William & Mary

Description of Courses

Note: Six of the eight Military Science credits count toward the 120 credits needed for graduation. The remaining two credits will appear on the student's official transcripts.

For the most current information about courses offered in Military Science, please consult the College's Dynamic Schedule website.

Basic Courses

The following Military Science Basic Courses are designed for freshmen and sophomores: MLSC 101, 102, 201 and 202. The Basic Courses introduce freshmen and sophomores to the fundamentals of leadership and management while they learn about the opportunities and prospects of ROTC and commissioned service. Students complete these courses without service obligation (except Army scholarship students) while qualifying for the Advanced Program. All students must participate in the Leadership Laboratory (MLSC 103 and 203) in the Basic Courses.

101. Leadership and Personal Development

Fall (1) Staff.
Introduces students to issues and competencies that are central to a commissioned officer's responsibilities. These initial lessons establish a framework for understanding officership, leadership, and Army values. Additionally, the semester addresses "life skills" including fitness and time management. The MLSC 101 course is designed to support recruiting and retention of Cadets by giving them accurate insight into the Army Profession and the officer's role in the Army.

102. Introduction to Tactical Leadership

Spring (1) Staff.
MLSC 102 overviews leadership fundamentals such as setting direction, problem-solving, listening, presenting briefs, providing feedback, and using effective writing skills. You will explore dimensions of leadership values, attributes, skills, and actions in the context of practical, hands-on, and interactive exercises.

103. MS I Leadership Laboratory

Fall/Spring. Staff.
Taken with Military Science 101 and 102. Presents basic leadership skills in practical situations. Introduces standard Army equipment, marksmanship, orienteering, and small unit tactics, and functioning as a member of a team or squad.

201. Innovative Team Leadership

Fall (1) Staff.
This course explores the dimensions of creative and innovative tactical leadership strategies and styles by examining team dynamics and two historical leadership theories that form the basis of the Army leadership framework. Aspects of personal motivation and team building are practiced planning, executing and assessing team exercises and participating in leadership labs. The focus continues to build on developing knowledge of the leadership values and attributes through understanding Army rank, structure, and duties as well as broadening knowledge of land navigation and squad tactics. Case studies will provide a tangible context for learning the Soldier's Creed and Warrior Ethos as they apply in the contemporary operating environment.

202. Foundations of Tactical Leadership

Spring (1) Staff.
This course examines the challenges of leading tactical teams in the complex contemporary operating environment (COE). This course highlights dimensions of terrain analysis, patrolling, and operation orders. Continued study of the theoretical basis of the Army leadership framework explores the dynamics of adaptive leadership in the context of military operations. MLSC 202 provides a smooth transition into MLSC 301. Cadets develop greater self awareness as they assess their own leadership styles and practice communication and team building skills. COE case studies give insight into the importance and practice of teamwork and tactics in real-world scenarios.

203. MS II Leadership Laboratory

Fall/Spring. Staff.
Taken with Military Science 201 and 202. Develops intermediate leadership skills by placing Cadets in small unit leadership roles in practical situations. Emphasizes acquisition of intermediate individual soldier skills and tactical theory.

Advanced Courses

These courses are designed to prepare juniors and seniors who have agreed to seek a commission as officers in the United States Army. Freshmen and sophomores may not take the Advanced Courses.

301. Adaptive Team Leadership

Fall (2) Staff. Prerequisites: MLSC 101, MLSC 102, MLSC 201, MLSC 202 or equivalent, and contract status in ROTC.
You are challenged to study, practice, and evaluate adaptive team leadership skills as you are presented with the demands of the ROTC Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC). Challenging scenarios related to small unit tactical operations are used to develop self awareness and critical thinking skills. You will receive systematic and specific feedback on their leadership abilities.

302. Leadership in Changing Environments

Spring (2) Staff. Prerequisites: MLSC 301 or consent of department and contract status in ROTC.
You will be challenged to study, practice, and evaluate adaptive leadership skills as you are presented with the demands of the ROTC Leader Development Assessment Course (LDAC). Challenging scenarios related to small unit tactical operations are used to develop self awareness and critical thinking skills. You will receive systematic and specific feedback on your leadership abilities. Leadership Lab concentrates on general military subjects directed toward the reinforcement of military skills and the development of new skills required for the ROTC Leader Development Assessment Course (LDAC).

303. MS III Leadership Laboratory

Fall, Spring.Staff.
Taken with Military Science 301 and 302. Develops advanced leadership skills by requiring Cadets to train and lead units of 10 to 40 fellow Cadets. Includes intensive study of Army equipment, techniques and operational doctrine to achieve advanced proficiency and preparation for attending the Leader Development and Assessment Course.

401. Developing Adaptive Leaders

Fall (2) Staff. Prerequisite: MLSC 302.
MLSC 401 develops student proficiency in planning, executing, and assessing complex operations, functioning as a member of a staff, and providing performance feedback to subordinates. You are given situational opportunities to assess risk, make ethical decisions, and lead fellow ROTC Cadets. Lessons on military justice and personnel processes prepare you to make the transition to becoming an Army officer. During your MSL IV year, you will lead Cadets at lower levels. Both your classroom and battalion leadership experiences are designed to prepare you for your first unit of assignment. You will identify responsibilities of key staff, coordinate staff roles, and use battalion operations situations to each, train, and develop subordinates.

402. Leadership in a Complex World

Spring (2) Staff. Prerequisite: MLSC 302.
MLSC 402 explores the dynamics of leading in the complex situations of current military operations in the contemporary operating environment (COE). You will examine differences in customs and courtesies, military law, principles of war, and rules of engagement in the face of international terrorism. You also explore aspects of interacting with non-government organizations, civilians on the battlefield, and host nation support. The course places significant emphasis on preparing you for BOLC II and III, and your first unit of assignment. It uses case studies, scenarios, and "What Now, Lieutenant?" exercises to prepare you to face the complex ethical and practical demands of leading as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. This semester you will:

  • Explore Military Professional Ethics and ethical decision making facing an Officer
  • Gain practical experience in Cadets Battalion Leadership roles
  • Demonstrate personal skills in operations and communications
  • Evaluate and develop MSL III small unit leaders and examine issues of force protection in the COE
  • Prepare for the transition to a career as an Army Officer.
403. MS IV Leadership Laboratory

Fall, Spring. Staff.
Taken with Military Science 401 and 402. Develops advanced leadership and management expertise in the evaluation of subordinates, performance counseling, mentoring and development of programs of training for units of 100 or more members.

404. Independent Study in Military Science

Fall or Spring (1) Staff.
This course provides ROTC Cadets who have completed their Advance Course program the opportunity to conduct detailed research and independent study on a current problem or topic associated with the military. Program of study will be arranged individually with a faculty advisor. Admission by consent of the chair of the department. This course may be repeated if there is no duplication of topic.