Aerospace Studies

The Department of Aerospace Studies provides a four-year program of instruction for all qualified U.S. citizens, male and female, divided into two phases, each of two years duration. The first, termed the General Military Course, offers instruction in the foundation of leadership and Aerospace-age citizenship. The second, termed the Professional Officer Course, builds upon these foundations in developing upperclassmen who are to become Air Force officers and serve on active duty upon graduation and commissioning.

Instruction in Aerospace Studies has been an important phase of the curriculum at the University of Memphis since 1951. Active duty Air Force personnel, approved by the University president, are detailed by the Department of the Air Force to administer the instructional program. Air Force officers serve under appointment by the University as Professor or Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies.


The two-year (4 semesters) General Military Course consists of one hour a week of classroom instruction and two hours a week in Leadership Laboratory. Textbooks are furnished by the Air Force without charge. Air Force uniforms are furnished and must be properly worn and kept in good condition. Cadets who successfully complete the GMC may apply for admission to the Professional Officer Course.


The Professional Officer Course provides instruction and systematic training to selected eligible students who desire to qualify as officers in the United States Air Force while pursuing their academic studies at the University. Successful completion of the requirements for the POC and for a baccalaureate degree leads to a commission in the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. To be eligible for selection to the POC, a student must have at least two undergraduate years remaining at the University. Final selection is based on academic standing, leadership potential, percentile score on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, and physical qualifications.


This lab is designed around a microcosm of the U.S. Air Force. It gives the cadets the opportunity to develop their leadership potential while allowing the staff to make evaluations based on actual managerial and leadership situations.


Scholarships paying full tuition and fees, book allowance, and a tax free subsistence allowance of $350.00 per month are available to entering freshmen and University students who are competitive academically and will enroll in the Air Force ROTC program. Details concerning qualifications and applications can be obtained from the Department of Aerospace Studies. NOTE: Several loan funds are also available to students enrolled in AFROTC. For more information, contact the department staff.


Field Training is offered during the summer months at selected Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Students in the four-year program participate in four weeks of Field Training (AERO 3211), usually between their sophomore and junior years. Students applying for entry into the program with less than four years must successfully complete five weeks of Field Training (AERO 3212) prior to enrollment in the Professional Officer Course.


Upon successful completion of 16 semester hours in Aerospace Studies with a minimum grade of C, a cadet may apply for a minor in Aerospace Studies.