Aerospace Studies

Four-Year Program

Undergraduates join the four-year AFROTC program by registering for Aerospace Studies classes in the same manner as they do for other University classes. Students in the four-year program attend a four-week field training encampment during the summer between their sophomore and junior years. Students are in the General Military Course (GMC) during the first two years, and the Professional Officer Course (POC) during the last two years.

Freshman GMC academic classes focus on the functions, organizations, and hardware of the U.S. Air Force. Sophomore classes concentrate on the evolution of aerospace power from the Wright brothers through the space program.

All GMC classes meet one hour 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, films, and practical experience are also included.

Students in AFROTC are expected to wear the  uniform correctly and meet the grooming standards required of active duty Air Force personnel. Students must wear the U.S. Air Force uniform to all aerospace classes and leadership laboratories.

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 the physical fitness test (PFT). Students must be in good academic standing with the University, have demonstrated motivation and potential for success as U.S. Air Force officers, and meet U.S. Air Force physical standards.

Completion of the POC incurs a four-year active duty service commitment for non-flyers; a six-year, post-training commitment for combat systems officers; and a 10-year post-training commitment for pilots. There is a $350–400-per-month, tax-free stipend for members of the POC, regardless of their scholarship status. POC students in their junior year are required to pass the AFOQT (Air Force Officer Qualifying Test).

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. Aerospace Studies class activities during the junior year center on management and leadership in a U.S. Air Force setting; standard textual material on management is supplemented by case studies cast in a U.S. Air Force setting. The senior year Aerospace Studies curriculum examines national defense policy and the military in American society. All POC academic classes meet three hours per week.

Three-Year Program

Students unable to participate in the four-year program may be eligible for a three-year program. Prerequisites for entry into the three-year program include (1) at least three remaining years of undergraduate or graduate study; (2) meeting U.S. Air Force fitness standards; (3) good moral character; (4) successful completion of six weeks of field training; and (5) meeting the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board physical requirements. Active duty service commitments are the same as the four-year program.

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.

Field Training

For participants in the program, field training typically occurs during the summer between the sophomore and junior years and lasts four 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.


Academic scholarships are available for those who qualify. The College Scholarship Program consists of tuition, textbooks, required fees, and a $250–400-per-month, tax-free stipend.

Most scholarships are awarded for three or four years. Applications are accepted starting the senior year in high school. Application forms are available online. 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 11. More details are available from AFROTC.

Scholarships are also available for students already in college through the in-college scholarship program. The requirements are mostly academic—good grades and high test scores. There are also age, citizenship, and medical requirements. Check with the Department of Aerospace Studies for details; 617-353-6316.

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

Supplemental Scholarships

Boston University offers competitive ROTC grants, augmenting the ROTC scholarship, to Advanced Designee scholarship recipients. A limited number of scholarships for the cost of on-campus room and board are available to entering full-tuition ROTC recipients living in a University residence on the Charles River Campus. Room and board grants are awarded on the basis of academic performance and potential. Advanced Designee students who receive partial-tuition ROTC scholarships are eligible for Boston University supplemental tuition grants, which cover the difference between tuition and the ROTC scholarship. The grants are all renewable for four years of undergraduate enrollment.

Recipients of three-year Advanced Designee ROTC scholarships are eligible for a Boston University Tuition Incentive Grant for the first year of their studies. The amount is equivalent to one-half of one year’s tuition. Information on these grants is available from the Department of Aerospace Studies at the number listed above.

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.