Department of Aerospace Studies

ROTC Armory, 221 South Columbia Street, CB# 7480; (919) 962-2074



The United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program provides leadership and Air Force-specific training to students pursuing a career as an officer in the United States Air Force. The AFROTC program is open to students looking for a challenging career and the opportunity to support and defend the constitution of the United States. AFROTC is more than just a department in the College of Arts and Sciences; it is a professional organization designed to provide students growth, development, and leadership opportunities beyond the classroom. Cadets learn and develop these skills through hands-on experiences both inside and outside the traditional classroom setting.

The Air Force ROTC Program

Four-Year Traditional ROTC Program

This program is for students who enroll as cadets in AFROTC and plan to graduate in four years with a commission as an Air Force second lieutenant. Each year of the program cadets must take the appropriate aerospace studies course and leadership laboratory (AERO 500) and participate in weekly physical training. In the spring of the sophomore year, cadets will compete for an Officer Commissioning Enrollment Allocation, which gives them a slot to attend a four-week field training course in the summer. Successful completion of field training grants entry into the Professional Officer Corps (POC) for the junior and senior years. Cadets in the POC refine their leadership skills and prepare for a United States Air Force active duty commission upon graduation.

Nontraditional ROTC Program

Students who do not enroll in Air Force ROTC in their first semester are still eligible to participate in the program. They will participate in the same academic courses, leadership laboratory, and physical training as traditional students. All nontraditional cadets will be required to complete AERO 101, 102, 201, and 202 prior to attending field training and must be able to complete at least three semesters of college as a full-time student following field training.

Interested Students

First- and second-year students seeking to learn more about the Air Force and ROTC can take AERO 101, 102, 201, or 202 with no obligation. These courses provide a solid introduction to Air Force operations and culture, providing students with the necessary information to make an informed decision about whether the Air Force interests them.

Aerospace Studies Minor

The minor in aerospace studies is a 14-semester-hour, nontechnical course of study open to all UNC–Chapel Hill students. Students may select courses for the minor from the following list: AERO 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302, 393, 401, 402; AERO/HIST/PWAD 213; AERO/POLI/PWAD 446. Students must complete a minimum of 12 hours of coursework with a grade of C or better. The remaining two hours must be completed with a grade of C- or better.


All majors and minors have a primary academic advisor in Steele Building. At a minimum, students who join the AFROTC program are required to meet with their advisor every fall term to develop and update their academic plan. The department's education officer and academic instructors help oversee this process. For information on Air Force officer careers, please visit

Special Opportunities in Aerospace Studies

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Two- to four-year scholarships are available to students based on merit or specialized major (e.g., foreign language or nursing). In most cases, these scholarships cover tuition and fees, and provide a tax-free allowance ($250 to $400 each month) and a textbook allowance ($600) each semester.

Foreign Language/Study Abroad Stipend and Opportunities

All contract and scholarship cadets are eligible to earn up to $3,000 per academic year for studying a foreign language or participating in a study abroad program.

Air Force ROTC cadets are uniquely eligible to participate in Department of Defense language grant programs through major universities, often involving study abroad. See or contact the unit admissions officer for more information.

Extracurricular Activities

The AFROTC experience is much more than classroom studies. Cadets participate in a range of activities. These include social functions such as a formal dinner, fundraising events, color guard at home football and basketball games, volunteer work in the community, and field trips to military bases. Recent cadet activities are highlighted on a public Facebook page:

Arnold Air Society (AAS) is a national service organization dedicated to furthering the traditions, purposes, and concepts of the United States Air Force as a military organization and a professional calling. The local AAS chapter is active nationwide, and AFROTC cadets attend the regional and national conventions each year.

Guaranteed Job Placement

Successful AFROTC program graduates are commissioned as second lieutenants in the USAF.



John Collins, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force.

Assistant Professors

Steven P. Duckers, Captain, U.S. Air Force

Henry L. Sims, Jr., Captain, U.S. Air Force.

Contact Information

Captain Henry Sims, Unit Admissions Officer, (919) 962-2074.


AERO–Aerospace Studies

AERO 101 United States Air Force Today (1). An introduction to AFROTC and the United States Air Force (USAF); customs and courtesies, officer opportunities, core values, and communications skills.

AERO 102 United States Air Force Today (1). An introduction to the United States Air Force organization and mission.

AERO 190 Seminar (1–3). Seminar in topics related to the United States Air Force.

AERO 196 Independent Study (1–3). Readings and research of topics regarding the United States Air Force.

AERO 201 The Evolution of United States Air Force Air and Space Power (1). Examines general aspects of air and space power through a historical perspective from the first balloons and dirigibles to the Cold War.

AERO 202 The Evolution of United States Air Force Air and Space Power (1). Examines general aspects of air and space power through a historical perspective from post–Cold War military operations through the Global War on Terror.

AERO 213 Air Power and Modern Warfare (HIST 213, PWAD 213) (3). See HIST 213 for description.

AERO 301 Contemporary Leadership and Management (3). Prerequisites, AERO 101, 102, 201, and 202. Part one of a two-part course concerning contemporary leadership and management. Emphasizes modern-day experiences, successes, and failures, with various theories on motivating people, organizing, and managing. Lectures and discussion focus on application of various principles as an Air Force officer. Class participation, comprehension, and oral communication skills are stressed.

AERO 302 Contemporary Leadership and Management (3). Prerequisites, AERO 101, 102, 201, and 202. A continuation of AERO 301. Class participation, comprehension, and written communication skills will be stressed.

AERO 393 Air and Space Expeditionary Training (1). Provides leadership training in a military environment. Professional development is achieved through academics, physical fitness, marksmanship, and leadership exercises. Course culminates in a simulated expeditionary deployment to a combat zone.

AERO 401 National Security Affairs and Preparation for Active Duty (3). Prerequisites, AERO 101, 102, 201, and 202. Summer field training required. Examines issues relevant to new Air Force officers with an emphasis on national security issues and Department of Defense and U.S. Air Force organizational structures and function.

AERO 402 The Military and Contemporary Society (3). Survey and analysis of the major issues affecting officers in the Air Force. Lectures and discussions center on gaining insight into the military officer, military law, ethics, law of armed conflict, and preparing for active duty as a second lieutenant. Class participation, comprehension, written and oral communication skills are stressed.

AERO 446 Defense Policy and National Security (POLI 446, PWAD 446) (3). See POLI 446 for description.

AERO 500 Leadership Laboratory (0). Required for all AFROTC cadets. This laboratory is conducted by the cadet corps and involves career opportunities in the USAF, life and work of the USAF junior officer, and military ceremonies.