getting your Masters after a Service Academy or ROTC without adding to your Commitment ? ?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by TrackDad, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    Many people with lengthy commitments (e.g. pilots) can take tuition assistance and not incur extra commitment. This is because they are concurrent "clocks." Having 2-3 years of commitment for tuition assistance doesn't really matter if you still have 5 or more left from UPT.
     
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

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    As another AF example, I'll be graduating this year with my BS in Applied Math and the 61A - Operations Research Analyst AFSC.

    I have two options right now. I can either go to AFIT through the Acquisitions Advanced Academic Degree program (commonly known as AAP) or the Graduate Studies Program (GSP) through the USAFA Math Dept (fingers crossed on that one, as I'm second on the list and waiting for the first person to get into some other awesome school). The program of study will be Applied Statistics/Analytics in 18 months (where the service commitment incurred will run out before my Academy commitment).

    However, the GSP guarantees a position on the Math Dept faculty following a tour of duty after the MS degree from AFIT. I am not sure exactly how this affects your service commitment. This is a personal goal of mine and can could open doors to opportunities such as a departmental PhD pipeline.

    Lastly, I have applied to some civilian institutions as well. If I am able to get funding for tuition, then I can apply for a waiver to attend a civilian institution instead of AFIT. I'm in the middle of the process now, so feel free to PM me for any specific questions.
     
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  3. Blue&SilverBear

    Blue&SilverBear USAFA Grad/ALO 5-Year Member

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    There are 3 endowed scholarships that are the ultimate "good deal" from the AF, where your full time job is grad student on active duty for one year, and it adds nothing to your commitment. These are the Lawson, Wolfe, Nutter scholarships/fellowships: http://www.usafa.edu/df/dfr/grad_studies/grad_studies.cfm?catname=dfrg1

    I received the Wolfe in 2009 and ended up doing 7 years AD because my second assignment was pretty cool, but I could have gotten out at 5. That masters degree definitely helped me get my civilian job, and I'm an ALO on the side.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    Those are definitely excellent grad school scholarships; but "Ultimate" is definitely defined by the individual. For someone who's made it through the academy, and the military lifestyle is appealing to them, and they have no problem doing more than the mandatory 5 years, a commitment for attending a different grad school isn't a big deal. They were probably going to stay in anyway. An example would be someone getting a pilot slot. They already have a 10 year commitment. Going to grad school first isn't be deal. Hornet and my son both had pilot slots. They were held for them while they attended The RAND for a 3 year PhD program. Hornet still had his pilot slot waiting for him. My son changed his mind and applied for selection as an STO; which he got accepted to and is currently in that AFSC. So for either of them, the additional commitment wasn't an issue. For my son, having a Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate's complete 3 years after the academy is a great thing.

    So, the bottom line is, if you think you want to "Apply" to get a grad school slot directly out of the academy as a full time endeavor, you need to bust your butt at the academy. You need to graduate at or close to the top in your department. (Your major). Including the engineering students who get to go to AFIT, only about 10% of the academy class will get selected to go to full time grad school. If you're pretty sure that the military isn't something you're going to want after the mandatory 5 year academy commitment; then definitely look at the option Blue&SilverBear linked to. Or, consider going on your own time and using Tuition Assistance from the military. It will be a lot of time, with trying to work full time also; but it can be done. For those who want to apply for a pilot's slot, or an AFSC that has an additional commitment beyond the 5 years for the academy, then don't worry. Just excel at the academy and apply to all of the graduate programs that you can. Best of luck.
     
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  5. hannasdfjkl

    hannasdfjkl New Member

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    Hopping in on this old thread. I'm aware of the 2 years of concurrent commitment if you get a grad school slot straight out of the Academy. However, is there a similar opportunity for ROTC cadets where the Air Force would let you go to grad school and pay for you?
     
  6. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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  7. Humey

    Humey Member

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    I am kind of curious regarding master programs and online master programs. I am sure the answer is going to be it depends on the major, but what goes on in a masters program. Is it basically writing several research appers or is like college, lectures, tests and some papers?
     
  8. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Can someone comment on the education requirements looked favorably upon for early promotion ("below the zone") or has that ended.
     
  9. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    Currently, advanced degrees are masked for promotion boards for LtCol in the AF. So, only the professional military education courses are looked at. For Col, the board can see masters, PhDs, etc.
     
  10. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Thank you.
     
  11. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

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    FYI,

    The current policy for graduate programs is that the service member will incur an active duty service commitment that is 3 times the length of training (measured in weeks) and maxes out at 5 years. This ADSC begins on your program completion date and is served concurrently with any other service commitments.

    @Humey, MS programs vary quite a bit depending on the school and major. In residence programs usually consist of 30-40 credit hours and can have thesis or non-thesis options. For thesis options roughly 30% of credits are research. Graduate courses are similar to undergraduate with lectures, projects, HW assignments, presentations, and tests. The content of the course is just more specialized. Online MS programs are exclusively non-thesis (or at least I have yet to see an online thesis program). They're practically the same, but with video lectures and online platforms like Slack and Piazza to handle communication. I've taken a few courses with video-proctoring for tests. All this really only applies to STEM degrees that I have researched. I cannot say much about any liberal arts degrees. . .
     
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  12. Humey

    Humey Member

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    thanks for the info. I appreciate it