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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the NROTC program?
Our purpose is to train college students for leadership roles as commissioned officers in the Navy and Marine Corps.


What are the NROTC scholarship benefits?
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 ($750 per academic year); and a subsistence allowance of $250/month for Freshmen, $300/month for Sophomores, $350/month for Juniors, and $400/month for Seniors. The NROTC pays for scholarship students' initial transportation from home to school and from home to summer cruise training.


Does the scholarship cover room and board expenses?
No. Those expenses must be borne by the individual student. Students who find that room and board payments represent a financial hardship should investigate financial aid programs.


What is my active duty obligation after graduation?
We have two categories of students. Our scholarship students are obligated for at least five years of active duty after graduation. They accept the obligation at the beginning of the sophomore year. Our College Program (non-scholarship) students are obligated for at least three years of active duty after graduation. They accept the obligation at the beginning of their junior year.


If I join the NROTC program, what kind of military duties should I expect after graduation?
Most of our students, male and female, will graduate as "line officers". That means that they will be expected to go on to further training in aviation, submarines, or conventional and 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.


Would I get the choice of duty I want after graduation?
Most likely. At the beginning of the senior year, fall semester, our 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, and having adequate Calculus and Physics grades and a good GPA for nuclear powered ships and submarines.


Do I have to major in some particular subject if I join the NROTC?
Yes and no. When filling out your scholarship application you should have indicated that you would like to pursue your degree within a certain Tier. You are eligible to pursue any available majors that falls within that tier. For those who are not on scholarship, you can pursue a degree in anything that OU has to offer. However we do encourage our students to pursue some form of technical major, but that is not a requirement. Keep in mind that selection boards 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.


What are the specific courses that I must take if I join the NROTC program that I would not otherwise have to take?
NROTC students take, on average, two Naval Science courses per academic school 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 and one course of Non-Western Culture. 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 engineering-based calculus and two semesters of calculus-based physics.


What types of academic support does the NROTC unit provide?
The NROTC Unit provides professional tutoring in calculus and physics for students enrolled in those courses. Additionally, we require all incoming freshman and anyone struggling to participate in weekly study hours. Each Midshipman is assigned to a class advisor. The class advisor is an active duty Lieutenant (Navy) or Captain (USMC) 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. In addition, University College has a very robust (and free) tutoring program available through the University College Action Center.


How does the Marine training differ from Navy training?
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, and in the summer after their junior year they take part in the Officer Candidate School (OCS) training program at Quantico, Virginia. Our Marine Officer Instructor guides them in their development, and upon graduation they are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Marine Corps.


What will I do on summer training cruises?
There are three different cruises. The first summer cruise, after the 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 is currently being modified for Navy option Midshipmen and is expected to be a leveling event called “Sea Trials” that includes evaluations in many Navy Core Competencies. The Marine Corps students will conduct Marine Corps specific training or an amphibious cruise. The summer cruise after the 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 the junior year.


I need to work during the summer. May I?
The summer cruises are part of our curriculum and are a required part of the program. However, we will allow you to state your preference for when you would like to take the cruise. The cruises are only two to six weeks long (with the majority being four), so you should still be able to work for part of the summer. Also, the Midshipmen are paid about $550 per month during the duration of the cruise. We have historically been able to find shorter cruises to accommodate students and their summer plans. The summers after a student’s sophomore and junior years are the most flexible.


Where do we go during summer cruise, and who pays for our transportation?
Our 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 to 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 of our students take summer cruises aboard ships of a foreign Navy. In the past few summers, students 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.


Do NROTC graduates have the same opportunities as Naval Academy graduates when it comes time for duty assignments after graduation?
Yes. NROTC and Academy graduates have identical opportunities to go into the 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.


Do NROTC Midshipmen wear uniforms to classes every day like they do at the Naval Academy?
No. NROTC Midshipmen will normally wear uniforms once a week, typically on Tuesdays or Thursdays, alternating uniforms with unit polos during the week or as instructed. Specific guidance is given out for occasions that require uniform wear outside of the typical Tuesday and Thursday schedule.

Are NROTC Midshipmen housed together on campus?
No. Each student makes his or her own arrangements with the university for housing. Students may live in university dormitories, or in fraternities or sororities, at their option. Some upperclassmen choose to live in, and share the expenses of, nearby apartments.


How do I go about applying for an NROTC scholarship?
Start the process at the end of your high school junior year. The Navy Recruiting Command and Headquarters, Marine Corps accept and process all NROTC scholarship applications. Go to to start the application process. The Navy Recruiting Command or Headquarters, Marine Corps will notify you of the results of the scholarship selection board. By entering NROTC as a College Program student, you can also apply for a three or four-year scholarship during 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 four-year scholarship student entering their sophomore year.


Will my scholarship selection be held up if I have trouble passing the medical exam?
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-on exams or inputs from your local doctor are required, then you must ensure you meet these requirements.


If I am notified that some physical problem will disqualify me from scholarship eligibility, is there anything I can do?
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 that 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.


In addition to the medical exam, is there a physical fitness exam required for scholarship selection?
Marine Option students are required to pass a physical fitness exam to be eligible for scholarship selection. Navy Option students are required to take a modified physical fitness exam as a prerequisite to selection. Once in the NROTC program, all Midshipmen are required to pass a semiannual physical fitness assessment, which, for Navy option students, consists of pushups, 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 more difficult test that consists of pull-ups, sit-ups, and a 3 mile run.


If I missed the deadline for the National four-year scholarship application, is there any way that I can still obtain an NROTC scholarship?
Maybe, but not through the process that was just described. 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, Marine Corps, and NROTC budget.


How much of my time at school will be tied up in NROTC activities?
As much as you want, but at least ten 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 is a two-hour leadership lab session 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 Tuesday and Thursday mornings every week for one-hour. There are a number of NROTC extra curricular activities available to you if you are interested in them. We sponsor formal and informal dinners, parties, picnics, and other get-togethers. Additionally, OU NROTC Battalion members help usher at home football games. While this is a requirement for all students, we have some flexibility to choose which students have to attend and those who do not.


If I join the NROTC program, am I in the military, or am I still a civilian?
NROTC Midshipmen who are on scholarship or in the College Program as Advanced Standing (Junior and above) 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.


How are tuition payments and book purchases handled for scholarship students?
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 this deposit. 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.


If I am given an NROTC scholarship, does that guarantee that I will be admitted to The University of Oklahoma?
No. The scholarship selection process is TOTALLY INDEPENDENT of the OU admission process. You must seek admission to OU. Remember that the NROTC scholarship cannot be awarded to you until you have been accepted for admission at an NROTC host school. If you receive a scholarship but are not admitted to OU, contact the NROTC unit for assistance.


Are NROTC scholarship selectees given any preferential treatment in the OU admission process?
No. The same personal characteristics and academic credentials are considered in scholarship selection and in The University of Oklahoma admission process. 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 extra curricular athletics or school government activities. The university might place more emphasis on academic achievement.


If I want to change my first-choice school, who do I tell?
You should wait until after you are notified of selection as a scholarship nominee, and 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.


I am trying to decide which university to attend. Are there any differences among the various NROTC Units?
The naval science curriculum at each school is identical. Any differences among NROTC Units are due to the customs and traditions of the Units, the personalities of the Unit Staffs, and even the Midshipmen in those Units, and their facilities. The exceptions to this 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). Our advice would be to 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 you make the final decision. Be sure to also review the info at "Why OU Naval ROTC."


Who teaches the Naval Science courses?
The NROTC staff is composed of active duty Navy and Marine Corps officers and enlisted personnel. The Naval Science courses are taught by the active duty stuff. The officers will double as your NROTC class advisors, providing guidance and assistance, as necessary, in your academic and military pursuits.


What will happen if I decided not to continue in the NROTC program after I have started the sophomore year and incurred an obligation for active duty?
There are several reasons and circumstances for leaving the NROTC program. There is no obligation at all if you quit before the sophomore year begins. If, after the start of the 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. 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.


If I start out as a Marine Option student, can I switch to be a Navy Option student, or vice versa?
Yes, you can request 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. 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.


Is the freshmen orientation like a boot camp?
No. The orientation is run by the upper-class midshipmen and supervised by the NROTC Unit staff. We stress the need for discipline and teamwork, and some people have to adjust their attitude a bit. Orientation is certainly less stressful compared to a real bootcamp, the thirteen weeks of officer candidate school, or to 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.


Can you describe how a Midshipman fits into the university?
An 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 a Midshipman takes a series of Naval Science courses, and he or she wears a uniform to class at least once a week. Midshipmen are free to join enjoy all aspects of campus life. Our 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.


In addition to the medical exam, is there a physical fitness exam required for scholarship or College Program selection?
Yes, Marine Option students are required to pass and maintain the Marine Physical Fitness Test (PFT) with a score of 235 or higher as a freshman.  Navy Option students are required to pass and maintain the Navy Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) with a minimum of “good-low” in all areas.  Click on the following links to view these standards:

Navy Physical Fitness Standards

Marine Corps Physical Fitness Standards

Arriving outside of these standards (either in weight or fitness) could jeopardize your participation in our program.