by the USNCC. This certificate is designed for Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who are interested in becoming better naval enlisted leaders. This program helps you accomplish this by developing your skills in ethical leadership development, an understanding of naval history, geopolitics, civilian/military context, and force structure and organization.
Every associate degree program offered by the USNCC includes this five-course Naval Studies Certificate which provides a naval-relevant foundation to your lifelong educational journey. This is what sets the USNCC program apart from any other degree program available to you.

The Naval Studies Certificate can be completed as the core of a USNCC associate degree program, or it can be completed as a stand-alone certificate.

Naval Studies Certificate Partner Institution

The USNCC Naval Studies Certificate is completed internally through the USNCC and is taught by our own faculty. The USNCC was established to advance warfighting advantage and enhance operational readiness by providing world-class, naval-relevant education to a globally-deployed force. These courses will be accepted via consortium by each of the contracted partner institutions, and the courses will count as general education courses toward the associate degrees at those partner institutions.

Naval Studies Certificate Program Description

The Naval Studies Certificate can be a stand-alone certificate or can be completed as the core of a USNCC associate degree program. It is the five-course certificate program that develops your knowledge and expertise as an enlisted leader in the following way:
The Naval Studies Certificate addresses critical thinking, research/writing, and communication in the context of the naval services. It builds from the service member’s individual responsibility to an understanding of the force, relationship of the military to the nation, and to our allies and adversaries across the globe. 

These five courses typically transfer to the USNCC partner institutions via consortium as general education courses, such as Philosophy, Political Science, History, or other similar courses, but may also transfer as concentration courses or elective credits.

Naval Studies Certificate Program Outcomes

1.  Using the professional ethics of the naval services apply a moral framework to solve dilemmas in peace and war.

2.  Understand the context, drivers, impacts, and challenges of historical naval developments since 1890.

3.  Understand how the naval services contribute to the national security goals of the United States.

4.  Understand the structure of the US government and role of the DoD, naval services, and their service members in government and US national security infrastructure.

5.  Understand how strategic competition within the international system impacts US national security. 

6.  Apply critical thinking, analytical reasoning, information literacy, teamwork, written communication, and oral communication skills.

Naval Studies Certificate Program Requirements

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Active duty enlisted Sailor, Marine, or Coast Guardsman
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Prerequisite: Evidence of English readiness or proficiency, which can be met by an Introductory English or equivalent course/training

Naval Studies Certificate Program Plan


Naval Studies Certificate

Naval Ethics and Leadership

3 Credits
Modern Naval History

3 Credits
Naval Force Design

3 Credits
Civilian / Military Relations, Organization, and American Government

3 Credits
Introduction to the Geopolitical Environment

3 Credits
Total: 15 Credits

Naval Studies Certificate Math Intensity


Naval Studies Certificate Learning Environment

All of the courses for the Naval Studies Certificate are offered online and asynchronously. This means that, as long as you have access to the internet, you are able to take these courses on your schedule, wherever you are in the world. Whether you are stationed on a ship in Norfolk, conducting field exercises in Okinawa, patrolling in a cutter the coasts of Alaska, or providing security or logistical support out of Bahrain, you are able to use your off-duty hours to further your education through the USNCC. Since these courses are offered asynchronously, this means you will not be required to log on to specific meetings at specific times throughout the week. Each week you will be assigned between seven to 10 hours of work, including engaging in threaded discussions with your faculty and classmates, reading, and writing essays; as long as you can meet weekly deadlines, you will meet attendance requirements.

Naval Studies Certificate Ideal Rating/MOS Candidates

While there is no requirement at this time to be a part of any rating or MOS community, this program was designed primarily with the following community in mind:
The Naval Studies Certificate is the core of every USNCC degree program and is designed to help any maritime service member improve their leadership and critical thinking skill sets.
Marine Corps
The Naval Studies Certificate is the core of every USNCC degree program and is designed to help any maritime service member improve their leadership and critical thinking skill sets.
Coast Guard
The Naval Studies Certificate is the core of every USNCC degree program and is designed to help any maritime service member improve their leadership and critical thinking skill sets.

Naval Studies Certificate Educational Pathways

The USNCC Naval Studies Certificate serves as the foundational core of every USNCC degree program. For a list of degree programs the Naval Studies Certificate feeds into, click here.

Naval Studies Certificate Career Opportunities

The Naval Studies Certificate is designed to make you a more effective enlisted leader in the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard by providing you with a foundation of education in naval ethics, leadership, history, political science, and an understanding of the roles of the naval services on the geopolitical scale. Additionally, this program helps you develop your critical thinking and communication skills, developing you as a 21st century warfighter. These courses align with the visions of the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Commandant of the Coast Guard when it comes to developing an educated and capable enlisted force.

Contact Information

To find out more about this program and how to apply, contact our enrollment office through out USNCC Support Form.
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