Defense and Strategic Studies Major Defense & Strategic Studies Major Defense and strategic studies gives cadets the skills to succeed anywhere. Graduates can incorporate elements of national power, civil-military relations, strategic decision-making, and theories of international relations to analyze U.S. and foreign defense strategies. Breadcrumb defense and strategic studies major Majors-and-Minors-left MENU Explore Academic Majors and Minors Academic Majors American Politics Major Applied Statistics and Data Sciences Major Chemical Engineering Major Chemistry Major Civil Engineering Major Computer Science Major Cyber Science Major Defense and Strategic Studies Major Economics Major Electrical Engineering Major Engineering Management Major Engineering Psychology Major English Major Environmental Engineering Major Environmental Science Major Foreign Area Studies: Africa Major Foreign Area Studies: East Asia Major Foreign Area Studies: Eurasia Major Foreign Area Studies: Europe Major Foreign Area Studies: Latin America Major Foreign Area Studies: Middle East Major Foreign Language: Arabic Major Foreign Language: Chinese Major Foreign Language: French Major Foreign Language: German Major Foreign Language: Persian Major Foreign Language: Portuguese Major Foreign Language: Russian Major Foreign Language: Spanish Major Geography Major Geospatial Information Science Major History Major International Affairs Major Kinesiology Major Law and Legal Studies Major Life Science Major Management Major Mathematical Sciences Major Mechanical Engineering Major Nuclear Engineering Major Operations Research Major Philosophy Major Physics Major Sociology Major Space Science Major Systems & Decision Sciences Major Systems Engineering Major Academic Minors Aeronautical Engineering Minor America in the World Minor American Foundations Minor Applied Statistics Minor Cyber Security Minor Diversity and Inclusion Studies Minor Engineering Management Minor General History Minor Geography Minor Grand Strategy Minor Network Science Minor Nuclear Science Minor Photonics Minor Regional Studies Minor Robotics Minor Space Science Minor Systems Engineering Minor Terrorism Studies Minor War Technology and Society Minor Guidance on Choosing an Academic Major Overview Courses Enrichment The Defense and Strategic Studies program is committed to teaching the next generation of future leaders in the Profession of Arms and as defense intellectuals in the civil sector. DSS majors are uniquely educated in the nuances of security and strategy through a rigorous interdisciplinary lens which delves deep into central issues of strategy, innovation, history, culture, the domains of war, and the elements of national power. Our Cadets not only grasp the intricacies of national power and strategic decision-making on national and international scales, but they learn to apply timely knowledge to frame complex issues, develop viable and innovative solutions, and communicate effectively to diverse audiences.Recognizing that strategy is pivotal in any competitive environment, from businesses to militaries, this program instills the analytical mindset and methodologies necessary to develop, execute, and assess impactful strategies. By exploring the moral intricacies of conflict, the dynamics of diverse cultures, and the contemporary innovations shaping defense, our Cadets are prepared to lead across the spectrum of global challenges. Graduates emerge as warrior-scholars, poised to excel in the Army and beyond, equipped with enhanced problem-solving, communication, and decision-making capabilities for the artful application of security and strategy.To learn more about the timely necessity and professional relevancy of this major, read the Winter 2023 West Point AOG Alumni Issue and an Army Futures Command Strategist’s MWI articles on preparing leaders for future war.For additional details visit the Defense and Strategic Studies Program. Required CoursesDS320 INTRO TO STRATEGIC STUDIES DS370 STRATEGY AND POLICY DS495 RESEARCH METHODS STRAT STUDIESDS498 LEADERSHIP IN FUTURE WAR Sample ElectivesDS345 MILITARY INNOVATION DS350 PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATIONS DS360 SPECIAL OPERATIONS: THEORY AND PRACTICEDS399 STRATEGIC STUDIES INTERNSHIP DS455 COMPARATIVE DEFENSE POLICY DS460 REBELLION, INSURGENCY, AND CIVIL WARDS475 STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING DS485 DOMAINS OF WARDS489 ADV IND STUD-DEF/STRAT STUDIES DS490 SPECIAL TOPICS: STRAT STUDIES DS496 STRATEGIC STUDIES THESIS DS497 STRATEGIC STUDIES CAPSTONE This major offers an honors track. To learn more, view the full Defense and Strategic Studies Major Curriculum. Cadets in this major have the opportunity to apply for a summer Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) program, USMA-run academic enrichment experience with the U.S. Special Operations Command; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; and others. They can also apply to join an annual staff ride to Germany over spring break to interact with British, French, and German counterparts. Finally, majors can choose to engage with peers at other elite institutions like Princeton, Yale, and New York University for crisis simulations, conferences, and symposia. Honor Societies:Golden Key - International Honour SocietyPhi Kappa Phi - Oldest and Largest Collegiate Honor SocietyTo learn more about enrichment for this area of study, visit the Department of Military Instruction, the Modern War Institute, or the West Point Simulation Center.