The United States Army War College is a U.S. Army educational institution in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500-acre campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks. It provides graduate-level instruction to senior military officers and civilians to prepare them for senior leadership assignments and responsibilities. Each year, a number of Army colonels and lieutenant colonels are considered by a board for admission. Approximately 800 students attend at any one time, half in a two-year-long distance learning program, and the other half in an on-campus, full-time resident program lasting ten months. Upon completion, the college grants its graduates a master's degree in Strategic Studies.
Army applicants must have already completed the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the required Joint Professional Military Education for officers in the rank of major. While the Army handpicks most of the students who participate in the residential program, the student body always includes officers from the other military branches, civilians from agencies such as the Department of Defense, State Department, and National Security Agency, and officers from foreign countries who attend the program as International Fellows.
The Army War College is a split-functional institution. While a great deal of emphasis is placed on research, students are also instructed in leadership, strategy, and joint-service/international operations. It is one of the senior service colleges including the Naval War College and the Air War College. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense operates the National War College.