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Do you have to go to West point to get a military degree ?

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Chase !

Your inquiry actually contains two questions: Is The United States Military Academy at West Point the only military school ? and Is a military degree the only degree that one can obtain at US Military Academy at West Pont ? I would like to give you some advice on both concerns and hope it will be helpful in any choice you are thinking of making.

There are many military schools in the United States, West Point just seems to be the best well-known because many people of note have graduated from there. The military schools consist of Federal Service Academies (of which West Point is one), Senior Military Academies (like The Citadel down South), State supported maritime colleges and universities, Military Junior Colleges, Private College-prep military schools, and some public schools have the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp (JROTC). and there are Graduate Schools, too. You can easily find the type of school you want by doing a search on line and reading their website. If you are in high school right now, check to see if your school has an ROTC program.

If you want to attend West Point but not intending to get a "military degree", there are many majors you can choose from at West Point to get your degree in. This is a rather lengthy list, but if it can help you, I am happy to let you know all the majors at West Point. The majors are American Politics, Applied Statistics and Data Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Cyber Science, Defense and Strategic Studies, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Engineering Psychology, English, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Foreign Area Studies: Africa, Foreign Area Studies: East Asia, Foreign Area Studies: Eurasia, Foreign Area Studies: Europe, Foreign Area Studies: Latin America, Foreign Area Studies: Middle East, Foreign languages of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Persian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish, Geography, Geospatial Information Science, History, International Affairs, Kinesiology, Law and Legal Studies, Life Science, Management, Mathematical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Operations Research, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Space Science, Systems and Decision Sciences, and Systems Engineering. I think that this is a generous offering of majors that West Point offers.

Many of the military schools in your area are either middle schools or high school level, but for college level, I would suggest looking at the website link I have provided below for Military School USA.

I hope that this is of help to you and I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

MILITARY SCHOOL USA https://militaryschoolusa.com/all-states/
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Chase
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Chase ! Michelle Marotta
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Paul’s Answer

The are still colleges that have ROTC programs and also have bachelors degrees in Military Science and other subject specialties emphasizing military careers.

So, no you do not need to go to West Point for a military degree.
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Shane’s Answer

Here's a friendly version for you: Nope, you don't need to head to West Point to bag a college degree. Let's say you're in the Navy, you could still attend college to become a doctor or a dentist, for instance. Along with this, you'd need to attend officer candidate school to become an officer. The good part? They'd chip in to cover your college expenses! However, in return, you'd need to commit to serve for a certain period after graduation, maybe around 6 years (you might want to double-check this with your local recruiter). But remember, the government won't sponsor your college education just so you can start your own practice immediately after. You'd need to serve as an officer for them first, and once your enlistment period is over, you're free to start your own practice.

Shane Wood
Navy, 10 years
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Ryan’s Answer

Hello Chase,

Like the the others have said, there is really no such thing as a "military degree"...there are regular degrees from military schools, and there are regular degrees in military related subjects from civilian schools.

If you're referring to getting a degree from a military school, there are several options. The Federal Military Service Academies include The US Military Academy at Westpoint (Army), the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, the US Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, and the US Merchant Marine Academy in New York. All are run very similarly, have similar cultures, and result in you graduating with a bachelors degree and a commission into their respective military branches.

You can accomplish the exact same thing, earn a bachelors degree and a military commission, by graduating from a civilian college with a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. The culture of these schools can very wildly from schools with strong military traditions that look somewhat like the academies (The Citadel, New Mexico Military Institute, etc.), regular schools that have large ROTC programs with hundreds of cadets like Texas A&M or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (where I went!), all the way down to your average state colleges like Middle Tennessee State University where you'd be a fairly normal college student expect while in your ROTC classes.

FYI, don't confuse ROTC and JROTC. ROTC is college level program in which you will be contracted into the military and earn a commission by completing the program. Junior ROTC (JROTC) is a high school level program that teaches citizenship and character building with zero military obligation or service credit. You can think of it as being kind of like the Boy Scouts in military uniforms.

If earning a military commission as an officer is not your goal, there are lots of schools where you can be a normal civilian and study military history, homeland security, intelligence, etc.

You also have the ability to earn degrees after joining the military through a number of programs. For example, you could enlist in the Air Force and after about 3 or 4 years earn an Associates Degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Or, about 10-years after commissioning as an officer, you can get your Masters Degree by attending Air Command and Staff College. But to my knowledge, you these choices are only for people that are already in the military.

~Ryan Pfeiffer, Captain, US Air Force
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Chase
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