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View Full Version : Enlisted, Air Force, and PhD Programs



BOSS302
09-23-2013, 10:35 AM
I'm aware of the Air Force allowing officers to go on permissive TDY to complete a PhD program. I'm not familiar with the details but I know the opportunity is out there for them. I'm also aware of "why" officers are given this opportunity.

Is there anything similar for enlisted personnel?

Bunch
09-23-2013, 01:16 PM
I think that the highest level of education that the AF will sponsor for enlisted personnel is a Master's Degree through Air University. I believe a PhD will be sponsored for an enlisted member but through a commisioning program.

Rusty Jones
09-23-2013, 01:28 PM
In reality, the only people in the military who need PhD's are academy and ROTC professors. Why would anyone else need one?

DWWSWWD
09-23-2013, 01:32 PM
It's the Air Force Institute of Technology, a very good school. Usually an 18 month tour for elisted and commissioned Airmen. The idea is that the AF will pay to send an Airman to the school and then place them in a job where the Masters degree is beneficial, earning the AF some return on investment. That hasn't been happening so I think they are taking a look at those slots and cutting back on them. There are graduate degrees also available through Air University that are online programs that are available to Officers and civilians. A couple of years ago I was part of some good discussions that seemed to favor allowing enlisted to apply for those programs. I think the will to make that happen is gone due to our money issues.

Bunch
09-23-2013, 01:36 PM
In reality, the only people in the military who need PhD's are academy and ROTC professors. Why would anyone else need one?

Many fields specially in Health Professions are moving to PhD's. For example, it used to be that a Nurse will only needed an associate to come into the AF. Now is a BSN, but Master's is preferred. Now many of these Master's program are becoming PhD (DNP's) programs and it is happening accross many specialties in Health Professions and other fields of study.

ubermetroid
09-23-2013, 03:43 PM
Here is a simple fix: Allow TA to be used towards a PhD program.

DWWSWWD
09-23-2013, 03:49 PM
Here is a simple fix: Allow TA to be used towards a PhD program. Wouldn't make a dent in it. TA pays $250 a credit hour. I have yet to see a PhD program at less than $1,000. My Masters was $750 an hour. I used TA for the $250 and paid the rest out of pocket.

BOSS302
09-23-2013, 05:48 PM
Wouldn't make a dent in it. TA pays $250 a credit hour. I have yet to see a PhD program at less than $1,000. My Masters was $750 an hour. I used TA for the $250 and paid the rest out of pocket.

A worthwhile doctorate program can cost as much as the tuition for six years of college (undergrad and grad). That's why a lot of PhD "students" are snagged by corporations and what not; they pay for the program/research, and you pay by becoming their employee and giving them the fruits of your labors (your research).

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
09-25-2013, 12:18 PM
In reality, the only people in the military who need PhD's are academy and ROTC professors. Why would anyone else need one?

So, do you think the AF should pay for officers to get PhD's before they begin what amounts to a 3-yr ROTC or USAFA teaching tour? Other than scientists, I don't think the AF should spend one dime paying for that kind of degree. Even then, there should be a 10-yr ADSC as payback.

ubermetroid
09-25-2013, 12:25 PM
What if I just want to check the box? :dance

Really - If someone wants to get the PhD, assuming the AF lets you use TA $$$ for the masters, the AF should let you use TA $$$ for the PhD.

wildman
09-25-2013, 05:57 PM
I don't know if this still is in effect or not but I have a faint memory of the Air Force and other branches of the armed forces offering to pay for individuals to obtain medical degrees and they inured a rather long active duty service commitment upon obtaining the degree. My daughter had a friend who was looking into doing this. I don't think she followed through however.

Always,
Wildman

imported_chipotleboy
09-25-2013, 10:07 PM
So, do you think the AF should pay for officers to get PhD's before they begin what amounts to a 3-yr ROTC or USAFA teaching tour? Other than scientists, I don't think the AF should spend one dime paying for that kind of degree. Even then, there should be a 10-yr ADSC as payback.

The payback for officers going for a funded PhD program is 5 years after completion of their full-time status. You will not get any takers with a 10-year ADSC. Notice I said completion of full-time status, not graduation. Most officers do not complete during their three-year school tour, typically finishing their dissertations within a year or two after leaving school. The PTDY mentioned by the OP is used by students when they travel to visit with research advisors, committee members to conduct periodic reviews of their research, conduct dissertation defenses, and to attend graduation.

ubermetroid
09-26-2013, 02:25 PM
Kinda random, but how do you get your SURF to show that you completed a degree? The education office knows, but vMPF / AMS surf has not updated to reflect the degree.