|Walter F. Jones
The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) is a postgraduate institution and provider of professional and continuing education for the United States Armed Forces and is part of the United States Air Force. It is in Ohio at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton. AFIT is a component of the Air University and Air Education and Training Command.
Founded in 1919 and granting degrees since 1956, the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) is the Department of the Air Force’s leader for advanced, multi-disciplinary academic education, as well as its institution for initial technical and professional continuing education. AFIT is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Dayton, Ohio. Dayton's heritage and industrial base in aeronautics and aviation, coupled with the close proximity to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) provide a scientific and engineering research and educational experience focused on producing future leaders of the Department of the Air Force. A component of Air University and Air Education and Training Command, its primary purpose is to provide specialized education to select officer and enlisted U.S. military personnel and civilian employees.
On 8 May 2012, AFIT formally welcomed its first civilian director and chancellor during an appointment of leadership ceremony. Dr. Todd Stewart served for 34 years with the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2002 at the rank of major general. On 28 January 2015, AFIT welcomed its first Provost and Vice Chancellor Dr. Sivaguru S. Sritharan former Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the Naval Postgraduate School.
AFIT's four schools include:
AFIT has two Centers of Excellence and seven research centers funded by a number of federal agencies with interdisciplinary scope and international footprint representing a number of scientific areas for the United States Air Force and the Department of Defense:
AFIT's Graduate School of Engineering and Management is a graduate-only, research–based institution and the sole degree-granting element of AFIT. The Graduate School focuses on studies and research that are relevant to the Air and Space Force mission as well as the needs of the defense establishment as a whole. AFIT's Aeronautics & Astronautics Department has graduated nine U. S. astronauts including Guy Bluford (PhD 1978), first African-American astronaut. Since graduate degrees were first granted in 1956, AFIT has awarded more than 20,600 master's and 1,000 doctor of philosophy degrees.
It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".
The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) enrolls over 650 full-time graduate students. The student body consists primarily of Air Force and Space Force officers, but is rounded out by members of the other four U.S. Armed Services, select enlisted Airmen, international students from coalition countries, U.S. Government civilians, and civilians (U.S. citizens) not affiliated with the Government. Selection of officers for graduate education is fully funded by their service and is based upon outstanding professional performance as an officer, promotion potential, and a strong academic background. Admission of non-Government affiliated civilians is based on academic preparation and requires U.S. citizenship. A substantial number of AFIT graduates are assigned to AFRL and NASIC upon graduation from AFIT. Many of the AFIT student thesis projects are influenced directly or indirectly by AFRL, NASIC, NRO and other Air Force and defense agencies.
The faculty body consists of approximately a 50–50 mix of military and civilian members all of whom hold a PhD in their fields. The faculty to student ratio is typically 1 to 5 in the master's degree programs.
AFIT is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to offer degrees to the doctorate level. Eight engineering programs in the Graduate School of Engineering and Management are accredited at the advanced level by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
The institute operates year-round on a quarter calendar which includes the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms. The quarters are 10 weeks in length plus a week for examinations. Typically, the Fall term begins in late September and ends in mid-December; the Winter term begins in early January and ends in mid-March; the Spring term begins in late March and ends in mid-June; and the Summer term begins in late June and ends in early-September.
The educational expenses for full-time military students assigned to AFIT are paid by their respective uniformed service. For tuition-paying students, the approximate cost is $4,656 per quarter for full-time enrollment (based on 12 quarter hours and a tuition rate of $388 per quarter-hour). AFIT is tuition-waived for civilian employees and military members of the Air or Space Force.
Through its Civilian Institution Programs, AFIT also manages the educational programs of officers enrolled in civilian universities, research centers, hospitals, and industrial organizations. Air Force students attending civilian institutions have earned more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the past twenty years.