Admissions FAQs

Browse frequently asked questions about eligibility or the application process, including attaining a nomination, connecting with the Field Force, and meeting requirements.

Admissions FAQs

Browse frequently asked questions about eligibility or the application process, including attaining a nomination, connecting with the Field Force, and meeting requirements.

Eligibility FAQs

Many middle school and early high school students are already interested in attending West Point. You may have a relative who served in the military or heard about West Point from a current cadet on a hometown visit. However you learned about West Point, it is never too early to begin preparing for your success!

Visit our tips for preparing to apply to West Point.

Yes!  International cadets are fully assimilated into the Corps of Cadets. Their four-year experience here is identical to that of U.S. cadets.

Up to 60 international cadets may study at West Point at any given time. Eligible countries are selected on an annual basis by the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Defense. The American embassies notify invited nations to nominate up to six candidates per country to compete for admission to West Point.

To apply for admission to West Point, contact the U.S. Defense Attaché Office at the American Embassy in your country. This office serves as the link between the student, the host nation, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The application process for international students is essentially the same as that for U.S. citizens; however, you must be sponsored by a national-level government official.

The application steps are the same for soldiers; however, soldiers can obtain a nomination from their company commanders and are automatically considered for the Preparatory School if not directly admitted to West Point.

As a soldier, you must be assessed by your company or lowest-level unit commander. Commanders are highly encouraged to view the Information for Units and Commanders document. While this assessment constitutes a nomination, Soldiers are also strongly encouraged to obtain additional nominations from your congressional nomination sources.

If you are academically disqualified, you will be automatically considered for admission to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS), where you may later be considered for admission to West Point.

For more information please visit our Information for Current Soldiers page .

Contact the Soldiers Admissions Team

West Point is home to 25 Division I sports for both men and women.  If you would like to be considered for recruitment, your first step is to fill out the coach's questionnaire under the "Recruiting" tab for your respective sport.  

NOTE:  The coaches for Men's Football and Men's Ice Hockey must be contacted directly via email or phone.

If your file is competitive for consideration to the Academy, you will be given the opportunity to complete the application process regardless of recruitment in your sport.

For more information, call (845) 938-5723 or email the Recruited Athlete / Congressional Liaison Officer.

Contact the Athletics Admissions Team

No. Students in college or with previous college credit may apply to West Point if they meet the basic requirements. However, those students still enter West Point as plebes (freshmen) and must complete the four-year program.

You will need to provide one of the following: 

  • United States Passport 
  • Your original citizenship certificate 
  • Immigration & Naturalization Service Citizenship Verification form G-639 (preferred)

West Point's Tattoo Policy is dictated by Army Regulation 670-1.  Below is a synopsis of the Army policy, to include tattoo placement and a description of tattoos that are not authorized.
 
Unauthorized Tattoo Locations:

  • On the head, neck, and face (anything above the T-shirt line to include on/inside the eyelids, mouth, and ears).
  • On the hands, fingers, and wrists (below the wrist bone).

Categories of Unauthorized Tattoos:

  • Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities.
  • Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism.
  • Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender, but may not meet the same definition of "indecent".
  • Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.

Requirements FAQs

Academics account for about 60% of your application score.  This is a combination of your high school grades and your standardized test scores.  We will look at your transcripts for freshman, sophomore, junior, and first semester senior year when making our student acceptance decisions.

To qualify academically at West Point, you should have an above average high school or college academic record. A complete transcript of your academic achievement will be evaluated to determine your qualification. You should perform well on the ACT or the SAT.  These tests indicate your potential for academic success during your first year in college.

To make your application strong, you are encouraged to take part in extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership skills and potential.  Examples include but are not limited to:  Eagle Scouts, Girl Scout Gold Award, sports team captain, class leadership positions, club leadership positions, and American Legion Boys/Girls State programs.  In general, it is better to seek leadership positions within just a few extracurriculars than to just participate in many.

The Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) consists of six events: basketball throw, pull-ups (men & women)/flexed-arm hang (women who cannot do one pull-up), shuttle run, modified sit-ups, push-ups, and one mile run. You are permitted just one examination, and you should practice the six events prior to taking the examination.

You must be in good physical and mental health and pass a Department of Defense qualifying medical examination. 

Are there any COVID 19 related requirements?    
No. Effective February 22, 2023, COVID 19 vaccinations are no longer mandatory for admission to the United States Military Academy or the United States Military Academy Preparatory School.

Is 20/20 eyesight required for qualification?    
No, but your eyesight must be correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses.

Application FAQs

Initially, you will be asked to submit a high school transcript through at least your junior year (6 semesters).  You will be asked to update your transcript with the results of the first half of your senior year (7 semester transcript) to complete your application and, if offered admission, with your final high school transcript.

Transcripts must: 

  • Be OFFICIAL copies 
  • Be SIGNED by your high school's official 
  • If you attended more than one high school, the overall requirements are the same. 

If you have further questions about your transcripts, please communicate directly with your Regional Commander.

Applicants must be evaluated by four school officials.  You will enter the school officials contact information into your application, and West Point will contact them directly to complete the evaluation.

You must have evaluations from: 

  • An English teacher 
  • A math teacher 
  • A lab science teacher (physics or chemistry) 

For candidates who are enrolled full-time at another college or university prior to applying to West Point, two additional evaluations are required from your college teachers (English, math, or science).

All candidates are required to compose responses to three topics listed in the application. You must complete your statements before your admissions file is evaluated. Since the responses will be reviewed and evaluated, we highly recommend that you take your time composing the responses before submitting them.

There are many components to a West Point Application.  Please review the Application Timeline to better understand the timeframes for completing each part of the application. 

Do not wait until the deadline for each portion of the application. 

It is normal for setbacks to occur, so err on the side of early completion wherever possible. 

During all stages of the application process, we highly encourage you to contact your Field Force Representative.

If you have specific questions not answered by these FAQ, contact your regional admissions team either by email or by phone during business hours (9:00am - 5:00pm Eastern Time).

Your Candidate Questionnaire will be evaluated by the Admissions Office to determine whether or not you are eligible for admission to West Point.

The summer before your senior year (typically around June 1st) the Admissions office notifies eligible applicants that they can now complete the Candidate Checklist and provides instructions for completing the remainder of the online application.  If you submit your Candidate Questionnaire after the Candidate Checklist is released, your Candidate Checklist will be opened in a day or two (if you are eligible).

College Exam FAQs

Take the SAT/ACT as early and often as practicable. If you are a junior, it is to your advantage to take the SAT or ACT by the end of your junior year.  Check SAT & ACT website for test dates for April and May or before.

We recommend using the results of your first standardized test to learn where you can study and improve for a retest and to make your application more competitive. Retest if needed, and send us the results of all the tests that you take. We will combine your best subject scores from multiple tests to make the best total score.

Unofficial scores may be used to open the Candidate Questionnaire (CQ), but a completed application must have official scores sent directly from the SAT or ACT testing service. 

For SAT, use the USMA school code 2924.

For ACT, use the USMA school code 2976.

Both the SAT and ACT must be timed.  When signing up for the ACT, make sure you select "ACT Plus Writing".  Those who submit only SAT scores may be required to provided a timed writing sample.

Research has shown that students can go from SAT "Risk" to ACT scholars.  Trust us. We know you've taken exams but using these tips will help. Here is some advice on improving your test scores:

Do not expect your scores to improve significantly just by repeatedly taking the test…they won’t.   

  1. Scores increase by either increasing your knowledge of the test material or of the test structure/procedures.  Most courses and books will do a little of both.  
  2. Take the practice tests seriously!   
    • Go to a library, use a watch to keep track of the time and pace yourself throughout the test sections, etc.

Try for scores of 600 in math and verbal or better for SAT and 29 or higher for ACT. If you can’t increase your scores on the SAT, try the ACT!  

  1. The SAT and ACT do NOT penalize for wrong answers.  If you are running out of time, do the “two minute drill”.  Pick your favorite column and fill in ALL the bubbles…then go back and continue answering what you can until time elapses.
  2. On the SAT, the math section is set up with the easy questions at the beginning, the medium in the middle, and hard questions at the end.   
    • Be VERY careful towards the end of that section. 
    • Be suspicious of those hard questions…there’s probably some minor wording twist in the question that will completely change your answer.   iii. Be very careful about guessing on that last 1/2 to 1/3 of the questions…you will probably guess wrong most of the time.   

Log on to the College Board website and view your detailed scores reports. 

  1. They’ll tell you whether you are guessing to much or too little (on the SATs) and you can figure out which specific sections you need to improve the most by looking at the correct/incorrect/omitted tally.
  2. Put your CORRECT Social Security number on the SAT/ACT exam, DO NOT GUESS.  It will cause problems later in your college application process.  Have the scores sent to USMA from the College Board.  You must order your scores online from the College Board using the codes below.
    • The code for West Point is SAT-   2924.  
    • The code for West Point is ACT - 2976.   

Use the following resources to help improve test scores:

  1. www.march2success.com. This is a FREE online test prep program run by the US Army; you must register online to use it.
  2. Wilford Funk’s “30 days to a Better Vocabulary,” This book can increase your scores up to 100 points and it costs about $5. The local school or library may have a copy.
  3. The “Princeton Review” or “Crack the SAT or ACT” is a DVD and book set that could also give great tips on improving scores. 

 The night before the exam, don’t study, get a good night sleep instead! 

Field Force FAQs

We will not tell you exactly what the interview questions will be, but you should come prepared to discuss why you want to attend West Point and why you make a good candidate for admission.

Nomination FAQs

Congressional nominations are competitive and awarded by Members of Congress (Senators and Congresspersons).  The individual members of congress determine their own selection criteria and application procedures.  Typically, Members of Congress make 10 nominations for each vacancy at West Point.

Service-connected nominations are typically not competitive and are instead automatically conferred when a candidates meets certain criteria relating to their own or their parents' military service.  For example, if you currently service in the Army reserve, you are eligible for a nomination based on that service (with your commander's endorsement), or if either of your parents' meet the criteria for 'career military' (see FAQ below for more details), then you are eligible for a nomination based on their service.

Receiving a nomination is required before a candidate can be offered admissions, but a nomination does not guarantee a candidate will be offered admission.

  • Army (Active, Reserve, and National Guard) 
  • Army Junior and Senior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Units and Honor ROTC Units of other services 
  • Children of deceased or disabled veterans and children of prisoners of war or service members missing in action 
  • Children of Medal of Honor Awardees 
  • Children of career military personnel 

Applicants must furnish a statement of service, retirement orders, or casualty report to verify eligibility for this nomination.

Career military personnel, for the purpose of service-connected nominations, are defined as:

  • members of an armed force (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) who are 
    • currently on active duty (other than for training) with at least eight years of continuous active duty service, 
    • who are retired with pay or granted retired or retainer pay
    • who died while they were, retired with pay or granted retired or retainer pay. 
  • Service members currently serving in the reserve component who are credited with at least eight continuous years of service computed under section 12733 of Title 10, United States Code 
  • Reservists who 
    • would be entitled to retirement pay except for not having attained 60 years of age
    • who died while they would have been entitled to retirement pay except for not having attained 60 years of age

NOTE:  A step-parent's military service is applicable for this category only if the applicant was adopted.

To secure a nomination, Soldiers (Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard) must get a letter of endorsement from their commander.

  • This category is for children of deceased or 100% disabled Armed Forces Veterans whose death or disability was determined by the Department of Veteran Affairs to be service-connected, and for children of military personnel or federally employed civilians who are in a missing or captured status.
  • Applicants should include a brief statement concerning the date, place, and cause of death or the details of disability together with the claim number assigned to the Veteran parent's case by the Department of Veteran Affairs (if appropriate).
  • Applicants currently enrolled in an Army Junior or Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program or an ROTC program from another branch of service that has been designated as an Honor Unit with Distinction are eligible for a nomination in this category.
  • A request for a ROTC Nomination should be made through your Professor of Military Science or Senior Instructor who must submit a Request for ROTC Nomination (Form 5-497) to the Director of Admissions, U.S. Military Academy. NOTE: You must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view the Sample Statement below. A free version of the Adobe Reader software is available for download at the  Adobe website

Medical Examination FAQs

Take your medical exam as soon as possible after it is available, as it can take several months to get qualified.  The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) manages all medical exams, and you will be notified by DoDMERB when your exam is available.  If you have not been notified by DoDMERB by the fall of your senior year, contact your regional Admissions Officer.

When you visit an approved doctor for your military physical (medical exam), bring copies of all your medical documents with you that pertain to broken bones, allergies, skin diseases, etc.  Even if minor, personal medical conditions may become an issue further down the line.  It is always better to clear up any medical questions in advance when we still have time to help you overcome any possible setbacks.  If you have had any broken bones, you will need a letter from your doctor explaining that "you have returned to full rigorous activities with no limitations.” 

Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) FAQs

Work on improving your general fitness level, but especially your upperbody strength and your one-mile run.  The pull-up/flexed arm hang, pushups, and one-mile run are the most physically demanding events.  Also practice all of the events and give yourself a practice test following all of the instructions contained here.  Ensure you practice each event to the standards shown in the videos available on Step7 of Steps to Admissions Page.

Begin practicing the events in the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) NOW! It is harder than you think.  For more information, please read the full CFA Instructions. After you have practiced each event enough to become familiar, we recommend that you put yourself through a full practice Assessment. When you take the CFA for an official score, you will have to complete the events consecutively with a 3-minute rest period between the first five events, and finally an 8-minute rest before beginning the final on-mile run event.