Frequently Asked Questions

"To recruit, develop, train, and commission premier Air Force officers through our tradition of excellence"

What is Air Force ROTC?

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is an educational program designed to give men and women the opportunity to become Air Force officers while completing their degrees. The Air Force ROTC program is designed to prepare you to assume positions of increasing responsibility and importance in the modern Air Force.

What is life in Air Force ROTC like?

Air Force ROTC consists of attending various Aerospace courses and laboratories. A typical day is slightly different than that of a regular college student. For most freshman in the program, the day will start with regular college courses, a one hour course for Aerospace studies, and followed by Leadership Lab later in the day. If you are currently a senior in high school or a student at UNM, give us a call to arrange an opportunity to shadow a cadet through their day.

Will I be shipped off to basic, or to war if I join the program

The answer to this question is no. Unlike enlisting, the Air Force ROTC program has been established to recruit and train qualified military leaders (officers) for the Air Force. The training that you need will be delivered here at UNM aside from a month long Field Training program between your sophmore and junior year. Upon successful completion of the program you will receive your commission at which point you will go to your technical school (depending on job); afterwards, both voluntary and required deployments are available to all Active Duty service members.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

AFROTC offers scholarships for qualified individuals. More information on AFROTC scholarships and to apply for AFROTC scholarships can be found at

Scholarship Types

Scholarship Information

What if I don't get a scholarship?

Great News! You don't need to be on scholarship to participate in our program. Most cadets don't have a scholarship and use the New Mexico Lottery scholarship and other funds to pay for their tuition and related costs. You can still earn a commission without obtaining an AFROTC scholarship.

Air Force ROTC Pilot or Combat Systems Operator

Competition for rated slots is based on merit and is very competitive. The Air Force seeks the highest-qualified applicants for Pilot, Navigator (Combat Systems Operator), and Air Battle Manager career fields. A selection board at AFROTC Headquarters — not at local detachments — determines rated positions.

Order of Merit Criteria

Selection for a rated position is based on a cadet's Order of Merit, which is determined by the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Fitness Assessment (FA) results
    Based on a 100-point scale and consisting of sit-ups, push-ups and a 1 1/2-mile run.
  • Pilot Candidate Scoring Method (PCSM) results
    The PCSM results are comprised of:
    • Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT) Pilot score
      A standardized, multiple-choice test similar to the SAT in format. AFOQTs are administered several times during the school year. Cadets may take the AFOQT twice (six months apart) with the most recent score being used toward the PCSM score.
    • Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) score
      Consists of five sub-tests that measure psychomotor skills, cognitive aptitude, and personality traits.
    • Total flying hours
      While flying hours contribute to the overall PCSM score, they constitute only a small percentage of the total. While helpful, it is not necessary to have flight hours to get a rated position.
  • Field Training (FT) results
    Cadets train and are selected for FT. This is a mandatory program designed to develop leadership and discipline and to determine potential for entry into the Professional Officer Course. FT typically occurs between the sophomore and the junior year.
  • Commander's Ranking
    The Detachment Commander evaluates cadets based on the "whole person" concept and ranks them in relation to their peers. Overall officership potential is determined based on (but not limited to) a cadet's maturity, judgment, and overall performance within cadet corps.

NOTE: Academic major is not a factor for rated selection, contrary to popular belief. A cadet interested in a rated slot and majoring in Aeronautical Science or Aerospace Engineering, for example, is not given higher consideration over a cadet majoring in Psychology.