Admissions Bulletin

For Candidates Seeking Admission to West Point

West Point annually enrolls about 1,200 cadets. Cadets are admitted from each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands as well as from overseas areas. This bulletin describes the admissions requirements and procedures you should follow to compete for admission to West Point.


If you are interested in West Point and are at least a high school junior, write to the : Director of Admissions, United States Military Academy, 606 Thayer Road, West Point, New York 10996-1797, requesting an application. You will receive an Admissions Prospectus with a PreCandidate Questionnaire. To start your Admissions Candidate file, fill out the PreCandidate Questionnaire and return it with a copy of your high school transcript. You should do this in the spring of your junior year or as soon thereafter as possible.

Entrance Requirements

You must receive a nomination from an authorized source to be considered for an appointment to the Military Academy. Basic eligibility requirements are specified by law. You will be evaluated in the areas of academics, leadership, and physical aptitude, and must also meet medical qualification standards.

Basic Requirements

You must be a citizen of the United States, at least 17 and not yet 23 on July 1st of the year you seek admission. You must not be married, pregnant, nor have a legal obligation to support a dependent. If you are a naturalized citizen you must provide documentation.


Your complete scholastic transcript and extracurricular record, the results of your ACT, Inc. Assessment Program Test (ACT) or College Board Admissions Testing Program Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), your high school rank in class and the recommendations of your faculty are used to determine academic qualification.

You can best prepare yourself for the academic curriculum at West Point by completing four years of English with strong emphasis on composition, grammar, literature, and speech; four years of college preparatory mathematics, to include algebra, geometry, intermediate algebra, and trigonometry as a minimum; two years of a foreign language; two years of a laboratory science such as chemistry and physics, and one year of U.S. history to include courses in geography, government and economics. If your school includes a course in precalculus and calculus in its curriculum, along with a basic computing course, those courses will be extremely helpful during your first year at West Point.


You should strive to develop the personal traits which will allow you to be an effective leader in school, church and community activities. Participation in secondary school extracurricular activities, both athletic and non-athletic, and the attainment of responsible positions in those activities provide valuable leadership experience. You should try to make significant contributions in leadership positions on athletic teams, in club and class activities, and in church, scout, civic and community activities. Working to provide family financial support may affect a lack of participation in extracurricular activities.

Physical Aptitude

Your physical aptitude qualification is determined by assessing your performance on the Physical Aptitude Examination or PAE. The exam consists of four events: pull-ups for men (palms away from the face) or flexed-arm hang for women (for time); basketball throw (from kneeling position); standing long jump; and 300 -yard shuttle run. You should remember that your score is a combination of your best efforts on each of the four events. You will be scheduled for the PAE at a test site near your home or mailed a test form to be administered by your coach or physical education instructor. The chart below reflects the performance of candidates from a recent class.

In order to qualify for admission to the United States Military Academy you must pass the PAE. The only other PAE accepted by West Point is the Naval Academy's PAE. A good way to prepare is to practice the unique events of the PAE. A passing score will result if you score above the dotted line on the PAE chart. If you score below the line in one event, a passing score may still result if you obtain a score above the line in another.

To prepare for the PAE and for the physical demands which will be placed upon you as a cadet, you should reach the level of physical conditioning required for participation in a strenuous team sport. Vigorous conditioning exercises, cross country running and swimming are recommended. you should place emphasis on a variety of strenuous activities rather than on one sport.

Medical Qualification

Although medical evaluation standards differ among the various commissioning programs of the Armed Services, only one medical examination is needed to meet the application requirements of all service academies and the four-year ROTC scholarship programs. If you are a competitive candidate, you will receive instructions for taking the qualifying medical examination directly from the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB), 8034 Edgerton Drive, Suite 132, U.S.A.F. Academy, CO 80840-2200, at the appropriate time. You may be scheduled at an Army, Air Force, Naval, or civilian facility near your home. DODMERB will forward your medical test results to you. Questions on your medical status should be directed to DODMERB at (719) 333-3562.


Admission to West Point is gained through a unique system of nomination, evaluation, qualification and selection. A nomination is the legal authority for the U.S. Military Academy to consider a candidate for admission. You should apply for nominations at the same time you open your applicant file at West Point.

Those authorized to nominate individuals for appointments to the U.S. Military Academy include the President, Vice President, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, delegates to the House of Representatives from Washington, D.C.; Guam and the Virgin Islands; the Governors of American Samoa and Puerto Rico; the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico; the Resident Representative from the Northern Mariana Islands; and the Secretary of the Army.

As a minimum, you should apply to your two U.S. Senators, your member in the House of Representatives, and the Vice President. Candidates should contact their local congressional office for the proper mailing address for nomination request letters. Because some Members of Congress will not accept applications for a nomination after a specified date, interested candidates should request a nomination as early as possible using letter format Sample A. (Note: many Members of Congress have their own formats, if they don't feel free to use this format).

Congressional Nominations

Each member of Congress may have five enrolled cadets at the Military Academy. They may nominate up to 10 candidates to compete for each vacancy.

Candidates found fully qualified for admission but not selected for the specified vacancy for which they were nominated are placed on a national waiting list. Each year several hundred candidates are offered admission from this list.

As a Member of Congress, the Vice President has five cadetships for applicants from the United States at large. Candidates interested in seeking a Vice-Presidential nomination should write directly to the Vice President, The Old Executive Office Building, Room 490, Washington, D.C. 20501. The applications should arrive at the Vice President's office by November 1.

Military Service-Connected Nominations

If you are eligible under the terms of one or more of the following categories, use letter format Sample B to apply for a nomination. Send this application to the Director of Admissions, United States Military Academy, not later than January 15th.

Presidential: Sons and daughters of career military personnel of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard - active, retired, or deceased - are nominated through this category. The term "career" includes members of the Regular Army or Reserve Components currently serving eight or more years of continuous active duty and retirees receiving either retired or retainer pay. Sons and daughters of reservists retired while not on active duty are not eligible.

Sons and Daughters of Deceased and Disabled Armed Forces Veterans: This category is for sons and daughters of deceased or 100% disabled Armed Forces Veterans whose death or disability was determined by the Veterans' Administration to be service-connected, and for sons and daughters of military personnel or federally employed civilians who are in a missing or captured status.

Sons and Daughters of Persons Awarded the Medal of Honor: Sons and daughters of Medal of Honor winners are eligible under this category.

Regular Army and Reserve Components: This category is for soldiers of the Regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. To request a nomination under this category, submit your commander's endorsement which is included in your application. Soldiers who are not offered an appointment to West Point are automatically considered for enrollment in the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS).

ROTC Program Schools: Applicants enrolled in a Junior or Senior army Reserve Officer Training Corps program are eligible for a nomination in this category. Application should be made through the Professor of Military Science or the Senior Instructor at such a school to the Director of Admissions, U.S.Military Academy. Your senior instructor must fill out and submit a Request for ROTC Nomination to USMA (Form 5-497) and a USMA Admissions Interview Report (USMA Form 21-8) to be considered for a nomination. Applicants enrolled in JROTC programs of another branch of service are eligible only if that school has been designated as an Honor Unit with Distinction.

Application Testing Requirements

Test scores from the standardized timed versions of the ACT or SAT are required. West Point does not accept non-standardized scores for academic evaluation. ACT and SAT scores are updated electronically. By agreeing to electronic test score updates, you can speed the application process, especially if completing Early Action Plan requirements by December 1.

Deadline: Candidates should check with their Guidance Office for the dates and deadlines for the ACT and the SAT examinations. The final date for taking the ACT for admission to the next West Point class is normally the scheduled February ACT examination. The final date for taking the SAT examination is normally the January SAT test date.

ACT: The ACT is administered at test centers throughout the world. A testing fee and advance registration of several weeks are required. For information on ACT testing in your area, consult any high school counselor or write to : Registration Department, ACT Assessment program, Post Office Box 414, Iowa City, Iowa 52243-00001. To ensure that West Point receives your test results, list the ACT college code number for USMA (2976) on the registration form.

To ensure your Congressional representatives receive your test results, also record special code number 7000 on the registration folder (one for each Member of Congress desiring your results). You will receive a sealed copy of your ACT score report. Mail it to your local Congressional representative.

SAT: The SAT is administered at test centers throughout the world. A testing fee and advance registration of several weeks are required. For information on SAT testing in your area, consult any high school counselor or write to: College Board ATP, Rosedaly Road, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6200. To ensure West Point receives your test results, list the SAT college code number for USMA (2924) on the registration form.

To ensure your Congressional representatives receive your test results, follow one of these procedures: (1) contact your Congressional representatives to obtain their College Board code number and record each number on the registration form; (2) or if your Congressional representatives don not have a specific College Board code number, contact the College Board at (609) 921-9000 to obtain the proper code number and place it on your registration form. Your test results will be mailed directly to your Congressional representatives.

Admissions Decisions

Beginning in November early offers of admission are possible for fully qualified, outstanding candidates. These notifications are made without regard to type of nomination.

Based on West Point's rolling admissions policy, outstanding, qualified, nominated candidates will be offered admission as their records become complete. All admissions files must be complete, to include nominations, by March 21.

Visits to West Point

The Admissions Office conducts orientation visits of the Military Academy for prospective candidates (high school students) beginning at 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday from late August through early May, Members of the Corps of Cadets volunteer to escort each candidate individually, and the orientation includes class attendance, a visit to the barracks, lunch in the Cadet Mess Hall, and an admissions briefing. Competitive applicants should take full advantage of this opportunity to see West Point first hand. It will help you make a better decision if you are offered admission. A group orientation is provided simultaneously for parents. During the summer and holiday periods no orientation visits are conducted, but the Admissions, Office is open. We require two weeks notice to schedule an orientation visit. Write to the Admissions Office, Candidate Orientation Visits, USMA West Point, New York 10996-1797 or call (914) 938-5760.

Financial and Service Obligation

As a cadet, you are a member of the U.S. Army, receive a full scholarship and an annual salary from which you pay for your uniforms, textbooks, a personal computer, and incidentals. There is no tuition charge, but there is a requirement for an initial deposit. Room, board, medical, and dental care are provided by the United States Government.

Upon graduation you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission in the U.S. Army. In turn, you are obligated to serve five years on active duty in the U.S. Army, and three years in an inactive reserve status.

Throughout your four years at West Point, you will receive extensive military training, visit Army units and posts and graduate fully prepared to meet the exciting challenges of being an officer in today's Army.

For Additional Information write to:

Director of Admissions

U.S. Military Academy

606 Thayer Road

West Point, N.Y. 10996-1797

or call: (914) 938-4041

or visit:




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