Frequently Asked Questions
Military Positions | Military FAQ | Advanced Degree Sponsorship
Q: If USAFA sponsors my degree, am I required to return to teach?
A: We intentionally sponsor members who have a desire to return to teach. Instructors with a Master’s degree will return for a 3-year controlled tour. Instructors with a USAFA-sponsored doctorate will return for 4 years. In rare instances the needs of the Air Force will take precedence over the teaching opportunity, but if you don’t desire to teach we encourage you to seek out other sponsorship programs.
Q: I have not taught at USAFA but would like to be sponsored for a PhD. Can I apply?
A: Although anyone can apply, it is unlikely that you will be selected. Because of the investment of money and time, as well as the mandatory 4-year payback as an instructor, we typically select officers who have taught here for at least 2 years.
Q: I am not an Academy graduate, so can I come teach?
A: ABSOLUTELY! In fact, most of our current instructors are ROTC or OTS graduates. We encourage the diversity of faculty and Academy graduates are given no preference in the decision process.
Q: Will a teaching assignment affect my ability to be promoted?
A: There is no one path to success in the CE/BSC career fields. Teaching at the Academy is a career-broadening assignment and instructor duty, usually considered very important steps in the career progression ladder. However, timing of a career-broadening assignment is critically important. Officers should definitely work with their assignment management teams to decide the best point in a career to take on this challenge.
Q: Where can I find out about other opportunities for advanced academic degrees and teaching?
A: The AFPC website lists much more information about degrees and instructor duties. When in doubt, give them a call – they are always willing to help!
Q: Which applicants are more likely to be selected?
A: For both degree sponsorship and direct hiring, there is a panel of senior members of the department that review the applications. This panel makes a recommendation for sponsorship or hire to our department head. Although it is hard to predict what will catch the panel’s eye, there are some things that typically are noted: Professional Registration; overseas experience (especially a short tour); deployment experience; good performance in academic programs; completion of PME; and good recommendation letters. Of course, department manning is always critical. Sometimes we have a great applicant, but no room!
Q: Do I need a short tour before I come teach?
A: Almost definitely. This makes sense for many reasons. First, the experience gained is immensely valuable to your mentoring role. Second, because this is a controlled tour, officers without a short tour will typically be at the top of the non-vol list after completion of the assignment. Finally, AFPC is usually very hesitant to release an officer for this teaching assignment without a short tour.
USAFA DFCE Personnel Officer
DSN 333-3150, 719-333-3150, FAX 333-2234