West Coast Military Schools

Jun 01, 2018

Students seeking military schools on the West Coast have limited options. We'll explore the two offerings, highlighting each school's size, cost, and academic options.

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California is home to the only two military schools on the West Coast. Located a little over two hours apart, the schools differ greatly in size, cost and offered programs. Below, we'll take an in-depth look at both of these military schools.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location In-state Tuition (2017-2018)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
California State University Maritime Academy 4-year Public Vallejo, CA $7,056 Richard Leffingwell Scholarship
Naval Postgraduate School 4-year Public Monterey, CA N/A Mission-funded tuition

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Overview

The California State University Maritime Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School differ not only in the degree levels/program they offer but also in their tuition, size, and structure.

California State University Maritime Academy

The California State University Maritime Academy, known as Cal Maritime, is a branch of California State University and one of seven degree-granting maritime academies in the country. During the 2016-2017 academic year, Cal Maritime served around 1,110 students in its bachelor's and master's programs.

Cal Maritime offers bachelor's programs in areas such as global studies and maritime affairs, marine engineering technology, and mechanical engineering. The school also has a master's program in transportation and engineering management. Classes at Cal Maritime have an average size of 20 students and a student-faculty ratio of 13 to 1. Graduates typically secure employment within three months of graduation and tend to earn high salaries when compared with alumni from other western U.S. schools.

According to the school website, all students at California State University Maritime Academy are members of the Corps of Cadets and go through the Edwards Leadership Development Program. International travel and study is a requirement for all students to advance their global perspective and is determined by the student's area of study.

Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), located in Monterey, CA, serves nearly 2,700 graduate students. All students at NPS are 'mission-funded', which means they are sponsored by their respective commands and/or employers, who pay for the student's tuition.

NPS offers a variety of master's programs in areas ranging from meteorology and space systems to security studies and information science. The two most popular master's programs are engineering and business administration. NPS also offers doctoral and postgraduate certificate programs in many of the same areas. Several programs are also available through distance learning.

The school is part of the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Monterey, which also includes the Navy Research Lab and the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.

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