United States Air Force Academy offers a four-year program of instruction
and experience designed to provide cadets the knowledge and character essential
for leadership, and the motivation to serve as Air Force career officers. Each
cadet graduates with a bachelor of science degree and a commission as a second
lieutenant in the Air Force.
Cadets are exposed to a balanced curriculum that provides
a general and professional foundation essential to a career Air Force officer.
Special needs of future Air Force officers are met by professionally oriented
courses, including human physiology, computer science, economics, military history,
astronautics, law and political science.
The core curriculum includes
courses in science, engineering, social sciences and humanities. Cadets take additional
elective courses to complete requirements for one of 25 major areas of study.
About 60 percent of the cadets complete majors in science and engineering; the
other 40 percent graduate in the social sciences and humanities. Some of the most
popular majors include management, astronautical engineering, international affairs
and political science, history, behavioral science, civil engineering, aeronautical
engineering, electrical engineering and engineering mechanics.
The majority of the academy's nearly 600 faculty members
are Air Force officers. They are selected primarily from career-officer volunteers
who have established outstanding records of performance and dedication. Each has
at least a master's degree and more than 35 percent have doctorates.
In addition to imparting knowledge, each faculty member must assist with
the development of character and qualities of leadership essential to future Air
Force career officers and the motivation of service to country. To provide greater
contributions by a diverse faculty, the academy has several distinguished civilian
professors and associate professors who serve one or more years. Officers from
other services are members of the faculty as well, and a small number of officers
from allied countries teach in the foreign language, history and political science
departments. Distinguished civilian and military lecturers also share their expertise
with the cadets during the academic year.
The academy's athletic program is designed to improve physical fitness, teach
athletic skills and develop leadership qualities. To achieve its goals, the academy
offers some of the most extensive physical education, intramural sports and intercollegiate
athletic programs in the nation. Cadets take at least three different physical
education courses each year.
Military Education and Training
An aerospace-oriented military education, training and leadership program
begins with basic cadet training and continues throughout the four years. Seniors
are responsible for the leadership of the cadet wing, while juniors and sophomores
perform lower-level leadership and instructional tasks. Cadets are projected into
as many active leadership roles as possible to prepare them to be effective Air
Fundamental concepts of military organization -- drill,
ethics, honor, Air Force heritage and physical training -- are emphasized the
first summer during basic cadet training. Freshmen then study the military role
in U.S. society as well as the mission and organization of the Air Force. Sophomores
receive instruction in communicative skills, and juniors study the combat and
operational aspects of the Air Force. Military studies for the senior class focus
on military thought.
The academy offers courses in flying, navigation,
soaring and parachuting, building from basic skills to instructor duties. Cadets
may fly light aircraft with the cadet aviation club. Those not qualified for flight
training must enroll in a basic aviation course. Astronomy and advanced navigation
courses also are available. Students bound for pilot training enroll in the pilot
indoctrination course and fly the T-3 Firefly.
Summer training for cadets
is divided into three, threeweek training periods. There are a variety of programs
available, and each cadet is required to complete two training periods each summer
with leave during the other period. All new cadets take six weeks of basic cadet
training in their first summer.
Combat survival training is a required
three-week program during cadets' second summer. For the other second-summer training
period, cadets have options such as working with young airmen in an operational
unit at an Air Force installation, airborne training, soaring or basic free-fall
During their last two summers, all cadets are offered
leadership training as supervisors or instructors in summer programs, such as
basic cadet training, survival training and soaring.
activities also are an integral part of the education program. The cadet ski club,
drum and bugle corps, cadet chorale and forensics are a few of the programs available.
Nominations to the academy may be obtained through
a congressional sponsor or by meeting eligibility criteria in other categories
of competition established by law. For information on admission procedures, write
to HQ USAFA/RRS; 2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 200; USAF Academy, CO 80840-5025.
In 1948 a board of leading civilian and military
educators was appointed to plan the curriculum for an academy that would meet
the needs of the newly established Air Force. The board determined that Air
Force requirements could not be met by expanding the other service academies and
recommended an Air Force academy be established without delay.
then Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington appointed a commission to
assist in selecting a site and on April 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
authorized creation of the United States Air Force Academy. After considering
580 sites in 45 states, the commission narrowed the choice to three locations.
The summer of 1954, Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott selected a site
near Colorado Springs, Colo. Colorado contributed $1 million toward purchase
of the property.
In July 1955, the first academy class entered interim
facilities at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, while construction began. It was sufficiently
completed for occupancy by the cadet wing in late August 1958. Initial construction
cost was $142 million. Women entered the academy on June 28, 1976, as members
of the class of 1980.
Point of Contact
other than admission:
United States Air Force Academy
Office; 2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 320; USAF Academy, Colorado 80840.
DSN 259-2990 or (719) 472-2990
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