From a Engineering School to The Academy. Is it possible?


Mar 7, 2018
Hey everyone, I was doing a little bit of research on this forum in order to gauge whether anyone else had attempted to transfer from a 4 year public institution to the academy. I couldn't find much so I figured I would create a thread.

To give a little background, I am a freshman mechanical engineering student at a midwestern university and would like to apply to the academy. I didn't apply in high school because my grades were not satisfactory. I had a 3.5 GPA by the end of senior year and my standardized testing scores were barley above average.
However, I was captain on the varsity hockey team and won several awards. Despite my average academic record, my experience in Civil Air Patrol as a chief master sergeant, squadron flight commander, encampment flight sergeant (winning several awards while at encampment), and aviation experience (glider academy solo pilot as well as student pilot) would be the only criteria setting me apart from my fellow applicants.

Jump forward to this year, my freshman year as a mechanical engineering student, I have established myself as a leader amongst my peers. I have been elected as the lead aerodynamics engineer on one of the top 5 FSAE racing teams in my state, and I have been elected by one of my professors to receive the "University" student leadership award, and I have begun undergraduate research. In addition to this, I am a photojournalist for the school newspaper.

Now onto my questions:

1.) If I were to be accepted and enter with the class of 2023, would I need to repeat all of the math courses that I took already (Calc I, Calc II, Calc III, Linear Algebra/Differential Equations)?
--I would complete these by the time the incoming class arrives at the academy

2.) Does attending a university before applying hurt your chances of being accepted?

3.) I have had a passion for aviation and the US Air Force since the age of 10. I did not apply in high school because I wanted to attend college for a year and regroup. Will this time gap during which I attended college convey to my assessors that I do not truly want to attend the academy. This couldn't be farther from the truth.

4.) When applying, do I work with my college counselor or my old high school counselor?

TLDR; I want to apply to the academy but I currently am attending engineering school at a public university.

Thanks for your time!
Last edited by a moderator:


Nov 29, 2016
I'm a college mechanical engineer freshman too and I just accepted an appointment to West Point. No ROTC experience. It's possible if you really focus on it.


5-Year Member
Feb 10, 2016
purechaos78, to answer your questions:

1) Which math classes you might have repeat will depend on how well you do on the placement exams as well as your college grades; more so on the placement exams.
2) Attending a university will not hurt you at all; it may actually help you.
3) The gap will not hurt you; this would be a good point to expand on in your essay.
4) Possibly both. You will need transcripts from high school and college. Most teacher/instructor letters of recommendation, though, should come from college professors.

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
10-Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
There are many college first-time applicants and re-applicants at all the SAs. Admissions knows candidates can arrive later at a decision to apply.

College credits don’t transfer, but you may validate out of classes.

If you haven’t read every page, dropdown and link at, I recommend it.

Use the Search function here on SAF to find threads on College Applicants.

This is an anonymous Internet forum. I suggest not using an actual photo of yourself. Look around at other posters. You’ve also provided a great deal of personal information that makes you readily identifiable. You may want to ask the Mods to remove your post and return under a different user name with a more generic description of your situation.


5-Year Member
Jun 21, 2016
Colleges and the Acadamies use your high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores as a predictors on how well you will do in college. I would imagine they work well most of the time but not always. You may have had great scores in high school and do badly in college or you may have had bad scores in HS and do great in college. However, once you are in college, no one has to predict how well you will do because we have actual evidence based on your college GPA. If you kick butt in college and take the same type of courses that the academies take, it will only prove that you can handle the academic portion of the academy. So, going to college doesnt hurt you at all and may in fact give you the edge you wouldnt have had if you applied through high school. This is why they dont recommend going to community college freshman year as you reapply because the academic rigor of the community college wont be enough to prove you can handle the academics at an academy