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What is the United States Military Academy?
The United States Military Academy, founded on March 16, 1802, is a college that educates, trains and inspires the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country. Each graduate has the essential attributes for professional growth throughout a career as a U.S. Army officer. West Point graduates earn Bachelor of Science degrees and are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army.


Where is West Point located?
West Point is located approximately 50 miles north of New York City in the picturesque Hudson Valley. There are 16,000 acres of land, a portion of which played an instrumental role during the Revolutionary War. General George Washington considered West Point one of the most important positions on the continent. The high ground above a narrow "S" curve in the Hudson River enabled the Continental Army to control river traffic. The British could have split the colonies in two if they had gained control of this land.


Why is there a military academy?
Following the Revolutionary War, our nation recognized the need to have Americans, with a strong sense of democratic values, trained in the technical arts of war and in engineering. As our nation has grown and matured, the need to inspire and train young Americans to serve as Army officers has endured. West Point's treasured motto "Duty, Honor, Country" embodies these ideals.


What is the West Point Mission?
The West Point mission is “to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army.”


How does West Point fulfill its mission?
West Point carries out its mission of developing future leaders through three integrated and complementary programs: academic, military and physical development. Each of these programs is rooted in the principles of ethical-moral development. Every cadet is a leader. From selection based on demonstrated potential through four years as a cadet, leadership development is a total process of preparing young people for their career roles as Army officers.


Who attends West Point?
Men and women who are 17 but not yet 23 years old on July 1 of the year admitted may attend the academy. Cadets come from every state and territory of our country. The Corps of Cadets numbers approximately 4,000. You must meet certain basic requirements specified by public law. You must be a U.S. citizen at the time of enrollment, be unmarried, and not be pregnant or have an obligation to provide support to a dependent. You must receive a nomination from an authorized source to be considered for an appointment. You will be evaluated in the areas of academics, leadership potential and physical aptitude.


What is the Cadet Honor Code all about?
Cadets learn about and prepare for the ethical demands of officership by living under the dictates of an Honor Code. The code states: "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do." Its purpose is to foster a commitment to moral-ethical excellence and an insight into the more comprehensive military professional ethic. The exact origin of the Honor Code is unclear, but it may have evolved from the code of chivalry embraced by the officer corps when the military academy was established. Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, the “Father of the Military Academy,” and General Douglas MacArthur helped make the code an essential vehicle for the development of character. The Honor Code demands and expects all members of the Corps of Cadets to conduct themselves with absolute integrity, both in word and deed. Cadets accept this obligation freely and with great pride.


Why should I consider West Point?
You should consider West Point as a college option if you wish to serve your country as an officer and leader in the U.S. Army. If you do, you will share a strong sense of purpose, pride and satisfaction that comes from meaningful service to others.


How long must I serve in the Army?
You must serve at least five years of active duty and three years in a Reserve Component, a total of eight years, after you graduate. The active duty obligation is the nation's return on a West Point graduate's fully funded, four-year college education that is valued in excess of $225,000.


What is the United States Military Academy?
The United States Military Academy, founded on March 16, 1802, is a college that educates, trains and inspires the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country. Each graduate has the essential attributes for professional growth throughout a career as a U.S. Army officer. West Point graduates earn Bachelor of Science degrees and are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army.


Where is West Point located?
West Point is located approximately 50 miles north of New York City in the picturesque Hudson Valley. There are 16,000 acres of land, a portion of which played an instrumental role during the Revolutionary War. General George Washington considered West Point one of the most important positions on the continent. The high ground above a narrow "S" curve in the Hudson River enabled the Continental Army to control river traffic. The British could have split the colonies in two if they had gained control of this land.


Why is there a military academy?
Following the Revolutionary War, our nation recognized the need to have Americans, with a strong sense of democratic values, trained in the technical arts of war and in engineering. As our nation has grown and matured, the need to inspire and train young Americans to serve as Army officers has endured. West Point's treasured motto "Duty, Honor, Country" embodies these ideals.


What is the West Point Mission?
The West Point mission is “to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army.”


How does West Point fulfill its mission?
West Point carries out its mission of developing future leaders through three integrated and complementary programs: academic, military and physical development. Each of these programs is rooted in the principles of ethical-moral development. Every cadet is a leader. From selection based on demonstrated potential through four years as a cadet, leadership development is a total process of preparing young people for their career roles as Army officers.


Who attends West Point?
Men and women who are 17 but not yet 23 years old on July 1 of the year admitted may attend the academy. Cadets come from every state and territory of our country. The Corps of Cadets numbers approximately 4,000. You must meet certain basic requirements specified by public law. You must be a U.S. citizen at the time of enrollment, be unmarried, and not be pregnant or have an obligation to provide support to a dependent. You must receive a nomination from an authorized source to be considered for an appointment. You will be evaluated in the areas of academics, leadership potential and physical aptitude.


What is the Cadet Honor Code all about?
Cadets learn about and prepare for the ethical demands of officership by living under the dictates of an Honor Code. The code states: "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do." Its purpose is to foster a commitment to moral-ethical excellence and an insight into the more comprehensive military professional ethic. The exact origin of the Honor Code is unclear, but it may have evolved from the code of chivalry embraced by the officer corps when the military academy was established. Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, the “Father of the Military Academy,” and General Douglas MacArthur helped make the code an essential vehicle for the development of character. The Honor Code demands and expects all members of the Corps of Cadets to conduct themselves with absolute integrity, both in word and deed. Cadets accept this obligation freely and with great pride.


Why should I consider West Point?
You should consider West Point as a college option if you wish to serve your country as an officer and leader in the U.S. Army. If you do, you will share a strong sense of purpose, pride and satisfaction that comes from meaningful service to others.


How long must I serve in the Army?
You must serve at least five years of active duty and three years in a Reserve Component, a total of eight years, after you graduate. The active duty obligation is the nation's return on a West Point graduate's fully funded, four-year college education that is valued in excess of $225,000.



Where do I find the West Point catalog?
You can download our free catalog by visiting our main home page by clicking here.


What is the academic program like?
West Point advocates developing the "whole person" by providing a dynamic and integrated curriculum that balances the physical sciences and engineering with the humanities and social sciences. Graduates should be able to respond effectively to a changing technological, social, political, and economic world. The academy instills in cadets creativity, moral awareness, and a commitment to progressive and continuing educational growth.
 
Currently 42 majors are offered to cadets so they may pursue academic majors in disciplines of their choice. The two components of the academic program are a broad, general core program that is prescribed and an elective program that is individually selected. West Point is accredited by The Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (215) 662-5606. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Six engineering programs – Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Engineering Management – are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Additionally the Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computer Sciences Accreditation Board accredits the Computer Science major.
Can I validate courses / do my AP scores count?
Cadets may validate courses, but there are a variety of factors that play in these decisions. The latest information about this question can be found on the Dean's Validation and Advanced Placement page.
What is the academic course load like?
The core curriculum is the foundation of the academic program and provides a foundation in mathematics, basic sciences, engineering sciences, information technology, humanities, behavioral sciences and social sciences. This core curriculum, ranging in size from 26 to 30 courses depending on the major, represents the essential broad base of knowledge necessary for success as a commissioned officer, while also supporting each cadet’s choice of academic specialization. It is, in effect, the "professional major" for every cadet, since it prepares each graduate for a career as a commissioned officer in the Army.
What is the student-faculty ratio?
The student-faculty ratio at West Point is approximately 8 to 1. You not only know your professor or instructor, but also have the opportunity to request additional instruction when needed. Classes are small, typically numbering 12 to 18 cadets. West Point's long tradition of daily discussion and frequent grading remains unchanged. Army officers and civilian professors enhance your understanding of an academic concentration. The predominantly military faculty also helps in your professional military development.
How would you describe the faculty?
About 75 percent of the West Point faculty are military personnel who have completed graduate work at the most respected universities in the nation. All faculty members have their master's degrees and more than 30 percent have doctoral qualifications.
How strong are the library and its research collection?
More than 10 reference librarians provide enthusiastic research assistance in a brand-new, $65-million library in Jefferson Hall. Subject specialists work closely with faculty to help cadets prepare for research projects. The West Point collection boasts 460,000 print volumes plus subscriptions to more than 60,000 print and online journals. We share a catalog with 14 academic institutions in New York, including Vassar and Colgate; cadets borrow freely from this virtual collection of over 3 million items. Our Interlibrary Loan Office tracks down other items for cadets and faculty from hundreds of academic libraries in the United States and Europe.
How is the personal computer used in academics?
Cadets and faculty at West Point enjoy the benefits of a first-class information technology environment. With a personal computer at every desk and everyone connected to a large array of powerful academic computing services and with unlimited access to the Internet, West Point has an electronic environment in which every course offered has integrated computer use. This "computer thread" allows cadets to make full use of their personal computers in the place where most learning occurs – the barracks.
Are there any other special academic programs?
West Point has established Centers of Excellence that enhance the quality of the academic program. These centers make full use of professional expertise and technical resources to enrich cadet education. The centers help enhance cadet academic performance, improve faculty teaching, promote faculty and cadet research and provide outreach and support to the U.S. Army. Cadets and faculty conduct research in conjunction with the academic departments through such centers as the Center for Environmental and Geographic Sciences, the Operations Research Center, the Photonics Research Center, the Office of Artificial Intelligence Analysis and Evaluation, and the Information Technology Center, as well as others.





What is the Tattoo Policy at West Point?
West Point's Tattoo Policy is dictated by Army Regulation 670-1.  Below is a synopsis of the Army policy, to include tattoo placement and a description of tattoos that are not authorized.
 
Unauthorized Tattoo Locations:
- On the head, neck, and face (anything above the T-shirt line to include on/inside the eyelids, mouth, and ears).
- On the hands, fingers, and wrists (below the wrist bone).
 
Categories of Unauthorized Tattoos:
- Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities.
- Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism.
- Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender, but may not meet the same definition of "indecent".
- Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.
What are the admission requirements?
You must meet certain requirements specified by public law in order to be considered for admission to West Point. You will be evaluated in three areas: academic performance, demonstrated leadership potential, and physical aptitude. You must also meet strict medical qualification requirements. First of all, you must be a United States citizen, at least 17 and not yet 23 years of age on July 1 of your year of admission. You must not be married, pregnant, or have a legal obligation to support a child or children. If you are a naturalized citizen, you must provide documentation.
What are the academic requirements?
To qualify academically at West Point you should have an above average high school or college academic record. A complete transcript of your academic achievement will be evaluated to determine your qualification. You should perform well on the ACT, Inc. Assessment Program Test (ACT) or the SAT Reasoning Test. These tests demonstrate an indication of your potential for academic success during your first year in college.
What courses should I take?
To prepare yourself for the academic curriculum at West Point, you should complete four years of English with a strong emphasis on composition, grammar, literature and speech; four years of college preparatory mathematics, to include algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra, and trigonometry as a minimum; two years of a foreign language; two years of a laboratory science such as chemistry and physics, and one year of U.S. history, including courses in geography, government and economics. If your school includes a course in precalculus and calculus in its curriculum, and a basic computing course, these courses will be helpful in preparing you for your first year at West Point.
What else should I do to prepare?
A well-rounded high school background in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities is a good way to prepare to enter West Point. Participation in student government, clubs, and other community activities provides leadership experiences that also reflect favorably on developing your leadership potential as an Army officer.
What are the medical requirements?
You must be in good physical and mental health and pass a Department of Defense qualifying medical examination. Medical standards are discussed in more detail in the West Point Admissions Bulletin and the West Point catalog.
Is 20/20 eyesight required for qualification?
No, but your eyesight must be correctable to 20/20 with glasses or contact lenses.
What is the Candidate Fitness Assessment like?
The Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) consists of six events: basketball throw, pull-ups (men & women)/flexed-arm hang (women who cannot do one pull-up), shuttle run, modified sit-ups, push-ups, and one mile run. You are permitted just one examination, and you should practice the six events prior to taking the examination.
How do I apply to West Point?
You apply to West Point by completing the Candidate Questionnaire (CQ) using the “Apply” link on the Admissions main page. Applicants for admission complete the CQ between January of their Junior year through about the January of their Senior year in high school. Application completion deadline is usually the middle of March, but since the application process is length and includes physical exams and Congressional Nominations, you must start the process well in advance of March. As a general rule, apply as soon as you can after your class year opens on our website. Competitive applicants will usually have the candidate portal opened to them the August between their Junior and Senior years of high school. If you attempt to apply too early or you are younger than a Junior, you will be entered into our contact database to receive periodic updates and informational emails. You will be informed if you are too young to apply when you attempt to complete the CQ. At that time you will be given an opportunity to join our the mailing list.
What happens after I fill out the Candidate Questionnaire?
Your Candidate Questionnaire will be evaluated by the Admissions Office to determine whether or not you will be competitive for admission. If you are a competitive candidate, you will receive additional forms to complete. Fill out those forms as quickly as possible. The Admissions Committee will only evaluate your application file when every requirement has been completed. 
When should I apply for a nomination?
a:  You should apply for a nomination at the same time you open a candidate file at West Point, preferably during the spring of your junior year. Write a letter to your congressional representative and request a nomination. Members of Congress determine their own application deadlines, so apply early. A candidate cannot be offered admission without a nomination.
Do you accept transfer students?
No. Students in college or with previous college credit may apply to West Point if they meet the basic requirements. However, those students still enter West Point as plebes (freshmen) and must complete the four-year program.
Do women cadets do the same things as the men?
Yes. Cadet women are required to meet the same standards as their male counterparts in academics, leadership and military development. There is one exception. Women are required to take a self-defense course rather than boxing and wrestling during their first year at West Point.
Are there admissions opportunities for minorities?
Admission to West Point is open to all students. There are no appointments, vacancies, or nominations designed exclusively for minority groups. However, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds are given appropriate consideration while evaluating all applicants. West Point makes a concerted effort to inform minorities of admissions opportunities, reaching many that might not otherwise apply for admission. Today, minorities represent about 15-20 percent of the Corps of Cadets.
If I have an alternate nomination, can I be admitted?
Yes. The majority of the Members of Congress use a competitive nomination process, whereby 10 candidates are named to compete for a single vacancy. A minority of the members of Congress names a single candidate as their primary nomination, and some choose to number, or rank order the alternates. If you have an excellent academic and extracurricular activity record, however, you have a good chance of gaining admission with an alternate nomination. Each year several hundred of the best qualified alternate Congressional and military service nominees are offered admission from the West Point waiting list.v