Undersea Warfare Academic Group


Dr. Douglas P. Horner

Halligan Hall, Room 138

(831) 656-3821, DSN 756-3821


Chair Professor of Undersea Warfare

Phillip G. Sawyer, VADM, USN (Ret.)

(831) 656-2019, DSN 756-2019


Chair Professor of Mine and Expeditionary Warfare

Rick Williams, RDML, USN (Ret.)

(831) 656-7702, DSN 756-7702



Executive Committee

Michael Atkinson, Associate Professor (2009); Ph.D., Stanford University, 2009.

Donald P. Brutzman, Associate Professor (1995); Ph.D., Naval Postgraduate School, 1994.

Roberto Cristi, Professor (1985); Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1983.

Oleg A. Godin, Professor (2016); Ph.D., Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 1984.

Douglas P. Horner, Research Assistant Professor (2005); Ph.D., Naval Postgraduate School, 2013.

John Joseph, CDR, USN (Ret.); Faculty Associate, Research (2006); M.S., Radford University, 1979, M.S., Naval Postgraduate School, 1991.

Phillip G. Sawyer, VADM, USN (Ret.); Chair Professor of Undersea Warfare (2022); Master's in Engineering Management, Old Dominion University, 1990.

Kevin B. Smith, Professor (1995); Ph.D., University of Miami, 1991.

Richard D. Williams III, RADM, USN (Ret.); Chair Professor of Mine and Expeditionary Warfare (2005); M.S., Naval Postgraduate School, 1972.

Hong Zhou, Professor (2004); Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1996.

* The year of joining the Naval Postgraduate School faculty is indicated in parentheses.

Brief Overview

The Undersea Warfare Academic Group (USWAG) is an interdisciplinary association of faculty providing oversight for multiple Undersea Warfare (USW) related degree programs. The USWAG has administrative responsibility for the academic content of the overall USW curriculum. Teaching in this interdisciplinary program is carried out by faculty members attached to the following academic departments: Electrical and Computer Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Oceanography, Operations Research, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Physics. The Chair, USWAG approves thesis topics for students in the Undersea Warfare curricula.


Most students in the USW curriculum pursue a degree through one of the associated academic departments. A list of degree options is found on the USW Curriculum (525/526) page.  In special cases, students may pursue a Master of Science in Applied Science degree through the USWAG. 

Students seeking the Master of Science in Applied Science degree under the cognizance of the Chair, Undersea Warfare Academic Group must successfully complete the following:

  1. A minimum of 32 quarter-hours of graduate level courses relevant to undersea warfare, including at least 20 hours to satisfy a track in either the Physics Department (Acoustics), Oceanography Department (Physical Oceanography), or Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (Signal Processing).
  2. A sequence of at least 12 hours of graduate level courses representing a specialization in some area other than that of the major.
  3. At least 12 hours of coursework at the 4000 level.
  4. An acceptable thesis advised or co-advised by a member of the respective department.

Undersea Warfare Course Descriptions

UW Courses