ROTC Overview

The ROTC program is separated into two distinct groups: the General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer Course (POC), both of which are described in detail below. AFROTC emphasizes military studies, leadership development, and physical fitness.

General Military Course

  • AS100 – Freshman (no service obligation, even if on scholarship)
    • Fall—Aerospace Studies 1101 (1 credit hour)
    • Spring—Aerospace Studies 1102 (1 credit hour)
    • Summer—Professional Development Training (optional, selection varies by year)
  • AS200 – Sophomore (service obligation if on scholarship)
    • Fall—Aerospace Studies 2201 (1 credit hour)
    • Spring—Aerospace Studies 2202 (1 credit hour)
    • Summer—Field Training (2 weeks, Maxwell AFB, AL)

Professional Officer Course

  • AS300 – Junior (must sign service contract; service obligation)
    • Fall—Aerospace Studies 3301 (3 credit hours)
    • Spring—Aerospace Studies 3302 (3 credit hours)
    • Summer—Professional Development Training (optional, selection varies by year)
  • AS400 – Senior (service obligation)
    • Fall—Aerospace Studies 4401 (3 credit hours)
    • Spring—Aerospace Studies 4402 (3 credit hours)
    • Graduation and Commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force


The General Military Course (GMC), is a two-year program offered to freshmen and sophomores who meet the minimum requirements. It consists of a one-credit hour class each semester for both years, as well as two hours of Leadership Laboratory and up to two hours of group physical fitness training each week. The GMC is designed to improve communication skills and provide an introduction into military life. The GMC is an opportunity for students to try out the program with no obligation (for those not on an ROTC scholarship). After completing GMC requirements, cadets wishing to enter the last two years of the program, the Professional Officer Course (POC), must compete for an Enrollment Allocation (EA). EAs are determined by qualitative factors to determine if a candidate has officer potential; such factors include college grade point average, unit commander evaluation, physical fitness scores, and aptitude test scores. An EA allows cadets to attend Field Training the summer between their sophomore and junior years.


Field Training is a 2-week training and evaluation period at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama that challenges cadets’ leadership, followership, and teamwork abilities. Upon successful completion of Field Training, cadets then enter the Professional Officer Course (POC) and assume greater leadership responsibilities within the Cadet Wing. The POC consists of a three-credit hour Aerospace Studies class each semester of junior and senior year. In addition to the Aerospace Studies coursework, POC cadets will plan and facilitate the weekly, two hour Leadership Laboratory and two hour-long physical fitness sessions.

ROTC Classes

Aerospace Studies 100 (AS100) – Freshman Year

Heritage and Values

AS100 is the freshman survey course designed to introduce cadets to the United States Air Force (USAF) aand provides an overview of the basic characteristics, missions, and organization of the Air Force. Topics include: mission and organization of the Air Force, officership, military customs and courtesies, Air Force officer opportunities, and an introduction to communication skills. Enrollment does not obligate the student to join the Air Force ROTC program. Freshmen who want to join the ROTC program, however, must enroll in this course and the Leadership Laboratory. Leadership Laboratory complements this course by providing cadets with followership and team-building experiences. At Cornell University, the classwork is coded as AIRS 1101 for the fall semester and AIRS 1102 for the spring semester.

Aerospace Studies 200 (AS200) – Sophomore Year

Team and Leadership Fundamentals

This sophomore-level course takes students provides a fundamental understanding of both leadership and team building. The lessons and course flow are designed to prepare cadets for field training and leadership positions in the detachment. Leadership Laboratory is mandatory for AFROTC cadets and complements this course by providing cadets with followership and teamwork experiences that will prepare cadets for field training. At Cornell University, the classwork is coded as AIRS 2201 for the fall semester and AIRS 2202 for the spring semester.

Aerospace Studies 300 (AS300) – Junior Year

Leading People and Effective Communication

AS300 is the junior-level course that utilizes cadet’s field training experience to take a more in-depth look at leadership. Special emphasis is placed on enhancing communication skills, and why that is important as a leader. Cadets have an opportunity to try out these leadership and management techniques in a supervised environment as juniors and seniors. Cadets will also take Leadership Laboratory concurrently, which will give cadets the opportunity to apply the leadership and management principles they are learning by helping plan, run, and teach Leadership Laboratory. At Cornell University, the classwork is coded as AIRS 3301 for the fall semester and AIRS 3302 for the spring semester.

Aerospace Studies 400 (AS400) – Senior Year

National Security, Leadership Responsibilities and Commissioning Preparation

This senior-level course is designed to prepare cadets for their first active duty assignment as an Air Force officer. In this course cadets learn about the role of a professional military leader in a democratic society, the national security process, regional studies, advanced leadership ethics, and the application of Air Force doctrine in current conflicts. Additionally, this course refines communication skills and is taken in tandem with the Leadership Laboratory, where senior cadets implement their communication, leadership, and managerial skills as they plan, organize, and facilitate the training of the cadet wing. At Cornell University, the classwork is coded as AIRS 4401 for the fall semester and AIRS 4402 for the spring semester.

Leadership Laboratory – All Years

Leadership Laboratory is taken each year of the program in conjunction with cadets’ Aerospace Studies classes. This cadet-run laboratory gives juniors and seniors an opportunity to exercise the leadership, managerial, and organizational skills they have learned in their AS classes while providing freshmen and sophomores with an immersion into the Air Force way of life. Freshmen and sophomores will engage in activities that teach customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, physical fitness, and teamwork, which will ultimately prepare them for Field Training and becoming leaders in the cadet corps.