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 Liaison 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
Engr Mech 220
History 300
Law 220
MSS 251
MSS 298
MSS Strategy 1
Physics 215
Pol Sci 211
Philos 310
Aero Engr 315
BehSci 310
Biology 315
ECE 315
Math 300
SocSci 311
MSS 490/491
MSS Specialization 1
MSS Strategy 2
Philos 311
MSS Specialization 2
Sys Opt Geo 310
AstroEngr310
Academy Opt
English 411
Mgt 400
MSS 498
MSS Elective
MSS Elective
MSS Elective
MSS Strategy 3
Soc Sci 412

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

CONTACT US

Dr. John Farquhar
Chief, Academic Administration
John.Farquhar@usafa.edu
(719) 333-9435

WANT TO STUDY MILITARY & STRATEGIC STUDIES?