DSS Instructor Opportunities

DSS Instructor Opportunities

Teaching the Next Generation of Warfighters



Defense and Strategic Studies (DSS) is an interdisciplinary major focused on understanding conflict, war, security, and defense by emphasizing a wide array of methodological approaches from the fields of military science, political science, international relations, economics, history, anthropology, and sociology to frame and analyze national and international security issues.

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Candidate Information

Current Target

  • Officers; Branch immaterial; YG 2017-2019
  • Next board convenes in December 2023
  • All applications must be submitted in TEACH no later than November 1, 2022

Ideal Candidates

  • Demonstrate evidence of strong military performance, especially in KD positions
  • Demonstrate strong academic performance and potential
  • Have branch support for this five-year assignment including graduate school and instructing

Direct Hire Candidates

  • Interested officers who already possess a graduate degree may apply for instructor opportunities.
  • Direct hire faculty are typically selected 12-18 months prior to their PCS to West Point. However, unexpected vacancies may allow for short-term and more immediate hiring processes.
  • Interested officers should submit an application through the West Point system, so we can contact you should an unexpected vacancy arise.

Click here to start your application for DSS!

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Application Information

If you are a military officer seeking a rotating faculty position within the Defense and Strategic Studies, use the link for TEACH (https://teach.westpoint.edu/) to initiate your application and begin the process of joining our team. 

  • Transcripts: Undergraduate and graduate, if applicable (all schools if you attended more than one).
  • Evaluations: Five most recent OERs and/or AERs. If you will not have a command OER in time for our selection process, we recommend that you get a letter from your senior rater assessing your performance.
  • GRE: (Must be within five years at start of ACS).
  • Letter of Intent: Tell us, in memorandum format, why you want to teach in our department and why you will perform well. 
  • Officer Record Brief (ORB)
  • ACFT Score Card
  • Letters of Recommendation: We request that you provide two letters of recommendation commenting on your potential to do outstanding work at a top American university and serve as an effective college-level instructor.

Tips: It is not necessary for you to provide all of this information all at once. Submit information as it becomes available. Start early because we can help you more if we have more time.

Click here to start your application for DSS!

Click here to learn about the ACS application process

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Academic Program

Core Courses

DS320 Introduction to Strategic Studies; DS370 Strategy and Policy; DS495 Research Methods; DS498 Leadership in Future War

Complementary Support Courses

Choose 3 from a list of 11 interdisciplinary courses from various academic departments at USMA. Course topics include cyber policy, law, applied statistics, history, anthropology, military geography, among others.

DSS Electives

Choose 4 from a list of 9 DSS courses, including Military Innovation, Persuasive Communication, Special Operations Theory and Practice, Rebellion, Insurgency, and Civil War, Domains of War, Comparative Defense Policy, among others.


Choose 2 from a list of 40+ courses from nearly every academic departments at USMA. 

Degree Types:

Option 1: DSS; Option 2: DSS w/ Thesis; Option 3: DSS Honors w/ Thesis

Click here to look at our full Academic Program.

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United States Military Academy
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West Point, New York 10996-1905