Univ of Southern California
University of Southern California
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Aerospace Studies

Physical Education Building 112
(213) 740-2670


Jason Ohta, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF


Professor: Jason Ohta, M.P.A. (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF)

Assistant Professors: Jorge Avila, M.S. (Captain, USAF); Daniel Hampton, B.A. (Captain, USAF)

The Department of Aerospace Studies offers a two to four-year program of instruction leading directly to commissioning as an officer in the United States Air Force. To obtain a commission, qualified students must pass an aptitude and physical fitness test and a medical examination, complete the program of instruction and concurrently receive an undergraduate or graduate degree. Credits earned in aerospace studies courses count as electives in some degree programs. Those students who qualify for and are selected to enter Air Force pilot training will be given flight instruction. Qualified applicants may compete for Air Force scholarships. Scholarships may pay for full tuition, books and associated fees. See here for additional scholarship information.

Program Requirements

Academic Year Program
This program consists of up to eight semesters of aerospace studies courses (AEST 100ab through AEST 400ab) plus a four- to six-week summer field training course. Students enroll in the first four semesters of aerospace studies (AEST 100ab and AEST 200ab) in the same manner as in any other course of instruction at USC. Application to enroll in the last four semesters (AEST 300ab and AEST 400ab) must be made after completion of the summer field training course. The program can be tailored for students who join after the beginning of their freshman year.

Summer Training Courses
Field training is offered during the summer months at selected Air Force bases throughout the United States. Students participate in four to six weeks of intensive training, normally between their sophomore and junior years.

The major areas of study in the four-week field training course include junior officer leadership training, career orientation, survival training, weapons training, base functions and Air Force environment, and physical training.

The major areas of study included in the six-week field training course are the same as those conducted at four-week field training, plus the equivalent of the AEST 100ab and AEST 200ab courses.

Additional summer training courses at locations around the world are available to interested students to help them gain knowledge of the management challenges in leadership and human relations, provide a general orientation in Air Force specialties and motivate cadets toward an Air Force career. The training opportunities vary each year but may include parachute and glider training, cultural and language immersion programs, engineering research and apprentice experience, and orientation programs related to space and other Air Force specialties.