American Politics Major

American Politics Major

American Politics

Major

Use political science tools to analyze and understand the American system of government with the goal of explaining political outcomes. The program traces the founding and evolution of our American political institutions, emphasizing how philosophical principles influenced the structure and behavior of the Nation's governing apparatus. 

Cadets will receive instruction in political science methods, enabling them to identify and critique methodological approaches to answering political science questions and select an appropriate method of answering their own research questions. From this intellectual foundation, students are afforded an opportunity to study contemporary topics in public policy and explain outcomes based on the actions of formal and informal political actors. 

As a program focused on educating future Army leaders, the American politics program also emphasizes the role of the U.S. military in society, its constitutional roles and responsibilities, and the shifting tenor of civil-military relations across time and levels of policy implementation. American politics majors develop a deep understanding of their roles as both a military officer and a citizen by exploring political institutions, societal dynamics, public policymaking, and national security strategy. The program provides future officers with the strategic, political, cultural, and policymaking knowledge that Army leaders at all levels from platoon leader to theater commander need to succeed on the contemporary battlefield. This major offers an honors track. 

To learn more about this area of study, visit the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Podcast: West Point cadets on why they chose to major in Social Sciences

Required Courses

SS360 POL SCI RESEARCH METHODS 

SS366 COMPARATIVE POLITICS

SS376 AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

SS386 POLITICAL THOUGHT

 

Sample Electives

SS370 MASS MEDIA & AMER POLITICS3

SS373 THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY

SS379 LEGISLATIVE POLITICS 

SS392 POLITICS-RACE,GENDER,SEXUALITY 

SS464 HOMELAND SECURITY 

SS465 TERRORISM: NEW CHALLENGES

SS457 INTRODUCTION TO GRAND STRATEGY 

SS475 DEMOCRATIZATION

SS476 CONFLICT AND NEGOTIATION

SS487 INT'L POLITICAL ECONOMY

SS490C COLLOQUIUM (INTER RELATIONS)

XH397 GRAND STRATEGY FIELD STUDY

XH467 WINNING THE PEACE

 

This major offers an honors track. 

 

To learn more, view the full American Politics Major Curriculum.

Cadets in this major can participate in the Domestic Affairs Forum where they learn about domestic politics and government through a variety of experiences including round tables, mentorship programs, panel discussions, and numerous trip sections across North America. Majors can also expect to meet expert guest speakers, to travel on exciting trip sections, and to have the opportunity to compete for Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) program, USMA-run academic enrichment experience.. Recent AIAD locations include The White House, Congress, Pentagon, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Safety Council, and the New York Police Department Joint Terrorism Task Force.

To learn more about enrichment for this area of study, visit the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences or the Combating Terrorism Center.