AEROSPACE STUDIES (AERO)

College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Aerospace Studies
Murray-Herrick LL-17 (MHC), (651) 962-6320
Musselman (chair), Voth

Department Web Site: http://www.stthomas.edu/afrotc/

Aerospace Studies is the official designation of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program of instruction. Aerospace Studies is a dynamic college discipline designed to give students an opportunity to concurrently complete AFROTC coursework with degree coursework so that participants qualify for an officer’s commission in the United States Air Force upon completion of their bachelor’s degree requirements. Cadets are commissioned as Second Lieutenants upon graduation if requirements are met. Coursework offers students the opportunity to widen their perspective; sharpen their sense of responsibility; develop their ability to organize, motivate, and lead others; and acquire a maturity of judgment that can be a source of strength and self-confidence throughout their careers. 

The Aerospace Studies program does not require a student to major in any certain field, but rather, complements the academic major of choice. It is possible to minor in Aerospace Studies and use Aerospace Studies courses as elective credits. These courses are offered at the University of St. Thomas, but students at any of the five Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) consortium – St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Augsburg, Hamline, and Macalester –may take the courses. Through cross-town agreements, students at Bethel University, Century College, Concordia – St. Paul, North Central University, Northwestern College, William Mitchell College of Law, University of Wisconsin-Stout, as well as Anoka-Ramsey, Inver Hills, Normandale and North Hennepin Community Colleges may also take aerospace studies courses.

The aerospace studies curriculum is divided into two phases: the General Military Course (GMC) in the freshman and/or sophomore years, and the Professional Officer Course (POC) in the junior and senior years. Cadets in the GMC have no service commitment whatsoever, until or unless they activate an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Students must voluntarily apply for the POC during their sophomore year and then pass Field Training, basic military training for cadets held at Maxwell Air Force Base, in the summer between sophomore and junior year. If accepted in the POC, all POC cadets are obligated to serve as an officer for a minimum of four years on active duty after commissioning, depending on the career field to which they are assigned. 

Leadership Laboratory and Physical Training are mandatory aspects of the aerospace studies program which round out cadets’ preparation for gaining a commission in the Air Force. Instruction is conducted within the framework of an organized cadet wing with a progression of experiences designed to develop leadership potential. Leadership Laboratory involves study of Air Force customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, career opportunities, and the life and work of an Air Force junior officer. Leadership potential is developed in a practical, supervised laboratory. The other mandatory aspect, Physical Fitness Lab, is conducted within the framework of the cadet wing with a progression of experiences designed to improve fitness and develop teamwork. Cadets will need to pass physical fitness assessments comprised of aerobic fitness, strength fitness and body composition.

The Air Force offers three- and four-year college scholarships. See “Scholarships not awarded by the university” in the Financial Services section of this catalog. 

Most students complete AFROTC via the four-year program, completing both the GMC and the POC. However, even if a student does not enroll until sophomore year, it is still possible to complete the 100- and 200-level GMC courses concurrently during sophomore year, followed by Field Training at Maxwell Air Force Base.

St. Thomas offers its students who are winners of Air Force ROTC scholarships up to full subsidy (room and board and remaining tuition) on almost every Air Force ROTC scholarship awarded. For information on Air Force scholarships, call the AFROTC Unit Admissions Officer at 651-962-6329.

The minor in Aerospace Studies is open to all undergraduate students at the University of St. Thomas. Students who are not seeking an Air Force commission may enroll in Option 1 below with the permission of the Aerospace Studies department chair. Students (AFROTC cadets) who wish to receive a commission in the Air Force must complete Option 2, which includes the Leadership and AFROTC Physical Fitness Laboratory courses, as well as Field Training (normally taken the summer between sophomore and junior year). While the courses are intended to be taken sequentially, students may complete the minor by taking more than one AERO class per term, with the permission of the department chair. All of the coursework generally contributes to and enhances diversity objectives.

Student must complete twenty credits. This requirement must be accomplished by completing one of the following sequences: 

Option 1: (20 credits – open to all undergraduate students)

  • AERO 111 Foundations of the United States Air Force I (1 credit)
  • AERO 112 Foundations of the United States Air Force II (1 credit)
  • AERO 211 Evolution of USAF Air and Space Power I (1 credit)
  • AERO 212 Evolution of USAF Air and Space Power II (1 credit)
  • AERO 321 Air Force Leadership Studies I (4 credits)
  • AERO 322 Air Force Leadership Studies II (4 credits)
  • AERO 421 National Security Affairs I (4 credits)
  • AERO 422 National Security Affairs II (4 credits)

Option 2: (22 credits – AFROTC cadets only)

  • AERO 111 Foundations of the United States Air Force I (1 credit)
  • AERO 112 Foundations of the United States Air Force II (1 credit)
  • AERO 200 Leadership Laboratory (0 credits)
  • AERO 201 AFROTC Physical Fitness Laboratory (0 credits)
  • AERO 211 Evolution of USAF Air and Space Power I (1 credit)
  • AERO 212 Evolution of USAF Air and Space Power II (1 credit)
  • AERO 321 Air Force Leadership Studies I (4 credits)
  • AERO 322 Air Force Leadership Studies II (4 credits)
  • AERO 421 National Security Affairs I (4 credits)
  • AERO 422 National Security Affairs II (4 credits)
  • AERO 450 Field Training (2 credits)
Course Number Title Credits
AERO  111 Foundations of US Air Force I 1
AERO  112 Air Force Today II 1
AERO  200 Leadership Lab 0
AERO  201 AFROTC Phys Fitness Lab 0
AERO  211 USAF Air & Space Power I 1
AERO  212 USAF Air & Space Power II 1
AERO  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
AERO  269 Research 2 OR 4
AERO  321 Leadership & Mgmt I 4
AERO  322 Leadership & Mgmt II 4
AERO  389 Research 2 OR 4
AERO  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
AERO  421 National Security Affairs I 4
AERO  422 Nation Security Affairs II 4
AERO  450 Four-Week Field Training 2
AERO  451 Cadet Training Assistant 2
AERO  452 Professional Devel Training 1
AERO  491 Research 2 OR 4
AERO  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4