About CSC



The U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College originated as the Field Officer’s Course in Quantico, Virginia in 1920.  Originally mirroring the U.S. Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, by 1933 the course evolved to better address the Marine Corps’ missions as an element of the naval service.  The course was suspended that year as the faculty and student body worked together to develop a draft amphibious doctrine for the Marine Corps, and resumed again in 1934.   

In 1941 the Field Officer’s Course was suspended again as its student body was reassigned to train the large number of lieutenants needed for World War II.   A three-month Command and Staff Course was created in 1943 to train Marine Corps and sister service field grade officers in amphibious warfare.  In 1946 the course was lengthened into a one-year comprehensive program on the prewar model.  The name of the school was changed to the present title of the Command and Staff College in 1968.


Command and Staff College courses are taught by a military and civilian faculty divided into four departments: Leadership, Warfighting, War Studies, and Security Studies.  The program consists of ten core courses and two electives.
  • Leadership in the Profession of Arms I
  • Evolution of Warfare to 1945
  • National Security Affairs and the International System
  • Joint and Marine Corps Operations
  • The Marine Corps Planning Process
  • Leadership in the Profession of Arms II
  • Evolution of Warfare Since 1945
  • Emerging National Security Concepts and Operations
  • Planning for Stability 
  • Theater Campaign Planning

Program Outcomes

  • The Command and Staff College curriculum is designed to produce graduates who…
  • Understand war, the spectrum of conflict, and the practice of operational art.
  • Understand national policy and strategy, joint and Marine Corps doctrine, and their application within the geopolitical context.
  • Understand the effects of culture on military operations and security matters.
  • Think critically, make sound decisions, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • Anticipate change, recognize opportunity and risk, and lead transitions.
  • Lead in an ethical manner while serving as commanders and staff officers.
  • Communicate complex ideas with clarity and precision in both oral and written forms.