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2025 Defense and Strategic Studies Major Curriculum


Code Short Description Description Transcript Description Req Crse Cnt Opt Crse Cnt
DSS2 Defense and Strategic Studies Defense and Strategic Studies Major Defense and Strategic Studies 3 10

2025 Defense and Strategic Studies Major Tracks

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Subject Area Description Credit Hour
Departmental Description  
The Defense & Strategic Studies (DSS) Major is an interdisciplinary major that combines military science, history, economics, political science, geography, leadership, psychology, information technology, ethics, and law to understand the nature of conflict and the role of the military as an instrument of national power. Using a foundation in strategic theory and historical case studies, cadets examine issues relating to the different levels of conflict, military decision-making, defense policy and changes in warfare.
Required Courses Choose 3 of 3
DS320 INTRO TO STRATEGIC STUDIES 3.0  
DS370 STRATEGY AND POLICY 3.0  
DS495 RESEARCH METHODS STRAT STUDIES 3.0  
AND

DSS Specific Electives Choose 4 of 12
DS345 MILITARY INNOVATION 3.0  
DS350 PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATIONS 3.0  
DS360 SPECIAL OPS: THEORY & PRACTICE 3.0  
DS399 STRATEGIC STUDIES INTERNSHIP 3.0  
DS455 COMPARATIVE DEFENSE POLICY 3.0  
DS460 REBELLION, INSURGNCY & CIV WAR 3.0  
DS475 STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING 3.0  
DS485 DOMAINS OF WAR 3.0  
DS489 ADV IND STUD-DEF/STRAT STUDIES 3.0  
DS490 SPECIAL TOPICS: STRAT STUDIES 3.0  
DS496 STRATEGIC STUDIES THESIS 3.0  
DS497 STRATEGIC STUDIES CAPSTONE 3.0  
AND

Electives Choose 2 of 64
CS486 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 3.0  
CY460 CYBER POLICY, STRATEGY, & OPNS 3.0  
DS345 MILITARY INNOVATION 3.0  
DS350 PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATIONS 3.0  
DS360 SPECIAL OPS: THEORY & PRACTICE 3.0  
DS399 STRATEGIC STUDIES INTERNSHIP 3.0  
DS455 COMPARATIVE DEFENSE POLICY 3.0  
DS460 REBELLION, INSURGNCY & CIV WAR 3.0  
DS475 STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING 3.0  
DS485 DOMAINS OF WAR 3.0  
DS489 ADV IND STUD-DEF/STRAT STUDIES 3.0  
DS490 SPECIAL TOPICS: STRAT STUDIES 3.0  
DS496 STRATEGIC STUDIES THESIS 3.0  
DS497 STRATEGIC STUDIES CAPSTONE 3.0  
EV365 GEOGRAPHY OF GLOBAL CULTURES 3.0  
EV482 MILITARY GEOGRAPHY 3.0  
HI301 HIST OF MILITARY ART TO 1900 3.0  
HI338 WARFARE IN AGE OF REVOLUTIONS 3.0  
HI347 ASIAN WARFARE AND POLITICS 3.0  
HI355 WARFARE-AGE OF INDUSTRIALIZTN 3.0  
HI357 DECOLONIZATION & THE COLD WAR 3.0  
HI359 ERA OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR 3.0  
HI370 ANCIENT & MEDIEVAL WARFARE 3.0  
HI376 EARLY MODERN WARFARE 3.0  
HI381 HISTORY OF IRREGULAR WARFARE 3.0  
HI385 WAR & ITS THEORISTS 3.0  
HI394 REVOLUTIONARY AMERICA 3.0  
HI395 HIST OF CIVIL WAR AMERICA 3.0  
HI410 VIOLENCE/SEX: CULTRL HIST WAR 3.0  
LA476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - ARABIC 3.0  
LC476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - CHINESE 3.0  
LF476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - FRENCH 3.0  
LG476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - GERMAN 3.0  
LP476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - PORTUGUESE 3.0  
LR476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - RUSSIAN 3.0  
LS476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - SPANISH 3.0  
LW474 LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT 3.0  
LW481 INTERNATIONAL LAW 3.0  
LW482 NATIONAL SECURITY LAW 3.0  
LX300 3RD SEMESTER FOREIGN LANG 0.0  
LZ476 MILITARY SPKG/RDG - PERSIAN 3.0  
MA367 MATH FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES 3.0  
PL482 ARMED FORCES AND SOCIETY 3.0  
PY325 MILITARY ETHICS 3.0  
PY326 CYBER ETHICS 3.0  
SE385 DECISION ANALYSIS 3.0  
SE485 COMBAT MODELING 3.5  
SS364 GAME THEORY 3.0  
SS366 COMPARATIVE POLITICS 3.0  
SS368 ECONOMETRICS I 3.0  
SS370 MASS MEDIA & AMER POLITICS 3.0  
SS381 CULTURAL/POLIT ANTHROPOLOGY 3.0  
SS464 HOMELAND SECURITY 3.0  
SS465 TERRORISM: NEW CHALLENGES 3.0  
SS472 THE AM STATE & THE SOLDIER 3.0  
SS473 AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY 3.0  
SS475 COMP POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS 3.0  
SS476 CONFLICT AND NEGOTIATION 3.0  
SS486 STATE BUILDING 3.0  
XE492 DISRUPTIVE INNOVATIONS 3.0  
XE497 CRITICAL SCIENTIFIC REASONING 3.0  
XH341 INTEL CYBER HISTORY 3.0  
XH405 THE HOLOCAUST AND ITS LEGACY 3.0  
XH415 GENOCIDE AND MASS ATROCITY 3.0  
AND

Complementary Support Courses Choose 3 of 11
CY460 CYBER POLICY, STRATEGY, & OPNS 3.0  
EV365 GEOGRAPHY OF GLOBAL CULTURES 3.0  
EV482 MILITARY GEOGRAPHY 3.0  
HI301 HISTORY OF THE MILITARY ART 3.0  
HI347 ASIAN WARFARE AND POLITICS 3.0  
HI357 DECOLONIZATION & THE COLD WAR 3.0  
LW482 NATIONAL SECURITY LAW 3.0  
LX300 3RD SEMESTER FOREIGN LANG 0.0  
MA376 APPLIED STATISTICS 3.0  
SS366 COMPARATIVE POLITICS 3.0  
SS381 CULTURAL/POLIT ANTHROPOLOGY 3.0  
AND

Integrative Experience for the Major Choose 1 of 1
DS498 LEADERSHIP IN FUTURE WAR 3.0  
AND
Science Depth  
Cadets may choose any one of the courses that are accepted as fulfilling this requirement.
CH102 GENERAL CHEMISTRY II 4.0  
CH275 BIOLOGY 4.0  
PH202 PHYSICS II 4.0  
PH206 PHYSICS II 4.0  
PH252 ADVANCED PHYSICS II 4.0  
PH256 ADVANCED PHYSICS II 4.0  
STEM Depth  
Cadets in this major must take CY305/355 to satisfy the STEM Depth requirement.
CY305 CYBER FOUNDATIONS 3.0  
CY355 CYBER FOUNDATIONS - COMPUTING 3.0  
AND

Curriculum Requirements  
This section describes how cadets in this major satisfy various curriculum requirements.
IT/CYBER Requirement  
Cadets in this major will satisfy the IT/CYBER requirement by successfully completing the IT/CYBER content in the core curriculum and CY305/355.
CY305 CYBER FOUNDATIONS 3.0  
CY355 CYBER FOUNDATIONS - COMPUTING 3.0  
Core Engineering Sequence  
Cadets in this major may choose any approved three-course Core Engineering Sequence.
Writing-in-the-Major  
Cadets in this major satisfy the West Point Writing Program requirement by successfully completing writing requirements in the core curriculum and this course in the major.
DS495 RESEARCH METHODS STRAT STUDIES 3.0  





2025 Defense and Strategic Studies Major w/ Thesis Curriculum


Code Short Description Description Transcript Description Req Crse Cnt Opt Crse Cnt
DSS2T Defense/Strategic Studies w/ Thesis Defense and Strategic Studies Major w/ Thesis Defense/Strategic Studies w/ Thesis 0 1

2025 Defense and Strategic Studies Major w/ Thesis Tracks

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Subject Area Description Credit Hour
Individual Research Requirement Choose 1 of 2
Cadets completing the Defense and Strategic Studies Major with Thesis must take one additional course above the base major, from the list below, for an overall total of 41 courses at graduation. DS497 must include a thesis component if it is being used for the Defense and Strategic Studies major with Thesis (DSS2T).
DS496 STRATEGIC STUDIES THESIS 3.0  
DS497 STRATEGIC STUDIES CAPSTONE 3.0  





2025 Defense and Strategic Studies Major w/ Thesis (Honors) Curriculum


Code Short Description Description Transcript Description Req Crse Cnt Opt Crse Cnt
DSS2H Defense/Strategic Studies w/ Thesis (Honors) Defense and Strategic Studies Major w/ Thesis (Honors) Defense/Strategic Studies w/ Thesis (Honors) 0 2

2025 Defense and Strategic Studies Major w/ Thesis (Honors) Tracks

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Subject Area Description Credit Hour
 
Cadets completing the Defense and Strategic Studies Major with Thesis (Honors) must take two additional courses above the base major, for an overall total of 42 courses at graduation, as well as complete the grade requirements listed below.
AND
Elective  
Take one additional 300- or 400-level approved elective course from the base major.
AND
Individual Research Requirement Choose 1 of 2
DS497 must include a thesis component if it is being used for the Defense and Strategic Studies major with Thesis for Honors (DSS2H).
DS496 STRATEGIC STUDIES THESIS 3.0  
DS497 STRATEGIC STUDIES CAPSTONE 3.0  
AND
Grade Requirements  
Complete the requirements of the major as shown above, and attain an APSC of at least 3.0 in the core curriculum and an APSC of at least 3.5 in the major. Earn at least an A- in DS496 or DS497.