United States Air Force Academy

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Curiosity, Charisma and Questioning


cadet looking up in library atrium

Choose to study English. Equip yourself with curiosity, charisma, and an insatiable appetite for questioning. Work alongside English teachers who are guides, curators, and creators. Learn complementary and contradictory ways of navigating literature and the world. Challenge yourself. Sound educated. Live with grit and serendipity. Navigate archives. Step into imaginative worlds. Realize that you are hurling through the universe at 67,000 miles an hour on a heaping mass of magma. Your humanity isn’t something to be squandered.

As an English major, you will immerse yourself in ambiguity, subjectivity, poetry, industry, the Greeks and the geeks, truth, pain, loss, criticism (and all the other –isms embedded therein), imagination, memory, art, rhetoric, love, pity, joy, despair, philosophy, war, identity, race, colonialism, food, politics, technology, high and low culture, gender, senses, myth, cycles of the moon, grief, wanderings, getting lost, death, and the general feeling of being cast aside like a quick-stop Styrofoam coffee cup on the interstate. Or if lists aren’t your thing, you will pause, pay attention, and let the world intrude.

Let others chase the glitterings of the here-and-now like a herd of cats chasing mirrored lights on the ground. Your interests reside elsewhere. Feast at the banquet of Homer and, just as eagerly, devour the works of Alice Munro, Ralph Ellison, Cormac McCarthy, and Leslie Marmon Silko! Declare English now.

Academic Year 2022-2023 Courses

Icarus – Academy Journal of the Arts


Fall For Lang 1
Beh Sci 110
History 100
Math 141
Comp Sci
Phy Ed
Pol Sci 211
P / C / B Option
Econ 201
English 211
MSS 251
Phy Ed
Engl 303, 308, or 313
English Option 2
Academy Option 2
Philos 310
ECE 315
Adv STEM Option
Phy Ed
Engl 355, 360, or 365
English Option 4
English Option 5
Adv SocioCultural Opt
Soc Sci 311
Phy Ed
Spring For Lang 2
Chem 100
English 111

Math 142
Physics 110
Leadership 100
Phy Ed
Engl 300 or Engl Opt 1
Academy Option 1
History 300
Law 220
P / C / B Option
Mech Engr 220
Leadership 200
Phy Ed
Engl 319, 324, or 330
English Option 3
Academy Option 3
Aero Engr 315
Stats Option
Leadership 300
Phy Ed
English Option 6
Engl Opt 7 (Engl 490)
Academy Option 4
Astro Engr 310
Adv Open Option
Leadership 400
Phy Ed

For full program requirements and course descriptions, download the current Course of Instruction Handbook.


When you major in English at the U.S. Air Force Academy, you prepare yourself to join a long line of leaders throughout history. Our majors serve as pilots, navigators, missile officers, intelligence officers, maintenance officers, personnel officers, communication officers, and in many other fields. Some receive advanced degrees in English and return to the Academy as faculty members.

Majoring in English also prepares you for life beyond the Air Force. English was the course of study of Michael Eisner, former CEO of the Disney Corporation; General Martin Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Eric Shinseki, former Secretary of Veteran Affairs; Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; and many other leaders in every sector of industry and public life.

College courses that are taught in a high school and given concurrent credit do not qualify for transfer credit. We only award transfer credit for courses that include a variety of written genres, instruction in argumentation and a significant research paper. We will check transcripts submitted to Academy to determine whether cadets meet these requirements. Once the academic year begins, if a cadet feels that he or she was eligible for transfer credit but has not received it, he or she should bring relevant documents (college transcript, course description, and in some cases standardized test scores) to the English 111 Course Director.

English & Fine Arts Faculty and Staff

David Buchanan, Colonel, USAF
Associate Professor and Head
Department of English & Fine Arts
(719) 333-3930

Major Todd Chapman
Deputy for Human Resources
Department of English & Fine Arts

Amy Cooper, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English and Advisor-in-Charge
Department of English & Fine Arts

Academy Journal of the Arts