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Aerospace Studies

Jay E. Seward II, Chair of the Department

Jay E. Seward II, Colonel, USAF, M.B.A., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1981, M.A., Naval War College, 1995

Assistant Professors
Timothy J. Gochnaur, Major, USAFR, M.S., Troy State University, 1986
William E. Jordan, Captain, USAF, M.A., Webster University, 1997


The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Program offered by the Department of Aerospace Studies is conducted pursuant to provisions of the ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964. AFROTC is a leadership program for college students interested in earning a commission and entering the active duty Air Force as an officer, after completing a bachelor's or master's degree. AFROTC instructs students in military heritage, the development of air and space power, military ethics, drill and ceremonies, communication, human relations, and leadership theory and techniques. Teaching methods include instructor presentations, student discussions and team projects, and hands-on leadership exercises. All books and uniforms associated with AFROTC are provided at no cost to the student. Additionally, students may enroll for academic credit only. The AFROTC program is optimized to cover eight semesters of a typical student career. However, the program can be tailored to accommodate as few as the final two semesters prior to degree completion. Inquire in the Department of Aerospace Studies for details.

General Military Course (GMC). Qualified freshman and sophomore students may enroll as Air Force ROTC cadets in the general military course. This program allows students to "try out" Air Force ROTC for up to two years without incurring any obligation unless on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Students will learn about Air Force history, the historical development of airpower, and basic officership skills. Testing and screening are accomplished during the freshman and sophomore years to determine those cadets qualified for enrollment in the professional officer course. Enrollment in AERO 101/102 or 201/202, plus the corequisite lab, is required to maintain good standing in the GMC.

Professional Officer Course (POC). Upon successful completion of a four- or five-week field-training course at an Air Force base, qualified cadets may enroll in the professional officer course during their last two years of college. POC courses offered by the Department of Aerospace Studies are designed to prepare selected juniors, seniors, or graduate students for their responsibilities as Air Force officers. An allowance for tuition, fees, and books plus a subsistence stipend are paid during the last two years of college to cadets maintaining the minimum grade point average for advancement. Enrollment in AERO 301/302 (juniors) and 401/402 (seniors), plus the corequisite lab, is required to maintain good standing in the POC. Successful completion of the POC results in receiving a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Program Completion Requirements

  • be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student
  • be a U.S. citizen prior to commissioning
  • be in good physical condition, meet height and weight standards
  • have good moral character
  • be medically qualified
  • pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test
  • successfully complete field training requirements
  • be in good academic standing

Scholarship Opportunities

College Students: Air Force ROTC offers one- to four-and-a-half-year scholarships to college students in most majors. These scholarships include partial to full tuition and fees, a book allowance, and a monthly nontaxable stipend. Selection is based on student scores on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, cumulative grade point average, and a rating from an interview. There is also a one-time, non-renewable scholarship available for new USC cadets who have a qualifying cumulative grade point average and/or SAT or ACT scores. To apply for any scholarship, contact the Department of Aerospace Studies.

High-School Seniors and Graduates: There are also scholarships available, on a competitive basis, to high-school seniors or graduates who have not enrolled as full-time college students. For up to four years, these scholarships pay partial to full tuition and fees, a textbook allowance, plus a monthly nontaxable stipend. Students should apply prior to December 1 of the year preceding the fall term they would enter the University full-time.

Course Descriptions (AERO)

General Military Courses

  • 101 -- The Air Force Today I. (1) (Coreq: AERO 101L) Role of the Air Force in the contemporary world through a study of the total structure: strategic offensive and defensive forces, general purpose forces, and aerospace support forces. One class meeting per week.
  • 101L -- Initial Air Force Experiences I. (No credit) (Coreq: AERO 101) A leadership laboratory; drill, military customs and courtesies, field trips, social functions, and briefings by visiting officers. Two meetings per week. (Pass/Fail only)
  • 102 -- The Air Force Today II. (1) (Coreq: AERO 102L) A continuation of AERO 101. Support forces of the Air Force and other branches of the Armed Forces. One class meeting per week.
  • 102L -- Initial Air Force Experiences II. (No credit) Continuation of AERO 101L. Two meetings per week. (Pass/Fail only)
  • 201 -- The Air Force Way I. (1) (Coreq: AERO 201L) Transition to Air Force officer candidate: Air Force heritage and leaders, introduction to leadership, group leadership problems, and application of communication skills. One class meeting per week.
  • 201L -- Initial Air Force Experiences III. (No credit) (Coreq: AERO 201) Continuation of AERO 102L. Two meetings per week. (Pass/Fail only)
  • 202 -- The Air Force Way II. (1) (Coreq: AERO 202L) Quality Air Force, introduction to ethics and values, continued study of Air Force heritage and development of communication skills. One class meeting per week.
  • 202L -- Initial Air Force Experiences IV/Preparation for Field Training. (No credit) (Coreq: AERO 202) Continuation of AERO 201. Preparation of students for summer training at an Air Force base; teaching drill and other leadership experiences. Two meetings per week. (Pass/Fail only)

Professional Officer Courses

  • 301 -- Quality Air Force Leadership and Management I. (4) Management principles, functions, and practices; leadership theory; meaning of professionalism; Air Force personnel policies; communication skills; discipline and human relations. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week.
  • 302 -- Quality Air Force Leadership and Management II. (4) (Prereq: AERO 301 or permission of instructor) Continuation of AERO 301: management functions and practices, professional responsibilities, channels of communication, problem solving, administration, performance standards, career planning. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week.
  • 399 -- Independent Study. (1-2) (Prereq: consent of department head)
  • 401 -- National Security Affairs. (4) (Prereq: AERO 302 or permission of instructor) National security process, regional studies, Air Force doctrine, refinement of communication skills. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week.
  • 402 -- Preparation for Active Duty. (4) (Prereq: AERO 401 or permission of instructor) Continuation of AERO 401: managing personnel conflict, the military as a profession, professionalism, military ethics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week.
  • 415 -- Principles of Flight. (3) Aeronautical subjects to prepare for military or civilian flight training and FAA private pilot certification. Includes theory of flight, aerodynamics, FAA regulations and flight procedures, navigation, communications, and meteorology.

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