USMA Mission:  

To educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country; and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army.

WPLDS: The West Point Leader Development System (WPLDS) is designed to achieve this mission and begins by defining the institution’s leader development outcomes. Upon commissioning, West Point graduates will:

  1. Live honorably by:


  1. Lead honorably by:


  1. Demonstrate excellence by:



In support of WPLDS, the Academic Program has established the following overarching goal and seven Academic Program Goals (APGs) to help guide the academic development of cadets. Each of the seven goals is accompanied by supporting objectives called “What Graduates Can Do” (WGCD) statements. WGCD statements define specific indicators of skills expected of cadets at the time of graduation and are the assessable objectives that we use to determine if our core and major programs are achieving the standards of our program goals as expected. Each are listed below their respective APG in the following list. Our APGs also directly reflect upon, connect with, and contribute to achievement of the institutional outcomes defined within WPLDS.

The Overarching Academic Goal: Graduates integrate knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines to anticipate and respond appropriately to opportunities and challenges in a changing world.

Academic Program Goals:

  1. Communication: Graduates communicate effectively with all audiences.


WGCD 1.1 : Listen actively, read critically, and develop an informed understanding of the communications of others.

WGCD 1.2 : Speak and write using Standard American English.

WGCD 1.3 : Effectively convey meaningful information to diverse audiences using appropriate forms and media.

WGCD 1.4 : Communicate in a foreign language.

WGCD 1.5 : Use sound logic and relevant evidence to make convincing arguments.


  1. Critical Thinking and Creativity: Graduates think critically and creatively.


WGCD 2.1 : Identify the essential aspects of a situation and ask relevant questions.

WGCD 2.2 : Integrate knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines.

WGCD 2.3 : Make meaningful connections and distinctions among diverse experiences and concepts.

WGCD 2.4 : Reason both quantitatively and qualitatively.

WGCD 2.5 : Think innovatively and accept risk to pursue solutions in the face of ambiguity.

WGCD 2.6 : Value reflection and creativity; envision possibilities.


  1. Lifelong Learning: Graduates demonstrate the capability and desire to pursue progressive and continued intellectual development.


WGCD 3.1 : Demonstrate the willingness and ability to learn independently.

WGCD 3.2 : Engage successfully in deliberate self-directed and collaborative learning experiences.

WGCD 3.3 : Pursue self-awareness and embrace the responsibility for personal intellectual development.

WGCD 3.4 : Pursue knowledge in areas of personal or professional interest.


  1. Ethical Reasoning: Graduates recognize ethical issues and apply ethical perspectives and concepts in decision making.


WGCD 4.1 : Understand the intellectual foundations of ethical principles.

WGCD 4.2 : Recognize ethical components of problems and situations.

WGCD 4.3 : Examine and evaluate different ethical perspectives, principles, and concepts in context.

WGCD 4.4 : Apply ethical perspectives and concepts in solving complex problems, including those found in military settings.


  1. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Graduates apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts and processes to solve complex problems.


WGCD 5.1 : Apply mathematics, science, and computing to model devices, systems, processes, or behaviors.

WGCD 5.2 : Apply the scientific method.

WGCD 5.3 : Collect and analyze data in support of decision making.

WGCD 5.4 : Apply an engineering design process to create effective and adaptable solutions.

WGCD 5.5 : Explain and apply computing and information technology concepts and practices in the context of the Cyber Domain.


  1. Humanities and Social Sciences: Graduates apply concepts from the humanities and social sciences to understand and analyze the human condition.


WGCD 6.1 : Understand, analyze, and know how to influence human behavior.

WGCD 6.2 : Analyze the history, diversity, complexity, and interaction of cultures.

WGCD 6.3 : Analyze political, legal, military, and economic influences on social systems.

WGCD 6.4 : Engage in and reflect on cross cultural experiences.

WGCD 6.5 : Integrate the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences in decision-making.


  1. Disciplinary Depth: Graduates integrate and apply knowledge and methodological approaches gained through in-depth study of an academic discipline.


WGCD 7.1 : Apply disciplinary tools, methods of inquiry, and theoretical approaches.

WGCD 7.2 : Identify and explain representative questions and arguments of their chosen disciplines.

WGCD 7.3 : Recognize limits of a discipline as well as areas in which it contributes to intellectual inquiry and problem solving.

WGCD 7.4 : Synthesize knowledge and concepts from across their chosen disciplines.

WGCD 7.5 : Contribute disciplinary knowledge and skills as a part of a collaborative effort engaging challenges that span multiple disciplines.



The United States Military Academy is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801 (267-284-5011). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.




The Academic Program is that broad structure within USMA which is responsible for the intellectual development of cadets.  It consists of courses, minors, majors, activities, and departments, and is headed by a Brigadier General, the Dean of the Academic Board.



Army Regulation 150-1, United States Military Academy Organization, Administration and Operation states that First Class cadets who have successfully completed the requirements of the course of instruction, including academic, military, physical, and character development programs; have maintained prescribed standards of conduct; and who have demonstrated proper moral-ethical qualities, leadership, and character may receive a diploma signed by the Superintendent, USMA, the Commandant of Cadets, and the Dean of the Academic Board. These cadets will have earned the Bachelor of Science degree and will be designated graduates of USMA. Graduation requirements for all four programs -- academic, military, physical, and character -- and institutional (non-program) requirements by class year are available through the following link: Classes of 2024-2026, and Classes of 2024-2026 Addendum, Class of 2027.



To satisfy the academic portion of these graduation requirements, a cadet must:


As part of the West Point experience, a cadet is required to complete requirements and achieve minimum standards in four developmental programs within the USMA West Point Leader Development System (WPLDS). Within the WPLDS, the military program score (MPS), the physical program score (PPS), and the academic program score (APS) combine to form the cadet performance score (CPS). The score is calculated by first normalizing each program score to a mean zero and standard deviation of one and then calculating a weighted average based on a cadet’s three normalized scores.  A complete explanation of the calculation of the CPS, which ultimately determines a cadet’s class rank, can be found at this link (CPS Calculation).  The APS is based on performance in courses within the Academic Program and does not include military science and physical education courses. Refer to DPOM 02-01 for APS computation details. Cadets who are deficient in one or more of the four developmental programs for failure to maintain minimum program performance standards may be considered by the Academic Board for separation.


The United States Military Academy’s academic curriculum has two significant structural features. The first is a core of twenty-four academic courses that the Academy considers essential to the broad base of knowledge necessary for all graduates and a three-course core engineering sequence for those cadets who do not choose to major in engineering. This core academic curriculum, when combined with physical education and military science,  provides USMA cadets with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary for future officers in the U.S. Army. The second structural feature is the opportunity to specialize and explore an area in depth through the selection of an academic major consisting of not less than thirteen required or elective courses.



Although 'course' is a commonly used word in curriculum descriptions, USMA has the following requirements for an educational experience to be termed a 'course.' Each course is different in many specific ways. In general, however, there are guidelines for any course of instruction which contribute to its being worthy of academic credit. The development of a course along the following lines is what is required for a course to be included for academic credit on a cadet’s academic transcript.


Course outcomes that require new learning experiences.  Learning involves a change in capabilities or dispositions that can be attributed to experience. "Change" usually implies students acquiring a new capability or disposition: what they know (knowledge), how they use what they know (intellectual skills), how they think, what they can do (physical skills), or what they value (attitudes and values). Learning is not normally considered as maintenance of already acquired capabilities. A course of instruction then is the purposeful arrangement of experiences designed to facilitate intended change in students' capabilities or dispositions which we represent by course outcomes.


A valid, comprehensive method of evaluating student mastery of course outcomes.  Student evaluation is a critical component of the learning process and must be present in a course of instruction. We recognize that evaluation methods and the frequency of evaluation will vary as a function of course outcomes; however, the evaluation method should assess students’ mastery of course outcomes and should permit valid inferences about student learning.


If a course of instruction meets the preceding two guidelines, then the awarding of credit hours should be based on a calculation of planned time (40 hours of planned time associated with 1.0 credit hour). A 3.0 credit hour course usually requires 40 instructor contact hours with two hours of preparation required for each hour in class: 40 lessons at 3hrs/lesson (1 contact hour in-class and 2 hours of outside preparation) = 120 hours = 3.0 credit hours; 30 lessons at 4hrs/lesson (1.25 contact hours in-class and 2.75 hours of outside preparation) = 120 hours = 3.0 credit hours.



The minimum load that all cadets must carry under normal circumstances is five academic courses which are equal to or greater than 15 semester hours of credit. Cadets may elect to take six academic courses in the pursuit of certain academic majors. In addition, cadets will meet established requirements for physical education courses and military science core curriculum during a regular academic semester.

During the summer, the Military Academy provides opportunities to pursue Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) and to complete coursework in the Summer Term Academic Plan (STAP). Under some circumstances, STAP may be used to reduce a course load during the academic year to five courses per term.



Cadets are considered overloading when they are carrying seven academic courses in a term. Overload courses offer the means of adapting an academic program to capitalize upon a cadet’s abilities and to satisfy a particular interest. During the Third, Second, and First Class years, cadets may wish to enroll in one overload course for each term. Approval will depend upon demonstrated ability and motivation. Specifically, Dean’s List recognition in the preceding term is required. Cadets with a Cumulative Quality Point Average (CQPA) of 2.30 or higher may overload in their First Class year. The designated overload course must be a course that can be dropped without jeopardizing any academic graduation requirements (e.g., core courses, primary major courses). 

Cadets are required to designate which of their courses is the designated overload course. No change in this designation will be permitted after the term begins. A cadet who enrolls in an overload course and finds it unsuited to his or her needs may request withdrawal from the overload course through the Academic Affairs and Registrar Services (AARS), Office of the Dean, any time after the first month of the term and up until the beginning of Term End Examinations (TEE). The Dean may remove a cadet from an overload course for poor performance in that course or in any other course.



Advanced Placement test scores and previous high school or college academic records are reviewed by the academic departments to determine whether a cadet is eligible for validation of certain courses. Many academic departments use examinations and personal interviews, in addition to screening academic records, to assist in their evaluation. When the process is completed, a cadet may be offered the opportunity to validate a course. Once validated, the decision to take the course is entirely the cadet’s to make; cadets should keep in mind, however, that they may have to replace the validated course with another course. The significant aspects of validation are that it is voluntary, and that, while it excuses a cadet from taking a course, it does not reduce graduation course requirements. Validated courses will be reflected without credit hours on the transcript. However, the credit hour content of validated courses is recognized as contributing appropriate disciplinary content towards meeting programmatic rigor for accreditation purposes.



The two charts below further highlight an overview of the academic program. The first chart, figure 1, presents the curriculum in overall blocks of course requirements. The second chart, figure 2, presents the typical sequence of courses taken over eight semesters during a cadet’s 47-month experience.



Fig 1: Overview of the Academic Program (with additional MS and PE courses) – Class of 2023 and beyond*



*Courses in blue are Math, Science and Engineering (MSE) courses. Courses in red are Humanities and Social Science (HSS) courses. Courses in black are courses affiliated with each academic major. Courses in green are credit bearing courses from the Military and Physical Programs. Integrative Curricular Components are described below.




Fig 2: Typical Sequence of Courses – 8 Term Academic Program (8TAP) – Class of 2023 and beyond







The foundation of the academic program at USMA is 24 core courses and three courses in an engineering sequence for those cadets who do not choose a major in engineering. For most cadets the first year is a common academic experience including, in term 2, the selection of a major, followed by the selection of a three-course engineering sequence in the Fall of Third Class year.


Designed to provide educational breadth, the 24 academic core courses are listed below along with alternate sequences or courses. Cadets may be enrolled in authorized alternative courses to the academic core curriculum based on placement testing and/or validations. Alternative courses are usually more advanced versions of the basic core courses.


Fig. 3. The 24 Core Academic Courses (and Alternates) by Discipline



Mathematics, Science, and Engineering (MSE)

Within the core academic curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on mathematics, science, and engineering. The MSE sequence provides each cadet with a fundamental knowledge of the experimental and analytic techniques of the basic sciences. This sequence begins in the Fourth Class year with two semesters of mathematics, one semester of chemistry, one semester of physical geography, and one semester of calculus-based physics. Physical geography or physics may be delayed until the Third Class year depending on faculty resources and cadet preferences. The coursework continues in the Third Class year with one semester of statistics and an additional science depth course that cadets select based on their major and their interests.

Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS)

Additionally, the core curriculum includes a strong pre-professional sequence of courses from the humanities and social sciences to develop an awareness of the people, government, and society that the commissioned officer will serve. This sequence begins in the Fourth Class year with two semesters of history, one semester of literature, and one semester of psychology. It continues in the Third Class year with one semester each of political science, philosophy, and economics. The Second Class year includes one semester of international relations, one semester of military history, and one semester of military leadership. The First Class year’s contribution to this sequence of professional development is found in a one-semester course in constitutional and military law and one semester of a capstone course titled “Officership.”


Information Technology/Cyber

The core curriculum also includes an information technology/cyber sequence (IT/CYBER) designed to ensure that every academy graduate is comfortable with and capable of securely using computers and information technology in an Army that must fight and win in an overarching cyber domain. IT/CYBER skills are first developed through an introductory information technology/cyber course in the Fourth Class year and the integration of computer and cyber applications throughout the core curriculum and particularly in the IT/CYBER requirement in the Second or First Class year. The IT/CYBER requirement may be fulfilled with the core course, CY305, Cyber Foundations or through existing course coverage of cyber topics in particular majors (in this case, the cadet will be required to fulfill a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] depth requirement with another STEM course – see listing of core courses below).


Foreign Language

Most cadets will begin their study of a foreign language in Third Class year. If a cadet expresses an interest, however, the sequence may be started in Fourth Class year (contingent on seat availability and discretion of the Registrar). All cadets will take at least two semesters of one of the eight foreign languages offered. Course work will present perspectives from another culture, develop the ability to learn another language, provide an introductory level of proficiency in the language selected, and provide a firm foundation for further language study.

These features mean that the first two academic semesters are a common core experience for the majority of cadets, and most of the second two semesters are common as well. Individual alterations to the typical sequence can be made based on specific needs and capabilities. Cadets are encouraged to work closely with academic counselors when designing their academic programs.

Core Engineering Sequences (CES)

Cadets will seek counsel from their DACs in the beginning of their Third Class year to request a CES that complements their academic major and interests. The Registrar will fill CES enrollments based on cadet preferences and faculty availability. CES assignments typically cannot be changed after the initial assignment unless the cadet finds a cadet 'trade partner' in the same year group who is willing to make a swap.

IN - Infrastructure Engineering

MC300 Fundamentals of Engineering Mechanics and Design

CE350  Infrastructure Engineering

CE450 Construction Management


The Infrastructure Engineering Sequence focuses on the design, analysis, and construction of the built environment (i.e., man-made structures and facilities used to accommodate societies’ activities). Cadets learn about the importance of the infrastructure sectors, such as water, power, and transportation, and their inter-relationships. The first course, MC300 Fundamentals of Engineering Mechanics and Design, provides cadets with foundational engineering mechanics as the basis for all structural elements in the context of learning the engineering design process. In the second course, CE350 Infrastructure Engineering, cadets learn to identify, analyze, and assess the built environment, which is the infrastructure foundation for modern society. Expanding upon the structural systems introduced in the first course, cadets engage in learning about water and wastewater, power, transportation, solid waste, communications systems, public administration, and sustainment. In the third course, CE450 Construction Management, cadets learn how to plan and execute construction of the built environment. The culminating event that brings together the two previous courses is the designing, planning, and presenting of a construction briefing of a base camp in a combat theater of operations. Integral to all three courses is an active learning environment with emphasis on classroom demonstrations, virtual and physical simulations, and practical exercises.

CY - Cyber Engineering

CY300 Programming Fundamentals

CY350 Network Engineering and Management

CY450 Cyber Security Engineering


The Cyber Engineering Sequence focuses on fundamental cyber-enabling skills as well as current cyber-related issues, threats, vulnerabilities, and non-technical considerations. As the newest warfighting domain and branch of the Army, cyberspace presents new opportunities and demands for leaders to protect and exploit networks and information resources. Cyber leaders must understand computer systems, networks, and information assurance and be able to analyze, design, and evaluate such systems. The Cyber Engineering Sequence is designed to provide sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge for non-technical majors to establish a nucleus for subsequent learning and adaptation to rapid change. The first course, CY300 Programming Fundamentals, provides cadets with broad introduction to computer programming, which will allow them to design, build, and test small to medium programs. The second course, CY350 Network Engineering and Management, addresses the analysis, design, building, and testing of modern computer networks. Cadets implement and test wired and wireless networks using standard network models, protocols, and practices. In the final course, CY450 Cyber Security Engineering, cadets learn principles of information system security and best practices, and apply techniques and tools to evaluate and improve network security. The capstone integrative experience requires cadets to employ offensive and defensive cyber measures and consider the economic, socio-cultural, and political considerations that impact the technological solutions.

RO - Robotics Engineering

EE300 Fundamentals of Digital Logic

EE350 Basic Electrical Engineering

EE450 Military Robotic Systems


The Robotics Engineering Sequence focuses on developing a basic understanding of the electrical and electronic technologies used in the military. The fundamentals of electrical power generation and distribution, information processing, computing, communications, and robotics are some of the examples that are developed across the engineering sequence. The first course, EE300 Fundamentals of Digital Logic, provides cadets with a basic understanding of digital electronics that are used for information processing, digital communications, and computing. The second course, EE350 Basic Electrical Engineering, provides cadets with a basic understanding of the analog electronics that are used for power generation, sensor measurements, electric motors, and radio communications. The final course, EE450 Military Electronic Systems, employs a semester-long robotics design project applied to a military setting. Cadets use previous course materials to understand how the robot works, the limitations and difficulties of programming artificial intelligence used in a military setting with a decision-making model to consider the economic, socio-cultural, and political considerations that impact the technological solutions.

EV - Environmental Engineering

EV300 Environmental Science

EV350 Environmental Engineering Technologies

EV450 Environmental Engineering for Community Development


The Environmental Engineering Sequence focuses on current environmental issues and designing viable, sustainable solutions to them. The sequence emphasizes the science and engineering commonly used to protect public health and the environment. The experience gained allows graduates to address multiple perspectives across relevant Army topics such as installation drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, energy, and environmental stewardship. The first course, EV300 Environmental Science, provides Cadets with a broad understanding of what the term “environmental issues” encompasses on a global and local scale. Cadets analyze the influences, especially human, that cause change in the balance of the Earth’s natural and biological cycles. The second course, EV350 Environmental Engineering Technologies, explores environmental engineering from a unit process and mass balance approach. Cadets solve fundamental problems in drinking water, wastewater, air pollution, and solid/hazardous waste that would be encountered in a developed country. The final course, EV450 Environmental Engineering for Community Development, employs a semester-long design project to engineer solutions for a real-world case study in a developing world community. Cadets use a value-based decision-making model to consider the economic, socio-cultural, and political considerations that impact the technological solutions.

NE - Nuclear Engineering

NE300 Fundamentals of Nuclear Engineering

NE350 Radiological Engineering Design

NE450 Nuclear Weapons and Weapons Effects


The Nuclear Engineering Sequence studies the practical use of the energy that is released by the nucleus. Applications extend into the fields of power generation, medicine, nuclear weapons, and nuclear weapons effects. The sequence is designed to provide introductory knowledge in the applications of nuclear energy and what Army officers should know about nuclear reactors, radiation health physics, radiation detection, and nuclear weapons and weapons effects. The first course, NE300 Fundamentals of Nuclear Engineering, provides cadets with an understanding of the nuclear particles and interactions important to the fission process. Cadets learn about radioactivity, the interactions of radiation with matter, and how to determine the state of criticality of a nuclear system. The second course, NE350 Radiological Engineering Design, explores the biological effects of radiation, the fundamentals of radiation protection and detection, the widespread medical and industrial uses of radiation technology, and the transportation, treatment, and disposal of radioactive waste. NE350 employs a semester-long nuclear application design project to engineer solutions for a given realistic situation. Cadets use a decision-making model to consider the economic, social, and political considerations that impact a technological solution. The final course, NE450 Nuclear Weapons Effects, introduces cadets to the basic design of nuclear weapons, and the full spectrum of their effects once employed. As future Army officers, cadets gain a necessary understanding of the risks to their soldiers operating in a nuclear environment, and what they need to know to mitigate those risks. In addition, NE450 hosts a Table-top exercise given by National Defense University experts. In this exercise, cadets consider the social, economic, and political aspects that may lead nations to seek or to employ weapons of mass destruction.

SE - Systems Engineering

SE300 Introduction to Systems Engineering

SE350 Systems Modeling and Design

SE450 Applied Systems Design and Decision Making




SE301 Foundation of Engineering Design and Systems Management

EM384 Analytical Methods for Engineering Management

SE450 Applied Systems Design and Decision Making


The Systems Engineering Sequence exposes Cadets to the fundamentals of the discipline, equips them with some of the more essential tools to facilitate modeling and analysis, and develops an inherent ability to use the Systems Decision Process (SDP) to solve complex problems. The Systems Engineering discipline develops and manages interdisciplinary engineering teams that develop, design, and implement systems. The first course, SE300/SE301 Introduction to Systems Engineering, provides the baseline approach to the fundamentals of systems thinking, systems engineering, and systems decision making. Cadets learn the methodological framework and techniques for designing, implementing, managing, and reengineering complex systems or processes and their life cycles, which they are taught using the SDP. The second course, SE350/EM384 Systems Modeling and Design focuses on developing a solid foundation of modeling principles, with a particular emphasis on spreadsheet modeling; instilling the ability to collect, clean, analyze system data; and developing the ability to apply both deterministic and stochastic techniques to model and analyze systems in support of the broader decision-making process. Cadets learn to apply these techniques to both military and industry-based systems, as well as systems they may encounter in their own disciplines. The sequence culminates with SE450 Applied Systems Design and Decision Making, which builds on the systems design and management skills learned in SE300/SE301, while incorporating material from courses in the USMA core curriculum. Cadets gain systems engineering experience via a semester-long integrative project that uses both the systems engineering design, modeling and analysis skills they have learned thus far, and the skills they have acquired in the core curriculum and their respective majors. Projects are selected to provide Cadets the experience of working for a real client with a real problem that requires an adaptive solution


Integrative Curricular Components (ICCs)


ICCs are parts of the curriculum that make thematic connections across selected courses or within the context of a course so that information and skills can be applied to novel and complex issues or challenges. In addition to the ICCs, the Academy offers many other interdisciplinary opportunities that cadets can choose, including the Interdisciplinary Humanities (XH), Science (XS), and Engineering (XE) courses and interdisciplinary minors. Courses can be found in Part 3 of the Redbook and Minors in Part 4.

ICCs include:



The word “thread” is used to describe a group of courses linked by shared themes.




The West Point Writing Program (WPWP) works across the curriculum to provide cadets and faculty with continuity, depth, and coherence in their study of composition, critical thinking, academic argument, writing pedagogy, and professional communication. In practice, it sets, assesses, and supports writing standards that prepare cadets to develop writing proficiency across the curriculum. Accordingly, it describes a pedagogical model and curricular principles that inform courses in the core and in individual majors, designated as First-Year Composition (FYC), Writing-in-the- Core (WiC), Writing-in-the-Major (WiM), and Writing-in-the-Profession (WiP). The overarching goal of the Writing Program is to provide cadets with continuity and coherence in their education so that all graduates are agile, clear, and thoughtful communicators. Particularly through Signature Writing Events, the Program encourages cadets to take ownership of their study and understand that writing effectively is integral to their professional development as officers and their lifelong learning.



The United States Military Academy’s curriculum requires cadets to complete at least one disciplinary depth component consisting of an academic major with a minimum of 13 courses. (Part 4 of the Redbook describes each academic major in detail.)


In general, an academic major at West Point consists of at least three components, which are listed below. All courses composing the thirteen-course major must be 3.0 credit hours or higher. Any courses beyond the minimum thirteen required for the major are not subject to this credit hour requirement.

  1. The foundation of the major can be found in a study-in-depth component which consists of a minimum of nine courses that may be a mixture of required and elective courses.
  2. The second component of every major is a collection of three Complementary Support Courses (CSCs). The purpose of these courses is to provide cadets a broader understanding of their academic majors through disciplinary diversity and choice. The courses support the major by either building a foundation of knowledge otherwise absent from the Core Curriculum but required for a complete major or enriching the major by providing alternative viewpoints or modes of thought.
  3. The final component of each major is an integrative experience course or courses. The integrative experience is designed to synthesize knowledge and skills nurtured in the core and major programs. Situated within the major, but drawing upon all goals, integrative experiences present cadets with professionally relevant situations that include political, social, economic, and technological issues and challenge cadets to anticipate and respond appropriately to opportunities and challenges in a changing world. 

The listing of each academic major in Part 4 of the Redbook also includes entries for the select core requirements. Some academic majors may require certain courses to fulfill these requirements: Science Depth, STEM Depth, IT/Cyber, Core Engineering Sequence, and the West Point Writing Program Writing-in-the-Major course. Courses from the core curriculum may not be counted as part of the thirteen-course requirement for an academic major.


Choosing an area of academic specialization is one of the most important academic decisions a cadet will make at the Military Academy.  Currently a major requires the commitment of a minimum of 13 courses. Once a cadet starts taking courses to support a major, it is very difficult and, in many cases, impossible to change to another major. Cadets are encouraged to seek guidance in arriving at this decision and to take the necessary time and effort to make that decision a good one.

Once a Fourth Class cadet designates a major, the cadet is passed from the company academic counselor to a counselor in the department that sponsors the chosen discipline. Departmental counselors then help the cadet plan the remaining six terms of his or her academic program, providing guidance on the sequencing of courses best designed to facilitate study of the discipline.

A minimum of 13 courses must be designated to fill the course requirements for the baseline area of academic specialization, arranged in semesters of five academic courses each. Cadets who choose an area requiring more than thirteen courses may need to complete additional academic courses (six or more) in future terms.


Through validation, advanced placement, or overload, it is possible for a cadet to meet the requirements for more than a single major. Each cadet must officially pursue and gain credit for one major. Beyond that requirement a cadet is free to pursue and gain transcript credit for additional majors provided he or she meets the following guidelines:





Academic minors are designed to encourage and reward intellectual curiosity by allowing cadets to pursue an area of interest beyond their chosen major. Academic minors are not a USMA graduation requirement.


USMA offers a variety of academic minors that focus on: (1) depth-of-study that is not quite as intensive as a major in the discipline, (2) depth-of-study in a field that is not offered as a major, or (3) interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in a field of study that warrants this approach.


The following guidelines apply to academic minors:








As a critical and essential part of the educational philosophy, it is important to articulate explicitly the Dean’s academic grading policies and philosophies. The Dean’s policies are described in Dean’s Policy and Operating Memoranda (DPOMs) and are located in a folder on the Dean’s SharePoint page, which is restricted to internal use only by applicable faculty and cadets.

Grading Philosophy

The foundation of USMA faculty’s grading philosophy is a commitment to evaluate cadets based on their achievement of announced course outcomes. Satisfactory performance on graded course requirements must therefore reflect satisfactory progress toward meeting course outcomes. USMA faculty establish reasonable academic standards of achievement in advance of cadets taking a course and taking tests. Their goal is not to rank order cadets against each other based on any preconceived concept of an appropriate grade distribution (curving). Instead, they challenge cadets to meet announced standards of performance and assign grades based on their success in doing so. The principal responsibility for academic performance rests with each individual cadet.

Grading Policies





For more information on these or other grading policies, please refer to DPOM 02-01, Gradekeeping.




For more information on course examinations, please refer to DPOM 02-03, Classroom and Related Departmental Procedures. 


In general, the academic departments describe the relative weight of their graded course requirements in terms of marks (points). Graded course requirements include, but are not limited to, daily writs, WPR, research papers, computer exercises, and TEE. Early in each course, each instructor should provide a list of the course requirements and their weights. Because there is no standard scale used by all departments for converting marks to grades, cadets should ascertain from their instructors during the first few lessons of each term how the various departments assign grades. 

Cadets can view a report of their grades online at least four times during each term. The first three reports are interim or progress reports. They are provided after the sixth, tenth, and fifteenth weeks of the term. The fourth report reflects final grades, average for the term, and cumulative average. Copies of the report are available in the Academic Affairs and Registrar Services (AARS), Office of the Dean, during the summer.

After TEEs have been graded, department heads assign final course grades using the A+ to F scale. These final course grades are assigned quality points in accordance with the following table:


Letter Grade

Quality Points

Letter Grade

Quality Points

Letter Grade

Quality Points

























Should a cadet resign or be separated during the term before the first TEE, his or her transcript for all courses will reflect a grade of W (Withdrawn) with no credit awarded.  Once the TEE cycle begins, cadets will receive a grade in every course in which they are enrolled.



The primary responsibility for attaining satisfactory academic performance rests with the individual cadet. Cadets must strive to achieve their highest level of academic excellence. To meet this responsibility, cadets have an obligation to know their academic status, manage their time, and establish priorities in such a manner as to accomplish this goal. The performance of academic duties is a significant part of the process of preparing for the acceptance of the duties and responsibilities of Army officers. The standard for performance of academic duties is the same as that for the performance of officer duties--excellence and one’s personal best.


Cadets must achieve a grade of D or better in all required academic (core and academic major), military science, and physical education courses. Grades of NC (no credit) may be awarded temporarily, but cadets must resolve the circumstances that resulted in the NC and be awarded a letter grade in order to receive credit for the course.

The Academic Board will consider the cases of all cadets who are recommended by a Department Head as deficient in a course. If the failed course is required by the cadet’s academic program, the course must be repeated in order to receive credit. Cadets may elect to repeat a course in which a grade of “D” was earned if their Academic Program Score (APSC) or Cumulative Quality Point Average (CQPA) is less than 2.00. Departments may make a request for an exception to the APSC/CQPA criteria as long as the request is coordinated with AARS and is approved by the department providing the repeated course. When cadets repeat a course, the original course with the grade earned will always remain on the transcript in the semester taken, as this was the historical record of events. A second entry is made for the same course in the term in which it is repeated and the appropriate grade shown. The grade in the course taken earlier must be a “D” or “F” and the latter grade earned will be used to compute the cadet's APSC/CQPA. The APSC/CQPA in subsequent terms is also adjusted. Refer to DPOM 02-01, Gradekeeping.

If a cadet is deficient in a course, the Academic Board may offer a reexamination in that subject as one course of action. Cadets who accept the reexamination will receive additional guidance from the Registrar’s office regarding scheduling and expectations. The reexamination shall occur within 60 days of the date of application. Cadets who fail the reexamination may not have another examination and their separation will be finalized. The Academic Board will consider the cases of all cadets who pass the reexamination to determine whether they are otherwise qualified for readmission to the Academy. Passing the reexamination does not remedy the course failure. Cadets readmitted under these procedures will normally repeat the failed course, if it is required. Refer to DPOM 02-02, End of Term Procedures.

Minimum Quality Point Averages

In addition to passing each required course, cadets must achieve a minimum CQPA of 2.00 in order to graduate. In order to monitor progress in the Academic Program and to signal substandard achievement, the Academic Board has established performance standards based on APS term (APST) and APS cumulative (APSC). The following table presents the minimally acceptable standards (also referred to as Program Evaluative Goals or PEG points) based on APS. Cadets with averages below those stated will be considered deficient in the Academic Program and will be reported to the Academic Board at the end of each term.







First Term

Second Term










First Term

Second Term










First Term

Second Term










First Term

Second Term









The APST is based on grades in all courses taken during a semester excluding Military Science and Physical Education. The APSC is based on grades in all courses previously taken at the Academy (excluding Military Science and Physical Education) except that grades in repeated courses replace prior grades of D and F.



Cadets who fall below the APSC levels shown in the table for the applicable semester will be reported deficient in the Academic Program to the Academic Board at term end. Cadets deficient in APSC may be considered by the Academic Board for separation for failure to attain minimum standards in the Academic Program.


Cadets deficient in APSC who are retained at the Academy will be placed on academic probation for the following term. Cadets whose APST is below 1.67 will also be placed on academic probation for the following term. Cadets are removed from academic probation at the end of the next term in which both their cumulative and term averages exceed the peg points in the table. Grades earned in the Summer Term Academic Program (STAP) may raise the APSC above the required peg point and remove a cadet from probation. In order to be removed from academic probation for term performance (APST failure), however, cadets must achieve better than a 1.67 in a full academic term (16 weeks).


A cadet placed on academic probation is subject to the following measures during the probationary period:






The purpose of an AIAD is to provide a venue for educational experiences that would not be possible within the usual framework of academic, military, and physical programs that comprise the 47-month USMA experience.


An AIAD is an activity offered by the U.S. Military Academy that is:



An AIAD may offer credit recorded on the USMA transcript. AIADs offering academic credit comply with existing administrative standards contained in Dean’s Policy and Operating Memorandums (DPOM 02-01, MADN-ARS, subject: Gradekeeping and DPOM 02-08, MADN-ARS, subject: Academic Administration), and undergo review by the Curriculum Committee.


For practical purposes, therefore, an AIAD offering academic credit will be treated as a course and Departmental proposals will be made IAW DPOM 05-05, MADN-ARS, subject: Managing Curricular Change, and guidance provided by the Dean of the Academic Board.





West Point’s Study Abroad Program (SAP) is, primarily, a language-based program, open to all cadets. Applications for SAP are normally solicited through the Cadet Information System in September or October of each year. Host institutions are chosen for their ability to provide language training and education on other subjects matter in a secure environment. Cadets are chosen based on their ability to be successful at the university-level in a foreign language taught at West Point. Additional selection criteria include:


Final selections are based on a combination of factors that include funding, the number of slots available at partner institutions, 8TAP compatibility, and demonstrated language proficiency. During Study Abroad, cadets must take the equivalent of five USMA courses, three of which must be courses taught in the host institution’s native language. Additionally, course loads must be chosen to ensure there is no impact to “on-time” graduation.


Cadets interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Department of Foreign Languages (DFL) and the International Intellectual Development Division (IIDD).





USMA Cadets wishing to attend other U.S. Service Academics may apply to spend one semester away from USMA on the Service Academy Exchange Program (SAEP). The process starts with an application through the United States Corps of Cadets (USCC) Leader Development Branch (LBD) in January of yearling year. Typically, the LBD will send an email to all eligible cadets with an application form. To be eligible, a yearling must have at least a 3.0 in each pillar (APSC, PPSC, MPSC).





Each academic department offers important supplementary programs and assistance to give cadets specific guidance in academic matters. This guidance assists cadets in overcoming academic weaknesses and in exploiting academic strengths.


Additional Instruction (AI):   Departments are encouraged to arrange times for AI that are mutually agreeable to cadets and the department. It is the responsibility of each cadet to request additional instruction. Specific guidance on AI hours and procedures will be provided by each department.


Academic Counseling:   The Academic Affairs and Registrar Services (AARS), Office of the Dean, coordinates the faculty-based academic counseling programs available to each cadet. Within the Counseling Branch there are counselors available during normal working hours on a walk-in basis. They can discuss elective choices, schedules, course changes, and overloads and can affect any changes in a cadet's program. One volunteer faculty member serves as a Company Academic Counselor (CAC) for each company and can help cadets on most academic matters or make referrals to the proper authority in the Dean's Office or academic departments. In addition, the CAC's have formal academic counseling responsibility for all cadets in each company who have not yet selected a major. Upon selection of a major, cadets are assigned to the Department Academic Counselors (DAC) of the appropriate academic department. Finally, within the cadet chain of command there are a Cadet Company Academic Officer and an Academic Sergeant who can advise on the grading system, company tutors, additional instruction, and other matters.


The Mounger Writing Center:   Located on the second floor of Jefferson Hall, the Mounger Writing Center (MWC) sponsors one-on-one consultations, group workshops, and special events for all cadets working on writing and communications projects for any academic course, personal interest, or professional opportunity.


Center For Enhanced Performance (CEP):  The CEP improves student performance and capacity for retention by educating and training cadets in performance enhancement techniques. These techniques can be gained by specialized training provided by the performance enhancement staff and the courses the Center offers each academic term.









Excellence in academic pursuits has long been the measure of an individual’s self-discipline and self-growth. Recognition of excellence has been the keystone of West Point's educational philosophy for over 200 years. The academic excellence of cadets is recognized throughout their four years at the Military Academy and is expressed in more than 100 awards. Just as such awards reflect an individual commitment to academic excellence in undergraduate study, they also reflect a strong foundation for graduate and post graduate work.




USMA recognizes outstanding cadet achievement with Latin Honor distinctions on the transcripts starting with the Class of 2021 (May 2021 graduation). These distinctions recognize approximately 35% of a graduating class. The following distinctions are easily recognized by graduate school admissions and future employers:


  Latin Honor Distinction   Definition   Criteria*
  summa cum laude   "with highest praise"

  CPS Cutoff - Top 5% of a

  previous graduating class

  magna cum laude   "with great praise"

  CPS Cutoff - Top 6-20% of a

  previous graduating class

  cum laude   "with praise"

  CPS Cutoff - Top 21-35% of a

  previous graduating class

*Cadets are provided with clear CPS goals at the beginning of the First-Class Year based on the previous year’s graduating class performance.


The Latin Honors Distinction is awarded on the transcript for cumulative excellence in all four cadet pillars – Academic, Military, Physical, and Character – and should not be confused with the Academic Majors “with Honors” distinction, which reflects excellence in the major and often additional coursework above the minimum 40 courses required for the B.S. degree.



Distinguished Cadets:  Distinguished Cadets are those cadets who demonstrate academic excellence by achieving a Year Quality Point Average (YQPA) greater than or equal to the top 15th percentile of the prior class’s performance. Distinguished Cadets must carry a full academic load and have not received an F or NC grade (except for a NC in physical education for medical reasons) for courses taken during the Academic Year to which the award pertains. An annotation of Distinguished Cadet is reflected on the academic transcript.


Dean's List:  Selected cadets are recognized for academic achievement on the Dean’s List. Dean’s List criteria is a Term Quality Point Average (TQPA) of 3.00 or better considering all courses in the academic program taken during the semester, including military science and physical education. Cadets who are under-loaded (take less than the minimum five academic courses) or receive a W, F, or NC (except an NC in physical education for medical reasons) in any course taken that term are ineligible for Dean’s List recognition. The cadet’s academic transcripts will contain the notation “Dean’s List” for all those so designated.


Superintendent's Award:  The Superintendent’s Award is a prestigious award given to cadets who prove themselves to be outstanding simultaneously in all three programs (Academic, Military, and Physical). It is based on the Cadet Award Score (CAS) which is a combination of the three program scores (APS, MPS, and PPS) applying equal weight to each. It has two levels of recognition, both of which are based on demonstrated performance: achievement and excellence. The insignia for the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence is a gold star encircled by a gold wreath; it is presented to the top 5% of cadets in each class based on CAS.


The insignia for the Superintendent’s Award for Achievement is a gold wreath; it is presented to the next 15% of the cadets in each class based on CAS. As with other individual awards, additional criteria apply.


Dean’s Company Award:  The Dean’s Company Award recognizes academic achievement by a company during the fall and spring terms. Performance in the academic program is determined by the average of the term Academic Program Score (APS) of all cadets in the company. The company with the highest average APS in each regiment receives a gold streamer to be attached to the company guidon. A silver streamer is awarded to any company with a company with an average APS of 3.0 or higher.


As stated in the Academic Course Load section above, a full academic load is defined as five academic courses which are equal to or greater than 15 semester hours of credit under normal circumstances. Cadets are eligible for these awards if they maintained a full academic load of five academic courses per semester or, alternately, 1) maintained a minimum of four academic courses of at least 3.0 credit hours during each relevant term, and 2) took enough academic courses of at least 3.0 credit hours during STAP to have completed the same academic load as required for their Class at the end of the relevant academic term or year.



Cadets are encouraged to compete for a number of nationally recognized graduate scholarships and fellowships. The West Point Scholars Program (WPSP) serves four main functions: provide advanced development for cadets, provide intellectual capital to the Army, strengthen partnerships and bridge the civ-mil divide, and provide strategic recruitment benefit to the Academy. The WPSP Support Cell consists of the Associate Dean for Enrichment, who serves as the Primary Executive on behalf of the Dean and under the supervision of the Vice Dean for Operations, the Head Academic Advisor, and the Medical School Advisor. All cadet applications are screened and managed by the executive agent for each scholarship program listed below. Executive agents are academic departments that are selected by the Dean of the Academic Board to house and supervise individual scholarship programs. Each executive agent maintains their own approval process in accordance with the WPSP SOP. The Academic Board will approve the list of applicants. West Point will only sponsor cadets approved through the executive agents. Refer to DPOM 06-03, West Point Scholars Program, for more information. The following list of opportunities for cadets may vary from year to year, and includes programs that cadets begin immediately upon graduation, are deferred until later, or are opportunities that exist only after graduation.

In a typical year, cadets who are selected into the Graduate Scholarship Program (GSP) may compete for the Rhodes Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarships, and a number of other graduate scholarships.  STEM students selected into the Technical Scholars Program (TSP) may also compete for the Hertz Foundation Scholarship, Churchill Scholarships, and select STEM-specific programs. Students from underrepresented communities in STEM fields that are enrolled in the Excel Scholars Program (ESP) may compete for the GEM Fellowship program. All of these programs begin after graduation.


Selected cadets may also compete for the Truman Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, both of which are deferred until mid-career.


The USMA Graduate Scholarship Program maintains the current list of scholarship and fellowship opportunities.




Transcripts:  Permission must be given in writing by the cadet (or former cadet) before transcripts will be released.  Transcripts of academic records are available at Academic Affairs and Registrar Services (AARS), Office of the Dean.


Academic Evaluations:  Upon request, faculty members will provide cadets with academic evaluations using USMA Form 3-230 which is available in the Office of the Dean. These forms permit the Office of the Dean with a cadet’s authorization under the provisions of the Privacy Act to provide selected information to designated institutions, agencies, or individuals. In most cases, the Office of the Dean will use these forms and other information in the cadet file as a basis for an official assessment of graduate school potential. Cadets are encouraged to seek academic evaluation by instructors during the Second and First Class years.


Qualifying Examinations:  Most graduate or professional schools require that prospective students report their score on a nationally recognized qualifying examination before acceptance is granted. Cadets are responsible for arranging to take any of the examinations which may be required for admission to a graduate or professional program.



Medical School (West Point Pre-Medical Scholarship Program):  In accordance with Army Regulation (AR) 601-141, the Department of Defense permits two percent of each graduating class to attend medical school under military sponsorship. The Superintendent is responsible for the selection of cadet applicants for the Uniformed Services University (USU) and Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). The management of this process is accomplished through the West Point Pre-Medical Scholarship Program coordinated by a pre-medical advisor in the Office of the Dean in concert with faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Life Science.


Core competencies prescribed by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) include proficiency in pre-professional activities, thinking and reasoning, and science competencies. Cadets demonstrate aptitude in these areas through academic success, performance on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), clinical exposure, research, volunteer work, and community service. Undergraduate course requirements for medical schools vary, and cadets are encouraged to explore specific course recommendations for their schools of interest. Core competencies and minimum program requirements are listed below.


AAMC Core Competencies


Pre-professional Activities Thinking and Reasoning Science Competencies
Capacity for improvement Critical thinking Human behavior
Cultural competence Quantitative reasoning Living systems
Ethical responsibility Scientific inquiry  
Oral communication Written communication  
Reliability and dependability    
Resilience and adaptability    
Service orientation    
Social skills    


Pre-Medical Program Requirements



An annotation in the Academy Management System (AMS) will identify members of the scholarship program. The West Point pre-medical advisor, in coordination with Department Academic Counselors (DACs), will enter cadets into the program after majors have been selected. Participation in the scholarship program will be based on academic performance as well as commitment to the program requirements detailed above. Cadets in any major may apply for the pre-medical program. Some disciplines include pre-medical courses within requirements for their major while others necessitate overloading. When pre-medical courses are oversubscribed, the final determination for admission will be made by the Department of Chemistry and Life Science (CLS) with input from the pre-medical advisor in the Office of the Dean. Factors for consideration will include commitment to the pre-medical program, participation in the West Point Pre-Medical Society, progress in meeting the program requirements outlined above, and meeting APSC PEG points for each course.


The USMA course requirements and PEG points are as follows:


USMA Course Requirements APSC PEG point
General chemistry with lab - 1 year N/A
Organic chemistry with lab - 1 year 3.0
Biochemistry - 1 semester 3.2
Biology with lab - 1 semester 3.0
Physiology with lab - 1 semester 3.2
Physics with lab - 1 year N/A
Calculus - 1 semester N/A
Probability and statistics - 1 semester N/A
English - 1 year N/A


The West Point Pre-Medical Society (WPPMS) serves as a conduit for information flow and activities related to the Pre-Medical Scholarship Program. The Society coordinates the Keller Army Community Hospital shadowing program, organizes volunteer service and invites guest speakers. Mentored by an officer-in-charge from CLS, the cadet club chain of command coordinates activities and programs of interest for pre-medical cadets. All cadets interested in attending medical school are strongly encouraged to join this pre-med club.


Summer programs are integral to the cadet experience. The following two summer programs are designed to optimize opportunities for participants in the scholarship program:


a)     CLDT + 1: this program enables rising second class cadets to attend CLDT and meet one other requirement (CTLT or AIAD/MIAD/PIAD) which facilitates participation in the Pre-Med STAP program. Cadets are selected based on success across all pillars.


b)     Pre-Med STAP: this program enables rising first class cadets to complete preparation for the MCAT, take the exam, and prepare medical school applications.


Endorsement to attend medical school directly from West Point is made by the Medical Program Advisory Committee (MPAC). This multidisciplinary group includes representatives from Keller Army Community Hospital, CLS, the Army Medical Department, USCC and the Dean’s staff. Formal applications are submitted in the spring of second-class year. The committee meets in April and selects up to two percent of the cadets as primary endorsees. Additional alternates may be selected. Initial selections are provisional pending final second semester grades and MCAT scores. Cadets are required to take the MCAT no later than mid-June and must meet the GPA and MCAT requirements of the program (3.2 GPA, 500 MCAT, 124 section scores) to receive final endorsement. These cadets receive a committee letter written by the pre-medical advisor for inclusion in their medical school applications.


Once accepted, cadets are fully funded to attend medical school. They may attend the Uniformed Services University (USU) or any civilian medical school in the United States. Students at civilian schools receive funding through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).


Please direct any questions you have to the pre-medical advisor in the Academic Affairs and Registrar Services Office.


Other Graduate School Opportunities:  Other graduate school opportunities may be available to cadets in specific disciplines and branches. Please see the appropriate Department Academic Counselors and branch representatives to learn more.





The following opportunities are examples of graduate programs for Officers post commissioning. These programs appear here for general awareness.


Law School:  After two years of active duty, USMA graduates may apply to attend law school under the provisions of the Judge Advocate General’s [Funded Legal Education] Program. Selection for the program is contingent upon successful completion of the Law School Admissions Test, favorable consideration by the Judge Advocate General selection board, and acceptance into an approved law school.


George Olmstead Foundation Scholarship:  Mid-career graduates may also compete for the George Olmstead Foundation Scholarship.