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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.