AFIT traces its
roots to the early days of powered flight when it was apparent
that the progress of military aviation depended upon special
education in this new science. In 1919 the Air School of
Application was established at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio, the
home of Orville and Wilbur Wright.
When Congress authorized creation
of the Air Corps in 1926, the school was renamed the Air Corps
Engineering School and moved to Wright Field in 1927. Shortly
after Pearl Harbor, the school suspended classes, but it reopened
as the Army Air Forces Engineering School in 1944 to conduct a
series of accelerated courses to meet emergency requirements.
After World War II, in 1946, the
Army Air Force Institute of Technology was established as part of
the Air Materiel Command (AMC). The institute was composed of two
colleges: Engineering and Maintenance, and Logistics and
Procurement. These colleges were later redesignated the College of
Engineering Sciences and the College of Industrial Administration.
When the Air Force became a
separate service in 1947, the institute was renamed the Air Force
Institute of Technology. That same year, the School of Civil
Engineering Special Staff Officer's Course began. In 1948 civilian
institution programs were transferred to AFIT.
In 1950 command jurisdiction of
AFIT shifted from AMC to AU with headquarters at Maxwell AFB,
Alabama. The institute, however, remained at what was now known as
Wright-Patterson AFB. In 1951 the two AFIT colleges were combined
into the Resident College.
The institute established a
logistics education program at Wright-Patterson AFB in 1955, and
Ohio State University conducted the first courses on a contract
basis. In 1958 AFIT began a series of short courses in logistics
as part of the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) Education
Center. Later that year the School of Logistics became a permanent
part of AFIT.
In 1954 the 83d Congress
authorized the commander of AU to confer degrees upon students in
the AFIT Resident College. The college was later divided into the
School of Engineering, the School of Logistics, and the School of
Business. The first undergraduate engineering degrees were granted
in 1956, and the first graduate degrees in business in 1958. The
School of Business programs were transferred to civilian
universities in 1960.
In 1963 the School of Logistics
was redesignated the School of Systems and Logistics. The Civil
Engineering Center was also redesignated as the Civil Engineering
In 1967 AFIT became a member of
the Dayton-Miami Valley Consortium (DMVC), which later changed its
name to the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE).
The council is an association of colleges, universities, and
industrial organizations in the Dayton area that are united to
promote educational advancement. AFIT has traditionally been
active in both the council and in other community and
As AFIT begins its ninth decade
of operation, the staff and faculty reflect with pride on the
contributions its graduates of resident schools and civilian
institutions have made to engineering, science, technology,
medicine, logistics, and management throughout the Air Force.
These immeasurable contributions have been vital to our national
AFIT's flexibility allows it to
adjust quickly to changing AF requirements. The faculty, comprised
of highly qualified military and civilian personnel, stays abreast
of projected AF operations; and the programs are continually
updated to offer its students the latest available material. For
example, an Air Force Software Review in 1989 led to AFIT programs
in software engineering and software systems management barely a
year later. When environmental concerns culminated in the
Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, AFIT designed and implemented
both graduate and professional continuing education programs in
environmental engineering management.
During the past 80 years, more
than 266,000 DOD personnel- including 30 US astronauts-have
attended AFIT programs.
In 1992 AFIT reorganized from
four to five schools by specifically separating graduate education
and PCE. Early in FY 1997, the Secretary of the Air Force made a
decision to close AFIT resident graduate schools. In anticipation
of closure, AFIT developed and began a transition and closure
plan. Resident PhD students scheduled for FY 1997 were diverted to
the Civilian Institution Programs and a transition plan for actual
closure was developed, identifying manpower positions for
elimination in fiscal years 1997 through 2000.
After a visit to AFIT in April 1998, then Acting
Secretary of the Air Force, F. Whitten Peters announced a reversal
of the Air Force decision to terminate the AFIT resident graduate
programs. AFIT was to continue a restructuring initiative begun in
FY 1996 that would size the resident graduate programs to meet the
Air Force education requirements of the FY 2003 force structure.
On 1 October 1999, as a result of the AFIT restructure,
AFIT's two graduate schools were combined to become the Graduate
School of Engineering and Management.
In the fall of 2000, AFIT completed construction on an
$8.9 million engineering laboratory. The lab, whose construction
began in December 1998, will be
used for experimental research in aeronautical engineering,
electrical engineering, applied physics, and environmental
The future promises to be
challenging, but AFIT will continue to provide the environment and
the opportunity for AF personnel to develop the professional and
technological skills needed to master this dynamic challenge.
The institute's campus at
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, consists of Bane Hall, which houses
the Graduate School of Engineering and Management; Twining Hall,
home of the School of Systems and Logistics; and Kenney Hall,
which houses the command section and main auditorium and connects
Bane and Twining Halls. A fourth building, opened in the fall of
1994, is connected to Twining Hall and is the home of the Civil
Engineer and Services School. A fifth building, the
30,000-square-foot graduate engineering research laboratory, was
officially opened in January 2001. Pending completion of expansion
projects, the Civilian Institution Programs offices are collocated
with the Aerospace Systems Center in a building off the main AFIT
AFIT's graduate education
programs are designed to meet specific AF and DOD needs.
Eligibility criteria for admission vary from program to program
and are targeted for officers and DOD civilians. Academic
qualification for admission to the institute's graduate programs,
either in residence or at civilian institutions, is comparable to
that of any quality graduate institution. In addition, the
military accomplishments and potential of the candidate are
considered before assignment to any program.
Attendance at AFIT's PCE courses
is determined by functional duty requirements. The level of the
course and the educational background and professional experience
of the candidate are considered to ensure that the participant
will be able to benefit from the learning experience.
The International Affairs (IA) Directorate is
responsible for assisting international military officers and
international government civilian employees with the procedures of
application for admittance to the graduate and PCE programs at
AFIT. Prospective foreign students apply to AFIT through the US
Security Assistance Officer (SAO) at the US Embassy in their home
countries. Application packages for evaluation for eligibility
should arrive at the International Affairs Directorate (AFIT/IA)
by the end of April each year in preparation for entrance the
following September. Application packages should include
undergraduate transcripts reflecting the undergraduate degree;
graduate transcripts, if applying for a PhD; Graduate Record
Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
score reports, as applicable for the program requested; and Test
of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Packages should
be mailed to:
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7765
Or, applicants may call (937) 255-6800, send a fax to (937)
255-9981, or send electronic mail to: