The Aerospace Studies Program administers the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at the University of Iowa. AFROTC prepares highly qualified undergraduate students for commissions as officers in the United States Air Force.
While AFROTC is structured primarily for students pursuing active-duty Air Force commissions, any undergraduate or graduate student may take aerospace studies courses for academic credit, with the exception of the leadership laboratories. The amount of credit that may be applied toward a degree varies from college to college at the University. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for example, accepts a maximum of 20 s.h. of aerospace studies credit. Additionally, any undergraduate student may apply the courses toward the minor in aerospace studies.
In order to receive a commission, AFROTC cadets must satisfactorily complete all University of Iowa degree requirements as well as courses specified by the U.S. Air Force.
Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
AFROTC offers programs lasting two, three, or four years. Joining early gives students the opportunity to try AFROTC without obligation. It also can give them an advantage in the scholarship selection process.
The AFROTC program's three main components are the general military course (GMC), the professional officer course (POC), and the Leadership Evaluation and Development (LEAD) program.
General Military Course
The general military course (GMC) consists of one AFROTC course (1 s.h.) and a leadership laboratory taken each semester for two years. Any student who meets AFROTC qualifications and is in good academic standing is eligible to participate in the GMC. Students normally apply for the GMC up to the time they earn 60 s.h. Students who have earned more than 60 s.h. may enroll in the GMC if they are willing to extend their academic plan by a semester or more.
Professional Officer Course
The professional officer course (POC) consists of one AFROTC course (3 s.h.) and a leadership laboratory taken each semester for two years. Students accepted into the POC make a commitment to serve a minimum of four years as U.S. Air Force officers. To enter the POC, students must be selected to attend and must successfully complete field training. Students generally take the POC during their last 60 s.h.
Leadership Evaluation and Development
All POC applicants must successfully complete the Leadership Evaluation and Development (LEAD) program at a U.S. Air Force base. Selection to attend LEAD is competitive; if selected to attend, students experience an intensive, three-week program generally completed the summer after the sophomore year. It provides a first-hand look at the active duty Air Force and develops military leadership and discipline. Students participate in junior officer education, marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat training, physical fitness training, and expeditionary skills training in a simulated environment. When they complete LEAD, they are ready to return to school and assume leadership positions in the AFROTC program.
Students have the option to compete for acceptance to a variety of optional AFROTC summer training programs. If selected, students may return to LEAD as cadet training assistants, travel to another country for a cultural immersion program or compete for other Air Force immersion programs as available. The Air Force provides transportation, meals, lodging, and a daily expense allowance for all summer programs.
The AFROTC Cadet Corps also sponsors community service projects, intramural athletics, and social events, including formal and informal dinners.
Cadets may request an educational delay to postpone entry to active duty until after completion of an advanced degree or professional training program. Selection for an educational delay is highly competitive.
Merit scholarships are available on a competitive basis for two and three years of study. They provide varying awards for tuition and fees, a stipend for books, and a monthly tax-free subsistence allowance. Applicants are selected based on objective and subjective factors. Students should apply to the director of the Aerospace Studies Program.
Nonscholarship cadets in the last two years of AFROTC are eligible for some financial assistance. They receive a tax-free subsistence allowance per month. Uniforms and textbooks are furnished free of charge for AFROTC classes.
Undergraduate Program of Study
Aerospace Studies Courses
AERO:1100 Foundations of the U.S. Air Force I1 s.h.
Introduction to U.S. Air Force: military customs and courtesies, basic oral and written communication techniques, careers available to Air Force officers. Requirements: first-year or sophomore standing.
AERO:1150 AFROTC Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) AS 100-FA1 s.h.
A progression of experiences designed to develop leadership ability; military customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, military professional development, the life and work of a junior officer; leadership skills in a practical, supervised military lab setting. Offered fall semesters. Corequisites: AERO:1100. Requirements: first-year or sophomore standing.
AERO:1200 Foundations of the U.S. Air Force II1 s.h.
Continuation of AERO:1100; leadership theory and practice, team building, diversity in the work force. Requirements: first-year or sophomore standing.
AERO:1250 AFROTC Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) AS 100-SP1 s.h.
A progression of experiences designed to develop leadership ability; military customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, military professional development, the life and work of a junior officer; leadership skills in a practical, supervised military lab setting. Offered spring semesters. Corequisites: AERO:1200. Requirements: first-year or sophomore standing.
AERO:2100 Evolution of USAF Air and Space Power I1 s.h.
Air power from Civil War hot air balloons through World War II; emphasis on developments in U.S. Air Force.
AERO:2150 AFROTC Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) AS 200-FA1 s.h.
AERO:2200 Evolution of USAF Air and Space Power II1 s.h.
Continuation of AERO:2100; air power from post-World War II to present; emphasis on developments in U.S. Air Force.
AERO:2250 AFROTC Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) AS 200-SP1 s.h.
AERO:2500 Readings in Contemporary Military Issues1-4 s.h.
Independent research on the U.S. Air Force; historical topics, current missions, future technologies, comparisons to other nations.
AERO:3100 Air Force Leadership Studies I3 s.h.
Emphasis on management, leadership, communication skills required of an Air Force officer. Requirements: junior or higher standing.
AERO:3150 AFROTC Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) AS 300-FA1 s.h.
AERO:3200 Air Force Leadership Studies II3 s.h.
Continuation of AERO:3100; leadership topics in counseling, accountability, ethics. Requirements: junior or higher standing.
AERO:3250 AFROTC Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) AS 300-SP1 s.h.
AERO:4100 National Security Affairs and Active Duty Preparation I3 s.h.
America's evolving national security policy; structure of national security agencies, development of national security strategies; global regions and their historical and current importance to U.S. security policies. Requirements: junior or higher standing.
AERO:4150 AFROTC Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) AS 400-FA1 s.h.
AERO:4200 National Security Affairs and Active Duty Preparation II3 s.h.
Continuation of AERO:4100; Department of Defense structure, missions, and responsibilities, with emphasis on role of the U.S. Air Force; Air Force standards; preparation for active duty as Air Force junior officers. Requirements: junior or higher standing.