USMA's core curriculum is based in technology, engineering, science and math, and it's complemented by in-depth study depending upon what major you choose. The academic program offers a broad background in the arts and sciences, which allows cadets to become well-rounded leaders and also prepares them for future graduate study.
You won't get lost in the crowd at West Point, because classes are small, averaging only 12 to 18 cadets; not only do you get individual attention in the classroom, but you can request tutorial sessions, if needed. There's unparalleled support by the USMA faculty, most of whom live right on campus, and, in fact, West Point is regularly at the top of lists of colleges with the most-accessible faculty. Also and this is quite different from other high-quality colleges there are no teaching assistants at West Point; each class is taught by a fully trained and highly educated faculty member.
In addition to offering a top-notch college education, the West Point curriculum develops character, competence, and intellectual abilities the essential broad base of knowledge you'll need for success as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
At USMA, you'll participate in military training and study military science throughout your 47-month experience. Your field training will begin with Cadet Basic Training the day you enter West Point and will continue primarily in the summers as you gain opportunities to learn and practice the military skills and principles that are learned in the classroom, skills that will give you self-confidence and the assurance you'll need to effectively lead and mentor your Soldiers upon graduation.
Majors and Degrees Offered
It's a technological world out there, and of course today's Army relies heavily on science and technology. West Point offers a curriculum that readies cadets to be highly effective and intellectually skilled leaders. The academy's core curriculum consists of science, engineering, technology and math courses, and cadets choose their specialized studies from more than 40 majors that span the liberal arts, sciences and engineering disciplines that you would expect to find at any top-tier. Majors at West Point include: philosophy and literature, basic science, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, defense and strategic studies, economics, electrical engineering, electronic and information technology systems, engineering management, engineering psychology, environmental engineering, environmental geography, environmental science, environmental studies, foreign area studies (Africa, East Asia, Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East), foreign languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish), geospatial information science, history, human geography, law and legal studies, kinesiology, leadership, life science, management, mathematical sciences, mathematical studies, mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering studies, military art and science, nuclear engineering, nuclear engineering science, operations research, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, systems engineering, and systems management. At graduation, all cadets join the legendary "Long Gray Line" of West Point graduates having earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.
Duty. Honor. Country. Having produced two U.S. presidents, numerous generals, and 74 Medal of Honor recipients in its 210 years in existence, an institution such as West Point doesn’t need to hear outside praise. The rigorous admission process (you must be nominated by your Congressional representative just to apply) is just the start of the character building process on the way to “working hard to develop yourself into the best student, leader and officer you can be.” “It's a lot of work, you don't have a lot of free time, but the education you receive will pay dividends in the long run,” says a sophomore.
“Leadership is what West Point is all about,” and cadets are held to “high standards” of “selfless service to the U.S. people and Constitution” from the second they set foot on campus. The heavy academic load is “rigorous and very challenging,” but the professors (both civilian and officers) are “very personable” and “truly strive to stimulate our minds with the material they are teaching.” “They provide relevant and exciting application to material covered in class” and are “role models for the cadets to look at and emulate” (almost all professors live on campus). “I have never had a teacher here that doesn’t love their job. They really are here for our assistance,” says a cadet.
The classroom system “forces students to take responsibility for their own education” and “countless opportunities” are presented to cadets, “whether they be academic, athletic, or a hobby.” Classes are rarely bigger than eighteen cadets thereby setting the conditions for one-on-one with the professor, and are “100 percent discussion based,” “so…are always interesting.” As one physics and nuclear engineering major sums up: “West Point is not just an institution of higher learning. The academy is a culture that immerses me in academics, discipline, and physical rigors.”