NROTC Program FAQs

Answers to questions about admissions and applications, obligations, finances, and program logistics. 

Admissions and Application Questions

You will not receive a NROTC scholarship unless you are found physically qualified for the NROTC program. It is imperative that you become physically qualified before commencement of classes. If you are attempting to gain a waiver for some disqualifying physical condition and you start classes at the University, you will be responsible for payment of tuition, fees and books for that semester. If you are later found physically qualified for a NROTC scholarship during the same semester (i.e. your waiver is granted), your tuition, fees and book expenses may be reimbursed (with the decision made on a case by case basis). If you are found not physically qualified for the NROTC program, tuition, fees and book expenses will not be reimbursed. If you are not sure if you are physically qualified or if you need information on how to get a waiver, please contact the Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) or the recruiter who helped you process your application.

Scholarship selection and placement is conducted by Naval Service Training Command (NSTC). You should contact NSTC to request that your scholarship be transferred to another university where you have been accepted. Be sure to include all applicable information (universities that have accepted you, etc.). Only NSTC has the authority to approve or disapprove your request. There is no guarantee that it will be approved. Another option is to request, via NSTC, a deferment of your 4-year scholarship to the next term or school year. If you do not report to your assigned school as per the scholarship award letter prior to the commencement of classes in the fall, and you have not received an NSTC approved deferment or transfer of your scholarship, it will be assumed that you have rejected your 4-year NROTC scholarship.

Absolutely. If a student has not been granted a scholarship, he or she can still join the NROTC college program and will be required to do everything a scholarship student does. College program students (students that do not have scholarships) do not go on summer training, but they do attend the initial orientation prior to the Fall semester. College Program students have improved chances of picking up a scholarship since they have demonstrated their motivation and desire by joining the NROTC program without any guaranties. The College Program students are reviewed for scholarship selection twice a year. The granting of a scholarship is based upon the student’s grades and military aptitude in NROTC.


If you do not earn a scholarship by the end of your sophomore year, you may be considered for Advanced Standing. If granted, Advanced Standing will provide the Midshipman with a stipend every month during the school year for the remaining two years and active duty summer training, but you would not receive any additional tuition funding. Upon graduation the Advanced Standing Midshipman receives the same commission as the Scholarship Midshipman. If the Midshipman has not been granted benefits by the beginning of the junior year, he or she will be disenrolled from the ROTC program.

Yes, the Marine and Navy Scholarship process is different. However, some Midshipmen may be allowed to transfer between Navy and Marine options while they are in NROTC. College Program Midshipmen are also allowed to be Marine Options and work for a Marine Scholarship. College Program Marine Option Midshipmen must achieve Advanced Standing by the end of their second year in order not to be disenrolled. Marine Option Midshipmen who gain Advanced Standing are awarded the stipend and have an 8-year service obligation, three of which are active duty.


Scholarship students that graduate and receive their commissioning are obligated to serve 8 years of commissioned service. The portion of that time spent in active service as opposed to inactive reserve will vary depending on whether they will join the Navy or Marine Corps, the branches of those services in which they will serve and their NROTC track. Further information on the service requirements is available at for the Navy and the Marine Corps.

College Program students are obligated to serve a minimum of 8 years commissioned service, with at least 3 of these years on active duty. Further information on the service requirements is available at

Midshipmen are required to take one Naval Science class each semester for four years. These courses ranges from the history of the Navy to shipboard operations and engineering. Students are also required to attend a Leadership Lab in uniform on Wednesday from 1600 to 1800 and a physical training (PT) session on prior to the Leadership Lab from 1500 to 1600. If students are on scholarship they are required to attend 1 month of summer training for three consecutive summers.

Scholarship Coverage

The scholarship covers full tuition at Columbia University for two, three, or four years depending on when the student applies for and receives a scholarship. In addition each scholarship student receives: educational fees; uniforms; $375 towards books each semester; and a monthly subsistence allowance. The NROTC pays for scholarship students' initial transportation from home to the University, and to and from the University to their summer training.

No, the NROTC Scholarship does not directly pay for room and board. However, the University may offer financial assistance to cover these costs.

Academics and Logistics

The initial training is prior to the first year orientation. This training program provides the basics to prepare students to join the Battalion. The first fleet summer training scholarship students attend is called CORTRAMID. Scholarship students attend CORTRAMID over the summer between their first and second years of college. The CORTRAMID goal is to orient and expose Midshipmen to the Navy and Marine Corps. One week is devoted to exposure to the surface Navy, another to aviation, and a third to submarines. The last is spent with the Marine Corps. Midshipmen may request to attend CORTRAMID on either the west coast in San Diego, California or in the east at Norfolk, Virginia. The Midshipman’s second class cruise (summer training) is between their second and third years. The second class cruise is designed to give the midshipman exposure to the enlisted community. The Midshipmen will be assigned a highly motivated career Petty Officer running mate who will work with the midshipman on board ship performing enlisted duties. Often this cruise takes place in international waters, giving Midshipmen a chance to experience various foreign port visits. The Midshipman’s first class cruise is between their third and final year of college. The first class cruise is designed to provide the Midshipman with a realistic exposure to what it is like to be an officer in a specific warfare community (Aviation, Submarines, Surface, and Special Warfare). The Midshipman is assigned an Ensign or Lieutenant Junior Grade running mate. The Midshipman will shadow the officer and assist the officer on performing shipboard duties while in port and underway.

Scholarship Marine Option students will attend CORTRAMID over the summer between their first and second years of college. During the summer between their second and third years of college, Scholarship Marine Option students will attend Mountain Warfare School. Scholarship or Advanced Standing Midshipmen Marine Options will attend USMC Officer Candidates School in Quantico, VA during the summer prior to the start of their 1/C year. Successful completion of OCS is required for a USMC commission.

Scholarship and College Program students are allowed to major in any academic field that will grant them a Bachelors degree. However, technical majors are given some precedence in the application process. Scholarship midshipman must, in addition to fulfilling their degree requirements, complete one year of calculus, one year of physics, one year of English, a semester of Computer Science, and a semester of American History. They are also required to take one Naval Science class per semester. College Program Midshipman who are given Advanced Standing are required to take a semester of College Algebra, Physical Science, Computer Science, and one year of English. They are also required to take one Naval Science class every semester.

Scholarship and College Program Midshipman must maintain a 2.5 Grade Point Average on a 4.0 scale, have no failing grades in any subject required for their major or commissioning, progress on a prescribed timeline for graduation, and have a full academic load every semester (15-18 units).

Yes and no. Marine Option Midshipmen are required to take six Naval Science classes. Two of these Naval Science classes are separate from the Navy Option Midshipmen. The Marine Option classes focus on the history of warfare and amphibious operations. Marine Option Midshipmen are not required to take all of the classes that Navy Options Midshipmen are required to take. Only one semester of Military History or National Security Policy is required. Marine Option Midshipmen attend all Battalion drills and functions. Roughly 1/6 of the NROTC Program is Marine Options. Marine Option Midshipmen compete and are ranked against their fellow Marine Option Midshipmen. There is a Marine Officer Instructor and an Assistant Marine Officer Instructor at the NROTC Unit who oversee all of the Marine Option students. Marine Option Midshipmen who are on scholarship are required to attend summer training as well. The first summer of training is identical to Navy Option Midshipmen; they are required to attend CORTRAMID. For second class cruise, Marine Options attend Mountain Warfare School. Between the Marine Options’ third and fourth years, he or she is required to attend Officer Candidates School. After commissioning, all Marines must attend The Basic School (TBS) regardless of their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

First year students should register for “Introduction to Naval Science,” Naval Science 101 at SUNY Maritime, in the first term. They will decide upon the schedule of their remaining courses in consultation with the NROTC advisor.

The University will provide you with transportation to all required classes and activities scheduled at SUNY Maritime.