HomeACSCAcademicsCurriculum
CURRICULUM


The Leadership Course recognizes both the moral and practical significance of acts of leadership. The function of leadership as the proper use of either positional authority or personal influence (often both) directed toward clear ends is vital to practical success and indispensable to the common good. Since the course aims at advancing one’s capacity to lead successfully and on behalf of the common good, each of the course’s diverse topics covers an essential aspect of leadership development.

War Theory introduces military theory, addressing both the nature and character of war. It examines the theoretical writings of classical military theorists, as well as the evolution of warfare and military thought over the last two centuries. The course explores a number of the most outstanding historical cases of military innovation, assessing the utility of military theories across the military domains. The course also considers the future evolution of warfare, analyzing both change and continuity in armed conflict. In applying military theory to contemporary security challenges, students will be able to better anticipate and respond to operational problems across the range of military operations.

Airpower I examines the emergence and development of airpower from the First World War through the Vietnam War. This course analyzes the development of key ideas, capabilities, organizations, practices, and limitations that framed the conduct of air warfare in the first three quarters of the twentieth century. These events continue to inform debates about airpower’s purpose, utility, and effectiveness. Course readings, lectures, and seminar discussions will cultivate adaptive leaders and critical airpower thinkers by challenging officers to examine the evolution of airpower and how it serves to fulfill national security outcomes.


International Security 1 provides a comprehensive overview of the context in which the development of US grand strategy occurs. The 2017 National Security Strategy depicts a dangerous world, with the rise of peer competitors, China in the East and a resurgent Russia in the West. The course introduces three traditions of International Relations (IR) to provide a foundation for considering the current opportunities and challenges to US policy in the emerging strategic environment. These course concepts are then applied to the 2-Plus-3 (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and VEOs), enabling students to develop interpretations and responses to International Security issues systematically.

Airpower II examines the further emergence and development of airpower from the Post-Vietnam Era through today. This course analyzes the development of key ideas, capabilities, organizations, practices, and limitations that framed the conduct of air warfare after Vietnam into present day applications and future thought. These events continue to inform debates about airpower’s purpose, utility, and effectiveness. Course readings, lectures, and seminar discussions will cultivate adaptive leaders and critical airpower thinkers by challenging officers to examine the evolution of airpower and how it serves to fulfill national security outcomes.

This course explores the conduct of national security through the lens of military strategy: the employment of military means for the achievement of political ends. The course highlights the challenges of integrating military means to political ends and innovating strategy to account for changing circumstances. Specifically, it examines factors that complicate the formulation, execution, assessment, and adaptation of military strategy. It then applies these concepts to strategies employed across the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs). The course affords students the opportunity to cultivate and refine skills for advising senior leaders on meeting future security threats.

The Joint Warfighting (JW) course is designed to demonstrate, at the operational level, how the U.S. joint force organizes, deploys, employs, sustains, and redeploys military capabilities in support of national interests. The primary purpose of the JW course is to comprehend and analyze how we, the Joint Force, go to war and prevail. The course will equip military and interagency professionals with skills to articulate and influence the application of the military instrument of power to provide commanders with options for the use of military force in support of national interests. Understanding operational art and design is essential for the military professional, no matter their specialty. Understanding operational context and strategic goals is necessary to properly plan and execute military operations in the modern operational environment. It is also imperative to understand how the U.S. military operates as part of a joint force in a multinational, interagency, and intergovernmental environment.

In conjunction with the core curriculum, students at ACSC take elective courses. The school provides students the flexibility to choose courses that cover various topics from over 100 electives. Click the yellow tile for more details.