The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) is a fully accredited research university operated by the United States Navy. Located in Monterey, California, it grants master's degrees, engineer's degrees and doctoral degrees. The school also offers research fellowship opportunities at the postdoctoral level through the National Research Council research associateship program.
The NPS student population is mostly active-duty officers from all branches of the U.S. Military, although U.S. Government civilians and members of foreign militaries can also matriculate under a variety of programs. Most of the faculty are civilians.
The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) serves a similar purpose. The United States Army does not have a similar institution, and instead sends its members to either NPS, AFIT or civilian institutions.
NPS and AFIT should not be confused with military staff college or war college. NPS and AFIT concentrate on topics traditionally associated with civilian graduate schools, focusing on their application to the military whereas staff colleges and war colleges concentrate instead on staff functions, civil-military affairs, tactics and strategy.
Under a recent joint agreement between the Air Force and Navy, and codified by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, AFIT and the Naval Postgraduate School have realigned their academic programs to reduce duplication, and both schools will be under the oversight of a common panel. As an example, Navy officers are sent to learn aeronautical engineering at AFIT, while Air Force officers learn meteorology at the Naval Postgraduate School.
On November 27, 2012, Vice Admiral Daniel Oliver (retired) and Provost Dr. Leonard Ferrari were relieved of duty by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. A Navy press release cited findings from a Naval Inspector General investigation which included Oliver's misuse of standard contracting procedures to circumvent federal hiring and compensation authorities. The investigation also found that both Oliver and Ferrari "inappropriately accepted gifts from an independent private foundation organized to support the school".
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