Engagements & Conferences


The Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA)

The Student Conference on U.S. Affairs is an annual four-day conference hosted by the United States Military Academy at West Point. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate interaction and constructive discussion between civilian student delegates and West Point cadets in an effort to better understand the challenges the United States faces today. SCUSA delegates attend panel discussions, hear from high-profile keynote speakers, and develop policy recommendations over the course of their four days at West Point. Roundtables, focusing on fifteen contemporary regional and topical issues relating to democratization, put delegates on the forefront of national issues and expose them to complex problems facing leaders today. Senior delegates (experts in their respective fields) support these discussions by providing students with real world context and guidance. Delegates conclude the conference by generating and presenting a series of policy recommendation to their peers, the best of which are published in the Undergraduate Journal of Social Sciences. 

Learn more about SCUSA

Senior Conference

Senior Conference is an event administered by the Department of Social Sciences on behalf of the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy. The conference provides a forum for influential senior scholars, practitioners, and government officials to engage in candid discussions on topics of national security importance. Senior Conference takes on big issues – the Indo-Pacific Region, the National Security Act of 1949, and terrorism among many others. Typically, the distinguished group of participants assembles at West Point for two days of informal discussions on these critical questions. Conferences result in policy recommendations for the Department of Defense and United States Government. Each meeting produces a conference report, and many have resulted in edited volumes and peer-reviewed publications. 

Senior conference panel

Photo: Senior Conference 2018


Class of 1952 Endowed Guest Lecture Program

The Class of 1952 Guest Lecture Program funds a dynamic and diverse array of guest speakers who visit the Department each year to present to cadets and faculty.  On average, nearly 100 guest speakers visit our classes each year to enrich cadets’ educational experience: prominent academics, senior military officers, policy makers, and distinguished leaders from the nonprofit and private sectors.  Each spring the Department Social Sciences and the West Point Association of Graduates present the “Class of 1952 Distinguished Guest Lecture” featuring a public figure whose work embodies the West Point values of “duty, honor, country.”  Past speakers in this series include Henry Kissinger, LTG(ret) Brent Scowcroft, Madeline Albright, Tom Brokaw, LTG(ret) H.R. McMaster, GEN(ret) Martin Dempsey, among others.  

McMaster addressing cadets as part of the Class of 1952 Lecture Series

Photo: H.R. McMaster addressing cadets as part of the Class of 1952 Lecture Series


Partnerships and Collaboration 

The Department of Social Sciences is embedded within a dense web of professional relationships that extend across government agencies, think tanks, military units, private industry, academia, and the media.  The value of these relationships is found in three basic areas.  First, these relationships provide our cadets with first-rate opportunities to learn from professionals beyond West Point and deepen their understanding of the complexities of American and international politics and economics. Second, this network provides opportunities for our civilian and military faculty members to enhance their own professional development and advance their research projects.  Finally, these relationships offer outlets for putting the intellectual capital of the department to use, as we seek ways to contribute expertise and talent to the disciplines of Political Science and Economics, to the Army, and to national policymakers.  While the department’s network is thriving, we are always interested in exploring new partnerships that help us work toward the mission. 

Cadet Riaz Lane ('20) interviews Todd Morgenfeld, the Chief Financial Officer of Pinterest

Photo: Cadet Riaz Lane ('20) interviews Todd Morgenfeld, the Chief Financial Officer of Pinterest