What Makes The Academy Different?

The Academy is a world-class university designed to create strong leaders. Beyond academic excellence, the Academy emphasizes military training, athletics, and character development to forge officers of character who are ready to lead our nation in the Air Force.

A Unique Experience

The United States Air Force Academy is a world-class university — and one of the most selective colleges in the nation. Unlike a typical college or university, this four-year military service academy located just north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a challenging environment by design.

We seek young men and women who are likely to succeed in our challenging environment. Candidates must be of high moral character and demonstrate achievement in academics, athletics and leadership.

Competition for appointment to the Academy is extremely high. But if your son, daughter or student exhibits a well-rounded record of achievement, has a strong personal drive to achieve and demonstrates leadership potential, we want them to apply. If they are successful, know that they are entering a world of great challenge — and great reward.


An Academy education is tailored to develop future Air Force officers with innovative, analytical and resourceful minds. A fully accredited institution of higher learning, the Academy has one of the most prestigious and respected academic programs in the nation. Each cadet completes a balanced sequence of core curriculum with courses in sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences, military studies and physical education. Cadets may choose an academic path from more than 30 majors with an option to add a foreign language or philosophy minor. The chance to succeed academically is offered to every cadet. With a student to faculty ratio of 8:1, cadets have unprecedented access to professors. Beyond the classroom, cadets may participate in real-world research, study abroad and create connections through a variety of professional clubs.


The Academy provides the training and foundational leadership experiences that prepare cadets to become officers in the United States Air Force. Every cadet starts their Academy experience with Basic Cadet Training (BCT). This challenging and rewarding experience pushes cadets to their physical and emotional limits, thus expanding their understanding of what they can achieve. Upon completion of BCT, cadets join the cadet wing, which simulates the structure and organization of an operational Air Force wing. Military education and airmanship opportunities are core to our curriculum. As cadets take on increasing levels of responsibility over the course of their four years at the Academy, their leadership capabilities are explored and enhanced.


In addition to managing a full academic load, cadets must maintain a high level of physical conditioning and participate in athletic competition. The Academy’s extensive athletic program includes intercollegiate and intramural sports, physical education courses and physical fitness tests. These programs help prepare cadets for Air Force leadership by building confidence, emotional control, physical courage, and the ability to perform under pressure. The Academy has 10 women’s and 17 men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) teams that compete at the highest level, Division I. Each cadet must participate in an intercollegiate or intramural sport, selecting from an extensive array of options including basketball, boxing, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.


Above all else, the Academy creates leaders who will serve our nation in the United States Air Force. To do so, we emphasize character as the basis upon which great leadership depends. Our core values are Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. While at the Academy, cadets internalize these values through character-based transformational leadership education. The 4-year curriculum begins with personal exploration followed by interpersonal skill development. Cadets continue by building servant leadership skills and finally, pursuing organizational improvement through analysis of ethical dilemmas. Classroom, seminar, workshop and experiential learning programs — including an Adventure-based learning (ABL) ropes course — propel cadets along their character development journey.

Do you want to Attend the Academy?

Understanding our admissions requirements is the first step.