Air Command and Staff College (IDE) Distance Learning Program


The GCPME is excited to announce the release of ACSC Version 8.0.  Designed with a personalized approach to OPME, this version provides elective options and delivers a modularized learning experience.

ACSC 8.0 offers you choice that aims to provide options to tailor your learning to your individual interests and career goals. Called “focused studies,” these courses comprise 20% of your ACSC 8.0 journey—which ones you take are up to you. Focused studies are balanced by a suite of “foundational studies” designed to ensure that each of you receives a solid base in critical and creative thinking, leadership studies, strategy and security studies, airpower studies, and joint operations studies.

Each individual excursion builds on the last experience, while also preparing you for the next. Shorter courses bring efficiencies to your learning, while providing more flexibility to your family-work balance.

In the future, the GCPME plans to expand the number of Focused Studies to give you the opportunity to further tailor your OPME journey.

IDE / ACSC Distance Learning Curriculum Flow

The eligibility criteria for the Global College of PME's IDE/ACSC DL program are found in Air Force Instruction (DAFI) 36-2686, Officer Development.

  • Military: The program is offered to O-4 selects and above. Applicants may be active duty USAF/USSF, Air Force Reserves (AFRES), or Air National Guard (ANG); sister service active duty, Guard or Reserve or Civil Air Patrol. 
    • Note for US Army Applicants: Officers will not enroll in other than Army schools without written approval of the DCS, G-3/5/7 (Director of Training) per Army Regulation (AR) 350-1.
  • Civilians: Department of the Air Force civilian employees in the grade of GS-11 thru GS-13 (or equivalent) with a bachelor’s degree and supervisor endorsement may also enroll. NH-II Civilians must contact Air Force HQ/A1 for an eligibility determination of before applying.  As per the supervisor endorsement letter, Member must have a minimum of 2 years federal civil service.
  • International Officers: Requests for international students must be forwarded to the Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron through the applicable country Security Cooperation Organization or country embassy. The request must identify an existing source of funding (for example, FMS training case) or request preparation of a new training case; provide the name, address, email, and phone number for the U.S. military officer or U.S. civilian employee who will sponsor the student; and include written verification by the U.S. sponsor that the student meets the rank prerequisite for the desired program and is proficient in the English language to complete the program successfully.



For Civilians Only: During the enrollment process you will be asked to upload 2 documents: 1) a copy of your Civilian Career Brief (You can download it from MyBiz+) and 2) Your supervisor endorsement letter (Click here for an example letter).  As per the supervisor endorsement letter, Member must have a minimum of 2 years federal civil service.

For all Eligible personnel: Please download and follow our step-by-step guide for completing the admissions process by clicking here.  

The Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) distance learning intermediate developmental education (IDE) curriculum is designed to produce a more effective field-grade officer serving in operational-level command or staff positions. The ACSC distance learning program emphasizes the application of air and space power in joint campaign planning and the operational art of war. Students explore national security issues, strategy and war theory, airpower and spacepower history and theory, expeditionary Air Force force employment concepts, and the capabilities and limitations of air forces and space forces, and its sister services contributions to 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 multiweek, collaborative, online-facilitated seminars.

The program’s student-centered approach for learning is focused on measuring a student’s ability to think critically, analyze, and apply knowledge, often to real-world situations. During the facilitated online seminars, students have the opportunity to engage with peers and instructors and discuss and debate the ideas presented in the curriculum and develop overall mastery of the course and higher-order thinking.

All ACSC distance learning graduates receive Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) phase I credit. Phase I emphasizes the fundamentals needed for a sound basis in joint operations and provides a foundation for follow-on study for Phase II education. Students interested in earning a Master’s degree, in addition to ACSC and JPME Phase I credit, should examine the Online Master’s Program (OLMP) curriculum page.


Student Handbook

Student Handbook

Canvas IDE 7.0 Transition Instructions

Transition Instructions

The ACSC DL program produces graduates who are able to…

1. Critically analyze leadership and command skills required to lead in complex, dynamic, and ambiguous operational environments.

2. Apply military theory in general and airpower theory in particular to operational problems across the range of military operations.

3. Plan for the integration and employment of joint forces at the operational level in whole-of-government operations across the spectrum of war and conflict.

4. Articulate capabilities and limitations of Service and Joint organizations in the conduct of war at the operational level.

For course descriptions and requirements, see the current Air University Catalog.

The Global College of PME
51 East Maxwell Boulevard
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112

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