Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence for Military Use

Curriculum 128

Computer Science Department, Naval Postgraduate School



Program Overview

Ø  This is a four-course sequence offered by distance learning (videoconferencing) in four successive quarters.  Courses earn graduate-school credit.

Ø  The goal is provide military professionals and civilians with basic understanding of artificial-intelligence capabilities to enable good decisions on procurement, implementation, and application of artificial-intelligence technology.

Ø  The focus is on the software concepts and technical details that can best support military operations and why.

Ø  A Bachelor’s degree is required.  No technical background is required beyond high-school algebra.  However, students must be prepared to encounter some new mathematics.

Ø  Some laboratory exercises will use artificial-intelligence tools but will not require programming.

Ø  This curriculum supports the Federal Training and Development of Artificial Intelligence program.



Administrative Details

Ø  The first course is on video, and the students can watch it when they like; lectures for the subsequent courses will be given by Zoom or Teams videoconferencing software.  They can be viewed while they are given (and questions will be fielded), but lectures will also be recorded for later viewing by those who cannot attend them.  Meeting times are negotiated between the instructor and the students.  No travel is required for this program.

Ø  The certificate program will generally be offered in four successive quarters starting in the Spring quarter.  It may be possible to start in the Summer quarter with the second course since it is independent of the first course.  However, an organization sending a cohort of 20 or more students can choose another quarter for all of them to start.

Ø  Completion of the four courses yields an Academic Certificate in Artificial Intelligence for Military Use.

o   The certificate requires about 360 hours of total work over the four courses, including lectures, readings, homework, and test preparation.

o   The courses total 14 graduate credit hours, 8 at the 3000 (introductory graduate) level, and 6 at the 4000 (advanced graduate) level.  Four credit hours means four lecture hours per week plus around six hours outside class per week.

Ø  Students must be in the U.S. military, U.S. Federal government employees, or students already at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Ø  NPS distance learning programs are described at    The NPS Admissions Office, and, can explain how to apply.  Generally we need applications for admissions by early in the Winter quarter (the first full week of January) if the student wants to start in the Spring Quarter, though we can accept  some later applications and applications at other times of year.

Ø  Tuition is $2700 per course, except for active-duty personnel who are free.  A student must be sponsored by their organization and the organization must have a Student Support Agreement with NPS; contact if you have questions.

Ø  Other programs in computer science at NPS are described at  Prospective students may also be interested in the Robotics certificate.

Ø  Currently the Computer Science Department is proposing to the School that three certificates which they approve (like the Robotics and Data Science distance-learning certificates along with this one) be combined to qualify for a Master of Computing degree.  Conditions are that the student must take 40 hours of work of which 30 hours are at the 4000 level, and that the three certificates must be completed within 5 years.  We hope to get approval soon.

Ø  Contact: Prof. Neil Rowe,, (831) 656-2462, (831) 373-1732.  See




Courses in the Certificate Program

Ø  First quarter: CS4000 (0-2), Harnessing Artificial Intelligence.  See CS4000_description.pdf.  This is a broad overview intended to answer the most frequent questions about AI.  It can be taken alone if a certificate is not desired.  It is taught by many different professors, and involves two hours a week.  It has weekly exercises and a final report is required.  It is delivered by videos and does not meet at a scheduled time.  Instructions for completing the course will be mailed to registered students in the first week of the quarter.  

Ø  The remaining three courses are traditional graduate courses that have homework, tests, and projects.

Ø  Second quarter: CS3331 (4-0), Basics of Applied Artificial Intelligence.  See CS3331_syllabus.pdf.  Basics of artificial-intelligence concepts illustrated with military examples.  Topics include knowledge representation, logical reasoning, probabilistic reasoning, heuristic search, agent-based systems, and social artificial intelligence.

Ø  Third quarter:  CS3332 (4-0), Applied Machine Learning. See CS3332_syllabus.pdf. Survey of machine-learning techniques of artificial intelligence with a particular focus on military applications.  Topics include types of machine learning, training and testing of machine learning, data preparation, decision trees, Bayesian reasoning, linear models, neural networks, case-based reasoning, and reinforcement learning.  Each method will be related to important military and government applications.

Ø  Fourth quarter: CS4333 (4-0), Current Directions in Artificial Intelligence.  See CS4333_syllabus.pdf.  A survey of currently important topics in artificial intelligence.  Topics include big-data management, advanced topics in neural networks, adversarial machine learning, explainability, testing and verification of artificial-intelligence systems, ethics and privacy issues in artificial intelligence, and other legal issues in artificial intelligence.