Math, science, and engineering at USAFA vs. USNA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by taylor317, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. taylor317

    taylor317 New Member

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    I recently secured an appointment to both USAFA and USNA, and I was curious as to the emphasis and rigor each academy places on math, science, and engineering. While I'm completely aware that both require quite a bit of work in these areas, I'm much more of an english/history/social sciences kind of guy, and would prefer to attend the academy that emphasizes these topics most. The wikipedia article for the Air Force Academy claims that USAFA has the most well-rounded curriculum compared to the other two academies, but doesn't cite this. If anyone could give me some more information on this I'd really appreciate it!
     
  2. Kevin23

    Kevin23 Member

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    I've never gone to any of the academies, but I know that the USNA history and poli sci departments have received many academic accolades and nationally are regarded as among the best in the country. West Point is also very strong in these areas also, although slightly getting off topic here.
     
  3. Ectriso

    Ectriso Member

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    I might be well out of line here, but I just don't think you should base your choice on that. Would you be happier in the Air Force or the Navy? They are too different branches of the military leading to different careers in the future. Remember, the service academy is just a pit stop and not the finish line. Think about the after-academy life and decide which one you would ultimately prefer.
     
  4. taylor317

    taylor317 New Member

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    Thanks Kevin 23!

    Ectriso: I am split between the two academies, so it is quite important to me what kind of curriculum each one offers and how well-suited said curriculum is to my tastes. This could very well determine my success at whichever Academy I choose and subsequently the service I will enter upon graduation. Since I would like to be involved in government and international issues, it would obviously be to my advantage to attend the Academy that will best lead me down these avenues.
     
  5. Kevin23

    Kevin23 Member

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    Yes and no in my opinion

    A person looking at service academies should base their selections on two questions, Do I like ether the Air Force, Navy, or Army better? And like any other perspective student which academy offers more of the subjects I'm interested in? Those are the two critical questions here.

    As I feel an education is critical both to a person's education within the military and outside of it, it's definitely much more of a pit stop. I mean if someone likes the Air Force for instance, but the academy doesn't offer the type of academic program they want, they could look into senior military college or ROTC instead and get the same result.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I might suggest you look into courses required of all cadets and midshipmen. Then, take a look into the courses required by your prospective major (all available online). For instance, the required aeronautical engineering course might be the deciding factor against USAFA. Or you might just hate the idea of combat survival training in the Rockies. Or you might think knot-tying is simply a waste of time - or summer at sea.

    Ectriso is on the right path: Think of yourself at age 30 (I know, it's tough now). Are you wearing all white? Are you on a ship? Flying at mach 2 with your hair on fire? Inspecting missle silos? That might help you in your choice.
     
  7. USNA1986

    USNA1986 Member

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  8. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I'll put the simple academic answer: the USAFA science curriculum is more intense than USNA. BUT, is it different enough for that to be a good sign of which to choose? No. Base your decision on the service, the academics aren't different enough to be a good deciding factor.
     
  9. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    In 6 years, your service will matter MUCH more than your service academy!
    Remember, the academies are preparation and practice. Both will provide a B.S. degree (i.e. both will be math/science heavy). Both will provide an opportunity to serve.

    What you need to decide is whether you want to be a Navy/USMC officer or an Air Force officer.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    So true. Comparing the academics AT ALL for the air force vs navy is not like comparing Duke vs Laramie County Community College. It's like trying to compare Yale vs Harvard. Or Stanford vs Princeton. There is not a significant difference. You have to make your decision on what you want to serve in for the next 5-10 years after graduating the academy. A lot of people choose the academies over civilian schools for numerous reasons. Some good, some questionable. But choosing BETWEEN service academies has to be based on where you want to serve in after graduation. You're not going to receive any advantage in the civilian job market or going into government or international affairs, by having your degree in one military academy over another. Pick which service you want to serve in.
     
  11. katamonk

    katamonk USAFA 2015 Appointee

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    I think the most important thing to keep in mind is where you want to be when you graduate. Look at the various careers offered by the Navy and the Air Force and choose a SA by where you want to be when you have your B.S.
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    There are other considerations for the four years you'll spend at any S.A. For our family, transportation costs for the Colorado/Steeler Nation round trip for two cadets is a significant expense. Available good skiing might be a draw for you for those winter months, or proximity to Washington DC or other east coast areas might appeal to you and act as a draw for Annapolis.Even weather conditions might be a consideration for you.

    If government service is your true goal, you might want to skip the service academies and go directly to a civilian school.
     

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