AEROSPACE STUDIES (AERO)

College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Aerospace Studies
Murray-Herrick LL-4 (MHC), (651) 962-6320
Fiandt (chair), Johnson, Corcoran

 

The Department of Aerospace Studies at the University of Saint Thomas is the home of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (Air Force ROTC) program. Aerospace Studies is a dynamic discipline designed to give students the opportunity to complete the necessary Air Force ROTC coursework for a minor in Aerospace Studies while concurrently completing the coursework for their chosen degree. This enables participants (called Cadets) to qualify for a commission as a Second Lieutenant in either the United States Air Force or the United States Space Force upon successful completion of their bachelor’s degree requirements. The Air Force ROTC program offers Cadets the opportunity to broaden their perspective, demonstrate responsibility, develop their organizational, followership, and leadership skills, and increase their self-confidence and will ultimately develop them into leaders of character in their respective fields.

While the Aerospace Studies program does not require a student to major in any certain field, Cadets may choose to use their Aerospace Studies credits 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 attend. Through cross-town agreements, students at Bethel University, Century College, Concordia – St. Paul, North Central University, University of Northwestern-St. Paul, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, University of Wisconsin-Stout, as well as Anoka-Ramsey, Inver Hills, Normandale and North Hennepin Community Colleges are also eligible to 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) during the junior and senior years. Cadets in the GMC do not owe a service commitment until/or unless they activate an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Any Cadet seeking a commission must attend Field Training in the summer between sophomore and junior year to qualify for the POC training. (Field Training is the basic military training for cadets and is held at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL.) Once a Cadet is accepted into the POC, s/he will be 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. 

Most students complete Air Force ROTC via the four-year program. 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, allowing them to attend Field Training, and therefore be eligible to become a POC and commission as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation.

For all Cadets, there are three mandatory components of the Aerospace Studies program: successful completion of 22 credits of Aerospace Studies coursework (AERO), Leadership Laboratory, and Physical Training. AERO courses are intended to be taken sequentially however, students may complete the requirements by taking more than one AERO class per term, with the permission of the department chair. Leadership Laboratory involves the study of Air Force and Space Force customs and courtesies, drill and ceremonies, and career opportunities for Air Force and Space Force junior officers. Physical Training is planned and executed by the cadet wing with guidance and oversight by the Cadre (Active-Duty military members in charge of the Detachment), utilizing a progression of experiences designed to improve fitness and develop teamwork and leadership skills. Cadets will be required to pass physical fitness assessments each semester, which is 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. 

St. Thomas offers many recipients of an Air Force ROTC scholarship financial assistance, up to a full subsidy (room and board and remaining tuition) on almost every Air Force ROTC scholarship awarded. For information on Air Force scholarships, call the Detachment 410 Recruiting Officer at 651-962-6329. For information on related University of St. Thomas subsidies, contact the University financial aid office.

Students who are seeking a minor in Aerospace Studies but are not seeking an Air Force or Space Force commission, may enroll in the necessary classes below with the permission of the Aerospace Studies department chair. A minor in Aerospace Studies is open to all undergraduate students at the University of St. Thomas who have completed twenty credits in AERO.

Any student or Cadet seeking a minor in Aerospace Studies must be complete one of the following sequences: 

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

  • AERO 111 Heritage and Values I (1 credit)
  • AERO 112 Heritage and Values II (1 credit) 
  • AERO 211 Team and Leadership Fundamentals I (1 credit) 
  • AERO 212 Team and Leadership Fundamentals II (1 credit) 
  • AERO 321 Leading People and Effective Communication I (4 credits) 
  • AERO 322 Leading People and Effective Communication II (4 credits) 
  • AERO 421 National Security and Leadership Responsibilities I (4 credits) 
  • AERO 422 National Security and Leadership Responsibilities II (4 credits) 

Option 2: (22 credits – AFROTC cadets only)

  • AERO 111 Heritage and Values I (1 credit)
  • AERO 112 Heritage and Values II (1 credit) 
  • AERO 200 Leadership Laboratory (0 credits)
  • AERO 201 AFROTC Physical Fitness Laboratory (0 credits)
  • AERO 211 Team and Leadership Fundamentals I (1 credit) 
  • AERO 212 Team and Leadership Fundamentals II (1 credit) 
  • AERO 321 Leading People and Effective Communication I (4 credits) 
  • AERO 322 Leading People and Effective Communication II (4 credits) 
  • AERO 421 National Security and Leadership Responsibilities I (4 credits) 
  • AERO 422 National Security and Leadership Responsibilities II (4 credits) 
  • AERO 450 Field Training (2 credits) 
Course Number Title Credits
AERO  111 Heritage and Values 1
AERO  112 Heritage and Values II 1
AERO  200 Leadership Lab 0
AERO  201 AFROTC Phys Fitness Lab 0
AERO  211 Team & Leadership Fundamentals 1
AERO  212 Team & Lead Fundamentals II 1
AERO  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
AERO  269 Research 2 OR 4
AERO  321 Lead People & Effective Com I 4
AERO  322 Lead People & Effective Com II 4
AERO  389 Research 2 OR 4
AERO  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
AERO  421 Nat Security & Lead Resp I 4
AERO  422 Nat Security & Lead Resp II 4
AERO  450 Field Training 2
AERO  451 Cadet Training Assistant 2
AERO  452 Professional Devel Training 1
AERO  476 Experiential Learning 1 TO 4
AERO  491 Research 2 OR 4
AERO  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4