The youngest of the U.S. military war colleges, MCWAR was founded on 1 August 1990 as the Marine Corps “Art of War Studies” program. MCWAR became a separate college one year later and achieved JPME Phase I accreditation in December 1992. In 2001, MCWAR was accredited by the Southern association of Colleges and Schools and authorized to award Master of Strategic Studies degrees. In September 2006, MCWAR was the first Senior Service School to be JPME Phase II certified and in January 2009 the College was fully accredited via the Process for Accreditation of Joint Education (PAJE). In July 2010, the College accepted its first international military students.


In fulfillment of its role in the JPME and Marine Corps PME policy, MCWAR is dedicated to educating its students for the challenges of a complex and dynamic security environment and preparing them to assume senior leadership positions within their service or agency. The College’s curriculum is crafted to maximize the advantages of small- group seminars, employing the Socratic-method and active adult learning techniques to generate debate, challenge student assumptions, and otherwise foster academic excellence. The diversity of the students' backgrounds enables the seminar group, under faculty direction, to maximize collaborative learning as members share their knowledge and experience. Trips, practical application exercises, wargames and writing and speaking opportunities allow the students to hone the skills they will need as strategic leaders by challenging them to think critically about current national security policy and strategy issues, develop viable alternatives, and articulate those alternatives in a clear and meaningful way. Finally, the curriculum exposes students to the foremost experts from national agencies, national military commands and the civilian academic world.


Program Learning Outcomes

MCWAR graduates students who will be:

1. Prepared to perform as strategic advisors to senior military and civilian leaders.

1.a. Evaluate national security strategies, policies, decision making, and joint warfighting.

1.b. Demonstrate effective reading, thinking, and oral and written presentation of complex issues in uncertain environments at the strategic level.

2. Able to perform as critical and creative thinkers.

2.a. Evaluate information and arguments by methods including assessing risk and potential consequences, challenging assumptions, and utilizing different analytical lenses.

2.b. Apply these methods in the creation and evaluation of national security strategies, national military strategies, and campaign plans.

3. Prepared to perform as military strategists.

‚Äč3.a. Apply the framework of ends, ways, means, and risk.

3.b. Evaluate the integration of all instruments of national power.

3.c. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of employing force or the threat of force in the pursuit of political objectives.

4. Prepared to perform as senior joint warfighters across all domains.

4.a. Evaluate the changing character and enduring nature of war and apply historical lessons to current and future competition and conflicts.

4.b. Apply the art and science of planning and conducting campaigns and major operations in an all-domain, joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment.

4.c. Demonstrate an understanding of essential leadership and decision-making attributes, and the ethical grounding necessary to succeed in senior positions within the joint force, service, or agency.