AU Shield

Air University Catalog 

Introduction to Air University  

Air University plays a vital role in fulfilling the mission of the United States Air Force. To uphold the national purpose and to achieve the nation's objectives, the Air Force must maintain a corps of officers, enlisted personnel, and civilians dedicated to the nation's defense. They must have an in-depth knowledge of war and the military sciences to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow's world. Air University contributes to the development of this knowledge through its professional and specialized education programs, research and doctrinal studies, and degree programs at civilian educational institutions.

Before World War II, the only school in the armed services that emphasized the organization and employment of airpower was the Army Air Corps Tactical School, located initially at Langley Field, Virginia, and later at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Although other military schools taught aerial warfare, it was only an incidental part of their curricula. The doctrine for the use of airpower--generally accepted by the Army Air Forces during World War II--grew out of the Air Corps Tactical School. At the end of the war, the graduates of this school were instrumental in convincing the nation's defense leaders of the need to create Air University.

Air University, in all of its endeavors, serves Air Force personnel--officers, enlisted members, and civilians--to ensure the nation continues its leadership during another crucial period of history. Air University also contributes to the defense of the free world by offering educational opportunities to foreign students. Its alumni are prepared to serve in Air Force assignments, in comparable foreign air forces, and in other governmental positions.

Mission and Scope

Air University's mission is to educate Air Force people to develop and lead the world's best aerospace force--inspiring commitment to a war-winning profession of arms.

As part of Air Education and Training Command, Air University's educational programs range from precommissioning education through professional education. Its schools encompass enlisted and officer professional education, including professional military education, professional continuing education, and degree-granting education. Through the Civil Air Patrol and Air Force Junior ROTC, Air University plays a vital role in promoting citizenship awareness among today's youth.

Air University's schools include the College for Enlisted Professional Military Education, Squadron Officer College (comprised of the Squadron Officer School and Aerospace Basic Course), Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools (comprised of the Officer Training School and the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps), the Air Force Institute of Technology, the College of Aerospace Doctrine Research and Education, the Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development, the Community College of the Air Force, the Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning (AFIADL), and the Academic Instructor School. The 42d Air Base Wing provides support for all Air University operations, as well as for the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base complex.

Air University students are primarily Air Force officers, enlisted personnel, and professional civilians. A relatively small number of personnel from other services in the Department of Defense and from other government agencies attend Air University. International officers from more than 100 countries have studied in Air University schools. Air University includes all Air Force education programs except the United States Air Force Academy, which is a separate agency under Headquarters United States Air Force.

The precommissioning education and training organizations of Air University--the Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools, including Officer Training School and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps--educate and commission highly qualified officer candidates for the United States Air Force.

The professional military education schools of Air University--Squadron Officer College (including the Aerospace Basic Course and the Squadron Officer School), Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and the College for Enlisted Professional Military Education--prepare junior, midcareer, and senior commissioned and noncommissioned officers and civilians for progressively more responsible positions throughout the Air Force. Practically all commissioned officers who attend the professional schools of Air University possess academic degrees from civilian institutions. Their postgraduate studies in the Air University system emphasize the profession of arms.

Specialized organizations of Air University meet specific educational requirements of the Air Force. The School of Advanced Airpower Studies is designed to produce tomorrow's aerospace power strategists. Upon successful completion of 11 months of course work; production of a formal thesis that meets accepted standards of research, analysis, and expression; and successful completion of comprehensive examinations, graduates receive a Master of Airpower Art and Science degree. The College of Aerospace Doctrine Research and Education assists Air University and Headquarters USAF in developing concepts, doctrine, and strategy; teaches the Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, the Joint Force Air Component Commander Course, the Joint Doctrine Air Campaign Course, and the Contingency Wartime Planning Course; and includes the Air Force Wargaming Institute. The Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development provides professional continuing education for chaplains, judge advocates, comptrollers, personnel specialists, commanders, historians, first sergeants, and communication-computer systems managers. Schools operating within the college include the USAF Chaplain Service Institute, USAF First Sergeant Academy, Air Force Human Resource Management School, International Officers School, Air Force Judge Advocate General School, Commanders Professional Development School, Professional Military Comptroller School, and the USAF Historian Development School.

The Air Force Institute of Technology, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, provides education to meet Air Force requirements in scientific, technological, logistical, managerial, and other designated professional areas as directed by Headquarters USAF. The institute consists of the Graduate School of Engineering and Management, the School of Systems and Logistics, the Civil Engineer and Services School, and the Civilian Institution Programs. Besides graduate degree programs, the institute also offers numerous professional continuing education courses in residence at Wright-Patterson AFB and at selected locations within the continental United States. The Civilian Institution Programs is responsible for managing graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education programs at various civilian educational facilities and is responsible for Air Force health care education programs, education with industry, and numerous other programs.

Accreditation and Degree Granting Authority

The Air Force Institute of Technology is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and, in appropriate engineering curricula, by the Engineering Accreditation Commission, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. The Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited the Community College of the Air Force and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies. The Air Force Institute for Advanced Distributed Learning (previously known as the Extension Course Institute or ECI) had the world's largest correspondence school enrollment during the Vietnam War. Today it has one of the largest extension course programs in the United States.

The Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials of the American Council on Education (ACE) has evaluated several Air University programs and recommends some graduate credit as well as some undergraduate credit for various programs.

In October 1999, the Air University Commander received congressional authority to confer the degree of master of strategic studies upon graduates of the Air War College and to confer the degree of master of military operational art and science upon graduates of the Air Command and Staff College.

Enrollment and Admission

Air University schools and educational programs are designed to enhance the professional knowledge of members of the US armed forces (primarily Air Force personnel) including the reserves and national guard and selected civilian employees of the Department of Defense and other government agencies. Air University programs and schools are not open to the general public except through special programs. As part of the United States' military assistance programs, officers from other countries are eligible to attend several Air University schools and courses. Selection for the Air University schools and educational programs is made according to Air Force and other relevant government standards

Previous Page    Back to Index    Next Page
Please read this privacy and security notice   Freedom of Information Act
This Site Maintained by MSD/ITSW
Maxwell/Webmaster | (334) 953-2622 | DSN 493-2622
Contents of this Web site Reviewed and Approved by AU/PA
For updates to the AU Catalog, contact Tom Lobenstein (OAS/PRB) at (334) 953-6452 or DSN 493-6452