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Academic Requirements

Higher Standards Are the Norm

The United States Air Force Academy seeks individuals who possess an exceptional academic track record and strong leadership potential. Because we offer one of the most prestigious and respected academic programs around, standards are high. The Admissions process includes a review of two major academic performance indicators. Not sure you meet the requirements? Apply anyway. There are other paths to the Academy.

Prior Academic Record

Your Prior Academic Record (PAR) is a measure of classroom performance and is based on a combination of your class rank and your GPA. When class rank is not provided, the PAR is based on our evaluation of your transcript, school profile and senior year schedule.

To be academically competitive for an appointment to the Academy, we recommend completion of the following high school courses:

  • Four years of English (with a college preparatory class in writing)
  • Four years of math
    Strong background in geometry, algebra, trigonometry and precalculus
  • Four years of science
    Lab-based and should include biology, chemistry and physics
  • Three years of social studies (to include a course in U.S. history)
  • Two years of a modern foreign language
    We look for modern foreign languages with an emphasis on strategic languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Russian. While not a modern foreign language, Latin is acceptable. American Sign Language is also an acceptable course.
  • One year of computer study
    Computer Science course or related courses that focus on coding, programming and web development

High School Class Rank

Our recent classes have averaged in the top three percent of their high school classes. Adjustments are made to the PAR for students attending unusually competitive schools with a rigorous college prep curriculum and/or where honors and advanced placement courses are NOT weighted in the school’s calculation of class rank and/or GPA.

To ensure that we make accurate adjustments to your PAR, please ask your counselor to include a profile of last year’s graduating class from your high school with your transcript.
Note: A solid foundation in algebra is more valuable than exposure to calculus.

College Admissions Test

Students may take the SAT and ACT as many times as they’d like. Only the highest scores will be counted. When you register for the tests, request your scores be sent to the U.S. Air Force Academy. The SAT code for the Academy is 4830, and the ACT code is 0530.

Students who score below 620 Evidence-based reading and writing or below 580 math on the SAT reasoning test and below 24 English/reading and 25 math/science on the ACT normally will not be competitive for an appointment directly into the Academy. However, they will be considered for the prep school or a Falcon Foundation Scholarship.

Prep School

This 10-month school is designed to prepare selected young men and women to potentially go on to the United States Air Force Academy and succeed.

Prep School

Falcon Foundation

Recognizing that many deserving young people with outstanding potential for an Academy education and a desire for an Air Force career need additional academic preparation, the Foundation endeavors to meet this need through its sustaining program of annual scholarship grants.

Falcon Foundation Scholarship


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