About the NROTC Program

  • The purpose is to train college students for leadership roles as commissioned officers in the Navy and Marine Corps.

  • Certainly. Very few people of high school age, or even college age, will know what they want to do for an occupation for the rest of their lives. Some students may decide to make the naval service their career after they are in it for a while, but there is no long- term obligation to do so.

  • NROTC midshipmen are given the same status as “inactive reservists.” You will get a “reserve” military ID card; but you will be a civilian during all but the summer training cruise periods of your curriculum. The summer training is performed in an active duty “reserve” status.
  • You should wait until after you are notified of selection as a scholarship nominee, then write to the Naval Education and Training Command (Code N1/081), Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL 32508 advising them of your new first-choice school. The instructions for this will be included in your scholarship award letter.
  • The naval science curriculum at each school is identical. If there are any apparent differences among NROTC Units, they are due to the customs and traditions of the units, the personalities of the unit staff, and even the midshipmen in those units. The exceptions to this rule are military schools (e.g. SUNY Maritime, Maine Maritime, Texas Maritime, The Citadel, VMI, etc.) and schools with a “corps of cadets” (e.g. Texas A&M and Virginia Tech). Choose your university on the basis of its overall reputation in the major of your choice. Look at the reputation of the graduates of the school. You should narrow your choices down to a few and then visit those campuses (and their NROTC Units) to help make the final decision.
  • There are several reasons and circumstances for leaving the NROTC program. There is no obligation at all if you quit before sophomore year. If, after the start of sophomore year, you decide to quit, you will either have to pay back tuition expended or go on active military service in enlisted status immediately - if you drop out of college or upon graduation - if you stay in college. If a medical problem develops, that would preclude you from commissioning, then the obligation would most likely be erased. If you drop from the program because of your own misconduct or inaptitude, you could be required to reimburse the Navy for your tuition and book expenditures - at the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy.
  • You can attempt to change from one option to the other, but it is not automatic. You must request the change and both Navy and Marine Corps officials must approve it. The change of option has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Even though it may be a difficult decision right out of high school, students are encouraged to do their research and decide on the option they feel best suits their personal interests and professional goals up front, rather than attempt to change options later.
  • No. The orientation is run by the upper class midshipmen and supervised by the NROTC Unit staff. NROTC stresses the need for discipline and teamwork - some people have to adjust their attitude a bit. Orientation is certainly less stressful compared to a real boot camp, the thirteen weeks of officer candidate school, or what the service academy freshmen go through for their entire first year. With that said, orientation is not easy. It is physically and mentally demanding. After the initial trauma of the discovery of discipline, most students find orientation to be very rewarding. It is also an excellent opportunity to get to know your freshmen classmates, before school starts.
  • This is absolutely false. OCS, NROTC, and USNA all commission 1000 officers per year. Each commissioning source has the same number of billets for all communities. You have an equal chance of gaining your preferred service selection from each commissioning source.
  • You do not know, and neither did any who are in the military now. You have to join the program and experience it for yourself. That is why the first year is without obligation. NROTC are looking for intelligent and physically fit men and women of high moral character who can be trained to assume positions of leadership and great responsibility in the Navy and Marine Corps. If you fit that description, and if you prefer to be a leader rather than a follower, then you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

NROTC Scholarship

  • Start the process at the beginning of you high school senior year. The Navy Recruiting Command and Headquarters, Marine Corps accept and process all NROTC scholarship applications. The Navy Recruiting Command and Headquarters, Marine Corps will notify you of the results of the scholarship selection board.

    After arriving on campus as a college freshman, by entering NROTC as a College Program student, you can apply for a 3-year scholarship - at the end of your freshman year. The staff at the NROTC will assist you in preparing the application. If you receive a scholarship and accept it, you incur the same obligation as a 4-year scholarship student entering their sophomore year.

  • The scholarship covers full tuition and mandatory school fees. In addition, each scholarship student receives all educational fees paid for, uniforms, $375 towards books each semester, and up to a $400 per month subsistence allowance. The NROTC pays for scholarship students’ initial transportation from home to school and from home to summer cruise training.

  • The NROTC Unit will pay your tuition and fees directly to the university. Incoming freshman are required to pay a deposit before school starts. You must pay these deposits. The deposit is applied toward your housing bill. Since the Navy will pay the tuition bill, your initial deposit can be applied to your housing bill. The Navy will provide a basic book stipend of $375, independent of the amount you actually spend on books.
  • No. Those expenses must be borne by the individual families. Students who find that room and board payments represent a financial hardship should investigate financial aid programs.
  • Maybe, but not through the traditional process. Students can become eligible for the award of a scholarship by joining their NROTC Unit in the College Program (non-scholarship) status. After one academic term, the student may be recommended for scholarship status to the Chief of Naval Education and Training - who is empowered to award scholarships to promising College Program students. In general, if you can earn better than a 3.0 GPA in your first academic term, achieve a “B” or better in Calculus, and demonstrate a high aptitude for Naval Service, you will have a good chance for a NROTC scholarship. The availability of these “side-load” scholarships is also dependent on the officer production needs of the Navy and NROTC budget.
  • No. The scholarship selection process is TOTALLY INDEPENDENT of the KSU admission process. You must seek admission to KSU or some other NROTC host university. Remember the NROTC scholarship cannot be awarded to you until you have been accepted for admission at an NROTC host school. It is a good idea for NROTC scholarship applicants to apply to more than one NROTC host school, to ensure acceptance to at least one school.
  • This is a common occurrence among KSU engineering students. Historically, if the student has a solid academic record and has taken an average of at least 16 credits per semester then they have been awarded Fifth Year Benefits. Students apply for Fifth Year Benefits during their senior year.
  • The scholarship selection process is completely independent of the medical examination. Scholarship selection is based on academic performance, extracurricular activities, and demonstrated leadership potential. You can be selected as a scholarship nominee, even before you take the medical exam but, of course, it cannot be awarded to you until you have passed the medical exam. The importance of completing and passing the medical exam cannot be over-emphasized. It is up to you to do all you can to complete the medical exam in a timely fashion. If follow-up exams or inputs from your local doctor are required, then you must ensure you meet these requirements.
  • That depends on the nature of the problem. Some problems, such as minor eye corrections, can be waived. Some problems, such as having had certain childhood diseases or a family history of diabetes, can cloud your medical record - to the point that additional medical evidence may be required to substantiate your qualification. Unless you are told that your condition is absolutely disqualifying, you should do all that you can to obtain medical certification. Letters from family doctors or your local specialists can help to show your condition should not be disqualifying. When in doubt, ask for a medical waiver. These issues should be addressed with DoDMERB and the NSTC medical board. DO NOT send medical documentation to the local unit.
  • Marine Option students are required to pass a physical fitness exam to be eligible for scholarship selection. Navy Option students do not take this exam as a prerequisite to selection. Once in the NROTC program, all midshipmen are required to pass a semi-annual physical fitness assessment, which, for Navy option students, consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5-mile run. All midshipmen are encouraged to seek excellence in their physical fitness and to do more than the minimums in their fitness tests. Marine Option students take a slightly different test that consists of pull-ups, sit-ups, and a 3-mile run.
  • No. The same personal characteristics and academic credentials are considered in scholarship selection and in Kennesaw State admission. Selection for a scholarship is a good indication that you may be selected for admission but it is neither guaranteed nor implied. The NROTC scholarship committee might place more emphasis on leadership potential as evidenced in extracurricular athletics or school government activities. The university might place more emphasis on academic achievement.
  • Yes. The NROTC scholarship selection board will consider the “whole person,” including College Board scores, grades, class standing, athletics, participation in extracurricular activities, recommendations, interview results, and perceived potential. NROTC is looking for future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps. NROTC wants well rounded students, who are intelligent enough to excel in academics, athletic enough to meet the physical challenges of military service, and who are personable and dynamic enough to assume roles as military leaders. It is not enough to be only bright, or only athletic, or only personable. It takes a combination of the three qualities to be a successful Naval Officer. Officer candidates must also be of high moral character. Students with criminal records or who have gone beyond experimentation with illegal drugs are not likely officer candidates. Take care in selecting those who will provide written recommendations for you. If a candidate is depicted as being an average run-of-the-mill student, it will detract from the board’s assessment of the individual. The application interview with your local recruiter is also vitally important. Look sharp and present yourself well. College Board scores can be a positive factor for the student but only insofar as they are supported by actual academic achievement. A student with high SAT or ACT scores, but mediocre grades and class standing, is less desirable than a student with moderate scores and high grades and standing. One is coasting and the other is a hard working achiever.


  • Yes. The unit has had students study in Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and Egypt.

  • No.

  • The NROTC program is not designed to educate and produce medical doctors. If becoming a medical doctor is your only goal, the NROTC program is not for you.

    At this time, a maximum of eight NROTC midshipmen nationwide receive permission to apply to medical school each year. If admitted to medical school, they attend immediately following graduation. Under this program, students begin to serve their obligation following their residency. To enter this program, the student must gain acceptance into a medical school. Once again, outstanding academic performance or lack thereof will be the greatest enabler or barrier for this goal.

  • No. Any of the available majors at KSU are allowable. NROTC encourages students to pursue some form of technical major, but that is not a requirement. Keep in mind that NROTC will favor technical majors, when awarding scholarships. Those who major in non-technical subjects will have to take a few technical courses, namely calculus and physics, to prepare them for the technological environment that they will encounter in their military service. These technical courses, even for non-tech majors, will usually count toward degree requirements because all majors require some math and science course work.
  • It depends. If you desire to attempt a more technical major or move laterally then you will be able to change majors without issue. Examples of the above would be Physics changing to Mechanical Engineering (move up) and an Electrical Engineer becoming a Mechanical Engineer (lateral move). A few students each year will be allowed to change majors to a less technical major, an example would be Nuclear Radiological Engineering to Management. A board will be held in Pensacola, FL twice a year, to determine which students will be approved for a change of major to a less technical degree.
  • Probably not. The student will have the choice of remaining on scholarship in their assigned major or changing majors and transferring to college program status.
  • NROTC students take, on average, two Naval Science courses per year, one each in the Fall and Spring semesters. All Navy/Marine option scholarship students must take one course in American Military History/National Security Policy. All Navy option students are required to take two courses in English Composition. Additionally, scholarship students (not including Marine option students) must take two semesters of calculus and two semesters of physics.
  • The NROTC Unit provides professional tutoring in calculus and physics for those students who need help with these difficult subjects. Additionally, all incoming freshman are required as well as anyone struggling to participate in weekly study hours. Each midshipman is assigned to a class advisor. The class advisor is an active duty Lieutenant, who also provides advice about school and NROTC - while keeping the big picture in mind. The advisor will make sure each midshipman is tracking along in their major and NROTC requirements.
  • The NROTC staff is composed of active duty Navy and Marine Corps officers and enlisted personnel. The Naval Science courses are taught by the staff officers. These same officers will double as your NROTC class advisors, providing guidance and assistance - as necessary - in your academic and military pursuits.

Student Life

  • A NROTC midshipman is a civilian, pursuing his or her own academic degree in a normal university environment - in the same manner as a non-midshipman would. The only difference is that midshipman takes a series of Naval Science courses and he wears a uniform to class twice a week. Midshipmen are free to join fraternities/sororities, and enjoy all aspects of campus life. Offices and classrooms are just like all other offices and classrooms on campus. You will blend in with and participate in the campus activities of your choice. When you graduate, you will serve with pride as a Navy or Marine Corps officer.

  • As much as you want, but at least six hours a week. Your Naval Science courses meet three hours per week and replace other electives, so those courses should not be thought of as extra requirements. In addition, there are two one-hour leadership lab sessions each week; and you may be asked to devote about two nights per month in required activities. The battalion conducts unit level physical fitness training on one morning per week, for one-hour. Additionally, Marine option students conduct physical fitness training on Mondays and Fridays. There are a number of NROTC extracurricular activities available to you, if you are interested in them. NROTC sponsors formal and informal dinners, parties, picnics, and other get-togethers. Many of these activities are purely voluntary.

  • No. NROTC midshipmen are only required to wear the uniform on Tuesdays and Thursdays for classes and leadership lab. Lab, otherwise known as drill, may consist of military formation, classroom sessions, general briefings, guest speakers, or swim training.
  • No. Each student makes his or her own arrangements with the university for housing. Students may live in university dormitories or in fraternities/sororities, at their option. Some upperclassmen choose to live in and share the expenses of nearby apartments.


  • In most respects, it is the same. Marine option students are not required to take calculus and physics courses. Marine option students take different Naval Science courses in their junior and senior years. The summer after their junior year they take part in the Officer Candidate School (OCS) training program “BULLDOG” at Quantico, Virginia. Marine Officer Instructors guide them in their development; and upon graduation, they are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Marine Corps.

  • It is nearly identical. The physical fitness standards are a little different for women. Other than that, women train the same as the men.

Summer Cruise

  • There are three different cruises. The first summer cruise, after freshman year, gives all scholarship students the chance to learn about the four basic “line officer” specialties. The students spend one week at each of four locations, to receive indoctrination in aviation, submarine, surface ships, and Marine Corps amphibious operations. The second summer cruise, which all scholarship students take after sophomore year, is aboard either a surface ship or submarine (student’s choice) and is geared toward experiencing the Navy from an enlisted viewpoint. The summer cruise, after junior year, provides junior officer training aboard ships, submarines, or with an aircraft squadron for the Navy students and at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia - for the Marine Corps students. College Program students complete one summer training cruise - their cruise is the same as their scholarship student counterparts’, after junior year.

  • Students travel all over the world on cruises. The Navy pays for travel expenses from school or your home to the cruise site and your return home, each summer. Our juniors have many options available to them. They can request Aircraft Carrier or Patrol Squadron cruises and special training with Navy Seals. They may also request a foreign exchange cruise, for their final summer. Each year, several students take summer cruises aboard ships of a foreign Navy. Students have had the opportunity to visit Norfolk, VA, Mayport, FL, Pensacola, FL, King’s Bay, GA, San Diego, CA, Everett, WA, Pearl Harbor, HI, Yokosuka, Japan, Guam, Saipan, Singapore, and Panama.

After Graduation

  • NROTC has two categories of students. Scholarship students are obligated for five years of active duty, after graduation. They accept the obligation at the beginning of sophomore year. College Program (non-scholarship) students are obligated for three years of active duty, after graduation. They accept the obligation at the beginning of their junior year.

  • Correct. Scholarship students have a year and College Program students have two years to experience the NROTC program before they must decide whether to remain in the program and to incur the obligation or to leave the program without obligation.

  • Most students, male and female, will graduate as “line officers.” That means, they will be expected to go on to further training in aviation, submarines, conventional, or nuclear-powered surface ships. Those who choose (and are accepted for) the Marine Corps can go into aviation or a variety of ground officer assignments.
  • Yes. Assignments are made on the basis of the student’s choices, qualifications, performance, and needs of the Navy. Scholarship status is not a factor in the assignment process.
  • Most likely. At the beginning of senior year, fall semester, students state their duty preferences; and most will get their first choice of duty. There are some prerequisites, such as being physically qualified for aviation, having adequate Calculus and Physics grades, and a good GPA for nuclear powered ships and submarines.
  • The Navy does not give such a guarantee. However, experience has shown that a solid academic performance at Kennesaw State, high scores on the aviation aptitude exam, plus being physically qualified for aviation, will give a midshipman an excellent chance of getting aviation. The Marine Corps does offer flight guarantees, which can be granted by meeting the requirements any time up to 90 days before graduation.
  • That is a strong possibility, if you have an exceptional record of undergraduate academic work. A few top students are selected each year to go on to graduate school, but the vast majority of midshipmen are expected to enter the military after graduation. Keep in mind, though, that the Navy and Marine Corps have their own Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and you will be eligible for assignment there after your first three or four years of active duty. This will enable you to obtain a graduate degree in the field of your choice, while receiving full pay.
  • Yes. NROTC and Academy graduates have identical opportunities to go into fields of their choice. When it comes time to state duty preferences and to be selected for duty assignments, students with higher academic and aptitude rankings - regardless of where they go to school - will be most likely to receive their first choice of assignments.