Aviation Flight Science

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Michigan State University is an educational program designed to give men and women the opportunity to become an Air Force officer while earning a degree. After successfully completing the program, you will be commissioned a second lieutenant and begin serving as an officer in leadership roles of increasing responsibility and importance in the "active duty" Air Force.

Training to become an officer in the Air Force occurs at over 1000 institutions throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Typically, the training, which occurs in a Four-Year or Two-Year Program, is comprised of the following:

General Military Course (GMC) Academics

The General Military Course (GMC) portion of the program is usually taken during your freshman and sophomore years. This program allows you to "try out" Air Force ROTC for up to two years without incurring any obligation (unless you have accepted an Air Force ROTC scholarship). As you attend class, you will learn about the Air Force and the historical development of air power.

Leadership Laboratory

As an Air Force ROTC cadet, you will also have up to two hours each week to put into practice the leadership skills and management theories presented in class. Leadership Laboratory is a cadet-centered program taken each year to improve a student's leadership skills.

Field Training

If selected, you will usually attend Field Training during the summer before you enter the POC portion of the program. Field Training, which takes place at an Air Force base, offers you a first-hand look at the Air Force environment. While there, you will receive career orientation, junior officer training, aircraft and aircrew orientations, survival training, weapon familiarization and training, physical conditioning, and an overview of the organization and function of an Air Force base.

Professional Officer Course (POC) Academics

The Professional Officer Course (POC) portion of the program is primarily available to:

  • cadets who have completed the GMC portion of the program
  • junior college transfer students
  • students and veterans who have at least two academic years remaining (undergraduate, graduate, or a combination of the two)

The leadership and national defense policy courses are the same for both the Two-Year and the Four-Year program.

You must apply for admission into the POC program. The selection process is competitive, so it is important to apply early (typically in your sophomore year).

Professional Development

A select number of cadets are also chosen to attend (typically during the summer following their freshman or junior academic year) a two-week professional development program on an Air Force base. If you are selected, you will be paid to work and learn. This is a great opportunity to see the Air Force in action. You will see officers doing the same work you will be doing after you graduate.


Air Force ROTC offers Two-Year and Three-Year scholarships to college students in all academic majors, whether liberal arts, technical fields, or pre-medical.

Scholarship inquiries and applications are made directly through the professor of aerospace studies at Michigan State University's Detachment 380. Submissions are made during your freshman, sophomore, or junior year. Other Air Force scholarship opportunities may be available in addition to the programs discussed here. Check with Detachment 380 for the current status of any other open programs.

Student Status

You can join the ROTC program and remain a Western Michigan University student, although you will be required to drive to MSU's campus once a week. Our Leadership Laboratory is held on Thursday from 4:10 pm to 6:10 pm, although there is an alternate time to attend if you have conflicts. You will attend a one-credit class if you are a freshman or sophomore, or a four-credit class if you are a junior or senior. You will be able to sign-up for the program at WMU at the same time you enroll for your other classes. Give us a call to determine what classes you should be enrolled in.


To qualify for the General Military Course, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen (to receive a scholarship)
  • Have good moral character
  • Be a full-time student at Western Michigan University
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Be at least 14 years old (17 to receive a scholarship appointment)

To qualify for the Professional Officer Course, you must meet all of the qualifications for the General Military Course and:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Have two academic years remaining
  • Be physically qualified
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Successfully pass the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test
  • Be interviewed and selected by a board of Air Force officers
  • Complete a four-week Field Training course (or a five-week course if in the Two-Year Program)
  • Be 18 years of age or 17 years with parent or legal guardian consent


After graduating from college and completing all Air Force ROTC requirements, you will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. Non-flying officers serve four years on active duty, navigators serve six years after training, and pilots serve 10 years after training.

Career Opportunities

The Air Force offers over 100 officer career fields including:

Pilot, Navigator, Maintenance
Space & Missile
Satellite Operations, Space Warning, Missile Launch Operations, Maintenance
Research, Development, and Technical Management in various engineering fields
Mathematics, Nuclear Physics, Metallurgy, Meteorology
Computer Science
Programming, Systems Analysis, Development
Labor, Claims, International Contracts, Military Justice, Legal Assistance
Health Services
Physician, Osteopathy, Nursing
Intelligence, Security Forces, Personnel, Air Traffic Control, Supply, Finance, Communications and Electronics, Munitions


Air Force ROTC

    • Scholarships pay most college tuition and up to $750 for textbooks.
    • A monthly, tax free, cash stipend of $250 - $400 a year given during the academic year while on scholarship.
    • Academic credits toward the completion of most degrees
    • Visits to Air Force bases and orientation flights aboard Air Force aircraft
    • Travel on military aircraft on a space available basis while on scholarship or enrolled in the POC portion of the program
    • Opportunity to delay entering active duty to pursue a graduate degree

Active Duty Air Force

Rewarding, meaningful, positions of responsibility
Promotions based upon job performance
Competitive salary and allowances
100% tuition assistance towards an advanced degree
Opportunity to retire after 20 years with a percentage of base pay
30 days of leave with pay each year
Medical Care
Furnished at no cost
Dental Care
Furnished at no cost
Sick Leave
Unlimited: full pay continues
Living Quarters
On-base housing available or off-base housing allowance paid.
Save as much as 25% using on-base stores
Social Life
Officer's clubs, swimming, golfing, bowling, and tennis at reduced rates
Travel Allowance
A daily stipend available while on official orders

Information subject to change. For more information without obligation, visit our web page at: (e-mail: or visit us at:

AFROTC Detachment 380
104 Bessey Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1033
(517) 355 2168

Also See

Army ROTC »

Army ROTC is an elective curriculum you take along with your required college classes. It gives you the tools, training and experiences that will help you succeed in any competitive environment. Along with great leadership training, Army ROTC can pay for your college tuition. Because Army ROTC is an elective, you can participate your freshman and sophomore years without any obligation to join the Army. You will have a normal college student experience like everyone else on campus, but when you graduate, you will be commissioned as an Officer in the Army. At that point, you will have a wide range of interest areas you can specialize in called branches.

College of Aviation
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5314 USA
269-964-6375 | 269-964-6473 Fax