Military Art & Science


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Apr 7, 2008
Do you think this is a good major to pursue if I wanted to become an Infantry Officer or would it be better to get a major in a field i might want to be in after the army? I plan on being career Army but you never know what life brings sometimes.:confused:

also...this is kinda off topic but i was wondering if there are any people here who are going to be in USMA Class of 2016. i doubt it but hey...
It is admirable that you not only know as a freshman that you want WP, but you are already evaluating possible majors. You are in a great position, as most rising freshmen don't have a clue what they will want in 4 years (let alone tomorrow!). I hope you will take challenging classes, participate in sports, find one or two you excel at, and seek leadership. If you are in scouts, finish your eagle! Try to enjoy your high school years, but continue to focus on your long term goal of appointment to USMA. Best of luck!
Do you think this is a good major to pursue if I wanted to become an Infantry Officer or would it be better to get a major in a field i might want to be in after the army? I plan on being career Army but you never know what life brings sometimes.:confused:

2012: Although it doesn't seem like it at 18- life does indeed go on even for those who spend 20 years in the Army -and you have to have some kind of a major that people can relate to.(From personal experience- when you retire as an Infantry officer at 43- you are going to have work again and by the time I am truly retired will have worked at least as long out of the Army as in it!). So- any degreee out of woops will get you the commission and if you stand high enough you will indeed get to be a grunt.

But outside of the Army what does "Military Art and Science" mean to an employer? The world both in and out of the Army is getting more technical by the day- and I think to to be marketable you need to have a solid grasp of technology and engineering- you can always try minoring in a liberal arts major- but I think that you are limiting yourself a lot if you major in liberal arts unless you are going into finance, lawyer or social scientist or a teacher. Even teachers have a better shot at a job if they are certified in math and sciences and an MBA is a lot more valauble if it is coupled with an engineering degree. All of the above is opinion and doesn't mean that you can't find a job with a liberal arts undergraduate degree- but in general you have a lot more options with a technical degreee.

You have a lot of time to think about it- good luck and keep working hard to preserve your options and flexibility as you get to the end of your high school career.
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thank you both for your input and yeah, i think i will look into majoring and possibly minoring in possible future career fields after the army.
The best thing you can do is be really honest with yourself about the kinds of things you've done so far in life and how much you enjoyed doing them.

What that means is to take an inventory of activities that can encompass jobs, sports, classes, trips, or even pranks you played on friends. Of those activities, what gave you the greatest satisfaction? Which ones would you repeat or get deeper into given the opportunity to do so? Ditto for books you've read. Is there a pattern to your reading? Are there subjects that you are drawn to or capture your imagination? Look at your circle of friends. What do they have in common?

Tons of research have shown that people who do well in their careers have a passion for what they do. They are genuinely interested in their work. They look forward to the next day. Many of them are in endeavors that are unrelated to what they studied in college.

The key point here is to identify the kinds of things, now, that you are passionate about and use your education to develop your knowledge in those things. Don't worry about money or any of the other tangible rewards of the career. Focus on what brings you satisfaction, excitement, and the other intangibles. Your choice of college major will be wrong if it doesn't give you the preparation for the work you really love. And at your age, you may not be able to identify in detail the work you love, but trust me, the clues are already there.
double major

could i say double major in MA&S and another major? how hard would this be? would i be loaded down with too much work and classes?
My son inquired about a double major when he was applying. It is difficult to do with all the required classes but some manage to do it. This would be a good question for the admissions office at USMA.

In case you don't know this, you don't have to declare a major until the beginning of your yearling year (2nd year) at USMA. You may go in thinking of one major and change your mind once you are exposed to other possiblilities.

I do agree with the Commissioner - follow your passion as much as you can, it makes your working life much more enjoyable.

I'll use a USNA example: There are guys who go into Aerospace Engineering thinking they will get first crack at being a pilot. WRONG! You get to pick your service selection based on your class rank, not your major. My roommate was a History major and ended up flying helo's. I was an engineering major, and it kicked my butt so bad that I didn't get into nuke school. (Granted, I LOVED engineering. I just didn't study enough.)

Pick something you enjoy and which will be useful to you and your interests outside of the military. The military will teach you everything you need to know to do THAT job correctly, so think of your major as prep for your second career. :thumb:

There are many majors from which to choose, although you will be required to take enough math/science/engineering courses to get a BS in General Engineering at graduation, along with the rest of your class.

Choosing a major is usually not done until you have had some exposure and greater familiarization with available course offerings, as well as the Army and its myriad choices of branch assignments.

All that aside, all career officers will later take advanced studies for masters degrees. At that time it would be wiser to consider a filed of study that may put you in better position for a post-retirement career.

Meanwhile, concentrate on as many college prep courses (AP, if available) and working for leadership positions in extra-curricular activities, and participating in a rigorous athletic program to make yourself a more desirable applicant.

i couldn't find a list of majors offered at USMA anywhere. if anyone knows, could you be so kind and post a link to that list. do they have a major in aeronautical/astronautical engineering or the like? if so, could i double major in it and MA&S?:confused:

thanks in advance
Love the link Bruno. I saved it for my own reference in the future. :thumb:
thanks for the link. so i guess there isn't an AE major (unless i didn't look well enough). anyways, what year would a major listing be there for my year if i was to be in the class of 2016? also, for double majors, would i take all the required classes in both or some of each and would this affect how many elective choices i get?
Being a double major is extremley difficult, and if you plan on majoring in engineering, I doubt possible. I was a history major, but all my friends who were any type of engineering had a solid 19-22 credit hour semester every year; there are so many mandatory courses that you really dont have any say in electives as an engineering major. I have friends who double majored, but it was usually in something like MA&S and a foreign language, political science and a foreign language, or two foreign languages. Trust me, if you major in engineering, you're going to be busy, all the time, for four years.
The biggest thing is to major in something you like. I like history, I loved the classes I took and I had a good time. I have friends who majored in different branches of engineering because they knew it would look good when they got out of the Army, and they had an absolutely miserable four years filled with many sleepless nights and weekends stuck at the Academy. Find what you enjoy and do that.
you've done it again, ScreamingEagle...i couldn't have asked for a better answer:thumb:
what year would a major listing be in the "redbook" for my year if i was to be in the class of 2016? 2014? also, what is the difference between mathematical sciences and mathematic studies?

come on...doesn't anyone have an idea? or am i not clear enough?

Course offerings vary from year to year based on evaluations and adjustments by departmental leaders. So, to speculate at this point regarding what courses will best serve the student (and the Army) a few years from now is not practical. As the field of study evolves and matures, accreditation institutions and faculty leaders will adjust the curriculum offerings accordingly.

I can only speculate, but looking at the course differences between math science and math studies would suggest to me that one is more theoretical/academic in nature (science) while the other leans toward the application side, how the "theory" is put to use for "practical" solutions in military and every-day life.
which math major would be better if i wanted to pursue a career as a cryptanalyst after the army?