COURSES & TRAINING
As a member of ROTC, you can enroll in unique classes and take hands-on leadership workshops that will enhance your college experience and give you tools to succeed in your future career.
Air Force ROTC classes are taught by world-class military faculty and highlighted by distinguished guest speakers. Classes take place in university classrooms, and you’ll find computers and other helpful resources in the Air Force ROTC detachment.
Cadets are required to wear uniforms only to Air Force ROTC classes, to Leadership Laboratory (once a week) and to special events. The rest of the time, you are free to dress however you wish.
Air Force ROTC curriculum is separated into four major areas:
Profession of Arms—Cadets gain knowledge in military officership, military law, laws of armed conflict and military customs and courtesies.
Communication Skills—Cadets develop enhanced oral and written communication skills critical to military leadership.
Leadership Studies—Cadets are taught leadership and management skills through a better understanding of the different functions of military leadership.
Military Studies/International Security Studies—Cadets learn about the nature of conflict and how the United States military forces, particularly aerospace forces, are developed, organized and employed.
Below you’ll find an overview and course descriptions of the classes you’ll be taking in each year of the program. Freshmen and sophomores have ROTC classes for three hours each week. Juniors and seniors have ROTC classes for five hours each week.
FOUR-YEAR PROGRAM COURSE OVERVIEW
- Freshman—(no service obligation)
- Fall—Aerospace Studies 101
- Spring—Aerospace Studies 102
- Sophomore—(service obligation if on scholarship)
- Fall—Aerospace Studies 201
- Spring—Aerospace Studies 202
- Field Training
- Junior—(must sign service contract)
- Fall—Aerospace Studies 301
- Spring—Aerospace Studies 302
- Senior—(service obligation)
- Fall—Aerospace Studies 401
- Spring—Aerospace Studies 402
- Graduation and Commissioning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force
GENERAL MILITARY COURSE (GMC) DESCRIPTIONS
AS 101-102 FOUNDATIONS OF THE AIR FORCE—TWO SEMESTERS, TWO CREDIT HOURS
This survey course focuses on the structure and missions of Air Force organizations, officership and professionalism. It covers an overview of Air Force and defense topics and introduces communication skills training.
AS 111-112 LEADERSHIP LABORATORY—ZERO CREDIT HOURS
This course (to be taken in conjunction with AS 101 and 102) is a weekly laboratory that touches on the topics of Air Force customs and courtesies, health and physical fitness and drill and ceremonies.
AS 201-202 THE EVOLUTION OF AEROSPACE STUDIES—TWO SEMESTERS, TWO CREDIT HOURS
This survey course covers the beginnings of manned flight and the development of aerospace power in the United States, including the employment of air power in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. It also covers the peaceful employment of U.S. air power in civic actions, space exploration support and scientific missions.
AS 211-212 LEADERSHIP LABORATORY—ZERO CREDIT HOURS
This course (to be taken in conjunction with AS 201 and 202) provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate fundamental management skills and prepares you for field training.
THE PROFESSIONAL OFFICER COURSE (POC) DESCRIPTIONS
AS 301-302 LEADERSHIP STUDIES—TWO SEMESTERS, SIX CREDIT HOURS
This course studies the anatomy and importance of quality leadership and management, the role of discipline in leadership situations and the variables that affect leadership. Case studies are used to examine Air Force leadership and management situations as a means of demonstrating and exercising practical application of the concepts. Students will deal with actual problems and complete projects associated with planning and managing the Leadership Laboratory.
AS 311-312 LEADERSHIP LABORATORY—ZERO CREDIT HOURS
This course (taken in conjunction with AS 301 and 302) offers opportunities to develop fundamental management skills while planning and conducting cadet activities.
AS 401-402 NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES AND PREPARATION FOR ACTIVE DUTY—TWO SEMESTERS, SIX CREDIT HOURS
This course is designed to help prepare cadets for their first active duty assignment as an Officer in the Air Force. In this course, cadets learn about the role of a professional military leader in a democratic society and societal attitudes toward the armed forces. They also learn the requisites for maintaining adequate national defense structure, the impact of technological and international developments on strategic preparedness, military law and the overall policy-making process.
AS 411-412 LEADERSHIP LABORATORY—ZERO CREDIT HOURS
This course (taken in conjunction with AS 401 and 402) allows cadets to use their leadership skills to plan and conduct cadet activities and prepares them to be commissioned into the active duty Air Force.
In Air Force ROTC, you will not only develop your knowledge and skills as a leader in the classroom, you will also apply them for two hours per week in the Leadership Laboratory. There, you’ll develop your demonstration of command, effective communication, physical fitness and knowledge of military customs and courtesies.
Leadership Lab is an excellent environment to improve your verbal communication, planning and organizational skills. You’ll also gain valuable hands-on management experience with your peers and take road trips to Air Force bases.
Here are just a few of the Leadership Lab activities:
- Physical fitness assessments
- Field days
- Drills and ceremonies
- Leadership studies
- Air Force Officer career days
- Leadership-building exercises
During the summer after your sophomore year, you will participate in field training (it is required for all cadets who wish to continue into the Professional Officer Course). This rigorous program involves physical conditioning, weapons training and survival training. Field training offers you the opportunity to develop your skills as both a leader and team member. There are two different field training units:
Field training activities include:
- Physical conditioning
- Marksmanship training
- Survival training
- Air Force specialty orientation
- Confidence course
- Aircraft and crew orientation
- Human relations
- Drill and ceremonies
- Leadership study
- Group and expeditionary leadership activities
Cadet Jay Pothula, AFROTC MIT
Cadet Jay Pothula, an aerospace engineering major at MIT, shares what life in ROTC is like and what he has gotten out of the program.
Cadet Jessica Malekos-Smith, AFROTC MIT
Cadet Jessica Malekos-Smith, a student at Wellesley College, shares her goals and experiences in the program.
Cadet Jonathan Bowie, AFROTC MIT
Cadet Jonathan Bowie, a student at Tufts University, talks about how he has found opportunities in ROTC to develop his passion for mixed martial arts and leadership.
Featured Career: Combat Rescue Officer
Combat Rescue Officers oversee recovery missions and teach survival strategies. These are some of the most courageous Airmen in the Air Force, dedicating their lives to the rescue and recovery of injured servicemen from the front lines.
ROTC programs are offered at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the United States. Check out possible schools and majors by clicking the button below.
Air Force ROTC unofficially began with the passage of the Morrill Act (Land-Grant Act) in 1862, which established military training at land-grant colleges and universities.
Mission & Values
Our dedication to achieving excellence in everything we do is reflected in our core values and mission statement.