The Military & Strategic Studies major sharpens and expands knowledge, skills and attitudes gained in your basic MSS core course on military theory and strategy for airmen. All MSS majors take four major's core courses, including Philosophy 311, an examination of the uniquely violent and ethically demanding context of the military profession, a forward-looking seminar in future concepts, and a two-year MSS research sequence concluding with a formal thesis paper and presentation on a topic of your choice. In your second-class year, you select a topic and publication submission outlet and with an advisor, experience your first research methods course, designing what will become your undergraduate capstone thesis. As a first-class cadet, you complete your major’s thesis and if it meets editor standards, submit it for publication.
MSS courses prepare you to delve into your chosen specialty with courses on military theory, global and regional contexts, and operational concepts. You select two of four theory courses to learn to think strategically, framing the battlespace with both classic and innovative concepts that help you comprehend dynamic contemporary operating environments. You become familiar with comparing military strategies in three regional courses (chosen from six), each of which analyzes emerging issues in an Area of Responsibility of a joint geographic command (AFRICOM, CENTCOM, EUCOM, NORTHCOM, PACOM, SOUTHCOM). You relate theory, strategy and doctrine to operational concepts in and across domains (air, space, cyber, surface), a two of four courses choice, to learn how to exploit conventional and unconventional approaches to counter threats. You will merge theory and practice in our three labs -- Air Warfare, Space Ops Education, and Military & Strategic Learning.
The MSS major includes an elective (any DF course 300-level or above). While you may use this in many ways, some cadets combine it with the Academy Option to earn a Foreign Language Minor. Finally, you will take the advanced version of the final MSS core course on contemporary joint operations which integrates strategy, intelligence and operations. Regardless of the choices you make, the MSS major strengthens your problem-solving and decision-making skills, and directly prepares you to excel in the US Air Force and beyond.