Navy ROTC is unique in that students can choose to join either the Navy or the Marines through the completion of the program. As of 2015, there were just over 184,000 active duty Marines and more than 330,000 individuals serving on active duty in the Navy. Participating in a Navy ROTC program can lead to a promising career as an officer. College-aged students and currently enlisted individuals hoping to earn their commission are eligible to participate, and many scholarships are available to help students achieve their dreams.


Traditional Navy ROTC

Navy ROTC (NROTC) programs are open to students interested in joining the Navy, the Navy Nursing Corps, or the Marine Corps. Fewer institutions offer NROTC programs than Army or Air Force ROTC programs. You can learn more about where NROTC programs are offered here or scroll over the map to find the NROTC school closest to you. After graduating, midshipmen will commission either as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.

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NROTC Map

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NROTC Map Overlay

Students who choose the Navy option have several career choices: Surface Warfare, Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, Submarine Officer, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer, or Special Warfare Officer. Midshipmen must attend at least one summer training on a boat in either Norfolk, VA or San Diego, CA. Navy midshipmen must serve five years on active duty.

Midshipmen who choose the Navy Nursing option must be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at one of 31 Navy Nursing ROTC affiliated universities, which are also shown on the map above. Nursing midshipmen are required to complete the following classes: Introduction to Naval Science, Seapower and Maritime Affairs, and Leadership and Management I and II. Additionally, they must attend two four-week summer training courses. Upon commissioning, midshipmen will become officers in the Navy Nursing Corps, which falls under the Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine. They must serve for four years on active duty.

The Marine Option is available at nearly 150 colleges and universities in the United States. Students spend their first two summers learning about the Navy and Marine Corps. The third summer involves spending six weeks at Marine Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA. Midshipmen must take one year of English grammar and composition, National Security Policy and American Military Affairs, and one semester of world culture and regional studies. Each semester, midshipmen are also required to enroll in a naval science course. Job opportunities after commissioning are in one of three areas: ground, aviation, or law. Marines must serve four years on active duty.

NROTC Scholarship

Students can choose to join the Navy, the Marines, or the Navy Nursing Corps.

  • Award amount:
    • Four-year scholarship: This program provides full tuition at an approved college or university, coverage of all mandatory fees, $750 for books, uniforms, three summer cruises, and a monthly living allowance.
    • Two- and three-year scholarships: These provide full tuition at an approved college or university, coverage of all educational fees, uniforms, Naval Science textbooks, one or two summer cruises, $750 for other textbooks, and a monthly living allowance for the duration of the scholarship.
    • Neither scholarship covers room and board.
  • Eligibility: The student must be a U.S. citizen between 17 and 23 years old and possess a high school diploma or the equivalent.
    • Navy and Nursing Programs: The student must achieve minimum SAT scores of 520 on the math section and 530 on the verbal/reading or a minimum ACT score of 21 in math and 22 in English. Navy midshipmen will be required to serve five years on active duty; Navy Nurse midshipmen will be required to serve four.
    • Marine Programs: A student must achieve a minimum SAT score of 1000 combined math and reading, a minimum ACT score of 22, or a minimum score of 74 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test. Future Marines will also be required to complete a fitness test which consists of a three-mile run, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Marines will be required to serve four years on active duty.

Specialized NROTC Programs and Scholarships

Frederick C. Branch Leadership Scholarship (Marine-option Only)

Named after the first African American Marine Corps officer, this scholarship is open to Marine-option NROTC midshipmen who are attending or planning to attend a Historically Black College or University. This scholarship lasts from between two and four years. Contact a recruiter for more information.

General Pedro Del Valle Leadership Scholarship (Marine-option Only)

Named after the first Hispanic officer to achieve the rank of lieutenant general, this scholarship is available to Marine-option NROTC midshipmen who are attending one of three Hispanic Serving Institutions: California State University at San Marcos, the University of New Mexico, or San Diego State University.

  • Award amount: This scholarship has two-, three-, and four-year options. Contact a recruiter for more information.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be U.S. citizens in possession of a high school diploma or the equivalent who are at least 17 years old by the time they begin college. Additionally, they must be physically fit, have no criminal record, and have a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT, or at least a 74 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program

This program offers enlisted Marines the chance to return to college full-time, while remaining on active duty. Marines will participate in an NROTC program while at school. Following completion of a bachelor’s degree and graduation, they will commission as second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.

  • Award amount: Marines will remain on active duty while attending college, thereby remaining eligible for full military pay and benefits.
  • Eligibility: Marines must be U.S citizens with an enlisted rank of sergeant or higher. Marines must be at least 20 but must be younger than 30 upon commissioning. Marines must have a minimum of three years of service and at least 12 college credits (at least 3 math or science and 3 English). Minimum scores on college entrance tests must be achieved: 1000 on the SAT (math and verbal), 22 on the ACT, and a 74 overall on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test. Additionally, Marines must achieve minimum scores on both a physical fitness test and a combat fitness test.
    • Marines serving in the Reserves must apply for a position on active duty in order to be eligible.

Minority Serving Institution Scholarship Program (Navy-option only)

This scholarship is available to students who are attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities, High Hispanic Enrollment institutions, or other minority institutions.

  • Award amount: This scholarship will cover tuition, provide a stipend for books each semester, and provide a monthly living stipend of between $250 and $400 depending on the applicant’s year in school. This scholarship can be awarded for up to four years.
  • Eligibility: Applicants do not have to be minority students but must be attending or have been accepted to an eligible university. Applicants must be Navy-option NROTC (Marines and Navy Nursing are ineligible). Additionally, applicants must be able to pass an NROTC Applicant Fitness Test and have scored at least 21 math and 22 verbal on the ACT or 520 math and 530 verbal on the SAT.

NROTC College Program

This program is available to midshipmen who have an external source of funding and do not need a national NROTC scholarship to help fund tuition and fees. Applicants must be accepted to or already attending an institution with an NROTC program. Midshipmen will be required to serve at least three years on active duty following commissioning.

  • Award amount: This program will provide midshipmen with uniforms and Naval Science textbooks for two to four years. Additionally, midshipmen who receive “advanced standing” can receive a stipend for up to 20 months of between $350 and $400.

Seaman to Admiral-21 Commissioning Program

This program is available to currently enlisted, active duty sailors in the Navy who want to return to college to receive their education before commissioning as ensigns. While at college, service members will remain on active duty, receive their current pay and benefits, and participate in the institution’s NROTC program. The time spent in school cannot go toward fulfilling a service commitment.

  • Award amount: Sailors will receive up to $10,000 annually for tuition and fees and books, but any costs that exceed this amount must be covered by the sailor. Sailors may use Montgomery GI Bill benefits to pay for additional courses.
    • Tuition Assistance may not be used to cover any additional costs.
    • Service members can take up to two classes each semester.
  • Eligibility: Service members must be U.S. citizens with a high school diploma or the equivalent who are serving on active duty in the Navy. In order to be admitted, sailors must score at least 1000 on the SAT (combined math and critical reading) and 21 math and 20 verbal on the ACT. Additionally, sailors must be able to complete their bachelor’s degree within 36 months and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 while enrolled in the program.

Page last updated: 12/2016