Department of Aerospace Studies

The Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) program at Texas A&M University is the largest AFROTC program in the United States and is designed to prepare selected students to be commissioned officers in the United States Air Force and Space Force.

The institutional phase of AFROTC, called Aerospace Studies, is divided into two parts. The first two years constitute the General Military Course and the second two years constitute the Professional Officer Course. Details on courses offered are set forth in the alphabetical departmental listing. Concurrent enrollment in more than one aerospace studies course requires the approval of the department head, also known as the Professor of Aerospace Studies.

The General Military Course consists of the 100- and 200-level courses. These courses focus on the structure and missions of Air Force organizations; officership and professionalism; and includes an introduction to communicative skills. The General Military Course prepares the cadet, as a candidate, for the Professional Officer Course (POC). Cadets in the General Military Course attend one hour of class plus two hours of Leadership Lab per week.

Students apply for enrollment in the Professional Officer Course during their sophomore year. Enrollment in the Professional Officer Course at the beginning of the junior year is limited to students of high moral character who are academically qualified, physically fit, possess the necessary interest and aptitude, and have demonstrated leadership potential.

Before entry into the Professional Officer Course, cadets must attend AFROTC Field Training during the summer months typically between the sophomore and junior academic years. The major areas of study in the Field Training program include Junior Officer training, career orientation, survival training, base functions, deployed environment, physical fitness training, and a culmination field training exercise. Those who complete Field Training are enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and enter the POC.

The purpose of the Professional Officer Course is to develop skills and attitudes vital to a career as a professional Air Force or Space Force Officer. The 300- and 400-level courses focus on critical thinking, effective supervision and feedback, leadership, ethics, joint operations, national security affairs, air and space competencies, and military justice system. A degree is a prerequisite for an Air Force or Space Force commission. Cadets attend class three hours a week and Leadership Lab two hours per week during each semester of the Professional Officer Course.

If a student is selected for and enrolled in the Professional Officer Course, the student must sign a contract with the government in which they agree to enlist in the Air Force Reserve, complete the course and, upon graduation, accept a commission as an Officer in the United States Air Force or Space Force. They also must agree to serve on active duty for not less than four years after being commissioned. Persons selected for flight training must serve ten years of active duty following completion of pilot training. During their two years in the Professional Officer Course, cadets are eligible to receive monthly subsistence pay, plus added monetary incentives.

Leadership training is continuous during the student’s life as an AFROTC cadet. One way this is accomplished is through Leadership Laboratory. Instruction is conducted within the framework of an organized cadet corps with a progression of experiences designed to develop each student’s leadership potential. Leadership Laboratory involves a study of Department of the Air Force customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, Air Force and Space Force career opportunities, and expectations of a Junior Officer. Students develop their leadership in a practical, supervised laboratory, which typically includes field trips to Air Force installations.

Students enrolled in the four-year program may apply and compete for two- or three-year AFROTC College Scholarships. The AFROTC In-College Scholarship Program is a highly competitive program aimed primarily at college freshmen and sophomores in any major. If selected for an AFROTC scholarship, the student will receive tuition payment, textbook allowance, and monthly subsistence allowance.

Upon completion of the Professional Officer Course and graduation from the University, students are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Air Force or Space Force. All instructors are active duty Officers assigned to the University by the Department of the Air Force. Information about the Air Force ROTC program may be obtained by contacting the Detachment, or visiting the Air Force ROTC website.