Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Mark A. Ward, PhD


Throughout its history, the United States Air Force has been concerned with technical graduate education. In 1947, the Ridenour Report stated the importance and need of Air Force officers with technical graduate degrees. This emphasis has served the Air Force well, but there is concern among senior Air Force leaders that there has been an erosion of these technical skills and graduate education. This research will examine the issues surrounding technical graduate education in the Air Force and will address the possible loss of such technical education. The results of this research provide specific statistical data and analysis on the types and numbers of graduate degrees achieved by Air Force line officers in the years 1990 and 2000. It will discuss the results for all Air Force line officers and will then examine specific Air Force Specialty Codes. This research will enable further investigation into the impact that graduate education will play on the future of the United States Air Force. Based on the data analysis, this study concludes that there has been no significant change in the percentage of overall technical graduate education from 1990 to 2000. There has, in fact, been a slight increase in the percentage of technical graduate degrees in the following career fields: Pilots (1 lXX), Civil Engineers (32EX), Communications and Information Officers (33 SX), and Developmental Engineers (63 AX). All other areas examined showed no statistically significant changes.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number