Associate of Applied Science in Air Force Leadership and Management Studies

  • Published
  • Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

The goal of the civilian Associate of Applied Science in Air Force Leadership and Management Studies program is to help AF civilians reach their full leadership potential.  Courses have been designed to teach skills and competencies deemed critical to the Air Force and are based upon the Air Force’s Institutional Competency List.  Many class projects will involve work-related activities.  As a result, the program allows students to provide a positive impact to their work center as well as their own professional development.   Completion of the program results in an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Air Force Leadership and Management Studies.  The degree is awarded by Air University and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  Eligible AF civilians can complete the program at little or no cost to the student. 


This 60 credit hour program is designed to be completed in two years in a fully online format.  Students will take 10 core classes through Air University (see Program Major Curriculum) along with an additional 10 general education/elective courses completed through funded credit by exam or transfer credit.  The USAF will pay for one attempt at credit by exam for each of the 10 general education/elective course requirements.  Students will incur a one-year Continued Service commitment upon program completion.

Courses consist of a mix of scheduled live classes along with out-of-classes readings and assignments.  Students will attend live webinar (class) sessions at scheduled times.  Class times will be available before, during and after the duty day (this may vary depending upon your geographic location).  All other coursework can be done during evenings or weekends, whenever it works best in the student's schedule. 

Focus of the program:

  • Help students develop as future AF leaders
  • Develop skills you can use in your current AF position
  • Earn an associate degree – a stepping stone towards professional development

Ideal qualities of an applicant:

  • Self-motivated – program requires that students create and track personal due dates to meet full program deadlines 
  • Computer & online-oriented – Enjoy interacting online (do not need an actual classroom to feel a part of the class)
  • Have the time and ability to focus on education – as adults, not every phase in our lives may lend itself to earning a degree.  CADP students routinely dedicate 10 – 15 hrs per week of off-duty time towards education. 

Things to consider when applying:

  • Time to graduation = 2 yrs 9 months (+ application time)  -- For those who are already in a degree program or may have many academic credits, this program will likely not be the fastest way to a degree
  • Webinar times: We currently offer the webinar portion of the class at 0630 CT, 1100 CT, 1300 and 1630 CT.  Students will attend one of these times (based upon availability of class and best fit with student’s scheduling requirements) twice a week. (Either M/W or T/TH, depending upon which year students are selected to attend the program.)
  • Due to the limited size of the student population and CADP staff, courses are offered only once per year.

Reasons AF civilians choose to use traditional AF civTA versus CADP:

  • Have a large number of credits and can complete degree more quickly at a civilian college
  • Desire a degree tied to their specific career-field – for example, computer programming or accounting
  • Desire to be in a brick and mortar classroom (traditional class style)
  • Life schedule requires the ability to take terms off (complete degree at a slower pace)

 Program Major Curriculum

Year 1
Professionalism in the Air Force
Foundations of Leadership
History and Heritage of the Air Force
Introduction to Management
Principles of Leadership 1
Year 2
Thinking, Logic and Decision Making
Conflict Resolution
Organizational Culture
Process Improvement
Principles of Leadership 2


These classes are taught by CADP using online systems for both "classes" and coursework.

 General Education Curriculum

Written Communication
Oral Communication
College Math
Social Sciences
Introduction to Computing
Introduction to American Government
Program-related elective
Program-related elective
Program-related elective

These requirements will be transfer credits completed through:


  • College credits transferred into the program from a different college (previously completed OR completed while in CADP)
  • Credit by exam (CLEP/DSST) completed while in the program 

Note:  General education classes are currently not offered by AU.  They will be completed individually by students while simultaneously working on Program Major classes.  In order to graduate on time, students may find themselves spending up to 10 - 15 hours a week of off-duty time focused on program requirements (both program major and general education/elective requirements).

 Who May Apply

Applicants must have:

  • Status as a permanent full-time appropriated fund Air Force civilian in any grade level
  • Two years Federal civil service by the application deadline
  • Acceptable rating on most recent performance appraisal
  • High school diploma, GED or equivalent (May have some college credit, but must NOT have been awarded a post-secondary degree from a regionally accredited 2 or 4-year institution)
  • Supervisor coordination with agreement to provide access to a government computer and up to 3 hours per week of duty time for class attendance (subject to mission requirements)

 How to Apply

Interested applicants should submit the following during the application window (approximately March to May of each year).  NOTE:  The application process is currently transitioning to myVector.  More info will be provided by AFPC.

• AF Form 4059.  (Section 2: AAS in AF Leadership and Management.  Section 3b need not be filled in.)
• Applicant Worksheet
• Resume (see myPers for example of format)
• Learning Agreement signed by employee and supervisor 

When submitting application in myPers, please choose "CADP" as the program name.

Application forms can be found on myPers

Trifold for civilian Associate Degree program

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the program can be directed to: