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Program Officer Standard Operating Procedures

All resident CSO and MACO students are to adhere to the following procedures and policies.  NPS and other pertinent instructions are summarized and referenced regarding academic and administrative requirements.  Therefore, this is not an all-inclusive document.

Students attend NPS on official military or government orders, and therefore are expected to complete all academic requirements in the same manner as any other military order.  The academic programs reflect requirements from academic departments, military services and the Navy subspecialty system.  All students should assume that attendance at the Naval Postgraduate School implies adherence to all Navy requirements and regulations, unless specifically noted otherwise in the Catalog or official NPS web sites.


Students are required to read and be held responsible for…

Students considering employment outside of NPS must be familiar with Article 135 of the Student Information Handbook, which generally does not allow outside employment for students; and NAVPGSCOLINST 5370.3E, Policy Concerning Outside Employment And Professional Activities For Faculty, Staff, And Students.

Course Registration

Students will register for, and plan to complete, at least 4 classes (not including seminars) per quarter to maintain full time status.  Course drops and withdrawals are "requests" and must be justified and documented to be approved.  Poor performance or instructor preference will not be the sole criterion for a drop or withdrawal.  Students will continue to attend class until a drop or withdrawal request is approved through the Program Officer.

As academic departments use current registration for fiscal year teaching plans, it is in students’ best interest to make decisions early regarding elective course selection, and refrain from frequent or late changes.  Frequent registration changes and approvals multiply quickly for Instructors, Academic Associates and Program Officers, and create unnecessary administrative burdens that can negatively impact a student’s final course registration.

All courses listed on published academic plans or matrices are considered required for USN students unless specifically noted as elective.  Other services or government agencies sponsoring CAG students may alter the academic plan for those students so long as all graduation requirements are met.  Graduation requirements for CAG degree programs are listed in the academic catalog.  It is the students' responsibility to ensure all graduation requirements are met.

Directed Study courses provide students the opportunity to conduct in-depth one-on-one study in areas not covered by existing courses or department course offerings.  Since Directed Studies can negatively impact the pool of available students for upper-level graduate courses, students will not register for more than one Directed Study course during a full course of study, without explicit permission of the Program Officer and Academic Associate.  Directed Study requests should include not only the course material to be covered, but details on homework, projects or other deliverables that will be required for a passing grade and course credit.

Students will use the "Move" function within Python when requesting timing changes to a specific course within a matrix.  The “Move” function cannot, however, be used when it involves moving a course in the current or following quarter (after the registration deadline).  In this case, use an “Add” and subsequent “Drop” to move the course within the Python matrix.  If it places a student below the minimum 4 course limit for the quarter, the Drop will not be approved without a corresponding Add request.

Thesis and Capstone Project

CSO students will automatically be enrolled in CY4900 and CY4901 in quarters two and three respectively.  MACO students will be enrolled in CY4901 in quarter one.  These courses provide an introduction to the thesis/capstone process, potential capstone/thesis projects, and thesis/capstone proposal development.  Students are expected to submit a formal thesis or capstone proposal in accordance with the appropriate thesis and capstone requirements (CSO thesis, CSO capstone, MACO capstone).

CSO students will automatically be registered for three thesis or capstone project research slots.  A fourth slot may be considered on a case-by-case basis for students with extra room in their matrix due to validations, etc.  MACO students will automatically be registered for two capstone project research slots.  A student will normally take one thesis/capstone slot at a time (during their latter academic quarters), but will be allowed to take no more than two thesis/capstone slots at any time.

Thesis Extensions Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Detailed justification will be required from the student and thesis advisor for Program Officer, Academic Associate, and CAG Chair endorsement.  Cases that are not adequately justified will be forwarded to the Academic Council with a negative endorsement.

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All information contained herein has been approved for release by the NPS Public Affairs Officer.
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