Marine Corps Looking to Turn Officers into PhDs


By Debbie Gregory.

Two pilot programs are being offered by the U.S. Marine Corps that would allow qualified majors through lieutenant colonels to receive their PhDs with the Corps picking up the tab, as long as they agree to stay in the service for an additional six years.

Interested applicants should get moving: with only four officers being picked, it will be competitive. And applications are only being accepted through the end of this month.

Two of the recipients will be required to pursue a doctorate in strategic affairs, geared toward  national security, military history, public policy, political science, government, or some other related field.

The other two will be required to attend a doctoral program with a technical focus in operations research, modeling virtual environments and simulation (MOVES), information sciences, or computer science.

The MOVES program focuses on the principles of applied visual simulation technology and the application of quantitative analyses to human-computer interaction. The coursework may include instruction in object-oriented programming, artificial intelligence, computer communications and networks, computer graphics, virtual worlds and simulation systems, probability, statistics, stochastic modeling, data analysis, human-performance evaluation, and human-behavior modeling.

Interested candidates must already have a masters degree, or currently be pursuing one if they are applying for the technical doctorate.

By developing a cohort of strategic thinkers and technical leaders, the Marine Corps has a goal of achieving innovative thinking. This will be the result of applying substantive knowledge, directing original research, and leveraging relationships with industry and elements of national security.

“Uniformed doctorates provide the Marine Corps deployable, highly-skilled manpower in support of senior leader decision-making as well as helping generate national, defense, and service strategies in an increasingly complex world.”

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