Academic Policies and Procedures


Undergraduate Transcripts

The USAWC requires students to submit verification of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the undergraduate institution to the USAWC Registrar's Office. Students are responsible for requesting their transcripts in time for them to arrive no later than 31 July. Have transcripts mailed to: Registrar's Office; 122 Forbes Avenue; B 21; Carlisle, PA 17013.

Note: The USAWC is a Master's granting institution. We are required to maintain proof of students' baccalaureate degrees. Do not send any graduate transcripts.

Eligibility and Admissions


Military students are selected to attend the USAWC by their respective Services. Selected students are considered to hold considerable potential for promotion and future service in positions of increasing responsibility. Officers are eligible for attendance after being promoted to O-5, through their 25th year of service. Applicants must have completed the Command and General Staff College, or equivalent, and should possess a baccalaureate degree. The USAWC does not accept individual applications into its Senior Service College programs except through special exceptions. Students are centrally selected by their component, thus USAWC receives its list of students by component, rather than receiving and processing individual applications. AR 350-1 governs Senior Service College selections for active duty Army, U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), and U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG).

Senior Service College is voluntary for all Troop Program Unit (TPU), Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) officers, and Active Guard Reserve (AGR) officers. Eligible and interested AGR officers and non-AGR officers must submit a packet per the annually published "application instructions." Application instructions reside on the Reserve Human Resources Command web page under the HRC-St. Louis section at

Within the USAR, the Chief, Army Reserve (CAR) convenes a board annually in October that selects and ranks by competitive category qualified officers in the AGR program, TPU program, and IMA program. The board lists selected officers as either a primary or an alternate in an Order of Merit List (OML) for either the resident program or distance education program. The CAR is the approving authority for the board's recommendation and the results are usually announced in mid-December to early-January.

Within the ARNG, the annual selection process starts with each state inviting all eligible colonels and lieutenant colonels to apply and submit required documents. The application and documents, along with the individual's personnel 201 file, are reviewed by a state board of colonels with the Assistant Adjutant General presiding over the board). The board develops an Order of Merit List (OML) that the Adjutant General approves.

Each Adjutant General provides the list to the National Guard Bureau where a national board is convened. This board is made up of colonels and presided over by the Deputy Director of the Army National Guard. Two OML are then developed: Resident OML (with an alternate OML) and Distance Education OML (also with an alternate OML). The Chief, National Guard Bureau (CNGB) approves these lists.

The Resident and the Distance Education OMLs (but not the alternate lists) are released to the states. The State Joint Force Headquarters of each state notifies the selected officers for both programs in the beginning of the year. The officer will accept or decline enrollment for the following academic year. Final lists are released to the Senior Service Colleges in March for both programs.

International Fellows

The Chief of Staff of the Army invites International Fellows (IF) from select countries to attend the USAWC REP and DEP each year. These programs offer an opportunity for IFs to participate in seminars, study, research, and write on subjects of significance to the security interests of their own and allied nations. The IFs establish mutual understanding and good working relationships with senior U.S. officers and senior officers of other foreign countries and enrich the educational environment of the USAWC. Since the IFs are immersed in U.S. culture, they have an opportunity to improve their firsthand knowledge of the U.S. and its institutions through study and travel throughout the Nation.


Department of the Army Civilians (DAC) who wish to attend the program must apply according to the standards in AR 350-1. Other services should contact their appropriate personnel office to determine eligibility and admission procedures.

Department of the Army Civilians

Student allocations are available in the REP and DEP each year for DACs. Civilians are selected through a centralized selection board similar to Army officers. To attend the USAWC, DACs must be at the grade of GS/GM-14 or higher. Civilians under the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) mustbe in an equivalent pay band. Applicants need to have a minimum of three years in a full-time Department of the Army position and have leadership experience. The Office of the Assistant G-1 for Civilian Personnel handles applications. Details on the application process and eligibility requirements can be found in Chapter 2 of the Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development System Training Catalog at: DACs may also compete within the Defense Senior Leader Development Program (DSLDP).

DoD Civilians

Applicants must submit their applications through their component DSLDP representative. Applicants are nominated for selection by a specific component selection process, participation in an assessment center, and by a DoD selection board. Applicants are evaluated and selected based on the information they submit in their nomination packages and their assessment center results.

To attend the USAWC, DSLDP applicants must be at the grade of GS/GM-14 or higher. Civilians under NSPS must be in an equivalent pay band. Applicants must be full-time civilian employees of the DoD. Details may be found at Defense Senior Leader Development Program web site at

Non-DoD Civilians

Civilian employees of other federal agencies wanting to enroll need to do so through their component's chain of command. For more information, contact the Registrar's Office, 717-245-4166.

Commandant Invitations

The Commandant may invite up to seven students from selected federal agencies to attend the REP. Nominees from these agencies are competitively selected from within their parent organizations.

Commandant's Diploma Program

Eligible USAWC personnel may apply for selection/admission to the USAWC DEP. See CBks Memorandum No. 351-3 for specific directions.

Senior Service College Fellowship Program (SSCF)

Each year, the Department of the Army selects a limited number of officers as SSCF. These individuals participate in fellowships at civilian universities, institutes, and government agencies in lieu of resident attendance at a senior service college. About 60 officers from the Active Component, ARNG, and USAR will be assigned to the USAWC to study and conduct research in this capacity during a given academic year. Current fellowships involve 31 separate locations in the United States, France, Italy, Germany, and Canada. Fellows attend summer orientation at the USAWC. While not in attendance at Carlisle Barracks, they are considered an extension of the USAWC at the various campuses, Allied service schools, and government agencies where they pursue their fellowship.

SSCFs receive a USAWC certificate and will have satisfied all requirements expected for a DoD Senior College Graduate. SSCFs do not receive credit for JPME Phase II, nor are they eligible for a USAWC MSS degree.

Headquarter contact numbers:
USA - 703-325-3147
USAR - 314-592-0410
ARNG - 703-607-1354
USMA - 914-938-2695
USAF - 210-652-2103/6117
USMC - 703-784-5971
USMCR- 703-784-9125
USN - 901-874-4101
USNR - 757-322-6617
DAC - 703-325-7261
DLAMP - 703-696-9630
DOS - 703-302-7145

Service Obligation

Active Component Army officers incur a 2-year active duty service obligation (AR 135-91 and AR 350-100).

USAR and ARNG commissioned officers incur a 2-year service obligation (AR 350-1) not to exceed their mandatory retirement date (MRD). Reserve officers (not on extended active duty) attending service schools incur a Ready Reserve obligation of at least 2 years following course completion (AR 135-91).

Active and Reserve Component commissioned officers participating in the SSCF Program incur a 2-year service obligation (AR 621-7).

DACs must agree to serve in the government for 30 months after completing the 10-month REP. DACs enrolled in DEP incur an obligation of 24 months.

Students from sister services or other government organizations are committed to the service obligations dictated by their respective components.

Master of Strategic Studies Degree (MSS)

Successful completion of all of the requisite requirements established by the USAWC for granting a degree will result in the awarding of the MSS degree.

Enrollment in the USAWC MSS degree program requires the possession of a baccalaureate degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution. All students must request that their undergraduate transcript be mailed directly from their undergraduate institution to the USAWC Registrar's Office. IFs seeking enrollment in the MSS degree program who do not possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution must submit their transcripts and supporting documentation to the USAWC for assessment by an outside review body to determine the equivalency of their degrees.

All students at the USAWC are expected to read, write, and speak English fluently. Therefore, to participate in the MSS degree program, IFs must demonstrate a proficiency in the English language. Native speakers of English, defined as those individuals who have received all of their primary and secondary education as defined in FY09 ECL and OPI Country Exemption Lists (SECDEF/DSCA-PGM Message, USP 015810-08, are exempt from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Non-native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency by taking the TOEFL prior to arrival at the USAWC. Information on the TOEFL may be obtained by contacting

A score of 83 on the Internet-based test (iBT) is the minimum for enrollment in the MSS degree program.

Acceptance of Transfer Credits

Due to the specialized nature of the curriculum, transfer of credits from other institutions will not be accepted.

Graduation Requirements

All requirements for graduation must be completed by the last day of classes for a student to be eligible to receive a USAWC diploma and/or an MSS degree. For U.S. students and IFs pursuing the MSS degree, the academic requirements are the same for the USAWC diploma and the MSS degree. IFs may choose not to apply for the MSS degree and only pursue the USAWC diploma. Full requirements for admission and graduation are maintained in Carlisle Barracks Memorandum 350-1.

  • A minimum assessment of "Pass" in all coursework totaling of 37 credit hours;
  • An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) established in concert with the student's faculty adviser;
  • All U.S. students are required to complete a Strategy Research Project (SRP) in accordance with the guidelines published in the Communicative Arts Directive. IFs who elect not to pursue the MSS degree or are otherwise ineligible to pursue the degree may report the results of their research in an alternative format. See the Communicative Arts Directive for additional information;
  • All U.S. students are required to complete at least one public speaking engagement to a civilian audience before graduation. Consult the Communicative Arts Directive for additional information; and
  • For Army personnel (Active, Reserve, and Guard), a current APFT must be on file.
  • Successfully complete all Distance Education courses
  • Attend and successfully complete both 2-week resident courses
  • possess a Secret security clearance (U.S. DoD personnel).