Detachment 875 | Air Force ROTC

Curious about how your major will affect your Air Force assignment? There are many factors to consider when picking a degree.

Choosing a Major

Which Degree is for Me?

If you are awarded an AFROTC scholarship before you arrive here, you will likely already have declared a major. If you start AFROTC without a scholarship, your primary instructor will ask you to project what semester you will graduate and with what degree. Although there can be some fluctuation freshman year (or into sophomore year if a cadet is really struggling), the sooner you are solid on these two points, the better your chances of receiving a Field Training allocation and scholarship.

Research undergraduate degrees at Virginia Tech - there are many choices!

How Does my Major Affect my Career Path?

The Air Force trains officers to perform their specific jobs, so most Air Force specialties do not require specific degrees. However, for some specialties (i.e. engineer or scientist) a close match is desirable or even required. See the section on careers for more information.

While your degree can be restricted depending on your desired career field, it is more important to choose a major that interests you, especially since it could be related to your future assignment.

If you are not sure what Air Force specialty is for you, don't worry. You have plenty of time to decide. Cadets identify specialty and base preferences as a junior (or as a senior for 5-year cadets). Final classifications depends on 1) the needs of the USAF, 2) educational background, 3) personal preference, and 4) commander recommendation.

Can I Take 5 Years to Finish my Degree?

Some degrees (i.e. engineering) typically take longer to complete due to heavy course requirements. If you major in a degree listed below, the Air Force will allow you to stretch classes across 5 years. We recommend that you do so! It is not fun to take 20 credit hours a semester - along with summer classes - just to finish in 4 years. Also, 5th-year cadets who successfully graduate from the Corps of Cadets can choose to live off campus and only have to wear uniforms to AFROTC activities.

* The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, a department within the College of Engineering, only offers a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE), but undergraduates can follow an Environmental and Water Resources track of study.

** Degrees must be AFIT approved B.S. degrees. To qualify for additional terms, cadets in these majors must have also completed the following courses: Calculus I & II (or a math minor), Statistics I, and Operations Research / Management Science. The Calculus and Statistics courses must come from the Math and Statistics departments.