The U.S. Air Force Academy curriculum is centered on officer development through four focus areas:
- Professional Military Education
- Physical Education and Athletics
- Character Development
In order to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and be commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, a cadet must complete all USAFA curriculum graduation requirements. A cadet must demonstrate an aptitude for commissioned service and leadership, display acceptable conduct, maintain proficiency in physical education and the professional development program, and meet all requirements for an academic major. Specifically,
- A cadet must satisfactorily complete the core curriculum and an academic major. Cadets must meet minimum standards of a 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA), a 2.00 GPA in the academic core, and a 2.00 major's GPA.
- A cadet must have at least eight semesters and 132 semester hours of course work in residence at USAFA. A semester spent in a USAFA-sponsored exchange program counts as a semester in residence.
- A cadet must complete the professional military education and leadership laboratory experience provided by being part of the Cadet Wing.
- A cadet must successfully complete each of the core military training programs and serve in two leadership programs.
- A cadet must participate in required athletic programs and be proficient in the physical fitness test (PFT) and aerobic fitness test (AFT), earning a minimum 2.0 cumulative physical education average (PEA).
- A cadet must complete the four Character Development programs:
ACES (Academy Character Enrichment Seminar) LIFT (Leaders in Flight Today)
R & R (Respect and Responsibility)
VECTOR (Vital Effective Character Through Observation and Reflection)