Navy and Marines ROTC

The Naval ROTC program trains qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in both the Navy and Marine Corps. Located at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx, the program accepts students from Columbia, Fordham University, SUNY Maritime College, and Molloy College. Graduates serve as active-duty commissioned officers in the Navy, as unrestricted line officers on ships, in submarines, in the aviation field, in Naval Special Operations (EOD) and Special Warfare (SEALS), and as officers in the Marine Corps.  Students interested in becoming an officer specializing in other fields, such as law or medicine, are not commissioned through Naval ROTC.

NROTC Program Tracks

Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply

The Scholarship Program is designed for high schools students who will graduate before August 1 of the year they intend to start college.

How to Apply

Current High School Students interested in applying for the 4-year Navy or Marine Corps Scholarship Program should visit for information about the application process and to begin their application.

Financial Incentive

Students in the Scholarship Program receive a scholarship for the full cost of Columbia’s tuition, for two, three, or four years depending on when they apply and are accepted. In addition, the Scholarship Program covers the cost of educational fees and provides students with uniforms, $375 toward books each semester and a monthly subsistence allowance. The NROTC also pays for students’ initial trip from home to the university and for the round-trip transportation costs associated with their summer training.

About the Program

n addition to their Columbia courses, students in the NROTC programs complete additional Naval Sciences courses at SUNY Maritime, plus a Leadership Lab each term.

NAVY Scholarship and College Programs

Students in these tracks who are pursing the Navy option take the following courses at SUNY Maritime:

  • Introduction to Naval Science (NVSC 101)

  • Sea Power and Maritime Affairs (NVSC 102)

  • Navigation (NVSC 211)

  • Leadership & Management (NVSC 201)

  • Naval Ships Systems I (Engineering, NVSC 304)

  • Naval Ships Systems II (Weapons, NVSC 303)

  • Naval Operations & Seamanship (NVSC 403)

  • Leadership & Ethics (NVSC 402)

Leadership Lab

  • Naval Science Leadership Laboratory (NVSC 150, 250, 350, 450)

College Program

Who Can Apply

Available to first and second year students already enrolled at a participating college or university

How to Apply

Current Columbia Students can apply to participate in the College Program as long as they are in the first three semesters of study.   High school seniors who miss the January 31st scholarship application deadline and are not fortunate enough to receive scholarships, may also apply for the College Program.  Interested students need to join NROTC no later than their second year.  After that, anyone interested in Navy or Marine Corps commissioned service should contact an officer recruiter regarding Officer Candidate School.

Qualified students should write to [email protected] for more information on how to apply or call the NROTC Office at 212-851-9959.

Financial Incentive

Students participating in the College Program are not charged for courses taken at SUNY Maritime and are issued uniforms free of charge. During their first and second years, they may compete for two- or three-year tuition scholarships and thus become a part of the Scholarship Program. They are selected based on grades, performance, and potential. Students who are not selected for a scholarship during this period may be selected for “Advanced Standing” and, if approved, receive a monthly living stipend of $350 in their junior year and $400 in their senior year.

STA-21 and MECEP

Seaman to Admiral – 21 (STA-21) or Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Programs (MECEP)

The STA-21 and MECEP programs are open to active duty Sailors and Marines.

How to Apply

Active duty personnel within the Navy or Marine Corps should contact the appropriate person within their chain of command to inquire about eligibility requirements and the application process for the Seaman to Admiral – 21 (STA-21) and Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Programs (MECEP).

Financial Incentive

Students participating in the Seaman to Admiral – 21 (STA-21) or Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Programs (MECEP) receive certain allowances based upon their rank and time in service. STA-21 Students receive $10,000 per year to defer the cost of tuition in addition to their Navy pay. MECEP Students do not receive tuition compensation but do receive their Marine Corps pay and allowances.


To gain acceptance into the NROTC Program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Be no less than 17 years old by September 1 of the year starting college and no more than 23 on December 31 of that year.
  • Have not reached their 27th birthday by December 31 of the year in which graduation and commissioning are anticipated, except as described below.
  • Applicants with prior military service may be eligible for age waivers.
  • Must have graduated from high school or earned an equivalency certificate by August 1 of the year they start college.
  • Received qualifying scores on the SAT, ACT or Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT)
  • Have no moral obligations or personal convictions that prevent them from bearing arms, supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and taking an oath to do so.
  • Meet Navy or Marine Corps physical / medical qualification standards.
  • Have no body piercings or tattoos that violate Navy or Marine Corps policy.

Students interested in becoming officers in the Marine Corps must meet additional requirements:

  • They must achieve one of the following minimum scores on a standardized college admissions exam:
  • SAT: a combined score of 1,000 in Math and Critical Reading;
  • ACT: combine score of 22 in Math and English; or
  • Armed Forces Qualification Text (AFQT): 74
  • The SAT math and critical reading scores must be from the same and most recent test.  Applicants cannot combine their best math and critical reading scores from separate SAT exams to achieve the qualifying score for application.