What GPA Do I Need To Get Into the Air Force Academy?

The U.S. Air Force Academy offers postsecondary education for aspiring military officers. Cadets are held to rigorous standards, and the academy recommends you start preparing well in advance of applying. While there are no specific GPA requirements for admission, the school offers several suggestions on how you can best prepare physically, academically and mentally. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Requirements for getting into the Air Force Academy are intensive, and although there isn't a specific GPA requirement, you'll need to do well in school. In addition to excelling at academic coursework, your odds of admittance improve with physical proficiency and certain personality traits. Once accepted into the academy, you will go through military as well as academic training.

Responsibilities Those accepted into the program will need to meet physical, mental and moral standards.
Schools You must complete high school to apply.
Classes To be considered for admittance, you should take math, science, English, social studies, computer science and a foreign language in high school. While a specific GPA is not required, you should be in the top 25% of your class.

How Do I Start Preparing for the Air Force Academy?

The U.S. Air Force Academy is highly competitive, making academic and provisional preparation early in junior high and high school vital to acceptance. When you apply to the academy, you'll need to demonstrate strong leadership abilities, physical competency, excellent academic performance and high moral standards. You'll also need to be unmarried with no dependents, between the ages of 17-23 and a citizen of the United States.

What High School Courses Should I Take?

To prepare to meet its academic standards, the academy recommends you take four years of college-preparatory mathematics, science and English. Three years of social studies, a year of computer science and two years of a foreign language are also suggested. In addition to the proposed coursework, the academy extends extra favor to applicants who have completed advanced classes or received academic honors.

What Kinds of Scholastic Testing is Required?

The academy recommends you take preparatory scholastic assessment testing, such as the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) or Preliminary American College Test (PreACT) in your sophomore year of high school. For reasonable consideration, your SAT Reasoning scores should be greater than 580 for verbal assessments and a minimum of 560 for math skills. If you take the ACT exam, 24 in the English and reading sections and 25 in the math and science portions are considered minimum scores. If you retake the exams, only your highest score will be considered. Although the academy doesn't require you to earn a specific GPA in high school, it stated that typically 81% of applicants are ranked in the top quarter of their classes.

Should I Be Involved in Extracurricular Activities?

Suggested activities and affiliations that could help you prepare to meet the leadership standard include participation in student government, your school's debate team, church groups, the Civil Air Patrol, the National Honor Society, academic and service clubs and scouting organizations. You're strongly encouraged to join an athletic team. According to the academy, about 95% of applicants have played on high school sports teams, and 80% have earned a varsity letter. A fitness assessment is required as part of the application process and includes the following:

  • Basketball throw
  • Shuttle run
  • Pull-ups or a flexed arm hang
  • Modified sit-ups
  • Push-ups
  • One-mile run

Male and female applicants must pass the same fitness assessment, and cadets of both genders undergo the same intense physical training.

How Do I Apply?

You'll first need to complete a pre-application questionnaire and request a nomination to the academy from a federal government official, such as your congressperson or the Vice President. Once your application is reviewed and your academic and testing records received, you'll undergo two interviews. If selected for the first stage of the application process, you'll receive a letter of assurance stating that you've been given an appointment to the academy. Once your nomination is approved, you'll receive your acceptance letter.

What Will I Study?

You'll study a core curriculum, including military education, and undergo five weeks of basic training. Military education introduces you to military history, doctrine, strategy and professionalism, preparing you to serve as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Basic training teaches you the discipline of military life, and you'll take some mandatory courses in aircraft and parachute jumping. You'll have the opportunity to serve in one of three flight training squadrons. Some examples of core curriculum courses include:

  • Economics
  • Calculus I
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Aeronautical engineering
  • Astronautical engineering
  • World history
  • English
  • Foreign languages
  • Law
  • Water survival
  • Swimming
  • Philosophy
  • Political science
  • Military strategic studies

Can I Learn Online?

By applying to the U.S. Air Force Academy, you're committing yourself to learning at the campus. Facilities at the academy include a Distance Learning Center, but you'll use this from campus to virtually join classes at other service academies, interact with guest lecturers and meet other students. The academy does not offer the option of learning from home.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools