Dexter Bldg. (34), Room 115
Career and Scholarship Advisor: Ken Harris
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The Military Science Department conducts a dynamic four-year program of instruction which develops the mental and physical qualifications of graduates in preparation for positions of leadership within the military and civilian communities. Students may enroll at any time for full academic elective credit without incurring any military service obligation. However, the last two years of the program are oriented toward preparing the student for a military career.
The innovative and well-taught courses complement all major areas of study by broadening the student's basic education. The complete curriculum includes both military leadership and management courses; courses which provide an awareness of the heritage of the U.S. military; the Armed Forces' role in national defense strategy; professional military subjects; and military ethics.
Students desiring to attain a highly sought-after commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army must meet eligibility requirements and complete the entire Military Science/ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) Advanced Course (25 units). To be eligible for participation in the Cal Poly ROTC Program, a student must be enrolled full time (12 units) at Cal Poly, have at least two years remaining as a university student to permit completion of the advanced course prior to reaching the 30th birthday, and be physically qualified.
Many opportunities for financial assistance are available to students. Three areas of opportunities are: ROTC cadets who sign a contract for Advanced Phase, students who earn an ROTC scholarship, and cadets who train with Reserve or National Guard units. All ROTC cadets sign a contract to participate in the Advanced Phase of ROTC and receive a $300 - $500 a month allowance. Criteria to participate in the Advanced Phase are stated later. Highly competitive two-, two and a half, three-, and four-year ROTC scholarships are available. The scholarship provides payment of either full tuition or room and board (student’s choice), books, supplies, and the $300 - 500 a month allowance for the duration of the scholarship. Students interested in ROTC scholarship should contact the Military Science Department. Reserve or National Guard training provides an additional two sources of financial assistance: approximately $165 a month for one weekend drill and approximately $190 a month tuition assistance from the National Guard/Army Reserve "New GI Bill" benefits.
Equipment and Uniforms
All necessary equipment, uniforms and textbooks for participation in the Military Science/ROTC program are furnished to the student by the United States Government free of charge. Title to this property, other than expendable items, remains with the government.
How to Read Course Descriptions
The bolded first line begins with a capitalized abbreviation that designates the subject area followed by the course number and title. The unit value is also displayed.
CR/NC: Indicates a course is offered on a Credit/No Credit grading basis only.
GE Area: Indicates the General Education (GE) Area for which the course may fulfill a requirement. See the course description for details.
USCP: Indicates that credit in the course satisfies the U.S. Cultural Pluralism requirement.
GWR: Indicates the course will satisfy the Graduation Writing Requirement, if the student earns a grade of C or better AND receives certification of proficiency in writing based on a 500-word in-class essay.
Prerequisite: Coursework to be completed and/or requirements to be met before taking the course
Corequisite: Course or courses that must be taken in a previous term or in the same term
Concurrent: Course or courses that must be taken in the same term
Recommended: Course with supporting content that is recommended, but is not required to be taken in a previous term or in the same term
The course description summarizes the purpose and key topical areas of the course, and includes special requirements if they exist. It indicates the mode of instruction, such as lecture and/or laboratory; if no mode is indicated, the course is supervised independent study. If a course can be taken more than once for credit, the description will indicate that either major credit or total credit is limited to a specified number of units. Some course descriptions end with information about whether the course was "formerly" another course or whether the course is cross-listed. A cross-listed course is the same course offered within multiple subject areas, MCRO/WVIT 301 Wine Microbiology for example.
MSL 101. Foundation of Officership I. 1 unit
Introduction to issues and competencies of the Army officer profession. Emphasis on stereotypes about the military, the role of the Army officer, customs and traditions within the military, and personal and physical development. 1 lecture.
MSL 102. Foundation of Officership II. 1 unit
The role of leadership within a large organization. Emphasis on the definition of leadership, leadership framework, individual and organizational core values, and the moral responsibility of leadership. 1 lecture.
MSL 103. Basic Leadership. 1 unit
The foundation of basic leadership fundamentals such as problem solving, communications, briefings and effective writing, techniques for improving listening and speaking skills, and an introduction to counseling. 1 lecture.
MSL 110. Exercises in Military Leadership. 1 unit
Prerequisite: Enrollment in any MSL course or consent of department head.
Hands-on instruction on the proper execution of small-unit military operations. Incorporation of the military decision-making process in the planning, execution and conducting of a wide variety of squad, platoon and company sized missions. Credit/No Credit grading only. 1 activity.
MSL 111. Orienteering. 2 units
Principles of orienteering, basic map reading and compass skills; course running techniques applied in field orienteering events. 1 lecture, 1 activity.
MSL 112. The Army Physical Fitness Program. 1 unit
The Army Physical Fitness Program and its proper execution. Physical training to the Army standard with the goal of successfully passing the Army Physical Fitness Test. 1 laboratory.
MSL 201. Foundations of Leadership I. 2 units
The development of individual leadership traits and capabilities using the Army officer as a model. The Army's problem solving methods, written and oral communications, tactics and group leadership. 2 lectures.
MSL 202. Foundations of Leadership II. 2 units
The development of individual leadership traits and capabilities using the Army officer as a model. The Army's problem solving methods, tactics and group leadership. 2 lectures.
MSL 203. Foundations of Leadership III. 2 units
The development of individual leadership traits and capabilities using the Army officer as a model. The Army's problem solving methods, land navigation techniques, tactics and group leadership. 2 lectures.
MSL 212. Leader's Training Course. 1-7 units
One to seven units of credit may be granted depending upon successful completion of training. Five weeks of training, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Travel pay and salary provided through the Military Science Department. No obligation. LTC graduates eligible to enroll in ROTC Advanced Program.
MSL 229. Ranger Challenge. 2 units
Selection and preparation of the Ranger Challenge Team which will represent Cal Poly in military tactical skills competition. Includes rope bridging, orienteering, weapons knowledge, hand grenade accuracy, 10K road march with equipment, first aid, marksmanship, physical fitness and tactics. Credit/No Credit grading only. 2 activities.
MSL 240. American Military History and the Evolution of Western Warfare. 4 units
Comprehensive analysis of American military history from the early Anglo-French period to the end of the 20th Century. Examination of the strategies, operations and tactics of military warfare, and exploration of how social, economic, and technological factors produced the distinct patterns of war that characterize the struggles of the past two hundred plus years. Open to all students. 4 lectures.
MSL 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units
Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.
Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.
MSL 275. Facilitation and Teambuilding. 2 units
Techniques and models used in leadership, facilitation, and teambuilding. Emphasis on leadership and facilitation styles and models, teambuilding and group dynamics, and working with various populations. Field trip required. 2 seminars. Crosslisted as MSL/RPTA 275.
MSL 301. Tactical Leadership I. 3 units
Introduction to the life of a professional Army officer. Instruction in the operational art of small-unit leadership, and the roles and responsibilities of an Army 2nd Lieutenant in preparation for attendance at the Leader Development and Assessment Course. 3 lectures.
MSL 302. Tactical Leadership II. 3 units
Prerequisite: MSL 301, and consent of instructor.
Continuation of study of the life of a professional Army officer. Instruction in the operational art of small-unit leadership, and the roles and responsibilities of an Army 2nd Lieutenant in preparation for attendance at the Leader Development and Assessment Course. 3 lectures.
MSL 303. Applied Leadership. 3 units
Demonstration of proficiency in leading small units. Emphasis on clear and concise oral communications, land navigation, weapons skills, and timely decision-making. Completion of training for the Leader Development and Assessment Course and preparation for attendance at the course. 3 lectures.
MSL 310. Advanced Leadership of Military Exercises. 1 unit
The planning, resourcing and execution of selected Army tactical missions in a field environment, and leading all students enrolled in MSL 110. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 activity.
MSL 312. Leadership of the Army Physical Fitness Program. 1 unit
The planning, resourcing and execution of the Army Physical Fitness Program, and leading all students enrolled in MSL 112. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 laboratory.
MSL 314. Leadership Development and Assessment Course. 6 units
Five week summer training program required to achieve an Army commission. Testing and training as functional Army officers and determination of potential for service. Travel pay, room and board, and salary provided by the U.S. Army. Held at Fort Lewis, Washington. Credit/No Credit grading only.
MSL 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 2 units
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.
MSL 401. Developmental Leadership I. 3 units
In-depth study and analysis of the duties and responsibilities of an ethical Army officer. Emphasis on honing skills required at follow-on training. Administrative actions and self and subordinate developmental processes utilized by an Army 2nd Lieutenant. 3 lectures.
MSL 402. Developmental Leadership II. 3 units
Prerequisite: MSL 401 and consent of instructor.
Continuation of MSL 401 with a focus on communications and personal development. Continuation of in-depth study and analysis of the duties and responsibilities of an ethical Army officer. Emphasis placed on honing skills required at follow-on training. Administrative actions and self and subordinate developmental processes utilized by an Army 2nd Lieutenant. 3 lectures.
MSL 403. Adaptive Leadership. 3 units
Beginning of transition from student to commissioned officer. Emphasis on expectations of an Army 2nd Lieutenant. Cultural awareness, effective command climates, terrorism and force protection in the current operational environment, and individual officer skills. 3 lectures.
MSL 410. Administration and Evaluation of Exercises in Military Leadership. 1 unit
The supervision and evaluation of the organization, planning, resourcing, and execution of selected Army tactical missions, and mentoring assigned students enrolled in MSL 310. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 activity.
MSL 412. Administration and Evaluation of the Army Physical Fitness Program. 1 unit
The supervision and evaluation of the organization, planning, resourcing, and execution of the Army Physical Fitness Program, and mentoring assigned students enrolled in MSL 312. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 laboratory.
MSL 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.