A student with the appropriate background may validate a course that is required for his/her curriculum. Validation will allow the student to omit that course from the program of study; however, no credit will be granted for a course that has been validated. The basic purpose of course validation is to make optimal use of the student's time at the Naval Postgraduate School. Every validation must be justified by documented evidence of prior work in the area of the course to be validated.

The validation of a course must be approved in writing by the Chairman of the department offering the course or a designated representative. Specific criteria for validation (e.g., review of the student's transcripts or examination on the material of the course) are left to the discretion of the cognizant Department Chairman.

After validating one or more courses, it may be possible for a student to complete the program in less than the maximum time allowed.