The Program

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program offered at Boston University provides students an opportunity to earn a commission in the U.S. Air Force while completing undergraduate or graduate degree requirements. The Aerospace Studies curriculum develops leadership skills while familiarizing the student with U.S. Air Force functions, organization, equipment, management, and its role in national defense. The student is commissioned upon successful completion of both the Aerospace Studies curriculum and their respective program degree requirements.

Participation in AFROTC during the first two years of the four-year program carries no commitment to serve in the U.S. Air Force, unless the student has an AFROTC scholarship. Students in AFROTC are expected to wear the uniform correctly and meet the grooming standards required of active duty Air Force personnel. Students wear the U.S. Air Force uniform one day a week. Undergraduates join the four-year AFROTC program by registering for Aerospace Studies classes in the same manner as for other University classes. Students are in the General Military Course (GMC) during the first two years, and the Professional Officer Course (POC) during the last two years. Completion of the POC incurs an active duty service commitment for 4, 6, or 10 years, depending on your assigned career field. All contracted students (typically all POC cadets and GMC scholarship awardees) receive a stipend.

Students, typically sophomores, unable to participate in the four-year program may be eligible for a three-year program as long as they have three years of academic coursework remaining. Active duty service commitments are the same as the four-year program. Additionally, three-year students will be required to take both GMC courses simultaneously in order to complete the program, in addition to the other requirements.

Freshmen GMC academic classes, meeting one hour a week, focus on the structure and missions of Air Force organizations, officership, and professionalism. They provide an overview of Air Force and defense topics and introduce communication skills training. Sophomore classes, also meeting one hour a week, cover the development of aerospace power in the United States. They also cover the peaceful employment of U.S. air power in civic actions, space exploration support, and scientific missions.

During the junior year, the 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. The senior year curriculum 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. All POC academic classes meet three hours per week.

Complementing the academic classes, a weekly leadership laboratory introduces students to U.S. Air Force customs, courtesies, drills, ceremonies, and lifestyles. Guest lecturers, seminars, briefings, videos, and practical experience are also included.

For participants in the program, Field Training typically occurs during the summer between the sophomore and junior years and lasts two weeks. Field training is conducted at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama and allows the cadet to see U.S. Air Force life firsthand. Room, board, and travel expenses are provided. Successful completion of Field Training grants entry into the POC.

Entry into the POC during the junior year of the four-year AFROTC program is competitive. Factors considered include leadership potential, academic performance, Field Training evaluations, and results of a physical examination and a physical fitness test. Students must be in good academic standing with their university, have demonstrated motivation and potential for success as U.S. Air Force officers, and meet U.S. Air Force physical standards. POC students are expected to plan and conduct a leadership laboratory once a week. The time required varies depending on the responsibilities of the individual POC student.

Graduate Law Programs

Students already attending law school wishing to serve as Air Force Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs) may apply for the program through the Air Force JAG website. Officer training will be provided by the AFROTC detachment at an accelerated pace to meet Air Force recruiting goals.

Scholarships

Academic scholarships are available for those who qualify. The College Scholarship Program consists of tuition, textbooks, required fees, and a $300–500-per-month, tax-free stipend. Most scholarships are awarded for three or four years. Applications are accepted starting the summer before senior year in high school. Application forms are available online at the Air Force ROTC website. Four-year scholarship applications are due by December 1 of the student’s senior year in high school with follow-up paperwork due by January 12.

Scholarships may also be available for students through the in-college scholarship program. To compete for one of these, you will be scored on GPA, physical fitness assessment, detachment commander ranking, and medical qualification.

Most scholarships are awarded to those majoring in engineering or scientific disciplines and foreign languages. Award of one of the types of scholarships noted above carries with it the mutual expectation that the cadet will perform duties relating to his or her major once on active duty; e.g., engineering majors normally work as engineers.

Additional information on AFROTC scholarship opportunities can be found on the Air Force ROTC website.

After Commissioning

Upon graduation from the University and completion of AFROTC courses, cadets are eligible for commissioning as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. All AFROTC graduates are expected to serve on active duty. When their active duty service commitment is complete, officers may either continue on in career status or return to civilian life.

For non-flying officers, military assignments are made based on the officer’s interests, the needs of the Air Force, and academic background. Every effort is made to match the graduate with the job he or she is most interested in pursuing.

Those who want to attend graduate school may apply for an educational delay from active duty. Selection for an educational delay is based primarily on the strength of the applicant’s undergraduate academic record and the needs of the U.S. Air Force.