United States Air Force Academy

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Leading With Expertise and Courage

MILITARY & STRATEGIC STUDIES

A major in Military & Strategic Studies prepares you to lead and operate across the spectrum of conflict throughout the world. This program explores the uniquely demanding context of the military profession—morality and the human face of war, the future of the Air Force profession, comparative air forces, hybrid threats, societal and technical innovation, operational concepts, intelligence, and military strategies for joint, coalition, and interagency operations across diverse cultures.

The MSS major strengthens problem solving and decision making skills and directly prepares cadets to excel at the Air Force mission and beyond. MSS majors learn to think as strategists, framing the battle space, and evaluating theories, models and perspectives for the artful future application of military and strategic power.

During their third-class (or sophomore) year, cadets select a research topic in our research methods course. With the help of an advisor, they design what will become their senior thesis or final Cadet Battle Laboratory project. During their first-class (or senior) year, cadets author their capstone project with guidance from a faculty advisor and have an opportunity to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal, including our Airman-Scholar Journal.

MSS majors have a variety of summer research programs and internships available to them—cadets have worked at Arizona State University, the Air Force Special Operations School, the Naval Postgraduate School and White Sands Missile Range.

Whether officers make the Air Force a career, pursue other public service, or enter the private sector, this versatile major has direct relevance for any chosen profession and will help develop the capabilities and mindset to compete successfully in a changing and challenging world. Officers’ ability to think strategically and creatively when faced with the complex operational challenges of the 21st century security environment determines the effectiveness of that Air Force leader, and this ability to ‘think strategically’ transfers to a life after the Air Force.

POTENTIAL JOB ASSIGNMENTS
Within the Air Force
  • 11X – Pilot
  • 11UX – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot
  • 12X – Combat Systems Officer
  • 13BX – Air Battle Manager
  • 13C1 – Special Tactics
  • 13D1 – Combat Resuce
  • 13L1 – Air Liason Officer
  • 31PX – Security Forces Officer
  • 14NX – Intelligence Officer
  • 13NX – Nuclear and Missile Operations Officer
  • 17X – Cyberspace Operations Officer
Outside the Air Force
  • Military Analyst
  • Defense Contractor
  • Security Contractor
  • Department of Defense
  • Strategy Manager
  • Strategic Planning Director

SAMPLE COURSES
  • Weapons, Warfare and Mass Disruption
  • Wargaming Airpower
  • Special Operations in Eurasia
  • Space as an Element of National Power
  • Irregular Warfare in Africa and the Middle East
SUGGESTED COURSE SEQUENCE
4th CLASS YEAR (FRESHMAN) 3RD CLASS YEAR (SOPHOMORE) 2ND CLASS YEAR (JUNIOR) 1ST CLASS YEAR (SENIOR)
Beh Sci 110

Chem 100

Com Sci 110

English 111

Engr 101

For Lang 1

For Lang 2

History 100

Math 141

Math 142

Physics 110

Chem 200

Econ 201

English 211

EngrMech 220

History 300

Law 220

MSS 200

MSS 365

MSS Strategy 1

Physics 215

Pol Sci 211

Philos 310

Aero Engr 315

BehSci 310

Biology 315

ECE 315

Math 300

MSS 415

MSS 490/491

MSS Domain

MSS Strategy 2

Philos 311

SocSci 412

Sys Opt Geo 310

AstroEngr310

Academy Opt

English 411

Mgt 400

MSS 498

MSS Opp

MSS Opp

MSS Opp

MSS Elective

Soc Sci 412

For full program requirements and course descriptions, download the current Curriculum Handbook.

CONTACT US

Mr. Jim Schlagheck
Department Personnel Officer and Chief Academic Advisor
Jim.Schlagheck@usafa.edu
(719) 333-9433

WANT TO STUDY MILITARY & STRATEGIC STUDIES?