Aerospace Studies

Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC)

Kurt Kolch, Lt. Col., USAF, Department Head

Any UW-Superior student may enroll in courses offered by the Department of Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC) located on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. Active-duty Air Force officers administer a curriculum designed to give students insight into the mission, organization, and operation of the U.S. Air Force. Specifically, students study Air Force history, leadership and management, professionalism, national defense policy, and international relations. Application of organizational leadership and management skills is the backbone of this professional development program.

Air Force ROTC is a two- to four-year leadership development program preparing students to become Air Force officers. Students from any academic discipline who meet basic entrance requirements are eligible to enroll. Air Force ROTC offers post-collegiate opportunities in more than 100 career specialties in the Air Force. Air Force officers are challenged with organizational responsibility and authority not often available to new graduates. This program is for students who want to challenge themselves as organizational leaders and managers while serving their country in a professional, high-tech environment. Students successfully completing the requirements for an undergraduate degree and the Air Force ROTC program enter the Air Force as Second Lieutenants. Applicants must be able to complete graduation requirements and be commissioned before reaching age 36.

Uniforms, textbooks, and related materials are furnished to program participants without charge. Students on a contract/scholarship receive $300 to $500 per month during the academic year (September to May). During summer field training students receive pay, food, uniforms, housing, medical care, and transportation to and from this four-week training program.

Students must take all courses for grades (A-F), except the laboratories, which are specified as pass-fail. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis. High school seniors and college students can compete for two-, three- and four-year scholarships that pay all tuition, fees, a book allowance, and a monthly stipend of $300 to $500. High school students seeking scholarships should apply online at prior to Dec. 1 of their senior year. College or high school students seeking scholarships should contact the Air Force ROTC unit at (218) 726-8159 for more information.

Four-Year Curriculum

The four-year program is divided into the General Military Course (GMC), primarily for freshmen and sophomores, and the Professional Officer Course (POC), primarily for juniors and seniors. Under the four-year program, students register for Air Force ROTC in their freshman year and complete a four-year academic curriculum, including a four-week summer field training program between their sophomore and junior years. The GMC requires attending a one-credit course and a 90-minute leadership laboratory each week.  ROTC cadets must also attend physical training twice a week. Enrollment in the GMC does not confer military status. Normal course progression for GMC students is AIRS 101, 102, 201, 202, along with the associated Leadership Laboratory of AIRS 111, 112, 221 and 212.

Students who want to take the POC must complete prerequisite courses, pass the Air Force commissioning physical, and be admitted by the department head. The normal prerequisite for POC admission is completion of the GMC and field training. POC members are student officer candidates, they are obligated to complete the course, accept a commission in the Air Force, and serve a tour of active duty. POC members receive a monthly, tax-free allowance of $300 to $500. Normal course progression for POC members is AIRS 301, 302, 401, 402, along with associated Leadership Laboratory of AIRS 311, 312, 411 and 412.

Two-Year Curriculum

University students in good academic standing who have two years of college remaining can apply to the two-year program. Admitted students enter directly into the POC without participating in the GMC. They satisfy the prerequisite by completing a five-week field training program during the summer immediately preceding their last year of university study. The POC requires attending a three-credit course and a 90-minute leadership laboratory each week each semester for their junior and senior years.

Students interested in entering the ROTC program with less than two years remaining in their college program should contact the ROTC office at (218) 726-8159 for potential waivers.


The Aerospace Studies minor (26 credits total) provides preparation in areas studied by most officers early in their service careers. The minor increases future officers' performance potential in two areas in which all officers must eventually develop competence: communication skills and international affairs. Courses may be selected from any of the Aerospace Studies course offerings or, with the permission of the department head, may be selected from other departments.