Department of English & Philosophy Prospective Faculty

Department of English & Philosophy Prospective Faculty

On behalf of the Department of English and Philosophy (DEP) at the United States Military Academy at West Point, thank you for your interest in joining the faculty of the Department of English & Philosophy.

The Department's rotating military faculty are Key Development (KD) complete Captains and in some cases KD complete Majors. Applicants do not need to be KD complete in order to apply, but they must be KD complete prior to starting graduate school.  Selected individuals will attend Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS) for two academic years in order to earn a Master of Arts in Philosophy or English. After completing their graduate education Officers serve a three-year utilization tour as an instructor at West Point. 

Academic Instructors in the Department of English and Philosophy are selected to teach either English or Philosophy (not both). English instructors teach First-Year Composition (EN101) in the Fall and Introduction to Literature (EN102) in the Spring. Philosophy instructors teach Philosophy and Ethical Reasoning (PY201). Each section typically ranges from 14-18 cadets. Other duties, as assigned, could include academic engagement with other faculty and cadets, participation in cadet extra-curricular development, service to the department, or participation with one of the Department’s Cadet Humanities Forum clubs.

Our typical applicant should be in their 4-6th year of service (i.e. year group = current year - 5). Here's a typical timeline for an officer we would be considering this year:

  • Summer/Fall of the current year: Begins command / their branch-equivalent assignment.
  • January: Receives notification of selection for DEP faculty. 
  • October-December (current year +1): Applies to graduate schools.
  • January-March (current year +2): Is admitted to and selects a graduate school.
  • Spring (current year +2)(or sooner): Successfully completes KD assignment.
  • Summer (current year +2): PCS to graduate school.
  • Fall (current year +2)-Spring (current year +4): Attends graduate school.
  • Summer (current year +4): Permanent change of station (PCS) to West Point and completes New Instructor Training
  • Fall (current year +4)-Spring (current year +7): Teaches in DEP
  • Summer (current year +7): PCS to follow-on assignment

The total number varies from year to year, but we generally have about 40 fully-qualified candidates competing for 4-8 slots.

Qualified applicants typically have a strong military record of service, an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and competitive scores on the Graduate Readiness Examination (GRE). Note that these are typical qualifications and not minimums. Most of all, we are seeking officers with a passion for our disciplines who will contribute to the department’s mission of teaching, mentoring, and inspiring cadets through literature, the arts, and philosophical thinking.

There is a 3-year ADSO for every year of graduate school. Accepting the ACS nomination effectively obligates you for 8 years: 2 years in graduate school, 3 years at USMA, and 3 years in follow-on assignments.

Current requirements dictate that all officers complete a three-year utilization tour following graduate school. If required, officers will be eligible for deferment of Resident ILE or for Satellite ILE courses scheduled during the summer months. Officers are encouraged to work closely with the Department's Faculty Hiring officers or their branch managers if they are concerned about their career timelines. In general, officers are considered not eligible for consideration too early in their timelines (i.e., they will not have completed a KD assignment as a Captain before beginning graduate school) or too late in their timelines (i.e., they will not return to the force with enough time to complete a KD assignment as a Major before their Lieutenant Colonel board). 

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For any other questions about joining the DEP faculty, please email the Deputy Recruiting Officer at