Air Force ROTC

Air Force ROTC is a college program offered at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the U.S. It prepares you to become an Air Force officer while earning a college degree. But more than that —it’s a challenge, a head start on a lifetime of success within the Air Force and in everything you choose to do.

The ROTC program at Ottawa University is a crosstown school with the University of Kansas. What that means for you—you can have a small, private college experience all while earning your ROTC credits.

In Air Force ROTC, you’ll make the most of your college experience. You’ll hone your time-management skills, analytical skills, and physical fitness. It won’t be easy. But if you’re up to the challenge, the rewards will last a lifetime.


As a cadet, you will enroll in one course per semester at the University of Kansas. The first section of Air Force ROTC, general military course (GMC), is a two-year program. It consists of one hour of classroom work and two hours of leadership laboratory each week. The GMC is designed to improve communication skills and provide a window into military life. For those not on an ROTC scholarship, it’s an opportunity for you to try out the program with no obligation.

After completing the GMC requirements, if you wish to be considered for entry into the last two years of the program, professional officer course (POC), you must meet certain requirements. You are evaluated on a number of qualitative factors, such as grade point average, unit commander evaluation and aptitude test scores, to determine if you have officer potential. Before entering the POC, you must successfully complete a 24-day summer field-training exercise at Maxwell Air Force Base.

The POC is offered to juniors and seniors who have already committed to a four-year post-graduation service commitment with the U.S. Air Force. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll attend class three hours a week and participate in the same two hour weekly leadership laboratory.

General Military Course
(First Year and Sophomore Students)
Two years; consists of one hour classroom work and one to two hours of leadership laboratory per week.

Professional Officer Course
(Junior and Senior Students)
Offered to upperclassmen committed to a four-year post-graduation service commitment with the Air Force. Three hours classroom work and one to two hours of leadership laboratory per week.

Character Development

The U.S. Air Force is looking for 2nd Lieutenants with the utmost character and the ROTC program will help develop that. We begin with the Air Force Honor Code: “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.”

ROTC is looking to develop officers with character, or more specifically, to produce leaders for the U.S. Air Force and build better citizens for America. We expect to produce officers with:

  • Integrity First
  • Service Before Self
  • and Excellence in All We Do


You will receive the finest training to prepare you for active duty as a 2nd Lieutenant. A highlight is the four-week field training experience at Maxwell Air Force Base during the summer between your sophomore and junior years. This training prepares you for increased leadership responsibility.

Another summer training opportunity for cadets is free professional development training (PDT). Among the opportunities are International Immersion Program (travel to another country), Combative (hand-to-hand, unarmed combat), Field Engineering and Readiness Lab (for civil engineering majors), and the list goes on.

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is an important aspect of the daily life of every Air Force member, including ROTC cadets. As a cadet, you are required to attend at least two sessions per week. These can take place either on campus at Ottawa University or University of Kansas. Cadets may be exempt from PT, if they are an in-season student-athlete.

The Air Force ROTC physical training leaders have put together a challenging and fun program to help you pass the physical fitness assessment (required to continue in the program), along with meeting your own personal fitness goals.


What if you didn’t have to worry about how to pay for college? Air Force ROTC offers a variety of scholarships that will help relieve the financial burden of your college education. That way, you can focus on preparing for your future.

A variety of full and partial scholarships are available, and certain scholarships have specific requirements. To be eligible for scholarship consideration, as a current high school student, you must achieve an SAT composite of 1180 (math and critical reading portions only) or ACT composite of 26 and attain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. There are no waivers or exceptions to this.Scholarship applications are accepted June 1 through December 1 of the year before the scholarship would take effect.

You’re under no obligation by applying for an Air Force ROTC scholarship. However, if you are awarded a scholarship, you become obligated when you accept and sign an agreement with the U.S. Air Force prior to your sophomore year.

All four-year scholarships begin in the fall as a first year student. Three year scholarships begin in the fall of your sophomore year (other requirements apply during your first year).

  • Type 1 — Pays full college tuition, most fees and includes a book allowance. Awarded for four years.
  • Type 2 — Pays college tuition and most fees up to $18,000 and includes a book allowance. If tuition and fees exceed $18,000 per year, then the student is responsible for the difference. Can be awarded for three or four years.
  • Type 7 — Pays college tuition up to the equivalent of a public school’s in-state rate and includes a book allowance. Awarded for four years.