ACADEMICS


Curriculum


The ACSC resident curriculum is a rigorous 10-month graduate-level program taught through intensive small group seminars and engaging lectures. Courses cover topics that include the profession of arms, leadership and ethics, joint operations, airpower, and the international security environment. Additionally, students have the opportunity to conduct research and participate in elective courses that explore topics of varying interests. Successful completion of the ACSC Resident Program are awarded Joint Professional Military Education I credit and the Masters of Military Operational Art and Science Degree to qualified students who meet all curriculum and criteria requirements.


The Leadership Course recognizes both the moral and practical significance of acts of leadership. The function of leadership as the proper use of either positional authority or personal influence (often both) directed toward clear ends is vital to practical success and indispensable to the common good. Since the course aims at advancing one’s capacity to lead successfully and on behalf of the common good, each of the course’s diverse topics covers an essential aspect of leadership development.

War Theory introduces military theory, addressing both the nature and character of war. It examines the theoretical writings of classical military theorists, as well as the evolution of warfare and military thought over the last two centuries. The course explores a number of the most outstanding historical cases of military innovation, assessing the utility of military theories across the military domains. The course also considers the future evolution of warfare, analyzing both change and continuity in armed conflict. In applying military theory to contemporary security challenges, students will be able to better anticipate and respond to operational problems across the range of military operations.

Airpower I examines the emergence and development of airpower from the First World War through the Vietnam War. This course analyzes the development of key ideas, capabilities, organizations, practices, and limitations that framed the conduct of air warfare in the first three quarters of the twentieth century. These events continue to inform debates about airpower’s purpose, utility, and effectiveness. Course readings, lectures, and seminar discussions will cultivate adaptive leaders and critical airpower thinkers by challenging officers to examine the evolution of airpower and how it serves to fulfill national security outcomes.

International Security I provides a comprehensive overview of the context in which the development of US grand strategy occurs. The 2017 National Security Strategy depicts a dangerous world, with the rise of peer competitors, China in the East and a resurgent Russia in the West. The course introduces three traditions of International Relations (IR) to provide a foundation for considering the current opportunities and challenges to US policy in the emerging strategic environment. These course concepts are then applied to the 2-Plus-3 (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and VEOs), enabling students to develop interpretations and responses to International Security issues systematically.

Airpower II examines the further emergence and development of airpower from the Post-Vietnam Era through today. This course analyzes the development of key ideas, capabilities, organizations, practices, and limitations that framed the conduct of air warfare after Vietnam into present day applications and future thought. These events continue to inform debates about airpower’s purpose, utility, and effectiveness. Course readings, lectures, and seminar discussions will cultivate adaptive leaders and critical airpower thinkers by challenging officers to examine the evolution of airpower and how it serves to fulfill national security outcomes.

International Security II explores the conduct of national security through the lens of military strategy: the employment of military means for the achievement of political ends. The course highlights the challenges of integrating military means to political ends and innovating strategy to account for changing circumstances. Specifically, it examines factors that complicate the formulation, execution, assessment, and adaptation of military strategy. It then applies these concepts to strategies employed across the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs). The course affords students the opportunity to cultivate and refine skills for advising senior leaders on meeting future security threats.

The Joint Warfighting (JW) course is designed to demonstrate, at the operational level, how the U.S. joint force organizes, deploys, employs, sustains, and redeploys military capabilities in support of national interests. The primary purpose of the JW course is to comprehend and analyze how we, the Joint Force, go to war and prevail. The course will equip military and interagency professionals with skills to articulate and influence the application of the military instrument of power to provide commanders with options for the use of military force in support of national interests. Understanding operational art and design is essential for the military professional, no matter their specialty. Understanding operational context and strategic goals is necessary to properly plan and execute military operations in the modern operational environment. It is also imperative to understand how the U.S. military operates as part of a joint force in a multinational, interagency, and intergovernmental environment.

In conjunction with the core curriculum, students at ACSC take elective courses. The school provides students the flexibility to choose courses that cover various topics from over 100 electives.


Electives


In conjunction with the core curriculum, students at ACSC take elective courses. The school provides students the flexibility to choose courses that cover various topics from over 100 electives.


The Command Elective is for any ACSC student. It allows students to reflect on the importance of taking command, building a command climate and culture, and the unique challenges that come with command. The Command Elective is designed around three artifacts: a 90-day command plan, a command philosophy, and a command legacy. These artifacts are designed to provide deliberate personal reflection and dialogue with peers and senior commanders.  The Command Elective is a recommended course for any student taking command in the future.

There are two types of language courses available for students at ACSC. One type is a deep-study in certain languages and cultures (French, German, and Spanish). These courses will constitute all three of the electives and are year-long and require a certain proficiency. The other option is a Language Immersion course that is held through Terms A, B, and C and meet Mondays and Fridays opposite your core course schedule. This course does not count for credit. Several languages are offered for the immersion courses to include Chinese, Russian, Arabic, etc. Spouses are allowed to sign up for the Language Immersion courses with instructor approval.

The Research Task Force Electives are year-long electives conducted with the Air War College. Each Task Force spends the year examining a critical component of the joint fight. The current Task Forces are Airpower C2, Cyber, Deterrence, ISR, Virtual Reality, and Acquisitions. Participation in these electives requires current TS/SCI clearance. Each of these Task Forces go TDY for professional development, curriculum objectives, and assisting with collecting research for the final projects.

Along with the various electives and research task force options, students can elect to use their elective credits to complete an independent research project. Students would select a faculty member at ACSC or within Air University to mentor them on their project. They would submit a research proposal within the first few weeks of school. Once approved the student works directly with their chosen faculty member to complete the independent study. Depending on the scope of the project, students can use one, two, or three elective periods for their independent study. For every elective course (equaling 2 credits) a student would need to produce a 20-25 page research project.

Year-Long electives offer students the opportunity to deep dive into one main topic over the course of the entire year. These electives span three terms and make up all the elective credits necessary for program completion. The students will be in-class for two of the terms and spend one term completing the course project. The current Year-Long electives are Small Wars, Theories of International Politics, The Peloponnesian War, History of U.S. Foreign Policy, and History and Theory of Modern Terrorism. The instructors teaching these courses are experts on the subjects and have been offering these or similar courses for several years.


Joint All Domain Strategist (JADS)

Joint All Domain Strategist was formerly Multi Domain Operational Strategist (MDOS) and was re-designated JADS in AY21 by the Air University Commander, in order to capture the joint nature of the course.  In 2018, MDOS received the AETC innovation award for furthering the CSAF's priorities of expanding the joint and multi-domain warfighting abilities of airmen.  The concentration is a selective year-long advanced program specializing in developing leaders who understand the employment of joint all domain operational maneuver to counter future threats in contested and degraded environments. The curriculum focuses on improving critical thinking and problem solving skills at the operational level of war.  It prepares selected students for future operational and command assignments requiring advanced knowledge of the capabilities, methods, and challenges associated with operations within and across the six domains (electromagnetic spectrum, space, air, land, maritime, and human).  Additionally, students study and apply strategic and operational design, reflexive control theory, aggregation theory, decision making theory, and risk analysis. JADS students have participated in events such as AUSTERE CHALLENGE, PACIFIC FURY, ABMS, Doolittle wargames, WEPTAC as well as German and Polish war college exercises.


Academic Year 23 Application Process: The Application deadline has been extended to 15 March 2022.  

  1. Complete the online form, which is available here: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/ACSC/JADS-Application/ 
  2. Email a current SURF (or equivalent short-brief) to the JADS org box
  3. Email 1 page letter of intent to the JADS org box 

For questions about JADS, please email the JADS team at ACSC.JADS.OrgBox@us.af.mil 

 


Schriever Scholars Program

 

Schriever Scholar Program LogoThe Schriever Space Scholars program is the nation’s first year-long, space-centric IDE curriculum dedicated to developing space strategists. Sponsored by US Space Force, the Schriever Space Scholars Concentration offers an excellent professional military education across all components of the space enterprise: military, civil, and commercial. It builds on the time-tested curriculum of ACSC (that includes courses on War Theory, Leadership Development, International Security, and Joint Warfighting) while incorporating space themes into each course. It supplements this core with two Spacepower courses, unique to the concentration, that offer deep dives into space history, theory, strategy, law, and policy, and also explore the operational implications of space as a joint warfighting domain. Rounding out the students’ strategic education, Schriever Space Scholars take an elective in the fall, undertake an independent research project in the spring, and typically take three professional development group TDYs.  Some students also have the opportunity to develop a space wargame, to compete in space law moot court, or to attend an academic conference. 

Academic Year 23 Schriever Space Scholars (Applications Due: 15 January 2022) 

Application Process: Complete the online form, which is available here (the form does not work on government networks): https://forms.office.com/r/L5j5EEQhLs 


01:00


School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS)

 

School of Nuclear Deterrence Studies Patch

The School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS) program was founded in July 2015 by Air Force Global Strike Command to develop field grade officers into the next generation of nuclear deterrence leaders and experts. In 2018, the school was incorporated into ACSC to leverage the wealth of academic knowledge offered by Air University in order to enrich our student’s academic experience. The core mission of SANDS is to study military theory focused on strategic deterrence. Over the course of the rigorous 10-month graduate-level program, our students study the history of deterrence application, modern operational deterrence theory, and formulate how deterrence will change in the future.

 

 

01:24


POLITICAL AFFAIRS STRATEGIST

The Political-Military Affairs Strategist (PAS) program is designed to meet ACSC’s mission to educate and develop air-minded joint leaders and simultaneously meet SAF/IA’s mission to develop International Airmen capable of strengthening US and global security across all US Air Force mission areas. In addition to the ACSC core curriculum, the PAS program is designed to provide a broad knowledge of political-military affairs through a series of SAF/IA-sponsored lectures and specially approved elective courses that focus on joint, interagency, interorganizational or multinational (JIIM) topics. Upon successful completion ACSC-PAS graduates will earn a secondary AFSC of 16P which denotes qualification as a political military affairs strategist. Graduates will normally participate in one career broadening tour in an International Affairs position as their first or second post ACSC assignment. These officers fill vital positions across OSD, JCS, COCOM, Air Staff, MAJCOM, and NAF staffs. Additionally, many go on to fill interagency, exchange, or other positions across the security cooperation enterprise. The PAS program is governed by guidance in AFI 16-109.

01:11

ACSC-PAS is a Total Force program.  AD officers are selected by their Developmental Education Designation Board (DEDB) while ARC officers are solicited for application during their respective IDE Orientation. If you have any questions, please email the Program Director at ACSC.PAS.OrgBox@us.af.mil


Student Calendar


The Academic Calendar is completed a year in advance for planning and coordination purposes with Air War College to comply with Headquarters Air Force (HAF) and Joint Staff Requirements.  

  • There are 4 Total Terms
  • 2 Core Classes per Term w/ possibility of an elective
  • Terms are separated by Week Breaks
  • Fall/Winter/Spring Breaks are Non-contact Duty Days
  • Black Days are Federal Holidays
  • The Calendar does not align with local city school system
  • Green/Blue/Brown Days are mandatory school events


Distance Learning


The eSchool's Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) distance learning (DL) intermediate developmental education (IDE) curriculum is designed to produce a more effective field-grade officer serving inoperational-level command or staff positions.  The IDE/ACSC DL program emphasizes applying airpower in joint campaign planning and the operational art of war.  Students explore national security issues, strategy and war theory, airpower history and theory, expeditionary Air Force force-employment concepts, and the capabilities and limitation that the Air Force and its sister services contribute to the joint force commanders.  All curriculum is web based and accessed through an online learning management system.  In addition to readings, the program includes a variety of computer-based interactive learning activities and exercises and leverages social media tools to enable peer-to-peer interaction and learning.  Self-paced study is enhanced by a national security paper and three multi-week, collaborative, online-facilitated seminars.



Search Wright Flyer Archive

Curriculum

Curriculum


The ACSC resident curriculum is a rigorous 10-month graduate-level program taught through intensive small group seminars and engaging lectures. Courses cover topics that include the profession of arms, leadership and ethics, joint operations, airpower, and the international security environment. Additionally, students have the opportunity to conduct research and participate in elective courses that explore topics of varying interests. Successful completion of the ACSC Resident Program are awarded Joint Professional Military Education I credit and the Masters of Military Operational Art and Science Degree to qualified students who meet all curriculum and criteria requirements.


The Leadership Course recognizes both the moral and practical significance of acts of leadership. The function of leadership as the proper use of either positional authority or personal influence (often both) directed toward clear ends is vital to practical success and indispensable to the common good. Since the course aims at advancing one’s capacity to lead successfully and on behalf of the common good, each of the course’s diverse topics covers an essential aspect of leadership development.

War Theory introduces military theory, addressing both the nature and character of war. It examines the theoretical writings of classical military theorists, as well as the evolution of warfare and military thought over the last two centuries. The course explores a number of the most outstanding historical cases of military innovation, assessing the utility of military theories across the military domains. The course also considers the future evolution of warfare, analyzing both change and continuity in armed conflict. In applying military theory to contemporary security challenges, students will be able to better anticipate and respond to operational problems across the range of military operations.

Airpower I examines the emergence and development of airpower from the First World War through the Vietnam War. This course analyzes the development of key ideas, capabilities, organizations, practices, and limitations that framed the conduct of air warfare in the first three quarters of the twentieth century. These events continue to inform debates about airpower’s purpose, utility, and effectiveness. Course readings, lectures, and seminar discussions will cultivate adaptive leaders and critical airpower thinkers by challenging officers to examine the evolution of airpower and how it serves to fulfill national security outcomes.

International Security I provides a comprehensive overview of the context in which the development of US grand strategy occurs. The 2017 National Security Strategy depicts a dangerous world, with the rise of peer competitors, China in the East and a resurgent Russia in the West. The course introduces three traditions of International Relations (IR) to provide a foundation for considering the current opportunities and challenges to US policy in the emerging strategic environment. These course concepts are then applied to the 2-Plus-3 (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and VEOs), enabling students to develop interpretations and responses to International Security issues systematically.

Airpower II examines the further emergence and development of airpower from the Post-Vietnam Era through today. This course analyzes the development of key ideas, capabilities, organizations, practices, and limitations that framed the conduct of air warfare after Vietnam into present day applications and future thought. These events continue to inform debates about airpower’s purpose, utility, and effectiveness. Course readings, lectures, and seminar discussions will cultivate adaptive leaders and critical airpower thinkers by challenging officers to examine the evolution of airpower and how it serves to fulfill national security outcomes.

International Security II explores the conduct of national security through the lens of military strategy: the employment of military means for the achievement of political ends. The course highlights the challenges of integrating military means to political ends and innovating strategy to account for changing circumstances. Specifically, it examines factors that complicate the formulation, execution, assessment, and adaptation of military strategy. It then applies these concepts to strategies employed across the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCCs). The course affords students the opportunity to cultivate and refine skills for advising senior leaders on meeting future security threats.

The Joint Warfighting (JW) course is designed to demonstrate, at the operational level, how the U.S. joint force organizes, deploys, employs, sustains, and redeploys military capabilities in support of national interests. The primary purpose of the JW course is to comprehend and analyze how we, the Joint Force, go to war and prevail. The course will equip military and interagency professionals with skills to articulate and influence the application of the military instrument of power to provide commanders with options for the use of military force in support of national interests. Understanding operational art and design is essential for the military professional, no matter their specialty. Understanding operational context and strategic goals is necessary to properly plan and execute military operations in the modern operational environment. It is also imperative to understand how the U.S. military operates as part of a joint force in a multinational, interagency, and intergovernmental environment.

In conjunction with the core curriculum, students at ACSC take elective courses. The school provides students the flexibility to choose courses that cover various topics from over 100 electives.


Electives

Electives


In conjunction with the core curriculum, students at ACSC take elective courses. The school provides students the flexibility to choose courses that cover various topics from over 100 electives.


The Command Elective is for any ACSC student. It allows students to reflect on the importance of taking command, building a command climate and culture, and the unique challenges that come with command. The Command Elective is designed around three artifacts: a 90-day command plan, a command philosophy, and a command legacy. These artifacts are designed to provide deliberate personal reflection and dialogue with peers and senior commanders.  The Command Elective is a recommended course for any student taking command in the future.

There are two types of language courses available for students at ACSC. One type is a deep-study in certain languages and cultures (French, German, and Spanish). These courses will constitute all three of the electives and are year-long and require a certain proficiency. The other option is a Language Immersion course that is held through Terms A, B, and C and meet Mondays and Fridays opposite your core course schedule. This course does not count for credit. Several languages are offered for the immersion courses to include Chinese, Russian, Arabic, etc. Spouses are allowed to sign up for the Language Immersion courses with instructor approval.

The Research Task Force Electives are year-long electives conducted with the Air War College. Each Task Force spends the year examining a critical component of the joint fight. The current Task Forces are Airpower C2, Cyber, Deterrence, ISR, Virtual Reality, and Acquisitions. Participation in these electives requires current TS/SCI clearance. Each of these Task Forces go TDY for professional development, curriculum objectives, and assisting with collecting research for the final projects.

Along with the various electives and research task force options, students can elect to use their elective credits to complete an independent research project. Students would select a faculty member at ACSC or within Air University to mentor them on their project. They would submit a research proposal within the first few weeks of school. Once approved the student works directly with their chosen faculty member to complete the independent study. Depending on the scope of the project, students can use one, two, or three elective periods for their independent study. For every elective course (equaling 2 credits) a student would need to produce a 20-25 page research project.

Year-Long electives offer students the opportunity to deep dive into one main topic over the course of the entire year. These electives span three terms and make up all the elective credits necessary for program completion. The students will be in-class for two of the terms and spend one term completing the course project. The current Year-Long electives are Small Wars, Theories of International Politics, The Peloponnesian War, History of U.S. Foreign Policy, and History and Theory of Modern Terrorism. The instructors teaching these courses are experts on the subjects and have been offering these or similar courses for several years.


Joint All Domain Strategist

Joint All Domain Strategist (JADS)

Joint All Domain Strategist was formerly Multi Domain Operational Strategist (MDOS) and was re-designated JADS in AY21 by the Air University Commander, in order to capture the joint nature of the course.  In 2018, MDOS received the AETC innovation award for furthering the CSAF's priorities of expanding the joint and multi-domain warfighting abilities of airmen.  The concentration is a selective year-long advanced program specializing in developing leaders who understand the employment of joint all domain operational maneuver to counter future threats in contested and degraded environments. The curriculum focuses on improving critical thinking and problem solving skills at the operational level of war.  It prepares selected students for future operational and command assignments requiring advanced knowledge of the capabilities, methods, and challenges associated with operations within and across the six domains (electromagnetic spectrum, space, air, land, maritime, and human).  Additionally, students study and apply strategic and operational design, reflexive control theory, aggregation theory, decision making theory, and risk analysis. JADS students have participated in events such as AUSTERE CHALLENGE, PACIFIC FURY, ABMS, Doolittle wargames, WEPTAC as well as German and Polish war college exercises.


Academic Year 23 Application Process: The Application deadline has been extended to 15 March 2022.  

  1. Complete the online form, which is available here: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/ACSC/JADS-Application/ 
  2. Email a current SURF (or equivalent short-brief) to the JADS org box
  3. Email 1 page letter of intent to the JADS org box 

For questions about JADS, please email the JADS team at ACSC.JADS.OrgBox@us.af.mil 

 


Schriever Scholars Program

Schriever Scholars Program

 

Schriever Scholar Program LogoThe Schriever Space Scholars program is the nation’s first year-long, space-centric IDE curriculum dedicated to developing space strategists. Sponsored by US Space Force, the Schriever Space Scholars Concentration offers an excellent professional military education across all components of the space enterprise: military, civil, and commercial. It builds on the time-tested curriculum of ACSC (that includes courses on War Theory, Leadership Development, International Security, and Joint Warfighting) while incorporating space themes into each course. It supplements this core with two Spacepower courses, unique to the concentration, that offer deep dives into space history, theory, strategy, law, and policy, and also explore the operational implications of space as a joint warfighting domain. Rounding out the students’ strategic education, Schriever Space Scholars take an elective in the fall, undertake an independent research project in the spring, and typically take three professional development group TDYs.  Some students also have the opportunity to develop a space wargame, to compete in space law moot court, or to attend an academic conference. 

Academic Year 23 Schriever Space Scholars (Applications Due: 15 January 2022) 

Application Process: Complete the online form, which is available here (the form does not work on government networks): https://forms.office.com/r/L5j5EEQhLs 


01:00


School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies

School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS)

 

School of Nuclear Deterrence Studies Patch

The School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies (SANDS) program was founded in July 2015 by Air Force Global Strike Command to develop field grade officers into the next generation of nuclear deterrence leaders and experts. In 2018, the school was incorporated into ACSC to leverage the wealth of academic knowledge offered by Air University in order to enrich our student’s academic experience. The core mission of SANDS is to study military theory focused on strategic deterrence. Over the course of the rigorous 10-month graduate-level program, our students study the history of deterrence application, modern operational deterrence theory, and formulate how deterrence will change in the future.

 

 

01:24


Political-Military Affairs Strategist

POLITICAL AFFAIRS STRATEGIST

The Political-Military Affairs Strategist (PAS) program is designed to meet ACSC’s mission to educate and develop air-minded joint leaders and simultaneously meet SAF/IA’s mission to develop International Airmen capable of strengthening US and global security across all US Air Force mission areas. In addition to the ACSC core curriculum, the PAS program is designed to provide a broad knowledge of political-military affairs through a series of SAF/IA-sponsored lectures and specially approved elective courses that focus on joint, interagency, interorganizational or multinational (JIIM) topics. Upon successful completion ACSC-PAS graduates will earn a secondary AFSC of 16P which denotes qualification as a political military affairs strategist. Graduates will normally participate in one career broadening tour in an International Affairs position as their first or second post ACSC assignment. These officers fill vital positions across OSD, JCS, COCOM, Air Staff, MAJCOM, and NAF staffs. Additionally, many go on to fill interagency, exchange, or other positions across the security cooperation enterprise. The PAS program is governed by guidance in AFI 16-109.

01:11

ACSC-PAS is a Total Force program.  AD officers are selected by their Developmental Education Designation Board (DEDB) while ARC officers are solicited for application during their respective IDE Orientation. If you have any questions, please email the Program Director at ACSC.PAS.OrgBox@us.af.mil


Student Calendar

Student Calendar


The Academic Calendar is completed a year in advance for planning and coordination purposes with Air War College to comply with Headquarters Air Force (HAF) and Joint Staff Requirements.  

  • There are 4 Total Terms
  • 2 Core Classes per Term w/ possibility of an elective
  • Terms are separated by Week Breaks
  • Fall/Winter/Spring Breaks are Non-contact Duty Days
  • Black Days are Federal Holidays
  • The Calendar does not align with local city school system
  • Green/Blue/Brown Days are mandatory school events


Distance Learning

Distance Learning


The eSchool's Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) distance learning (DL) intermediate developmental education (IDE) curriculum is designed to produce a more effective field-grade officer serving inoperational-level command or staff positions.  The IDE/ACSC DL program emphasizes applying airpower in joint campaign planning and the operational art of war.  Students explore national security issues, strategy and war theory, airpower history and theory, expeditionary Air Force force-employment concepts, and the capabilities and limitation that the Air Force and its sister services contribute to the joint force commanders.  All curriculum is web based and accessed through an online learning management system.  In addition to readings, the program includes a variety of computer-based interactive learning activities and exercises and leverages social media tools to enable peer-to-peer interaction and learning.  Self-paced study is enhanced by a national security paper and three multi-week, collaborative, online-facilitated seminars.



Library Guides

Research

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