Welcome to the United States Army War College resident class of 2024. Your academic journey to Military Education Level I, a master’s degree in Strategic Studies, and Joint Professional Military Education – Level II certification is guided by the Army War College’s School of Strategic Landpower. Our “standard program” is rich with academic options, giving you the opportunity to tailor your time at Carlisle Barracks to best position you for your post-graduate assignments in national security. To that end, the school will use a series of assessments to help you, with the assistance of a faculty advisor, to devise an Individual Learning Plan. Your program will include required core and elective courses, rounded out with non-classroom experiences such as staff rides and guest speakers. You will help tailor your education through your choices with advanced opportunities, electives, research/teams, and micro programs. You will choose your region for Regional Studies, multiple elective courses, and design your research project with guidance from a project advisor. There are also a wide range of complementary programs available that will enrich your experience. Beyond the standard program, we offer special tracks that can accommodate a large number of students with many different interests. These include specializations which teach the core courses through specific strategic lenses. In academic year 2022, four Specializations included Advanced Strategic Arts Program (ASAP), Carlisle Scholars, National Security Policy Program, and Enterprise Management. We also offer a wide variety of other experiences that count toward graduation requirements, such as Integrated Research Projects, the Joint Land Air and Sea Strategic Exercise, and the Eisenhower Series College Program. These competitive special programs will be explained in detail to you after your arrival.

One thing U.S. students can do before arriving to make yourself a strong candidate for selection is to take the optional GRE. The War College will reimburse you for the expense after you arrive.

In addition to your professional education, the Army War College year provides opportunity to think about, change, and refine many aspects of your life. The wide range of activities - personal, professional, family, spiritual, and more - are presented with the expectation that each student will determine how to make the best use of time for a healthy, happy, productive academic year.


The basics

At Centralized In-Processing (31 July – 2 Aug), students will finalize their @armywarcollege.edu email accounts if they have not already completed this task during On-line In-Processing. These accounts are linked to the Army War College MS Office system through which most formal communication between students and the school will take place. Military students will retain Service.mil accounts for official communication.

With the exception of the summer reading material, all curriculum materials are provided by the college. The majority of course content is in a digital format available on an Army War College learning delivery platform. “Hard copy” book requirements will be available for pick up during the first week of August.

Students are encouraged to use personal portable computing devices, e.g., notebooks, netbooks, tablets, or smartphones – all welcome and encouraged in the seminar room. A wireless network is available in Root Hall, the academic building, and across most of the base buildings. All digital academic materials will be available, as well, through non-mobile computer stations in seminar rooms and the Root Hall Library.


The student body

The student body represents the diversity of the national security environment at the strategy level – joint, interagency, and multinational. The resident student body of approximately 380 students includes Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy and Coast Guard officers at the colonel/lieutenant colonel level, with approximately 22 years officer service, from Active, Reserve and National Guard. Army officers comprise no more than 60 percent of the student body. Additionally, the student body includes senior federal leaders and managers in national security and as many as 80 senior foreign officers from allied and partner nations around the world. Foreign officers are “International Fellows,” in recognition of their contributions of regional and cultural perspectives. IF and civilian students integrate into each AWC seminars. The International Fellows year begins several weeks before the academic year, with orientation to the U.S. and regional culture, history, government, industry, agriculture, and more, in support of State Department International Military Education and Training (IMET) objectives. Find a full description of the IF Program at International Fellows Program (armywarcollege.edu)


The Seminar

Student learning takes place in the AWC seminar which meets four days during a typical week for core courses. Each seminar consists of approximately 16 students who are selected to enable joint, interagency, and multinational exchanges among students during seminar discussion, case studies, and experiential learning.

  • While there are some exceptions, a typical seminar day consists of a three-hour morning class, with afternoons available for complementary programs, special programs, and preparation for following classes and major assignments.
  • Fully scheduled days are not uncommon to facilitate wargames, special guest speakers, or other academic opportunities as they become available.
  • Graduate courses average two hours preparation for each hour of seminar contact time. To enhance reflection time for students, the school integrates a Reading, Writing, Research and Collboration (RWRC) day into most academic weeks. To the greatest extent possible, RWRCs are fenced from academic scheduling requirements to enable student success.

All students will complete the seven core courses. Some will do so as part of the standard program, and some as members of Specializations, which complete the same curricular material but through specific lenses and focus: policy, research, strategic art, and enterprise management.


The Faculty

Each seminar is guided through core courses by a faculty team of 3-4 instructors that balances expertise across the three major focus areas of the College curriculum: Command, Leadership and Management; National Security and Strategy; and Military Strategy Planning & Operations. One of the team will serve as your faculty advisor for one-on-one counseling and academic mentorship. Faculty additionally sponsor elective classes in their unique fields, and serve as project advisors for student research.

The slated faculty is a diverse combination of civilian academics; senior military officers typically with experience in large, complex headquarters; and 'hybrid' uniformed professors with doctoral credentials. These "professors of academics" and "professors of practice" create academic challenges and support, with awareness of the professional responsibilities that await the Army War College graduate. As with the student body, the military slated faculty body will be no more than 60 percent Army, to enable Joint/ multi-service interactions in seminar. See the Faculty Directory to survey faculty expertise.

Slated faculty are complemented by research faculty and subject matter experts assigned across the College’s organizations. They also sponsor electives, advise research projects, and lead student-faculty Integrated Research teams. SEE Faculty Directory for background information.

Research at the Army War College predominately examines Key Strategic Issues, or similar Sister Service, Interagency, and International issues


The Academic Calendar

These are the seven core courses, with planning dates, subject to change:
Foundations Course, 17 – 31 Aug
Strategic Leadership, 5 Sep – 24 Oct
Theory, War and Strategy, 6 Sep – 5 Oct.
Military Strategy & Campaigning, 27 Oct – 12 Feb
National Security Policy & Strategy, 16 Oct – 15 Dec.
Regional Studies Program, 8 Jan – 14 Feb
Defense Management, 2 Feb – 26 Feb.
Peoples Republic of China – 29 Feb – 15 March.

Oral Comprehensive Exams, 18 - 22 March
Electives period, 25 March – 31 May.
National Security Seminar, 3 - 6 June.
Graduation 6 June.

Key Calendar Points:


Major Holidays

Major Academic Holidays: (subject to change) Holidays start, typically, at 1 p.m. of the last class day:

Labor Day, 4 Sep
Columbus Day Holiday, 9 October
Veterans Day, 11 November; observed on the 10th
Thanksgiving Holiday, 22 - 26 Nov; classes resume 28 Nov
Winter recess 21 Dec – 3 Jan; classes resume 4 Jan
MLK, Jr. Holiday, 15 Jan
Presidents Holiday, 19 Feb
Spring Recess, 28 March - 1 April, classes resume 2 April
Memorial Day, 27 May


Army War College Campus-Wide Student Support

Each of the Army War College organizations lend specialized support to student learning –

The Army Heritage and Education Center manages the Army’s historical collection and the School’s Library holdings. Its expertise ranges from research and database support from librarians to the massive digitization of Army History now underway to make research feasible 24/7. The AHEC building is located on base, outside the fence-line for ease of access by veteran reunions, researchers, school groups – and Army War College seminars for off-site classes.

The Center for Strategic Leadership is the Army’s strategic wargaming center: the nexus of strategic wargame planning expertise, tech and logistical support abilities, and a network of experts appropriate to any/all ‘games’ of analysis and exploration for policy, strategy, etc. The wargaming expertise supports experiential learning for AWC seminars. And on-site experts in futures, data analysis, space, cyber, climate change, defense support to civil authorities, among other, contribute teaching concurrent with support to Army major commands, ASCC, and Joint/ Army staff. CSL sponsors two critical theater-level courses, the Combined/Joint Land Component Command Course, and the Theater Army Staff Course.

The Strategic Studies Institute is the Army think tank, focusing research on geo-strategic net assessment and forecasting (anticipating change); enterprise management, leadership, and innovation; and applied strategic art. The SSI team completes independent analysis to develop policy recommendations for senior Army leadership and makes research expertise to partner commands/ agencies and to Army War College students/ classes.

The School of Strategic Landpower offers the ‘signature’ Army War College graduate education to the 380 students of the resident student body graduating in June each year, and to a comparable number of distance education students who complete an equivalent curriculum over two years and graduate in July. Selected elements of the Army War College curriculum are available to non-Senior Service College students, e.g., the Army Strategists’ qualifying course, BSAP, and the Graduate Certificate Program for mid-grade federal employees.

The Army Strategic Education Program manages all Army general officer education.

The Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute is not an AWC organization but its co-location with the College enables cooperation and collaboration on research, educational outreach, and AWC elective classes. Its experts are available for student research projects.