There are two ways to join the unit. The first way is through receipt of the National Scholarship (https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/) and placement at either RPI or Union College. The second way is through the College Program. The College Program allows you to fully participate in the unit and to compete for a scholarship and commission. To apply for the College Program, contact the freshman class advisor at NROTCURPI, or Schedule an Officer Interview.
The NROTC program primarily commissions Navy line officers to serve as aviators, submariners, surface warfare officers, SEALS, or EOD officers, and Marines to serve as aviators or infantry officers. There are a very limited number of nursing scholarships offered each year but this program requires you to specifically apply. NROTC is the largest single source of Navy and Marine Corps officers and plays an important role in preparing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps.
The NROTC scholarship covers full tuition at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, including mandatory fees, uniforms and Naval Science textbooks, $375 per semester toward your remaining textbooks, and a subsistence allowance each academic month ($250/month for freshmen, $300/month for sophomores, $350/month for juniors, and $400/month for seniors).
The National NROTC Scholarship does not cover room and board expenses. RPI offers a room and board benefit to all NROTC scholarship midshipman. This benefit covers the average cost of on campus living, including room and board for students.
Scholarship activation occurs after arrival if the candidate is physically (must pass the physical fitness test) and medically qualified (must have ‘Qualified’ DODMERB letter). Incoming scholarship students will need to complete their medical process after receipt of the scholarship. Provided they are found ‘Qualified’ they will meet the medical requirement. To meet the physical qualification, Navy students must pass the PRT with a score of ‘Good Low’ for the 20-24 year old age group. Marine Option students must meet the standards for a ‘Second Class’ PFT with a minimum score of 200.
The unit is not involved with the medical process, please contact your DODMERB technician for questions on your qualified status.
Each week, students of Naval ROTC have obligation beyond that of a regular college student:
- Freshman Drill Practice: Once per week (usually on weekends)
- Physical Training (Fitness): Two to three times per week
- Unit-Wide Drill/Leadership Lab: Once per week (2 Hours)
- Naval Science Classes: 3 Credit-Hours per semester
Students are also expected to contribute time to support tasks as assigned by their unit billet. Additional time commitments may occur each week if a MIDN decides to participate in unit sponsored extracurricular activities, such as Color Guard or Intramural Sports.
Yes. You can join NROTC via the “College Program.” College Program NROTC midshipmen participate alongside scholarship NROTC students and are eligible to apply for three- and two-year scholarships during their freshman and sophomore years. If a student has not received a scholarship by their junior year, they may earn advanced standing, which guarantees them a commission upon graduation and brings monthly stipend benefits.
Yes. College Program Midshipmen who enter their junior year in Advanced Standing status will receive a subsistence allowance each academic month ($350/month for juniors and $400/month for seniors). Uniforms and Naval Science textbooks are also provided, as well as pay during summer cruise training between junior and senior year.
The National NROTC Scholarship does not cover room and board expenses. RPI offers a room and board benefit to all NROTC scholarship midshipman. This benefit covers the average cost of on campus living, including room and board for students living in a dorm setting. Students that choose to live off campus in their junior and senior years receive a check equal to the amount an on campus student would receive.
The scholarship selection process is independent of the RPI admission process. In order to join NROTC, you must apply and gain admittance though the normal university admissions process. However, earning the NROTC scholarship is a favorable accomplishment to list in your university application package. If you receive the NROTC scholarship after you have submitted your RPI admissions application, the unit staff can help you provide that information to the RPI admissions department.
Probably. When you applied for a NROTC scholarship, you listed your five school choices. Once selected, the NROTC admissions office assigned you to a school based on your choices. If you were not admitted to the assigned school, or you changed your mind, the NROTC staff here at RPI can help you transfer your scholarship. Please visit the staff page to get in contact.
Navy option scholarship midshipmen are obligated to serve a minimum of five years of active military service upon commissioning. Marine option midshipmen are obligated to serve a minimum of four years of active military service upon commissioning. By current Navy policy, this obligation is in effect once they begin their sophomore year in NROTC. Additional service requirements are associated with specific job assignments:
- Naval Aviation (Pilot): Eight Years After Receiving Wings
- Naval Flight Officer (NFO): Six Years After Receiving Wings
- Marine Aviation: Eight Years After Receiving Wings
Yes and no. You will sign a contract prior to activating your scholarship. However, current and long standing Navy Policy gives one year to determine if they are suited for the Navy and the NROTC program before the service obligation is enforced.
Navy option midshipmen graduate and commission as unrestricted line officers. That means that you will receive follow-on training in your specialty as either a Submarine Officer, Surface Warfare Officer, Naval Aviator (Pilot), Naval Flight Officer, or Special Warfare Officer (SEAL or EOD). There are also a limited number of MIDN selected each year to serve as engineers with Naval Nuclear Reactors. Marine option midshipmen receive air combat, ground combat, or logistics assignments.
Yes. Assignments are made based on each midshipman's desires, qualifications, performance, and needs of the Navy or Marine Corps. Scholarship status is not a factor in the assignment process.
Sailors and Marines must have basic swimming skills, however it is not a prerequisite. If you are not a strong swimmer, you will have the opportunity to improve your skills. The Navy conducts swim qualification during New Student Indoctrination (NSI), to ascertain your skill level. Midshipmen with a 3rd class swim qualification must repeat the test each year. If the midshipman passes the 2nd class swim qualification, they no longer need to be tested for the duration of their time at NROTC. Certain service specialties require more advanced swim qualification and proficiency.
The Navy does not guarantee flight school. However, RPI midshipmen who have solid academic performance, good military aptitude, high scores on the aviation aptitude exam and are physically qualified, historically have had an excellent chance for aviation assignment. The Marine Corps does offer flight guarantees, provided physical and aviation aptitude requirements are met.
A few midshipmen are selected each year to go immediately to graduate school, but the vast majority will enter the military after graduation. However, the Navy and Marine Corps provide opportunities to earn graduate degrees later in your career, while on active duty and receiving full pay.
Possibly, but unlikely. The opportunity to continue to medical school is extremely limited, with less than 10 offerings nationwide each year. If admitted to medical school, students attend immediately following graduation. Under this program, medical students begin to serve their obligation following their residency.
No. JAG is a Restricted Line Officer community with a separate accession program.
Yes. There are many study abroad opportunities during the summer and academic year, funded by RPI and the Navy. RPI NROTC students have recently studied abroad in Australia, Czech Republic, and other countries. Planning ahead is the key to studying abroad while meeting all university and NROTC academic requirements.
Navy and Marine Option midshipmen share the same roles and responsibilities within the unit. However, there are differences in some course work and training. Marine option midshipmen are not required to take calculus and physics courses. Marine option midshipmen also take different Naval Science courses in their junior and senior years, and in the summer after their junior year they attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia. They are guided in their development by our Marine Officer Instructor, and upon graduation they are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Yes. NROTC scholarship midshipmen participate in Summer Cruise each summer. These are approximately month-long assignments where students have the opportunity to learn firsthand from the fleet. Additional information regarding summer training can be found here: https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/summer_cruise.html
Yes. Summer cruise training is a required part of our curriculum, but it only lasts four to six weeks and midshipmen are paid approximately $550 per month while on cruise. Many midshipmen are still be able to work a non-military job for part of the summer.
It depends. There are limited slots available for cruises very early in the summer. If a MIDN requests and is given one of these cruises, they have the ability to intern anywhere for the rest of the summer. In the past, RPI MIDN have completed and learned from many internships with companies such as NASA, General Dynamics, and the FBI.
Yes. NROTC and academy graduates have the exact same opportunities. Midshipmen with the highest academic and military aptitude rankings, regardless of where they go to school, will be most likely to receive their choice of assignment.
No. NROTC midshipmen are only required to wear the uniform on Naval Science Lab day, which is one day a week during the school year.
There is no NROTC dorm on campus. All midshipmen are fully integrated with other members of the campus community. It is recommended but not required to choose to have a roommate that is also in NROTC, as this limits conflict due to sleep schedule.
Yes. Many midshipmen have been varsity and club athletes.
Yes. Activities outside of NROTC are allowed and encouraged.
Yes. Many of our midshipmen are currently in Greek life and are still able to participate fully in the unit.
Program entrance requirements can be found on the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps website, https://www.netc.navy.mil/Commands/Naval-Service-Training-Command/NROTC/Requirements/
No, but the activation of your scholarship does require a medical qualification. The scholarship selection process is independent of the medical examination. You can be selected as a scholarship nominee even before you take the medical exam.
You will not receive NROTC scholarship benefits unless you are found physically qualified for the NROTC program. Waivers can be obtained for some disqualifying conditions but benefits will not commence until the waiver is approved. You are encouraged to start this process as early as possible. The staff at NROTCURPI are available to answer questions regarding the timing of benefits as it relates to incurring obligated payment for tuition, fees, and books. If you are not sure if you are physically qualified or if you need information on how to get a waiver, please contact your DODMERB technician or the recruiter who helped process your application.