The Class of 1971 Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA)

SCUSA is a four-day conference in which students work with scholars and practitioners to develop proposals that address important topics in U.S. foreign policy.  SCUSA is one of the largest conferences of its type and is attended by approximately 200 undergraduate students from over 100 institutions around the U.S., abroad, and across academic disciplines.  West Point has hosted SCUSA 72 times, with the first event held in 1949.  In addition to offering an opportunity to discuss complex issues of foreign policy, SCUSA provides a foundation for developing lasting civil-military relationships among future leaders in the military, government, and private sector.

Venue for New Ideas

Throughout the conference, student delegates deliberate the impact of current obstacles to the United States and work to formulate sound policy recommendations for the United States Government. The conference begins with a panel of senior leaders who introduce the theme, features a keynote address by a policy expert, and includes roundtable sessions to facilitate the development of policy recommendations.

Unique Interaction with America’s Military

While attending SCUSA, delegates get a unique glimpse into the daily life of the United States Corps of Cadets, future officers in the U.S. Army. Delegates interact with cadets on conference roundtables, while residing in the cadet barracks, and over meals in the cadet mess hall.

Mentorship Beyond the Classroom

SCUSA draws academic and policy practitioner experts who facilitate roundtable discussions and guide student delegates in developing a series of policy recommendations for their table region or topic.

Past Distinguished Guests and Keynote Speakers

  • Secretary Henry Kissinger
  • Secretary Madeleine Albright
  • Ambassador Susan Rice
  • General Paul Nakasone
  • Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Recent Themes

2022: American Foreign Policy in an Era of Polarized Politics and Revisionist Powers

2021: Disruptive Technology and American Influence in the Coming Decade

2019: Advancing the National Interest: The Intersection of Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy

2018: Cooperation Reimagined: American Influence in an Increasingly Complex World

2017: The Politics of the Forgotten and the Aggrieved: Remaking the World Order?

2016: Democracy and Democratization: Challenges and Opportunities

SCUSA will be back November 1st through the 4th of 2023!

Learn more about this year's conference here!

 Contact your school's political science department to request an invitation to SCUSA 74 in 2023.

Past Conference Pages




Contact the SCUSA Staff


Please contact the SCUSA staff if you have any questions about the conference. If you would like to attend, please coordinate with your university's political science department, as SCUSA invites delegates to the conference through their respective academic institutions.