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Joint Professional Military Education Phase II certification
JPME Phase II encompasses seven program standards and seven learning areas taught by the college faculty throughout the academic year and is the second of three elements required to become a joint specialty officer. The joint specialty rating indicates an officer who is experienced and knowledgeable in working with other military services in the warfighting environment.

Previously, Phase II education was available only at specialized military education facilities, such as the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., and the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
Master of Strategic Studies Degree
Course Number
Course Title
Semester Hours
EL/6000 Electives 4
RE 6100 Research 5
LD 6200 Joint Strategic Leadership 3
NS 6300 National Security Decision Making 3
FS 6400 Foundations of Strategy 6
WF 6500 Warfighting 6
RS 6600 Regional and Cultural Studies 4
GS 6700 Global Security 3
WG 6800 Global Challenge Wargame (P/F) 2
Totals 36
For admission requirements and other curriculum details, please see the
PDF AWC Catalog AY13.
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.
For additional details, including descriptions of individual electives, please see the PDF AWC Catalog AY13.
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 and Cultural 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 and Cultural Studies (RCS)
The Regional and Cultural Studies (RCS) 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. To meet the challenges of the Air and Space Expeditionary Force, the RCS 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 RCS course provides the opportunity for students to gain unique perspectives by studying and visiting one of approximately 13 regions. During the second term, students complete 32 classroom hours (11 instructional periods) of focused academic preparation. The regional field 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.