Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT)Updated: April 20, 2021
Are you a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a career civil-servant looking to further your professional technical education? Then you definitely want to check out the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). AFIT offers world-class graduate education in the fields of engineering, logistics, civil engineering, and the Air Force’s high-tech nuclear and cybersecurity programs. You can also pursue a career as an Air Force doctor or get advanced professional education in the legal and chaplaincy fields. Read on to find out more about how AFIT can help you further your career through their graduate programs.
What Is AFIT?
The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) is the Air Force’s graduate school of engineering and management, and offers technical professional continuing education to qualified students. AFIT is part of Air University and falls under the Air Education and Training Command. The mission of AFIT is to provide defense-focused graduate, research, and continuing professional education. The end result is for the Air Force to sustain the technological domination of our Nation’s air, space, and cyber forces.
AFIT achieves its mission through four schools: the Graduate School of Engineering and Management, the School of Systems and Logistics, the Civil Engineer School, and the School of Strategic Force Studies. The AFIT Civilian Institution Program puts students in more than 400 civilian universities, research centers, hospitals, and industrial organizations throughout the U.S. and several other countries.
AFIT is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has awarded 19,897 Master’s degrees and 918 Ph.D.s since the first degree was granted in 1956. That’s not all. AF students attending civilian schools have earned more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the past 20 years.
What Academic Programs Are Available Through AFIT?
Civilian Institution Programs (CIP)
The Civilian Institutions Program is the largest part of AFIT’s graduate academic program. Nearly 2,000 students take part in a variety of health professions and another 500 line, legal, and chaplain officers are enrolled in programs at top civilian universities and research centers. The CIP office also manages the Air Force’s Education With Industry (EWI) program, where 40-50 military and civilian Airmen spend a year with companies to learn industry best practices and bring those ideas back to the Air Force.
The goal of AFIT’s medical program is to help fill the needs of Air Force medical professionals in the fields of medicine, medical, dental, nursing, and biomedical sciences. Through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), Financial Assistance Program (FAP), and the Air Force’s Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), the AF can ensure that it continues to deliver the best health care possible.
The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)
The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) is a military-wide initiative designed to provide you with financial assistance if you want to be an Air Force doctor, nurse, dentist, or pharmacist. If you are a civilian and interested in the HPSP, contact your nearest Air Force Health Professions Recruiter. If you’re on active duty, enrolled in the United States Air Force Academy, or full-time air guard/reserve, contact the Air Force Personnel for more information.
Financial Assistance Program (FAP)
The Financial Assistance Program (FAP) provides financial assistance to qualified medical residents who want to join the Medical Corps. If you are a civilian and interested in learning more about the FAP, contact your nearest Air Force Health Professions Recruiter.
Air Force’s Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP)
The Air Force’s Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) is a program to provide incentives to attract and keep high-quality active duty health professions personnel. If you receive this incentive, you’ll receive repayment of loans you used to finance your health professions education.
Line of the Air Force, JAG, and Chaplain Programs
AFIT sends selected officers (Line officers, lawyers, and chaplains) to institutions across the country to earn degrees at the master’s and doctorate level. This is a quota-driven system and is managed through a central board. The quotas are based on Air Force needs and are advertised annually. If you are an officer, you can go to myPers and check out the guidance in the Advanced Academic Degree and Special Experience Exchange Duty (AAD-SPEED) Guide. Selections are made by your career field Development Team.
Education With Industry (EWI) Programs
Education With Industry (EWI) is a highly selective and competitive career development program. It’s designed to improve your technical, professional, and management competencies by partnering with top-tier public and private sector companies. EWI is a ten-month assignment, and you’ll be embedded with an industry team. You’ll get hands-on experience in industry best practices and develop the essential skills, knowledge, and abilities to continue making the Air Force the premier technical leader in the world.
Graduate School of Engineering and Management
The Graduate School of Engineering and Management is a nationally-recognized, doctoral institution and is the only degree-granting body at AFIT, delivering advanced education and research concentrating on aerospace technology. The school offers 24 STEM master’s degree programs, 14 Ph.D. programs, and 15 graduate certificate programs. Its enrollment is about 650 in-residence students and about 220 students enrolled in non-resident programs. The Graduate School is also home to the Center for Scientific Test and Analysis Techniques in Test and Evaluation. This initiative supports over 40 major acquisition programs in all four military services.
Professional Continuing Education
AFIT hosts three schools that offer military and civilian personnel advances courses in engineering, strategic force studies (nuclear, communications, and cyberspace ops), and systems and logistics (acquisitions, logistics, software engineering, and financial management).
The Civil Engineer School
AFIT’s Civil Engineer School offers professional continuing education courses that educate future AF engineers. The school offers programs in Airfields, Pavement, & Facility Systems, Environmental Management, and Mechanical, Energy & Cybersecurity, among others.
School of Strategic Force Studies
AFIT’s School of Strategic Force Studies manages the continuing professional education in Nuclear Deterrence, Nuclear Command, Control, Communication, and Cyberspace Operations. The institute includes two continuing education schools, one continuing education department, and one distance learning department.
Each year, about 2,600 students graduate in nuclear deterrence strategy, nuclear command and control communications (NC3) education, and cyberspace operations. Through an academic partnerships program, more than 100 students enroll in systems engineering or strategic studies at seven partnering universities, like the Harvard University’s Extension School.
School of Systems & Logistics
The School of Systems & Logistics provides professional continuing education courses in Acquisition Management, Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Logistics Management, and Financial Management.
Programs include courses in an Airman’s view of logistics system used in other U.S. military services, Supply Chain Management, Software Engineering, Air Force Acquisition And Sustainment, and Cost Estimating.
Am I Eligible For Any Of AFIT’s Programs, And How Do I Apply?
Each school and program have its own eligibility and admissions process. You can visit the “Am I Eligible To Attend AFIT?” page, contact AFIT directly, or visit your Base Education Center.
Jim spent 22 years on active duty, climbing the ranks from Airman Basic to a decorated Air Force Major. Stationed all over the world, he held many high-level posts, including Chief of Foreign Military Sales at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Jim earned his Ph.D. through the Montgomery Era GI Bill and spent 13 years teaching African Studies in Pennsylvania. Jim is also an award-winning travel writer.
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