Enlisted airmen who want to pursue a medical degree — and pave the way for a possible commission — have until Oct. 7 to declare they want to apply to a preparatory program, Air Force Personnel Center officials said Wednesday.

The Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program gives enlisted airmen the opportunity to finish the coursework necessary for medical school while keeping their active-duty status and their full pay and benefits. This round of classes will begin in August 2017, according to AFPC.

After airmen send an email declaring their intention to apply, they must complete their application by Dec. 9.

Airmen who take part in this program will have a permanent change-of-station transfer to Bethesda, Maryland, and will attend classes at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences full-time. Their tuition and other academic costs will be covered by the Air Force, and they will have formal preparation for their medical college admission tests.

After finishing the program, they will apply to a civilian medical school, or to the med school at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. When they are accepted to that school, airmen will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Medical Services Corps, AFPC said, and can apply for medical residencies in their fourth year.

The program is open to enlisted airmen, in all Air Force specialty codes, in the active duty, Guard and Reserve. They must be younger than 35 as of June 30, 2017. They must also have at least 36 months, but no more than 10 years, time in service as of Sept. 30, and they must have a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in any discipline from an accredited institution.

Airmen who complete the program incur a three-year active-duty service commitment.