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AWC Curriculum

Course Number and Title Semester Hours
PC1100 Academic Prep(P/F) Non-Credit
EL6000 Elective Term I 2
EL6000 Elective Term III 2
RE6100 Research 5
LD6200 Strategic Leadership and the Profession of Arms 3
NS6300 National Security and Decision Making 3
FS6400 Foundation of Strategy 5
WF6501 Airpower, Innovation and the Future 2
WF6502 Theater Strategy and Campaigning 4
RS6600 Regional Security Studies 4
GS6700 Global Security 3
WG6800 Global Challenge Wargame 2
Total 35


Admission is restricted to those in military service, federal government employees, or international fellows who are chosen to undertake this work as in-resident students at Maxwell, AFB.


All students within the regular curriculum must complete six semester hours in the electives program. The electives program has the following objectives:

  • Enhance and complement the core curriculum by providing opportunities to achieve greater depth and breadth of understanding in issues of special interest.
  • Provide the AWC curriculum with the flexibility to adapt quickly to changes in the international and domestic security environments.
  • Inspire and enable faculty and students to pursue specialized research.

Professional Studies Paper (PSP)

The research requirement is designed to allow students to perform in-depth critical analysis on a subject of U.S. national security interest. The research process provides the opportunity to improve student argumentation and expression skills while creating products that address strategic and operational issues and topics vital to the national security community and its senior leadership. For successful completion of the research requirement, students must produce a professional studies paper (PSP) in accordance with college standards. Most research will be conducted as an individual effort, but the AWC may offer selected students the opportunity to complete this requirement via a faculty-led group research project. The research course has the following objectives:

  • Develop student analysis and evaluation skills through the process of inquiry and investigation.
  • Provide students the opportunity to conduct research and to formulate ideas in a written form that is clear, coherent, and rational.
  • Conduct research that is current, relevant, and responsive to the needs of the national security community and that contributes to solving problems faced by U.S. and other national government agencies (Department of Defense, Department of State, Ministries of Defense).
  • Share the results of student research with key decision-makers.
  • Generate a student research product that is suitable for publishing in a professional journal.

International Fellows Field Studies

This course falls under the AWC Regional Security Studies program and is structured to enhance the educational and cultural experience of AWC international students, and to support Department of Defense Field Studies objectives for international military students by assisting AWC International Fellows in gaining a balanced understanding of US society, institutions, and goals. The course builds on the AWC curriculum by exposing International Fellows to US military operations, training, organization, equipment, and facilities during a series of major field studies trips. Trip durations range from 3 to 13 days. The AWC Field Studies Program exposes students to leadership and management techniques and concepts used in military, government, and industrial environments; and provides students the opportunity to interact with senior level commanders, managers, and executives within and outside the US government.

Regional Security Studies (RSS)

The Regional Security Studies (RSS) course is an integral part of the curriculum, preparing senior leaders to evaluate the political, military, economic, cultural, and security issues within a particular region. The RSS course provides students the opportunity to evaluate an area of the world where a unified combatant commander must implement the national military strategy in support of US security policy. The RSS course provides the opportunity for students to gain unique perspectives by studying and visiting regions all over the world. During the spring term, students complete 30 classroom hours (10 instructional periods) of focused academic preparation. The regional security study allows students to discuss security policy issues with senior political, military, cultural, and academic leaders. Logistics, administrative preparation, and travel planning for the regional field research is accomplished throughout the academic year.