United States Air Force Academy

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Your Role in Strategic Deterrence

NUCLEAR WEAPONS & STRATEGY (MINOR)

The Nuclear Weapons and Strategy minor provides a pathway for cadets from all majors to build the technical and strategic foundation to lead the United States Air Force in the second nuclear age.

Nuclear weapons play an essential role in the strategic deterrence of adversaries and the current limited nature of warfare. The Nuclear Weapons and Strategy minor at the Academy focuses on the enduring fundamentals of the nuclear enterprise. This includes the origin of nuclear energy, strategic policy, proliferation, and the effects of radiation as a result of nuclear reactions.

The skills and abilities developed in the Nuclear Weapons and Strategy minor are of high importance to the execution of the Air Force’s nuclear mission and maintenance of the Air Force nuclear stockpile.

Cadets in the minor must have a Secret security clearance.

POTENTIAL JOB ASSIGNMENTS
Within the Air Force

Graduates can work for a range of organizations,
including Air Force Global Strike Command, NNSA,
USSTRATCOM, AFNWC, DTRA, AFTAC and DIA

Outside the Air Force
  • Research and Development
  • Defense Contractor
  • National Laboratories
  • Policy Think Tanks
REQUIRED COURSES

Cadets will earn the minor by completing five courses (15 semester hours):

Physics 310 Principles of Nuclear Science
Physics 354 Nuclear Weapons Engineering
Physics 450 Nuclear Weapons Effects
Soc Sci 467 Nuclear Weapons Policy and Strategy

 
Choose One of the following:

Pol Sci 302 American Foreign and National Security Policy
MSS 367 Weapons, Warfare, and Mass Disruption
Chem 350 Chemistry of Weapons
History 376 A History of Space Power
History 371 Airpower History

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

CONTACT US

Dr. Ryan Cress
Director of Nuclear Science
Ryan.cress@usafa.edu
(719) 333-3272