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Finishing My BS Online/By Correspondence?

  1. Nov 23, 2015 #1
    I love working with lasers and doing spectroscopy. Recently I discovered that I do not so much love doing this in an academic setting because I also love working as a team with others. So I am joining the US Air Force.

    Now, unfortunately, I have my BS & MS in Chemistry (despite significant coursework in physics during both degrees). The USAF will probably not give me much in the way of working with lasers unless I can check the "BS/BA Physics" checkbox.

    I am looking for a way to finish my physics degree (generally I need another semester of quantum, a theoretical physics class and an electronics class--maybe mechanics). I am having trouble finding a distance learning option that will issue an accredited degree--all I have seen is OU UK and it seems like they do not offer a BS for the US. Is there anything out there that I am missing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2015 #2


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    You could contact the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and ask them to review your coursework. They would be able to determine if you already have the required coursework to apply to a master's program in Physics to get some additional study in Lasers.
  4. Nov 23, 2015 #3
    I did consider talking to AFIT, but I'm not sure about getting in on the military side from 18X (RPA Pilot). I haven't seen the AAD/SPEED published any more recently than 2013, but that one definitely didn't have any slots for pilots.

    I know that I meet their application requirements and from my field I likely have the background they would want--ultrafast/nonlinear spectroscopy have some overlaps with hyperspectral imaging and chromotomography, not to mention explosives studies I have seen them doing in IR spectroscopy. I don't know what fellowships or support would look like if I applied on my own merit or if I would just be paying out of pocket (which feels silly when I could just get my PhD from somewhere else on TA).
  5. Nov 23, 2015 #4
    I did a stint for 4 years on the USAFA faculty. My experience is that the AF people will usually have a pretty hard look at all your experience and coursework and abilities and not get too tied up in the subject on your degree. I was a Math prof there, with a Physics degree. Be sure you get your application past the personnel people to the real decision makers. They care about quality a lot more than labels.

    I expect you will be treated very well by the USAF, I certainly was.
  6. Nov 24, 2015 #5
    That's great! I was looking at the USAFA page and it looks like they pull in a good amount of staff. I'm glad to hear I stand a good chance. Thanks for the tips!
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