Texas Tech University

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join AFROTC?

Meet the requirements listed on our How To Join page.


1) Register for the appropriate courses, found on the How to Join page. 

2) Receive and Follow Instructions in New Cadet Orientation packet.  We will email you this prior to the start of semester, after you register. 

3) Attend our New Cadet Orientation brief 

If I join Air Force ROTC, does that mean I'm joining the military?

It depends.

Non-contracted:  Most of our cadets will enter the program without a scholarship.  These cadets will not sign a contract with the Air Force until after they are selected for the 3rd year in the program (or 2nd year, if he/she is entering the program as an AS250).  

Contracted/Scholarship:  If you are a contracted cadet, you will incur obligation to the Air Force for the scholarship and/or training you receive.  But, you are not operating in the military yet – you are still a college student.  If you receive a 4-year scholarship from high school (HSSP/J-100), you will sign a contract, but you can attend the first year of college without obligation.  If you receive a 2 or 3-year scholarship while in college (ICSP), you are required to sign a contract if you choose to accept the award.

Bottom line, AFROTC provides opportunities to see what the Air Force is about before you commit.  The curriculum develops leadership skills, gets you in shape, and is fun – our program can strengthen you even if you ultimately decide it is not for you.

Do I have to join Air Force ROTC as a freshman?

No. Students with at least six semesters remaining in their academic degree plan can join AFROTC.  You must have a minimum 2.0 GPA if you are entering as after your Freshman Fall semester.  

Joining as a freshman gives you more time to participate in AFROTC without obligation, to gain experience.  But, we have very successful cadets who joined later in their college career. 

How old can I be and still participate in the Air Force ROTC program?

Minimum age 14 to join AFROTC.

Maximum age 29 by time of completing AFROTC program for rated careers fields, such as Pilot (up to 42 years age with approved waiver for Remotely Piloted Aircraft only).

Maximum age 39 by time of completing AFROTC program for non-rated career fields (up to 42 years age with approved waiver)

I received an AFROTC Scholarship and live outside of Texas, will I have to pay Out-of-State Tuition?

No.  Your Air Force ROTC scholarship approves you for the Texas Tech University waiver of non-resident tuition known as the Military TENT waiver, this is not an automatic benefit you must apply for it. It is the cadet's responsibility to submit the completed waiver form to the Texas Tech Student Business Service each semester. In addition to scholarship cadets, ALL POC Cadets are eligible for this waiver of out of Out-of-State tuition.

Can I attend Air Force ROTC without a scholarship?

Yes, you can. Most of our students do not start with a scholarship, but every cadet has the opportunity to compete for a scholarship in high school, or while enrolled in AFROTC.  The number of scholarship available, is determined by AFROTC HQ and varies between academic years.

Is there a specific degree I need in order to be eligible for an AFROTC scholarship?

To be eligible for certain AFROTC scholarships, cadets must be enrolled in a degree program identified as desired by the Air Force, or mandatory for an Air Force/Space Force Specialty. 

It is very important to assess the required degree program before applying for/accepting a scholarship.  You need to evaluate the course load/difficulty for that program, as you must maintain an overall 2.5 GPA, semester 2.0 GPA, in addition to completing courses without a “D” or “F.”  

It is important to note specific degrees are not required to simply join AFROTC.  Enrolling in a difficult degree program you are not committed to, for better perceived scholarship eligibility, can actually negatively affect your cadet career.  Failing to maintain GPA standards can jeopardize your eligibility and/or ability to maintain the scholarship.  Also, your GPA will be an integral part of your competitive milestones as a cadet, ultimately affecting your career choices. (see next FAQ).

Is there a specific degree I need for AFROTC?

No. As long as the degree plan is offered by the university, you can make it your major concentration. 

Scholarship:  The Air Force can offer scholarships for certain degree plans, which may require you to remain in that academic major until you graduate (in a contract).  Also, if you receive a scholarship while in AFROTC, changing majors can require approval to remain within the terms of the contract. 

When you begin the program, we ask you to project the academic year you will graduate based upon the degree you want to pursue.  We understand degree plans can change, so you can change your major or graduation date without much difficulty, as long as you do it early in your AFROTC career.  Again, if you want to change your major while on scholarship, the Air Force will decide based on the terms of your contract. 

How does my major affect my career path?

The Air Force trains officers to perform their specific jobs, so most Air Force specialties do not require specific degrees. However, for some specialties (i.e. engineer, nurse, scientist, linguist) a close match is desirable, or even required. 

It is important to choose a major that interests you.  Your GPA will be very important in your success as a cadet.  Your success as a student can dictate how competitive you are for certain career fields.  

If you are not sure what Air Force specialty is for you, don't worry. You have plenty of time to learn and decide which career fields you want.  Cadets choose specialties and location preferences as juniors (or seniors, for 5-year cadets).  

Can I take 5 years to finish my degree?

Some degrees (i.e. STEM) typically take longer to complete due to heavy course requirements. If you major in a degree listed below, the Air Force allows you to complete your degree over 5 years. This is highly recommended. This reduces your overall semester load, can reduce summer classes, and allows more flexibility with AFROTC requirements.  Also, importantly, the increased time and flexibility allows for more successful completion of the degree plan (better GPA).  Approved 5th-year cadets will continue to receive scholarship and stipend payments, as applicable.


NOTE: Academic majors not listed do not qualify for additional terms of entitlements.

** To qualify for additional terms of entitlements, cadets in these majors must have also completed the following courses: Calculus I & II (or a math minor), Statistics I, and Operations Research/Management Science. The Calculus and Statistics courses must come from the school's Mathematics (or equivalent) Department (not Business, Social Sciences, etc.). These courses are required by SAF and are non-waivable.

NOTE: Degrees must be Bachelor of Science degrees. (Example: Switching from a B.S. in Mathematics to a B.A. in Mathematics will lead to a loss of scholarship.)

What are the chances of becoming a pilot through AFROTC at Texas Tech University?

The selection process leading to a pilot slot is competitive, as you would expect.  But, there is no minimum or maximum quota for successful applicants from Detachment 820.  Your selection in any competitive process is completely up to you, and your determination.  

Your selection as a Pilot is determined by such factors as:

-Cumulative GPA

-Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) score

-AFOQT component scores

-Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS) score

-Cadet Detachment performance 

-Cadet Field Training performance

-Civilian flight hours

Instructors at Detachment 820 will counsel/mentor you every step of the way, and without hesitation let you know where your strong and vulnerable areas are.  We are 100% here to help you succeed – but the hard work and perseverance ultimately up to you.

If I take Air Force ROTC classes, am I committed to military or government service?

If you are interested in becoming an officer, there is NO service commitment during the first two years of the AFROTC program unless you have an AFROTC scholarship. If you decide to stay and are selected to continue to the last two years of the program, you will sign a contract with the Air Force. For AFROTC scholarship students, you have a contract commitment once you activate the scholarship and have entered your sophomore year.

You can also take AFROTC academic curriculum as a non-cadet, or “special student.”  You cannot however participate in the lab, physical fitness training, or commission.  There is no service commitment for students who take our classes with no intention of becoming an Air Force officer. 

Does the Air Force ROTC program include any extracurricular activities?

Yes. Being an Air Force officer means more than just working a job, and AFROTC is specifically designed to foster the "whole-person" concept.  You are a student, and free to experience life at Texas Tech as you see fit.  Just understand, with membership on any team, some choices are not conducive to the success of the team. To remain in the program, you must meet and exceed the standards and requirements set by AFROTC.  

There are student organizations available, primarily staffed by members of AFROTC, offering leadership and military professional development activities.  Examples include Arnold Air Society, Sabre Drill Team, and Skyraiders.  These organizations regularly participate in community projects and numerous athletic events. These extra activities are optional; you may participate as your time and schedule allows.

Your first and most immediate concern is attending school and maintaining strong academic and fitness performance. We believe it is important for you to have the widest range of experiences, but you must remain accountable to the requirements of your goal.

Can I participate in intercollegiate athletics or the band while a member of the Air Force ROTC program?

Yes. Generally, extracurricular campus activities and AFROTC are perfectly compatible as long as you can handle the requirements and time commitments.

But there are risks, such as physical health.  Physical injuries suffered while participating in intercollegiate or intramural athletic activities could jeopardize your medical status, and risk your Air Force prospects.

What is Field Training, and how often must I attend it?

Field Training is a two-week summer encampment at Maxwell AFB, AL, designed to place cadets in a rigorous and unfamiliar training environment, testing them physically, mentally and emotionally.  Cadets attend during the summer, between the sophomore and junior year.  It is an intensive training period where cadets learn battlefield skills such as land navigation, tactical combat casualty care and small-unit tactics. They will also be evaluated through academic exams, drill evaluations, physical fitness assessments, and leading teams.

You are only required to complete Field Training once.

Are there specific dorms for AFROTC cadets?

No, there are no restrictions imposed on where AFROTC live.

What are the requirements of the Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)?

You must pass the PFA with 75 points or higher.  To be competitive for many of the opportunities available in AFROTC, you need to achieve the highest score possible.  Always aim for 100.

For the latest Air Force PFA score chart, click here  (Be sure to locate the your correct gender and age category.  At this time, AFROTC is only using the 1 min push-ups, 1 min sit-ups, and 1.5 mile run components for the PFA. 



Air Force
Air Force ROTC
Holm Center

Air Force ROTC Detachment 820