Majors and Minors

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by BigB27, May 12, 2015.

  1. BigB27

    BigB27 Member

    Apr 23, 2015
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    Is it possible to major is physics and then to minor in a language?
    Also what kind of elective courses does the academy offer?
    How is signing up for classes handled at the academy?
    Will we get advised to what path we should take based on the career that we wish to pursue in the Air Force?
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

    Mar 5, 2012
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    1) Yes!
    2) It depends on your major, although it might be tough to find time for them given a physics major with a language minor. Check out the USAFA Curriculum handbook for a list of courses and majors (below). Some majors have Academy Option slots for elective type courses and some majors fill that slot with a major's required class.
    3) Practically painless. Your academic advisor handles all of the registrations and I've never heard of them failing to get some one the classes needed. That being said, you'll have an idea of what classes you'll be taking for each semester but your actual schedule will not be released to you until a few days before classes start. It is quite a bit less stressful than a college where everyone rushes to do their own registration.
    4) Absolutely.

    Here is the link to the USAFA Curriculum Handbook:

    (The download link is in the right-hand column)

    Feel free to ask more questions, but expect people here to point you in the right direction so you can do the legwork.

    Also, I think it is interesting that every class at the Academy is 3 credit hours, even highly technical courses and courses with labs. The minimum required hours per semester is 15.5 but most take 18.5 (and some 21.5!!). At some schools the lab courses or technical courses can be 4-5 credit hours. I'd argue that most cadets take the equivalent of about 20 credit hours.

    There are talks about the core curriculum being streamlined for the classes of 2020 and on. If only I was born a few years later, haha. . .
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  3. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

    Dec 10, 2012
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    - Yes. It helps to have validated a couple of classes, just so there's time, but it's possible regardless. (Math major / Russian minor here.)
    - There are a bunch. As a physics major / language minor, it may be hard to find time, but you can take any class you have the prerequisites for. As well as the standard classes, there are a few "funsies" classes, like art.
    - Most of your courses are preloaded for the first two years. That said, your advisor is your best friend for switching your schedule around. If you talk to him or her, you can swap out classes to balance your schedule, etc. I definitely recommend checking in once in a while, as it seems like at least once a semester something changes for me and we have to redo it.
    - Yep! There are career days during military periods at least once a year (usually more than that... maybe once or twice a semester?) Additionally, you should seek out officers who are teaches, AOCs, etc., in different fields and ask them about their careers. What do they like? What don't they like? What is the ops tempo like? Do they deploy/have chances to deploy (and if so, where?) What did a "typical day" look like in their last operational assignment? Do they have advice for those interested in their career field? Etc. It's conversations, rather than briefings, that are really going to give you a feel for what the "big AF" is like.
    Wishful likes this.
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother 5-Year Member Founding Member

    Oct 10, 2007
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    One of my sons was a physics major while being a Div I athlete. He was one BUSY guy! One semester, he took 26 or 27 credits, so be ready to have NO FREE TIME.
  5. lsredmond

    lsredmond 5-Year Member

    Jan 4, 2011
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    My daughter graduates next week from USAFA. She is a biochem major with an Arabic minor. She went many nights without sleep but she made it. Even studied abroad last (Fall) semester in Morocco. She will be going onto grad school at the University of Florida in August to get her master's in chemistry. to UPT!

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  6. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Dec 19, 2013
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    My DD is a physics major/language minor. She validated out of her 3 required language classes which allowed her to take some of her other core classes early. If you can do this, it will help enormously with the time management.
    Wishful likes this.

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