Aerospace Studies Requirements

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Aerospace Studies is a voluntary course sequence delivered in conjunction with the AFROTC program on the SIU campus. Successful completion of the AFROTC program leads to a commission as an officer in the United States Air Force. Students who do not intend to obtain a commission may enroll in the academic portion of the Aerospace Studies curriculum. Enrollment in the academic portions of the Aerospace Studies curriculum is unrestricted, and students incur no military obligation. Only those students who apply for and meet the eligibility criteria for the AFROTC program are permitted to enroll in the laboratory portions of the Aerospace Studies curriculum.

The Aerospace Studies/AFROTC program is divided into the General Military Course (GMC), designed for students with three to five years remaining until graduation, and the two-year Professional Officer Course (POC), for which AFROTC cadets are competitively selected.

The AFROTC GMC prepares students for the POC and provides them with an education focusing on the Air Force Core Values. The GMC courses are designed to provide the basic knowledge, understanding, and experiences, required to compete for selection into the POC. The student learns about followership, leadership, character development, and the values necessary to lead Airmen. Students interested in participating in the AFROTC GMC may enroll, but are subject to certain physical, medical, and other eligibility criteria as specified by the Department of Defense.

Acceptance into the AFROTC Professional Officer Course is highly competitive and requires the applicant to meet all Air Force officer accession standards. Students selected for the POC incur a military obligation. They are paid a monthly tax-free subsistence allowance.

Students selected for continuation into the POC attend a four-week field-training course during the summer prior to entering the POC.

Students interested in an Air Force flying career (Pilot, Remotely Piloted Aircraft, Combat Systems Officer, or Air Battle Manager) are not required to pursue any specific degree. Students interested in an Air Force flying career should select an academic major in a career field which interests them in the event they are not selected for an Air Force flying career.

Leadership Laboratory is a supervised laboratory taken concurrently with the Aerospace Studies courses. Only cadets enrolled in the AFROTC program may participate in the Leadership Laboratory. Non-AFROTC students taking Aerospace Studies courses are not allowed to enroll in the Leadership Laboratory. While enrolled in the GMC, cadets develop leadership potential by participating in practical leadership situations, participating in and leading drill and ceremonies, learning military customs and courtesies, and engaging in regular physical training.

POC cadets develop leadership skills by assuming command and staff responsibilities, supervising GMC cadets, and implementing the goals and training objectives of the AFROTC Leadership Laboratory.

Well-qualified cadets enrolled in the AFROTC program are eligible to compete for scholarships for their remaining years at the University. In addition to tuition, books, and fees, the scholarship provides a monthly tax-free subsistence allowance. Tuition waivers are also available on a competitive basis through the Illinois State ROTC Scholarship program. Scholarships do not include costs associated with room and board.

In addition to the AFROTC commissioning program and courses offered for academic credit, The Department of Aerospace Studies sponsors many extracurricular activities. The Aerospace Club is open to all members of the student body. The Arnold Air Society, a national honorary service organization, is open to selected AFROTC cadets.

Further information may be obtained from the Department of Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC), Mailcode 6718, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, by phone at 618-453-2481, or on the web at

Aerospace Studies Minor

A minor in Aerospace Studies is structured to broaden the background of students so they may learn more about the Air Force, its role in society, its history, and its officers. With a minor in Aerospace Studies, the civilian leaders of tomorrow will have a better understanding and appreciation of the vital role the Air Force performs in today’s world. AFROTC cadets are also welcome to declare Aerospace Studies as a minor.

A minor in Aerospace Studies consists of a minimum of 16 credit hours, including AS 101, AS 102, AS 201, AS 202 (one credit hour each), AS 301, AS 302, AS 401, and AS 402 (three credit hours each).

Declaration and/or acceptance of Aerospace Studies as a minor does not constitute acceptance into the General Military Course, the Professional Officer Course, or any other association with the Air Force or AFROTC. A student who is not an AFROTC cadet who wishes to work toward a minor by attending the Aerospace Studies academic courses will be listed within the Department of Aerospace Studies as a participating student. He or she may not attend any other AFROTC functions or classes, nor will the student be considered for any AFROTC scholarships, stipends, or privileges.