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2015 Annual Report & Fact Book

Naval Postgraduate School

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Ronald A. Route Portrait ImageThe Naval Postgraduate School has been leading the way in educating our Navy and Marine Corps officers for 107 years, providing a learning environment unlike any other. No other school in the world combines the operational and life experiences, like those of our students, with a faculty dedicated to the cutting edge of their fields of expertise. This combination benefits our students immeasurably, keeping the NPS educational experience relevant to today’s Armed Forces.

NPS is a clear fit to all four of the CNO’s “Lines of Effort,” and the continued focus on cyber superiority over our adversaries, as well as innovation at all levels. These concepts are at the front of the CNO’s mind for a reason – they are approaches we’ll need to take to keep America’s Navy at the top of its game, and ahead of our competitors. NPS is the epitome of using high-velocity learning to strengthen our Navy and our network of partners.

This was a “big” year for NPS – a year of Big Data and Big Ideas. Our researchers utilized the Massive Multiplayer Online Wargame Leveraging the Internet (MMOWGLI) to launch a new game – “Data Dilemma” – which challenges users to help the Navy maintain its edge in the Information Age. Our Littoral Operations Center (LOC) held its second annual Wargame Planning Session, with special attention paid to littoral scenarios.

The Office of the Secretary of the Navy has turned to NPS to directly address some of the most challenging questions facing the sea services today under the umbrella of the NPS Naval Research Program. The U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office (E2O) has also partnered with NPS under an initiative to conduct student-led research that will address some of the Marine Corps’ most pressing energy challenges.

Our students used their thesis research to improve upon the innovations of students who came before – stabilizing and strengthening the UAVs designed by their predecessors. Just one example of many … NPS students, faculty and researchers in the Advanced Robotics Systems Engineering Laboratory (ARSENL) flew 50 autonomous UAVs at once, breaking their previous record of 30. Rounding out the year, we held our first Big Ideas Exchange in December, which is patterned after the “TED Talks” programs and showcases new insights at NPS.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story, however, and our greatest qualitative strides were made in our continuing work to bring people together. Our Annual Professional and Educational Exchange (APEX) reunited graduates from our Center for Homeland Defense and Security to update the skills they learned here and to keep them sharp. We hosted the 12th Annual Acquisition Research Symposium, which attracted professionals from around the world to discuss cutting-edge research and the latest in policy. 

NPS was pleased to welcome some of the nation’s finest leaders to campus to address our students – Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard, retired Army Gen. Stanley McCrystal, and Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden to name a few.

On the pages that follow is a snapshot of just a handful of the university’s proudest achievements, and achievers. Overall, it’s was a good year for NPS, but we’re always looking forward to the future. Every day bring us closer to the next innovations and ideas, and we’re proud to say our students and faculty are at the forefront, leading the way.





NPS Roman Plunge PhotoNPS was established as the School of Marine Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1909. In 1919, the school was renamed the Naval Postgraduate School. In 1949, as part of a reorganization within the Department of Defense, Congress authorized the move of NPS from Annapolis, Maryland to Monterey, California. In 1951, NPS officially opened its doors in Monterey. Since its beginning, when the school was chartered to focus on science and technology, NPS has evolved into an institution that serves naval, defense and national security related interests by providing current and future readiness, advances in technology, and educational and operational programs that directly support all facets of national defense and homeland security.

At NPS, four world-class schools oversee 14 academic departments that provide 85 Master’s, 15 doctoral degree programs and 59 certificates to approximately 1,495 resident students, including more than 232 international students, as well as to 997 distributed-learning students worldwide. Three research institutes, multiple secure research facilities and 35 centers of excellence add to the wealth of resources. Non-resident courses are delivered to students through online, web-enabled, video-tele-education systems and/or by visiting faculty. Continuous learning, refresher and transitional educational opportunities abound, and short-term executive education courses and a variety of short courses are also offered by NPS, both in Monterey and abroad. 

Over 670 scholars and professionals, six percent of whom are military officers and approximately one-third of whom are tenured or tenure-track, comprise the NPS faculty. To strengthen expertise and program relevance, and to expedite research successes at NPS, a robust mix of tenured faculty, lecturers and visiting professionals integrate teaching with research, demonstrating the immediate applicability of defense-related theories to defense-related problems, many times resulting in patent-eligible technologies. 

The 15-member Naval Postgraduate School advisory board functions as a sub-committee under the Boards of Advisors to the Presidents of the Naval Postgraduate School and the Naval War College. The latter reports to the Secretary of Defense via the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations on matters pertaining to the school and its graduate education and research programs.

A Short History of NPS

The Naval Postgraduate School was established on June 9, 1909, when Secretary of the Navy George Von L. Meyer signed General Order No. 27, establishing the School of Marine Engineering at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. The Navy Secretary’s order placed the small program under the direction of the Naval Academy superintendent, who placed the 10 officer-students and two Navy instructors in an attic which served as a classroom and lab.

On October 31, 1912, Meyer signed Navy General Order No. 233, which renamed the school the Postgraduate Department of the Naval Academy. The order established courses of study for its 25 officer-students in ordnance and gunnery, electrical engineering, radio telegraphy, naval construction, and civil and marine engineering. 

In early 1944, more than a year before the first peace accord of World War II was signed, the Navy convened a board of respected senior officers and scholars to plan for post-war growth of the Naval Postgraduate School.  The board’s actions set the stage for landmark legislation in the 79th and 80th Congresses that transformed the Naval Postgraduate School into a degree-granting university with expanded research facilities, and its recommendations led to the purchase of the world-famous 627-acre Hotel Del Monte in Monterey. In December 1951, under the supervision of Rear Admiral Ernest Edward Herrmann, the 500 students, 100 faculty and staff, and thousands of pounds of books and research equipment of the Naval Postgraduate School moved lock, stock and wind tunnel from Maryland to Monterey. 

In its 100-plus year history, the Naval Postgraduate School has evolved into an institution that serves America’s joint military services, homeland security officials, and dozens of nations. The school’s educational and research programs continue to evolve to meet changing Navy goals and national requirements. Its innovative academic programs such as operations research and space systems have significantly influenced academe, the defense community and civilian sector. The more recent development of the cyber academic group and the energy academic group have greatly enhanced the Naval Postgraduate School’s traditional technical programs while preparing officers for new strategic commitments. Today’s Naval Postgraduate School is both an accredited university and a national asset that helps to prevent wars and to preserve global security. 


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The Seed of Innovation

Innovation begins with an idea … a simple notion that a process, procedure or practice can be improved upon. Each year, some 1,500 NPS students set out on their own paths toward innovation through the completion of their research theses, capstone projects, and the like.

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Advancing the Cyber Mission

In a traditional educational setting, classroom instruction provides the foundation for learning new concepts, but it is only through research and hands-on experimentation in the field or laboratory that a deeper comprehension can be achieved. In the world of cyber warfare, that laboratory is the National Cyber Range.

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Tomorrow's Leaders, and Today's

The Naval Postgraduate School welcomed Deputy Secretary of Defense and NPS alumnus the Honorable Robert O. Work to its Summer Quarter Graduation ceremony, June 19, 2015. Work addressed a graduating class comprised of some 290 graduates from every U.S. branch of service, and 19 countries, earning 296 advanced degrees.

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Breaking New Ground

With the Naval Postgraduate School’s mission of graduate education, students are charged with creating new knowledge through their studies … It is a critical component to any graduate level degree. Given the university’s focus on Navy and national security issues, this focus often leads to ground-breaking advances in defense applications of the latest technologies.

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A Legacy of Professional Development

Beyond its master and doctoral degree programs, the Naval Postgraduate School provides graduate level continuing education to thousands of leaders across the U.S. defense and homeland security communities, and internationally as well. One of its longest providers of these invaluable programs, the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy’s Defense Resources Management Institute (DRMI), celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.

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Remarkable Students, Remarkable Stories

When a student population is vastly comprised of officers of the U.S. Armed Forces and our international partners, there are undoubtedly countless compelling stories and experiences brought into the classroom on a daily basis. U.S. Army Maj. Dennis “DJ” Skelton of Elk Point, South Dakota, is one of them. 

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Fact Book 2015 PDFs

2015 Quick Facts  |  Student & Programs  |  Faculty  |  Resources  |  Financials & Sponsored Programs