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Growing graduate education opportunities in fiscal 2016

June 10, 2015 (Photo Credit: Javier Chagoya/Navy)

ID=28502527Graduate education is becoming more than just a nice-to-have for military and civilian resumes.

The Navy plans to offer more opportunities for top officers — and some enlisted — to study full time or part time for an advanced degree.

"There are numerous graduate education opportunities available that can benefit the individual as well as the Navy," said Fred Drummond, Navy education strategy and policy branch head for the chief of naval personnel. "Regardless of your personal and professional goals and your family's needs, there's a graduate education program that can fit into your career."

What you need to know:

1. Lots of slots. In fiscal 2016, there are

This year, the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, has 498 quotas, and there are another 129 slots at top civilian universities. In addition, there are 241 Naval War College spots, 203 for other service grad schools and even 19 for international military colleges.

For those who don't make the cut, there's always a chance to get one of the 125 quotas for unrestricted line officers through the Graduate Education Voucher Program. The rules for next fiscal year are expected by late July.

2. Get smart. Five officers can earn the chance to learn a foreign language while also getting a graduate degree at a foreign university.

There's also slots to pursue a political military master's degree or to attend law school.

3. Innovation U. New for this year: Up to 10 military students can enroll in Purdue University's Institute for Defense Innovation.

Officers will get up to three years to earn a Ph.D., and two for a master's degree, in the tuition-free programs. The course of study can be

4. Coming soon. Thirty officers will be picked and sent to school starting in fiscal 2017, but with a new twist — they'll be chosen for that graduate opportunity by the Navy's type commanders: surface, air, submarine, expeditionary, etc.

Those selected will be

5. Enlisted opportunities. Sailors who've earned a bachelor's degree have opportunities to get more advanced degrees, too.

The only full-time, in-residence graduate education for sailors are the five enlisted spots at the Applied Cyber Operations master's degree program at the Naval Postgraduate School.

But under the enlisted Advanced Education Voucher Program, Navy-relevant studies in up to three-year degree programs can get funded.

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