Starfleet Academy was the primary service academy of Starfleet, officially established in 2161 as a training facility for Starfleet officers. Its motto was Ex Astris, Scientia, or "from the stars, knowledge". The headquarters of Starfleet Academy were located in the Presidio in San Francisco on Earth. The typical Academy program lasted four years, though certain special programs have been known to last up to three years longer.
Admission into Starfleet Academy usually begins with the acceptance of the candidate's application. Once the application is accepted, the candidate is grouped with several other prospective students who will undergo the Academy entrance exams together. Generally, only those with the best scores in their group will be admitted. The exam contains sections on a wide variety of subjects and may include psychological examinations and unannounced tests to gauge a cadet's reactions to situations they might face as a Starfleet officer.
If the Academy declines to admit a candidate, a prospective cadet may be eligible to reapply the following year if their exam scores meet a certain threshold. Admission on a second attempt was not uncommon, usually after a student undergoes additional preparation during the intervening year to bring them up to standard.
Non-Federation citizens were welcome to apply to the Academy if they could secure sponsorship from a command-level Starfleet officer. Once such a recommendation is accepted, the candidate becomes eligible to take the entrance exams.
The undergraduate program of Starfleet Academy is designed to prepare cadets as Starfleet officers and is one aspect of the Starfleet Officer Recruitment Corp. A typical program is four years ending in the award of a Bachelor of Science or Arts degree and a commission as Ensign. Starfleet Academy currently has an undergraduate population of 30,000.
Specializations are offered a variety of majors terminating in a degree which were designed to prepare a cadet for service in Starfleet, some of which are as follows:
- Probability mechanics
It was common for a cadet to major in a single subject, though some exceptional students had two, three, or even four majors.
Data graduated Starfleet Academy with honors in exobiology and probability mechanics. Jadzia Dax received degrees in astrophysics, exoarchaeology, exobiology, and zoology. Tom Paris majored in astrophysics during his time at the Academy.
Jaryd Harker, the future commanding officer of USS Twilight, began as a practicing physician in San Francisco for two centuries (he's an El Aurian with a lifespan of several thousand years.) He received advanced degrees in exobiology and exopathology, which later enabled him to counter biogenic and metagenic weapons as an agent for Starfleet Intelligence.
In contrast to the undergraduate program which is primary a residential program centered at the Starfleet Academy campus in San Francisco, most graduate education programs for Starfleet are conducted through distance learning with most instruction occurring onboard Starfleet vessels with brief courses that take place at various sub-campuses through out the Federation.
Starfleet Academy issues master's level certificates in various fields.
Starfleet Academy does not issue doctoral degrees but cooperates with various institutions such as the Vulcan Science Academy and the Daystrom Institute of Technology to make doctoral level training available to members of Starfleet.
Starfleet Academy is also tasked with providing continuing education for officers and enlisted personnel. Textbooks and course materials authored by Starfleet Academy are available under the Starfleet Open Materials License and have become the standard curriculum in many fields.
- Advanced Subspace Geometry
- Creative Writing
- Klingon Physiology
- Survival Strategies
- Temporal Mechanics
- Transporter Theory
Starfleet Academy cooperates with a number of institutions in order to provide research opportunities to its students. Within Starfleet, research agreements are set up as framework agreements with the Science Directorate and Operations Directorate.
The Starfleet Academy Campus is on several locations in the San Francisco Federation District, Earth. The main administration building for the Campus lies on what was the Presidio. The land was acquired by Starfleet from the United Earth Parks Department in 2115.
The location was chosen to be in this area as it was in a heavily urban area with a clear ocean to the West to allow for test flights by Starfleet cadets over water areas. Typically, the first flight of a cadet will be taken as an instructor pilots the shuttle westward over the Pacific Ocean where the cadet assumes the controls. Because the flight path goes against the Earth's rotation, this makes it less likely that the student will overcompensate the warp drive and accidentally end up in orbit. San Francisco was chosen for the location of Starfleet over Lisbon, Portugal.
Unusually for Federation buildings in the San Francisco area, most of the buildings in Starfleet Academy are above ground, and are restored mid-21st century architecture of the mid-Global school, with extensive adaptations for non-human students.
- Admiral Fincher (Dean of Students, 2357–2359)
- Lieutenant Jankovic (Aide to the Dean, 2359)
- Admiral Charlie Whatley (Dean of Students, 2373–2376)
- Professor Richard Galen (Archaeology, 2320s–2360s)
- Professor Walter Horne (Creative Writing, 2320s–2360s)
- Doctor Vassbinder (Temporal Mechanics, 2340s)
- Lieutenant Commander/Commander Thomas O'Reilly (2350–2360)
- Professor H'ohk (Klingon Physiology, 2350s)
- Professor Olafson (Transporter Theory, 2350s)
- Admiral Patterson (Calculus, 2350s)
- Professor Zhang (Advanced Subspace Geometry, 2359)
- Professor Novakovich (Anthropology, 2360s)
- Admiral Owen Paris (Survival Strategies, 2360s)
- Commander Zakarian (Survival Strategies, 2360s)
- Chief Miles O'Brien (Engineering, 2375–2376)
- Commander Jasper Kingsley (Engineering, 2372–2376)
- Admiral Leonard H. McCoy (Medicine, 2294-2384)
- Master Chief Petty Officer Miles Patrick O'Brien, Engineering, 2376-2399)
- Mister Boothby (groundskeeper, 2320s–2360s)