HomeFaculty & StaffAcademic RegulationsChapter 1: Master's Degree Admission Policy

Master's Degree Admission Policy

1. Purpose.  The purpose of this chapter is to define the admissions policy for the Command and Staff College (CSC), School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW), and Marine Corps War College (MCWAR) master’s degree programs. 

2. Background.  Marine Corps University (MCU) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award master’s degrees.  CSC offers the Master of Military Studies, SAW awards the Master of Operational Studies, and MCWAR offers the Master of Strategic Studies.  MCU’s master’s degree programs are seminar based programs that emphasize small faculty-to-student ratios, extensive student research and writing, and the development and demonstration of critical thinking.  To earn one of the University’s master's degrees, a student must be admitted into the applicable school or college, meet the degree program admission requirements, and earn a minimum grade of B-/80% in every master’s program course, to include electives (For Command and Staff College, a B/83% is required in all courses for those in the Master of Military Studies (MMS) program).  MCU upholds the highest standards in education with regard to its admission policies for its master’s degree programs.

3. Undergraduate Degree Requirement.  Individual college, school, and program admissions requirements can be found under their respective sections in the MCU Catalog.  To be admitted to any of the University’s master’s degree programs, an individual must be selected to attend the respective course and must hold a qualifying undergraduate degree (U.S. regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree or its equivalent).  Any student who does not possess a U.S. regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree must demonstrate that his or her academic credentials are the equivalent of such a degree prior to admission into the degree program. 

4. English Proficiency.  Students admitted to any master’s degree program are expected to speak and write English proficiently.  An international military student from a non-English speaking country must obtain a TOEFL score of 560/83 (Paper Based Test and Internet Based Test) prior to his or her selection for any of the degree programs.

5. Deadlines.  

a.Command and Staff College (CSC).  All students with a U.S. regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree must demonstrate that they meet all admission requirements prior to the due date for applications into the Master of Military Studies program.  Students without a U.S. degree must demonstrate that they meet all admission requirements by 1 November of the academic year.  Such students may be provisionally admitted to the degree program subject to meeting all admissions requirements by 1 November.

b. School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW).  All students must demonstrate that they meet all admission requirements prior to selection to SAW.  For those students with U.S. degrees, unofficial transcripts suffice to meet admission requirements for application and selection; however, selectees must validate the degree with official transcripts prior to the start of class.

c.Marine Corps War College (MCWAR).  All students with a U.S. regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree must demonstrate that they meet all admission requirements prior to the first day of classes.  Students without a U.S. degree must demonstrate that they meet all admission requirements by 1 November of the academic year.  

d.Procedures.  The MCU Registrar will establish procedures for ensuring that admission requirements are met prior to selection for any degree program.

Waivers.  Requests for waivers of any admission requirement or procedure will not normally be granted.  Waiver requests must be in writing to the director of the applicable program and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), and contain an explanation as to how the student’s circumstances or credentials otherwise justify a waiver.  If the director and VPAA concur, their decision will be final.  Cases in which the director and VPAA do not concur will be forwarded to the President, MCU for a decision.