The United States Air Force Academy opened its doors with the purpose of training airmen for war in the skies, seven years after the Air Force was recognized as a separate service. The USAFA is organized into seven academic divisions. The school’s curriculum includes courses in engineering, astronautics, military history, aviation and more. USAFA features an athletic program that builds the physical endurance of each cadet. Military training and education is perhaps the most significant part of a cadet’s life at the academy. Each summer, cadets are required to partake in three week-long training sessions that teach them combat survival, free-fall parachuting and soaring. At the end of the four years of rigorous education and military training, all graduates are granted a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as second lieutenant in the Air Force. The academy has educated the first female African-American fighter pilot, a black astronaut and a two-time Olympic gold medalist among many other notable African-American graduates.

Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Type of Institution: Four-year, public military academy

Tuition and Fees (per semester)

     • In-State: $0

     • Out-of-State: $0

Size: 4,000+ students

Percentage of African-American Students: 7%

Percentage of Men: 78%

Percentage of Women: 22%

Student-Teacher Ratio: 8:1

Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s

Colleges/Schools: Astronautical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering, Computer Science, Space Operations and System Engineering Management, Political Science, Social Sciences, English, History and Humanities

Housing: On-campus housing provided

Famous Black Alumni/Faculty: Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell

City Life: Museums (Money Museum), casinos, shopping, dining (Airplane Restaurant), arcades, High Performance Driving School, Cave of the Winds, rock-climbing