written by: Mihir Shah•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 6/28/2011
Have you ever wondered how to become an Air Force pilot? Learn about the different majors that would help prospective applicants enlist and become an Air Force pilot. Discover the wondrous world of the Air Force Academy and the challenges that accompany a career with the Air Force.
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According to Air Force.com, the home of the United States Air Force, only 4% of employees are Air Force pilots. In other words, becoming an Air Force pilot is extremely difficult and challenging. At the same time, it is a rewarding career that allows you to be at the forefront for your country. Choosing the best rated colleges for an Air Force pilots has become a confusing and daunting task over the years. However, the United States Air Force states that a minimum of a college degree is required in order to become an Air Force pilot. Therefore, a Bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement; however, prospective enlistees are encouraged to major in science degrees such as aerospace engineering and physics.
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Choosing the Right College: Physics Majors
When looking for the right college, keep an eye out for the best science and aerospace programs at the university level. The key will be to enroll in the most challenging program that is held in high regard by the United States. In other words, programs at the Ivy Leagues, particularly Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, etc. will stand out strongly on a resume for Air Force enlistment. According to U.S. News and World Rankings, the best Physics programs--one of the fields considered strongly for Air Force enlistment-- are California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Princeton University, University of California, Berkeley, Cornell, and University of Chicago.
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Choosing the Right College: Aerospace Engineering
One of the best majors to prepare for a career in the Air Force is aerospace engineering. U.S. News and World Report Rankings list California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Purdue University, and Princeton University as the top schools for aerospace engineering.
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The Unanimous Right College: Air Force Academy
While there are Ivy Leagues and other exceptional four-year universities, the Air Force Academy is the best option for becoming an Air Force pilot. From adolescence, individuals are rigorously trained in academics and fitness. Admission to the Academy is grueling and uber competitive; however, those that gain admission are on track to become an Air Force pilot. In fact, admission is only granted upon nomination by a United States Congressman, Senator, or the Vice President of the United States.
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Any of the Ivy Leagues and top 10 ranked physics and aerospace engineering programs are ultimately competitive tracks to take; however, the Air Force Academy is undoubtedly the best college for Air Force pilots. The Air Force Academy, once admitted, prepares the individual for the rigors of a career in aviation and the Air Force right from the beginning of the program--something that is not an option for Ivy Leagues and the remaining top ranked schools in the nation.