We know that Starfleet academy offers different majors according to its needs. And those are some of the named courses to have been shown that many officers took according to their majors. So my question is: Is there anything in canon or non-canon which specifies what are the basic minimum courses that starfleet officers have to study to prepare for their possible role as future commanders or captains? Is there special training for those who want to assume command?
The Bridge Officer's Test is, as far as I know, the only requirement.
- In TNG 7x16, Thine Own Self, Beverly Crusher mentions that she had took the test and was promoted to Commander, even though she had previously only been a doctor.
- Motivated by the events of TNG 5x05, Disaster, and a class reunion just prior to Thine Own Self, Troi is motivated to do similar - she had previously only been the ship's counsellor, and had been thinking of it since the events of Disaster, where she was unexpectedly thrust into taking command. After completing the test, she too was promoted to commander.
Note that Troi's scenario on the holodeck seen in the episode is only the last part of it - more happens offscreen before that, which Riker makes reference to in the episode.
What Riker says to Troi when she passes largely implies that being a command-level officer requires the right frame of mind more than anything else - something which cannot be taught in school (especially without ending up with people who know what it should be and fake their way through).
As I recall, prior to taking the Bridge Officer's Test, Troi had an effective rank of Lieutenant Commander. In fact, I believe this is even mentioned in Disaster. I'm sure Crusher had similar rank prior to her test. What I find interesting though, is we don't really know how Troi earned that rank other than perhaps just by virtue of being ship's counselor.– IsziJan 7, 2013 at 18:47