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Course Descriptions

Air Force ROTC

The Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AFROTC) at the University of Virginia affords students the opportunity to receive U.S. Air Force officer training while completing undergraduate or graduate studies. AFROTC is the largest of three programs available through the Air Force to earn a commission and serve as an officer in the United States Air Force.


Department of Air Science
Astronomy Building
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400188
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4188
(434) 924-6832 Fax: 982-2842

AFROTC offers commissioning opportunities for students of all levels, both undergraduate and graduate. The four-year program is designed for students who join during their first year of college. Students take all four years of air science classes and attend a four-week summer field training encampment at an Air Force base between their second and third years.

Students may also enroll during their second year of college. Those awarded a scholarship will dual enroll in both the AIRS 100- and AIRS 200-level courses during their second year of college and attend a four-week summer field training encampment. Students not on scholarship will only take the AIRS 200-level courses and attend a six-week summer field training encampment.

Students enrolling in the program during their third year attend field training either before their third year of college or between their third and fourth years, depending upon space availability. Students attend a six-week summer field training encampment.

Depending on the needs of the Air Force, AFROTC may offer a one-year program to technical majors (including most engineering disciplines and nursing). Students who have at least one academic year of undergraduate or graduate studies remaining may enroll in this program. Students attend either a five-week or seven-week summer field training encampment depending on what air science courses their academic schedule allows them to take during their final year of studies and enroll in both AIRS 300 and AIRS 400-level courses during their one year in the program.

Unless the student earns an AFROTC scholarship, there is no service obligation inside the first two years of the four-year program. However, all students who enter into the Professional Officer Course the last two years, enter into a contractual obligation with the Air Force to serve on active duty upon commissioning.

After graduation and commissioning as second lieutenants in the Air Force, graduates serve in any number of career fields for a four-year active duty service commitment. Interested and qualified students may compete to become Air Force pilots or navigators; successful pilot and navigator candidates serve ten and six year active duty service commitments, respectively. Active duty may be delayed after graduation for those who wish to immediately pursue a graduate degree.

College Scholarship Program Qualified students may be offered an AFROTC scholarship for full or partial college tuition, incidental fees, textbook allowances, and a tax-free monthly subsistence allowance of at least $250.

Air Force ROTC students take the following courses in numerical sequence, including AIRS A, a weekly, two-hour leadership laboratory. Special student status allows any student to take air science classes on an elective basis. However, these students are not considered cadets and do not attend AIRS A.

Course Descriptions


AIRS A - (0) (S)
Leadership Laboratory
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Air Force ROTC.
A mandatory laboratory in leadership and followership development for AFROTC cadets. As a complement to the air science classes, this laboratory focuses on applying leadership principles and understanding leaders’ responsibilities while emphasizing the benefits of practical experience.

AIRS 110, 120 - (1) (S)
The Foundations of the U.S. Air Force
Corequisite: AIRS A.
Introduces the United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Topics include mission and organization of the Air Force, officership and professionalism, military customs and courtesies, Air Force officer opportunities and benefits, and communication skills.

AIRS 210, 220 - (1) (S)
The Evolution of Air and Space Power
Corequisite: AIRS A.
Examines general aspects of air and space power through a historical perspective, from the first balloons and dirigibles to the space-age global positioning systems of the Persian Gulf War. Presents historical examples of the development of Air Force capabilities and missions to demonstrate the evolution of what has become today’s USAF air and space power. Investigates several fundamental truths associated with war in the third dimension (e.g., Principles of War and Tenets of Air and Space Power). Considers the general element and employment of air and space power from institutional, doctrinal, and historical perspectives. Discusses the importance of Air Force core values using operational examples and historical Air Force leaders. Continues to develop communication skills.

AIRS 310, 320 - (3) (Y)
Concepts of Air Force Leadership and Management
Corequisite: AIRS A.
Focuses on the study of leadership, management fundamentals, professional knowledge, Air Force personnel and evaluation systems, leadership ethics, and communication skills required of an Air Force junior officer. Case studies are used to examine Air Force leadership and management situations as a means of demonstrating and exercising practical application of the concepts being studied.

AIRS 410, 420 - (3) (Y)
National Security Affairs/Preparation for Active Duty
Corequisite: AIRS A.
Examines the national security process, regional studies, advanced leadership ethics, and Air Force doctrine. Topics include the military as a profession, officership, military justice, civilian control of the military, preparation for active duty, and current issues affecting military professionalism. Emphasizes refining communication skills.


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