How would doubling majors affect daily life at AFA? It would require taking extra classes, and would make me busier between that and regular training, correct? Is it manageable, or is it something rarely done by AFA cadets?
I will respectfully link you to this post here on SAF. I found it through a google search.
Essentially, double majoring will take up your entire schedule. 1 Major + 1 minor will fill your schedule up "comfortably."
I was talking to a dept head this summer at USNA and asked about this. He said that if enough credits are validated to free up time, it is recommended to do independent study first (for instance, Trident at USNA, not sure of USAFA equivalent), second was going for a masters, and then double-major. Double-major was third on the 'bang-for-the-buck' list.
I can't imagine trying to juggle a service academy's academics AND grad school. Something seems off there. I'm getting dated now, but in the late 2000s, I never heard of a cadet considering or attempting such a thing.
Grad school can be done via scholarship after graduation (Rhodes, Marshall, AFIT, etc) as a full-time duty, or it can be done during an officer's off duty time (the AF will pay up to a fixed amount per credit hour, and you pay any remaining costs). The latter is more common.
Double majors are possible, but usually require validating multiple courses and choosing two majors that align pretty well. It would be a very busy schedule.
USNA has a unique program called VGEP where a dozen or so Mids who qualify can start their Masters 1/C year. It’s one of the advantages of being so close to DC and Baltimore. These Mids are far enough ahead they usually only have their 1/C PE and Practicum (their future service selection) class. USNA has agreements with the major universities in the area. It’s a competitive program that takes more than grades. I have seen Mids miss out on the program because of conduct or even PRT grades. Whole person is key. I am not sure if USAFA has a similar program or not.
In the USNA VGEP program @NavyHoops mentions, the mid completes all undergraduate requirements by the end of first semester of senior year. In Jan of senior year, while still residing at USNA in company area, they are allowed to attend classes at Johns Hopkins, UMD, GWU, American, Georgetown, etc., to start work on a one-year Master’s program. They graduate with their class, receiving commission and BS. They then live in the area to complete Master’s in December of the year they graduate. So, a VGEPper in USNA ‘20 would have a USNA BS ‘20 and MA/MS ‘20 from X University nearby. The program may only be one year for VGEP, which rules out some areas of study which are typically two year. After completing the Master’s, the ensign or 2LT goes to their Fleet ship or training pipeline or TBS with the last wave of new officers from that cycle.
For those applicants who heed the advice to read every page, dropdown and link on USNA.edu, see:
Graduate Education Home page for Graduate Education at USNA.edu. Updated Tue Jul 06 08:40:01 EDT 2021.
There are more detailed descriptions of requirements found in departmental web pages.
For @20avva the armed forces have several different programs for gaining degrees on the service’s dime, including full-time student programs for post-grad degrees at civilian or military schools, distance learning and after-hours Tuition Assistance programs for local schools. Officers are generally expected to complete a Master’s by the time they come up for promotion at the O-5 level (they start at O-1 paygrade). It is also usually the case that if the service pays for all or part of the degree, the military member owes additional service time, running concurrently or consecutively with other obligated service.
As others have said, it is possible, but difficult, and extremely difficult unless you validate a decent number of courses going in. I did a double major in physics and math, but it meant that senior year, when many cadets had only 5 courses, I still had 7, and 4 or 5 were major's courses (meaning very hard).
It depends a lot on what majors you are trying to do though. Physics and math share a lot of courses so the double major didn't add that many courses. Feel free to PM me if you want more details. Generally unless you are acing your freshman classes without too much trouble, a double major will be a painful experience that is not worth it. That being said, you don't have to declare your major until your 3 degree year, so you will have plenty of time to determine if a double major will work for you
My daughter got 2 minors at Usafa and really enjoyed the variety it brought to her education. She originally started in economics then changed to Foreign area studies. Her first Masters was in Accounting and she said the early math background made the accounting go better. ( even though she didnt stay in Economics)Get all the education you can get! She works in budgets now.
My DD is currently in her 3rd year at USAFA and on track for doubling. She validated a number of courses (math) and took summer school (Chem 2) to lighten her load during the academic year. Very doable as long as you set goals and stay the course and manage time properly. The key is establishing really good study habits your first year and keeping that rigor throughout.