History: Prospective Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions 


If I am selected to go to graduate school, who pays for graduate school?

The Army would pay for graduate school through the ACS program.

How long would an assignment as an instructor last (including both grad school and the utilization tour as an instructor)?

The entire experience is four to five years. It starts after you become KD as a captain. You spend two years in graduate school and then two to three years teaching at West Point. 

Your last question says that it is a five year process, but how much time would I owe the Army?

Officers who attend graduate school under the ACS program incur an Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) of three days for every one day in graduate school. Most officers spend two years in graduate school and incur a six year ADSO. The good news is that your two to three year teaching assignment at USMA counts towards that ADSO. 

If I am selected to become an instructor, what can I expect to teach at West Point?

If you are selected, you will be slotted into one of the Department’s three divisions: American History, International History, of Military History. All instructors are expected to be able to teach the core history course for their division: History of the United States for the American History Division; History of Western Civilization for the International History Division; and History of the Military Art for Military History Division. You may also be asked to teach an elective to history majors that correspond to topics you studied in graduate school. Additionally, you may have the opportunity to advise senior history majors in the completion of their senior theses.

If I am selected to become an instructor, how do I determine which graduate school I will attend?

Once you are slotted into one of the Department’s three divisions, you will work with personnel in that division. Based on the needs of the division and your academic interests, they will advise you on schools to apply to. Once you are accepted to schools that you have applied to, the head of the Division and the Department Head will make a final determination on which school you will attend, based on the schools that have offered you a letter of acceptance. 

Why is there such a long period between when the Department selects officers and when the officers begin graduate school (18 months)? 

This period is needed for us to get HRC approval for officers to attend graduate school (approximately 6 months), and then to give officers time to apply to graduate school (most schools have application deadlines of November or December of the year prior to beginning grad school).

How many applicants are there in any given year? How many slots are officers competing for?

In any given year, we have approximately 60 applicants for approximately 10 slots.

I have heard that you have to have been a company commander to teach at West Point. My branch does not require officers to be a company or detachment commander to be KD. Is this going to prevent me from teaching History at West Point? 

No it will not. You only have to meet the KD requirements for your branch.

I am not sure when I am going to start my KD assignment. What should I do?

Go ahead and start the application process. We can’t communication with you if you don’t have a file with us. Turn in everything needed for your packet. It is much easier for you to tell us in November/December that you will not be competing in the January board than it is to scramble at the last minute to put together an application packet. 

I am currently or am slated to be a company commander in a TRADOC or USAREC unit as my KD assignment. Will this hurt my chances of becoming an instructor? 

Our department seeks to hire officers who can educate, train, and inspire the next generation of Army officers. We do not care where you complete your KD assignment. We care more that you do awesome things in that assignment. 

I am currently deployed. I did not take the GRE prior to deploying and will not be able to take the GRE until I redeploy. As a result, I will not have GRE scores in prior to 1 December. Am I still eligible for the January board?

Due to deployments, we can make accommodations. If you have a strong file both militarily and academically (i.e. you had a high undergrad GPA), we will give you consideration in the January board. If selected to be an instructor, your selection would be contingent on you scoring well enough on the GRE after deployment to get you into a quality grad school program.

Are these boards held the same time each year? 

Yes they are. The boards are held in January, and we notify candidates by the end of February. 

I am dual military. Are there other opportunities for my spouse at USMA?

Absolutely. I cannot guarantee a job for your spouse, but we will do what we can to help you and your spouse stay together.

I signed up for the EGSP or GRADSO program. Can I still compete for an ACS slot for the History Department? 

Yes you can. If selected, the Army will simply change you over to the ACS program.

I am currently attending grad school through the EGSP/GRADSO program. Can I apply to be a history instructor?

As long as you graduate with an MA in history, you can apply to be a history instructor. If this is the case you should go to the section on officers who already hold an MA and follow the instructions there on preparing a direct hire packet.

I am due to start grad school under the EGSP/GRADSO program next year and I am interested in becoming a history instructor. What can I do to increase my chances of being selected for a direct hire at a later date? 

Stay in contact with the Department and work with the Department to determine which schools you should apply to and what courses of study you should focus on. 

I have an MA in another field (e.g. education, international relations, MMAS, etc.). Can I apply for a direct hire position?

I’m sorry but the answer is no. We require our entire faculty to have advanced degrees in History. .

I did not graduate from West Point. Can I apply to be an instructor at West Point?

Yes you can! We value the experience of officers from all commissioning sources and think that having ROTC and OCS officers is a part of providing West Point Cadets with a quality military education. 

I did not graduate from college with a degree in History. Can I apply to be a history instructor at West Point?

Yes you can! We have a number of officers teaching in the Department who majored in something other than History as an undergrad.