ROTC Programs


The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps offers a four-year or two-year program designed to develop future officers in the areas of leadership, management, military history and critical thinking skills.

The Army ROTC program consists of one course per semester along with one leadership laboratory period per week. The four-year program is divided into two parts. The basic course is taken in the freshman and sophomore years, and no military commitment is incurred during this time. After completing the basic course, students who have demonstrated officer potential and have met physical and scholastic standards are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Course taken in the final two years of college and consisting of outlined military science and designated enrichment courses. Some students who have previous military service can waive the basic course. Another two-year ROTC program consists of completion of a five-week Cadet Training Course (CTC) at Fort Knox, Kentucky during the summer, following enrollment in the advance course. Another ROTC program is the Simultaneous Membership Program in which cadets will gain invaluable leadership experience through participation with the National Guard and Army Reserve. Upon graduation, students can enter the Army on Active duty, Reserves, or the National Guard status.

USD cadets enrolled in the advanced course enroll through the SDSU College of Extended Studies. There is no advance application needed for the freshman or sophomore classes. Scholarship money is available, including four-, three- and two-year merit scholarships to qualified students. Scholarships awarded include: full tuition, books, fees and partial room and board. Additional grants are available to cover room and board.

See Military Science course descriptions or call Army ROTC, (619) 260-7920.

Naval ROTC

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Unit is hosted by the University of San Diego and San Diego State University. Primary administration of and support for the NROTC Unit is provided by USD. Cross-town agreements exist with the University of California San Diego, California State University San Marcos, and Point Loma Nazarene University. Students enrolled in these institutions are authorized to participate in the NROTC program at the University of San Diego, and may attend Naval Science classes there or at San Diego State University.


There are two types of NROTC programs: the scholarship program and the college program. They differ primarily in their benefits to the student. The scholarship program provides four years of university study, followed by a commission in the Navy or Marine Corps.

Scholarship Students

Four-year scholarship program students are selected on the basis of a highly competitive annual national selection. Selectees are appointed Midshipmen in the United States Naval Reserve (USNR) and provided tuition, a monthly stipend, uniforms and an allowance for books at government expense. In addition, they receive subsistence pay and summer active duty pay. Navy Option students in the NROTC scholarship program are encouraged to pursue majors in engineering or in specific science fields (mathematics, chemistry, physics or computer science), but any other field of study leading to a baccalaureate degree is permitted. Marine Corps option students may normally enroll in any four-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree. All scholarship students participate in three summer cruise and training programs. Upon graduation, students receive commissions as Ensigns in the United States Navy or as Second Lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps, after which they serve with the respective service. For students completing the program after October 1, 2013, the minimum period of active duty is five years, followed by three years of inactive reserve status.

Two-year scholarship program students are selected through national competition. Applicants must be in their second year of college and in good standing. Selectees for enrollment in this program attend the Naval Science Institute at Newport, Rhode Island, receiving instruction in naval science and drill, during July and August after their selection. Successful completion of the Naval Science Institute program qualifies students for enrollment in the advanced course of the NROTC program. They are provided tuition, fees, textbook stipend, uniforms and subsistence allowance at government expense during their junior and senior years. Two-year scholarship students participate in a summer cruise between their junior and senior years. Upon graduation, commission and service requirements are the same as for four-year scholarship students.

Applications for the scholarship program may be obtained from any NROTC unit or Navy-Marine Corps Recruiting Office, or go to NROTC.

College Program Students

  • Applicants selected from students already attending or accepted by colleges with NROTC programs
  • Pays for uniforms and instructional fees for naval science courses
  • College Program students selected for “advanced standing” receive a stipend for maximum of 20 months. Advance standing is only available starting the junior year of college. Stipend per academic month is $350 junior year and $400 senior year.
  • Students will complete naval science and other university courses, a few specific university courses, and attend one summer training session
  • Normally at sea for Navy midshipmen
  • Normally at Quantico, VA for Marine Corps midshipmen
  • When accepted, two-year applicants will attend six-and-a-half week Naval Science Institute program in Newport, RI during summer between sophomore and junior years
  •  On graduation, two- and four-year College Program midshipmen may be commissioned ensigns in the Naval Service or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.Further information on the College Program may be obtained from any NROTC unit or Navy-Marine Corps Recruiting Office, or go to NROTC.

Academic Requirements for Scholarship Students

To receive a commission, the NROTC scholarship student must complete all requirements for a bachelor’s degree in accordance with university rules and regulations, as well as complete certain courses specified by the Navy. General requirements fall into two categories:

  1. Naval Science requirements (Participants who complete a minimum of 18 units from this program (nine of which must be upper division) are eligible to receive a minor in Naval Science.
    Freshman Year
    NAVS 101Introduction to Naval Science3
    NAVS 102Seapower3
    Sophomore Year
    NAVS 201Leadership and Management3
    NAVS 202Navigation (Navy option only)3
    Junior Year
    NAVS 301Naval Engineering3
    NAVS 302Naval Weapons (Navy option only)3
    NAVS 310Evolution of Warfare (Marine option only)3
    Senior Year
    NAVS 401Naval Operations (Navy option only)3
    NAVS 402Leadership and Ethics3
    NAVS 412Fundamentals of Maneuver Warfare3
  2. Other courses required by the U.S. Navy:
    Calculus (one year) 1
    Regional Studies/World Cultures (one semester) 1
    Physics (calculus-based) (one year) 1
    English (one year) 1
    National Security Policy or American Military History (one semester)

See Naval Science course descriptions.

Air Force ROTC

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is a three- or four-year program designed to equip students with leadership skills and commission officers for tomorrow’s Air Force. Required coursework includes lectures, a leadership laboratory practical component, panel discussions, dialogues, problem solving, and physical training. All coursework is completed on site at or near SDSU, with the exception of a four-week summer field training encampment conducted on a military base between the second and third year. The four-year program is divided into the General Military Course (first two years), and the Professional Officer Course (last two years). During the first two years, non-scholarship cadets may take classes with no military commitment, and may withdraw at any time.

Scholarships are available for qualified cadets, and may be applied towards tuition, lab fees, and other required items. In addition, scholarship students receive a non-taxable book allowance and monthly stipend. Upon successful completion of the AFROTC program and all requirements for a bachelor’s degree, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants and serve a minimum of four years in the active duty Air Force.

The University of San Diego does not have an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program on campus; however, through an agreement with San Diego State University, students may participate in Air Force ROTC through the SDSU College of Extended Studies. Credits earned in these classes may be transferred as electives to meet the degree requirements of USD.

There is no advance application needed to participate in the freshman or sophomore level course; however, an orientation program, held just prior to the start of the semester, is recommended. Interested students should contact the AFROTC Detachment 075 Unit Admissions Officer at (619) 594-5545.