Doctoral Degree Programs

Application Requirements

Applicants who meet the following standard entrance criteria may apply to a doctoral degree program and upon admission, enroll in graduate level courses: 

  • Hold an appropriate bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the equivalent degree from another country, with grades averaging 3.0 or higher for overall, math, and major on a 4.0 scale.
  • Hold an appropriate master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or the equivalent degree from another country, with grades averaging 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Submit satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), as applicable to the program requested.
    • The recommended GRE scores are at least 156 verbal (550 for GRE taken prior to 1 August 2012) and 151 quantitative (650 for GRE taken prior to 1 August 2012) and the recommended GMAT score is at least 650.  
    • During the testing session, applicants can designate that test scores be sent directly to AFIT. The Graduate School code for AFIT is 1827.
    • Information on the GRE and GMAT is available on their websites.

Exceptions and Waivers

  • Individuals whose academic credentials fall below any of the standard entrance criteria are highly encouraged to apply since waivers of some criteria may be granted on an individual basis.  Endorsements by the student's master's degree faculty and/or thesis advisor may be requested by the department. 
  • Admission may also be granted to applicants who are entering directly from an undergraduate program without a master's degree. The requirement to hold a master's degree will be met during the student's Ph.D. program. Endorsements by the student's undergraduate faculty may be required. However, active duty officers seeking a fully sponsored assignment to AFIT for an advanced academic degree will not be admitted into a doctoral program directly from an undergraduate program without a master’s degree.

Transfer Credits

The Graduate School does not accept transfer credit for Ph.D. programs, however, you may be eligible for limited coursework waivers.  See the transfer credit page for more information.

Application Process and Transcripts Information

  • AFIT applications are processed year-round, however, applications should be submitted at least three months prior to the desired enrollment date.
  • You may apply for up to three programs, but you must submit a separate application for each specific program.
  • Active duty service members are strongly encouraged to apply anytime versus waiting for annual calls for advanced academic degree assignments. By doing this, you will have an edge on the selection process because you will know your academic eligibility for the programs offered prior to the "call for volunteers."
  • After submitting an application, official transcripts must be requested from every college or university attended (undergraduate and graduate) and delivered from the institution(s) to the AFIT Graduate School Admissions Office. Copies are not acceptable for admissions evaluation.  In the event you hold two equivalent level degrees, the most recently awarded degree transcript is required.
  • If you are an active duty Air Force officer or a prior AFIT Graduate School student, AFIT may have some of your transcripts already on file. If so, your admissions counselor will advise you of what is on file and what official transcripts need to be ordered.
  • Normally, your application will be reviewed within 10 business days after receipt of all documents (official transcripts, test scores and application). Following the review, you will receive an academic eligibility letter stating one of the following:
    • You have been accepted for the program requested. Nominal program length for those who meet the entrance standards is 18 months for master's programs and 36 months for doctoral programs. However, extended length programs are possible when academic needs require it.
    • You are conditionally accepted for the program requested. Upon completion of recommended actions, your status will be reconsidered following submission of appropriate documentation.
    • You are not accepted for admission into the program requested.


Defense Industry Contractor Information

Defense industry contractors who are accepted to AFIT must comply with 10 U.S.C. § 9314a in that continued enrollment at AFIT is contingent upon providing proof of employment with a qualifying defense industry company for each subsequent period of enrollment. Change of service, position, or employment status may affect a student's ability for continued enrollment. Refer to the contractor employment verification form for more information.

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Air Force Institute of Technology
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