Informed by the study of history and culture, the Command and Staff College distance education program (CSCDEP) provides officers with graduate level professional military education and training to produce skilled warfighting leaders able to overcome diverse 21st century security challenges. CSCDEP develops critical thinkers, innovative problem solvers, and ethical leaders who will serve as commanders and staff officers in service, joint, interagency, and multinational organizations confronting complex and uncertain security environments. In conjunction with the application of Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) doctrine and techniques for the changing conditions of warfare, this program provides the tools necessary to defeat a full spectrum of opponents.
This course introduces students to important military theory and describes its impact on how we conduct war. The student will read selected works of history's greatest military theorists and then compare and contrast their theories. By applying these theories to selected eras and events in military history, students will be able to analyze the evolution of warfare from the late
18th century to the present, and recognize and describe the nature of change in the characteristics of war in selected time frames. This course also discusses the concept of an "American way of war" and how it helped frame how Marines think about and conduct war.
This course imparts in students the requisite knowledge of the national security structure expected of field grade officers operating in a joint environment. Officers at this level can expect assignments that require not only knowledge of the national security environment, but the ability to synthesize that knowledge (the means) to develop and convey strategies (the ways), that lead to the accomplishment of complex tasks (the ends). 8901 provided the foundation for this course; 8903 will use what is learned here to facilitate a better understanding of the application of the military instrument of national power.
This course focuses on operational warfare, campaigning, and transforming strategic guidance into the employment of military forces at the operational level of war. National security operations should be coordinated from the highest level of policymaking (strategy) to the basic level of execution (tactics). The operational level links the two levels, providing direction and purpose to campaigns and other military operations. As the bridge between strategy and tactics, the operational level is where campaigns are designed and conducted.
This course focuses on the organization and employment of joint forces by using recent historical examples; current joint doctrine; and discussions of how joint forces, other government agencies, and international participants interact. Overall, this improves the student's ability to derive operational insights about contemporary operating environments.
This course provides a foundation for analyzing and applying the doctrine and lessons learned from past small wars to the small war environments of the
21st century. Students will apply analytical thought to various characteristics of small wars and conduct a more structured study of several different small war environments—humanitarian assistance, peace operations, counterinsurgency, and stability operations. The primary goal of this course is to improve the student's knowledge of small war environments and their ability to contribute to the planning and execution of small wars in the future at the Service and Joint levels.
This course presents many critical concepts and subjects which are vital for Marine Corps planners to master. Thoroughly understanding these subjects will allow them to effectively function in today's operational environment: whether on Service component, joint, or combined staffs. 8906 expands on ideas from 8903 and examines their applicability in MAGTF operations. An in-depth understanding of Marine Corps warfighting concepts and organization, as well as how operations are conducted, provides the basis for comprehending how Marines contribute to joint operations.
This course provides a historical perspective on the development of amphibious capabilities. It will enable students to better understand the complexities of amphibious operations planning, and to challenge students to critically think about the future of amphibious operations. Students will be able to understand the interactions that occur between planners of different staffs, to identify amphibious planning considerations, to understand the amphibious planning process, and to contribute to the joint planning and execution effort. The understanding gained in 8907 will enable the student to expand the ideas presented in 8906 and examine the applicability of those ideas in amphibious operations.
This course is designed to enhance the conventional and irregular warfare planning abilities of future commanders and staff officers by helping them develop a working knowledge of the Marine Corps Planning Process (MCPP) and the Joint Planning Process (JPP) within the framework of joint and MAGTF operational doctrine. This course exercises the students' creative thinking, critical reasoning, and collaboration abilities, which are necessary to perform
JTF/component/MEF-level operation planning in joint and multinational environments.
The following personnel are eligible to participate (in order of priority):
If space is available:
CDET's regional offices work with each student to determine a schedule that best fits their educational goals and the constraints of their personal time. At the end of a program's enrollment period, the regional office for each region creates a set of seminar schedules to accomodate the students as much as possible while meeting the requirements of the seminar. This ensures that each seminar has an appropriate class size and a variety of MOSs to encourage discussion and interaction.
Four types of seminar schedules are offered: weekday, weekend, online, and the blended seminar program. Online portions of seminars are done via Moodle.
Weekday, weekend, and online schedules are designed to deliver the entire curriculum in two academic years. (Students are enrolled and allowed 3 years to complete the program.)
Students meet on-site one night per week (2-3 hours). Additional coursework is done online throughout the week.
This is similar to a weekday schedule except that it is done asynchronously online. Instead of participating in a classroom environment, students interact on Moodle.
Students meet on-site one weekend (Saturday and Sunday) per month.
Reserve officers can apply for a funded seat in a weekend seminar by submitting a student application and a signed Separate Written Agreement to Train (SWAT) via email to the reserve liaison office. See MARADMIN 083/21 for more details.
Schedules for individual seminars are provided by region.
To enroll in a weekday, weekend, or online seminar, submit a request through MarineNet for course code 8900ZZ0000. Make sure your information is correct and click "Start" at the bottom to submit your enrollment request. The status of your request will be displayed under the notifications tab on the MarineNet home page.
Contact your local regional office for more information.
BSPs combine resident and online education. Students also participate in extracurricular field studies program events.
The blended seminar program provides students with an opportunity to receive their professional military education (PME) through a combination of resident and non-resident (online) education at or near their home station. These BSPs enable students to gain a greater depth of educational experience, while minimizing family turbulence by allowing them to remain on station and with their commands.
In addition to the standard curriculums, students participate in extracurricular field studies program events to include staff rides and visits to surrounding national historic sites which are representative of our culture, national heritage, and government institutions.
The blended seminar program allows applicable military personnel to complete intermediate level school (ILS) requirements within a single academic year—as opposed to two academic years for the traditional on-site or online seminars. The initial resident period lasts for 5 weeks. The non-resident, online period lasts for 28 weeks. Students then return for their final resident period of 6 weeks and participate in an official graduation ceremony. The resident periods are held at Quantico, VA; Camp Lejeune, NC; and Camp Pendleton, CA.
To enroll in the blended seminar program, contact the regional office for the region you would like to attend (Quantico, Camp Lejeune, or Camp Pendleton).
International and reserve officers might be able to apply for a funded seat.
Apply for a funded seat in a blended seminar program by submitting an application via the Manpower & Reserve Affairs website, as stated in MARADMIN 186/23, The Convening of AY23–24 CDET CSC and EWS Blended Seminar Program Selection Board for Reserve Officers.
Contact the reserve liaison office for more information.
Apply for a funded seat in a blended seminar program by submitting an enrollment form to the appropriate IMSO. Enrollment forms are screened to ensure the student meets the enrollment eligibility criteria set forth by MCO 1553.4B, Professional Military Education (PME), and by PME policies of the Marine Corps University and CDET.
Contact the appropriate international military student officer (IMSO) for more information.
Active and reserve Marines that complete CSCDEP courses on MarineNet will have their course completions (course and school code) sent automatically to their official military record in the Marine Corps Total Force System (MCTFS). MMRP-20 will then pull the completions of the entire curricula from MCTFS, automatically generate a completion certificate, and post the certificate to each student's official military personnel file (OMPF). CDET will post copies of diplomas for distinguished graduates and blended seminar program graduates into their OMPF. Only a certificate is required; students are not required to input their diplomas into their OMPF records if a certificate already exists.
If the completion of the curriculum shows in MCTFS, but does not appear in OMPF, please contact CDET Student Support via the MarineNet help desk, option 2.
Per CDET policy letter 03-17, CSCDEP Equivalency Credit, Marines who are enrolled in or have completed the Naval War College course NW3230, Strategy & War, before 24 May 2017 will be given equivalency credit for CSCDEP course 8901, Theory and Nature of War.
Effective 1 October 2015, reserve officers completing distance learning military courses will earn one reserve retirement credit for every four hours of study. Credits are granted upon completion of a course.
CSCDEP provides students with Joint professional military education (JPME) Phase I instruction. It incorporates the direction of CJCSI 1800.01E, Officer Professional Military Education Policy, on the learning areas objectives and academic standards. Additionally, the instruction states that the completion of a joint accredited, intermediate level distance education program will meet JPME Phase I requirements for assignment to joint duty billets, eligibility for JPME Phase II, and nomination as a joint specialty officer (JSO). Therefore, CSCDEP graduates will be both PME complete for the grade of major and JPME Phase I complete.
Graduates of CSCDEP are eligible to compete for admission into the School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW). CSCDEP student admittance is highly competitive. If you have questions, contact your local regional office.
CDET has partnered with several universities and colleges to provide credits to help graduates achieve a variety of master's degrees and certificates.
Contact your local regional office for any information or guidance about CDET's distance education programs for officers.
Read about the Moodle learning management system or log into the MarineNet Moodle portal.
Several external resources are available to assist in your research or school work.
Information about the Command and Staff College resident program is available on the Marine Corps University website.
Transcripts can be obtained via MarineNet.