United States Military Academy at West Point, or just West Point, as most people know it, is a education and military program that graduates about 1,000 cadets each year. It focuses on developing cadets physically, intellectually, militarily, ethically, socially, and spiritually, and these cadets graduate with the status of second lieutenant in the United States Army.
West Point has been acknowledged by Forbes.com as the "Best Public College or University in American for Undergraduate Education,'' and U.S. News and World Report called the academy the "Best Public Liberal Arts College'' in the country. The academic program is made up of 26 core classes and offers 40 different majors. Cadets receive a Bachelor of Science degree upon graduation. In addition to the academic program, the physical program offers P.E. classes and competitive athletic opportunities. All cadets are required to participate in club, intramural, or intercollegiate athletics. The military portion of the program takes place during the summer months before the academic program begins when new Cadets undergo Basic Training. In their second year, Cadets undergo Field Training. In the third and fourth years in the Academy, Cadets actively serve in the Army at units across the globe.
In addition to the academic, physical, and military training, Cadets receive ethical, spiritual, and social guidance. The 47 month period of training includes voluntary religious program, interaction with staff and faculty, and an ongoing guest speaker program that exposes Cadets to various walks of life. Cadets are held to the Cadet Honor Code of "A Cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.''
The admissions process for entering the Academy is very competitive. Potential enrollees are judged by their leadership strength, as well as their physical and academic performance. The program is demanding and offers numerous on-campus, extracurricular activities. Cadets have access to a golf course, a skating rink, and a ski slope, all on the campus of West Point.
West Point was founded in 1802 and has been an important part of U.S. history. Numerous American leaders have graduated as West Point Cadets including Generals Grant, Lee, Pershing, Patton, Eisenhower, Schwarzkopf, and Petraeus. There have been more than 50,000 total graduates, many of who went on to careers in medicine, laws, business, sports, politics, and science.
Visitors are not allowed to self-tour the campus. There are guided tours available and photo ID is required for all visitors over 16 years of age. ID is also required for attendance at all football games, concerts, and events on campus. Guests should stop by the Visitors Center which provides a great starting point for all visitors. The Visitors Center is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year's Eve and Day from 9 am until 4:45 pm. The West Point Museum features the oldest and largest public collection of military memorabilia in the Western Hemisphere. Future Cadets and their families are encouraged to visit the museum during their admissions process. For a memorable look at United States history and the role West Point has played, pay a visit to the museum and campus.