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How and when do I apply for an NROTC Scholarship?

The scholarship application opens April 1st of your junior year of high school and closes December 31st of your high school senior year. You can find the application for both Navy and Marine Option Midshipmen at This site also includes a checklist to ensure you complete all items necessary to be eligible for the scholarship.


What should I do if I am interested in studying at UNC as a MECEP?

Marines that are accepted into the MECEP program will have to apply for admission into university. Depending on the MECEP board and OCS class a Marine applies for and attends determines when to apply to the university as the university has a strict application timeline. Admission into the university is very competitive and it is encouraged to thoroughly review the application before submitting it. Marines applying to the university are responsible for their own application submission. The Marine Corps and NROTC have to oversite or impact on the admissions process and applicants will compete for admission to the university along with other applicants. Applicants are encouraged to contact the AMOI during and throughout the application process. Once OCS complete and accepted into the university, Marines will receive orders to the NROTC unit at the university.


What types of scholarships are there? Does UNC have all of them?

  • The Navy awards three types of scholarships: Navy, Marine Corps, and Navy Nurse. UNC does not have a Nurse-option program and recipients of the Nurse scholarship are not eligible to attend UNC.
  • You can only apply for one type of scholarship each cycle. There is the opportunity to apply for a service transfer once becoming part of the program. However, a service transfer is not guaranteed.


What are the differences between Navy and Marine scholarships?

  • Navy-options are major restricted by their scholarships (see the Tiered system here). They are required to take more technical classes, and they have one less day of physical training per week. Navy-options are not required to attend OCS to commission from NROTC.
  • Marine-options will attend Field Training Exercises (FEX), PT an additional day during the week, and have less Naval Science course requirements than Navy-options. They must pass OCS to receive a commission into the Marine Corps.


How do I make myself competitive for an NROTC scholarship?

The Navy is looking for individuals who have a desire to serve and develop themselves mentally, morally, and physically while in a rigorous academic environment.

The Academic minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Navy
    • SAT- 540 Math; 550 Verbal; combined 1150 Math and Verbal
    • ACT- 21 Math; 22 English; 47 combined Math and English
  • Marine
    • SAT- 1000 combined Math and Verbal
    • ACT- minimum composite score of 22
    • Armed Forces Qualification Test: 74

Navy Options have the choice to “super-score” their standardized tests. Marine Options do not. Super-scoring tests means that the highest achievement from multiple attempts will be recorded. For example, if your scores for your first attempt at the SAT are 700 Verbal and 600 Math, and your second attempt scores are 650 Verbal and 650 Math, the Navy will view your overall score as 700 Verbal and 650 Math.

Please note these test scores are the minimum requirement and you should seek to surpass them in order to be competitive for the scholarship. Additionally, most scholarships are awarded to those within the top 20% of their graduating high school class.

The physical requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be cleared medically as a part of their application process. Your physical will be reviewed by Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) and if necessary additional information will be requested to complete your medical package.
  • All applicants must conduct at Applicant Fitness Assessment consisting of crunches, push-ups, and a one mile run to include in their scholarship application.
  • Once a part of the unit you will be held to the Navy or Marine Corps’ fitness standards according to the 20-24 age group bracket. Midshipmen are required to achieve a “Good-Low” in order to remain in good standing for their scholarship. UNC requires midshipmen to achieve an “Excellent-Low”, if midshipmen do not meet this requirement, they will attend remedial training.


Will JROTC help me in NROTC?

JROTC may offer some familiarity with items such as military rank structure and drill, but there is no competitive edge to participating in JROTC over other high school extracurricular activities. Midshipmen who do not participate in JROTC and those who do will be treated the same upon entry to the program.


What happens if I do not receive the scholarship out of high school? What if I want to join after my first semester?

NROTC allows non-scholarship midshipmen to join as college programmers. At UNC you will participate alongside scholarship midshipmen in all battalion activities and compete for a 3-year, 2-year, 1-year, or advanced standing scholarship. The advanced standing scholarship is awarded for the midshipman’s junior and senior year. The Navy will not cover the cost of tuition but will provide a monthly stipend. The midshipman is guaranteed a commission following their graduation and successful completion of the NROTC program. These midshipmen will begin incurring post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility upon entering active duty service.

You must receive a scholarship by the beginning of your junior year in order to remain a part of the program.

If you are a junior or senior interested in joining the Navy you should look for information regarding Officer Candidate School.

Anyone interested in joining the unit should reach out to indicate their interest via the Contact Us page.


What happens if my scholarship is awarded to UNC but I did not get in to the university?

If you are deferred, waitlisted, or denied from UNC we are unable to help with University admission and you should speak with the appropriate Navy detailer to reassign your scholarship to a school you have been accepted to.


What does an NROTC scholarship cover?

  • The scholarship will cover all tuition and all university mandated fees.
  • You will receive a book stipend of $375 each semester.
  • A stipend of $250 (as a freshman, increasing $50 each following year) each month.
  • Your travel to and from summer training will be covered and you will be paid for the time spent on cruise each summer.
  • The scholarship does not cover room and board.


Do I need to bring uniforms or other gear with me when I arrive at UNC?

All necessary uniforms and training equipment will be issued to midshipmen at New Student Indoctrination (NSI) or when they arrive at their respective units. Midshipmen may choose to purchase items beyond the basic uniform components at their own expense. Items such as shoe polish, iron and ironing board, and hair styling products will need to be purchased by the individual.


What is summer training like? Do I get to choose what I do?


  • New Student Indoctrination – prior to arriving at your specific unit all midshipmen candidates will attend NSI in Great Lakes for three weeks of immersion into the naval service.
  • CORTRAMID – following freshmen year all NROTC midshipmen will attend a four-week training intended to familiarize them with the communities in the Navy and Marine Corps. Midshipmen will spend one week with surface warfare officers, one week with submarines, one week with pilots, and one week with Marines. Typically, MIDN also spend a day with members of SPECWARFARE to receive exposure to that community.
  • Sea Trials – following sophomore year midshipmen will attend a 10-day training intended to evaluate and provide further military instruction.
  • First Class Cruise – following your junior year midshipmen will attend a training targeted on their desired service-assignment. This cruise is mandatory for commissioning. The options for this cruise are:
    • Aviation
    • Surface Warfare
    • Submarine
    • Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) (application required)
    • Special Warfare (SEALs) (application required)


  • New Student Indoctrination – prior to arriving at your specific unit all midshipmen candidates will attend NSI in Great Lakes for three weeks of immersion into the naval service.
  • CORTRAMID – following freshmen year all NROTC midshipmen will attend a four-week training intended to familiarize them with the communities in the Navy and Marine Corps. Midshipmen will spend one week with surface warfare officers, one week with submarines, one week with pilots, and one week with Marines. Typically, MIDN also spend a day with members of SPECWARFARE to receive exposure to that community.
  • There is no required 2/C cruise for Marine options, they may spend the time preparing for OCS or with a Marine unit getting hands on training. (MAGTAF or MEU onboard a ship)
  • Officer Candidate School – prior to their senior year Marine-options will attend the six-week OCS course in Quantico Virginia. Midshipmen must pass this training to commission as Marine Corps officers.


What is my service obligation after I graduate?


  • Navy-options on two, three, and four-year scholarships incur an obligation of five-years active duty and three years of Inactive Ready Reserve obligation.
  • Navy-options who receive the advanced standing scholarship incur an obligation of three years active duty service and five years of Inactive Ready Reserve obligation
  • Pilots and Naval Flight Officers incur additional time in active duty service, eight and six years respectively after receiving one’s pilot qualification. It can take up to two years post-graduation to qualify as a Navy pilot.


  • All Marine-option midshipmen incur an obligation of four years active duty service


Can I pick what job I want to do when I graduate? Can I become a Navy doctor out of NROTC?

Navy-option midshipmen have the opportunity to rank their preference for warfare community assignment during the summer before their senior year. However, preference is second to needs of the Navy. Many of the warfare communities are competitive and midshipmen must work hard to achieve a high ranking to make themselves competitive for these communities. You may choose from the following jobs:

  • Surface Warfare Officer- this includes Surface Warfare specialties including: Nuclear, Intelligence, Oceanography, Engineering Duty Officer.
  • Submarine Officer
  • Naval Aviator
  • Naval Flight Officer
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer
  • SEAL Officer

Navy-options do not have the option to sign a flight contract before service assignment.

Navy-options will commission almost exclusively into the unrestricted-line communities. The Navy selects 1-2 midshipmen from the entire NROTC program each year to attend medical school. Accepting a NROTC scholarship commits you to service in the community you are assigned and there are no medical only scholarship options. If you wish to enter the Medical Officer Corps or another restricted or staff community you should talk to your local military officer recruiter.

Marine-option midshipmen do not select their community (MOS) until completing The Basic School following commissioning.

Marine-options do have the opportunity to sign a flight contract before commissioning.


I am an incoming first-year midshipman; what classes am I required to take over my four years?

All midshipmen will register for NAVS 500 Naval Science lab each semester. This time is used for all required training and professional development. NAVS 500 is 2-4:45 every Thursday.

All midshipmen are required to take a full course of Naval Science classes over their four years. These differ between Navy and Marine-option midshipmen.

  • Navy
    • 1st semester: NAVS 101 Introduction to Naval Science
    • 2nd semester: PWAD 212 History of Sea Power
    • 3rd semester: NAVS 301 Naval Ships Engineering Systems
    • 4th semester: NAVS 201 Naval Leadership and Management
    • 5th semester: NAVS 202+L Navigation
    • 6th semester: NAVS 302 Naval Weapons Systems
    • 7th semester: NAVS 402 Naval Leadership and Ethics
    • 8th semester: NAVS 401 Naval Operations
  • Marine
    • 1st semester: NAVS 101 Introduction to Naval Science
    • 2nd semester: PWAD 212 History of Sea Power
    • 3rd semester: no required class
    • 4th semester: NAVS 201 Naval Leadership and Management
    • 5th semester: NAVS 311 Evolution of Warfare
    • 6th semester: no required class
    • 7th semester: NAVS 402 Naval Leadership and Ethics
    • 8th semester: NAVS 411 Amphibious Warfare

In addition to Naval Science classes midshipmen are required to take a series of courses offered by the university that set the foundation for knowledge in areas such as regional/national security, calculus, and physics. These differ between Navy and Marine-option midshipmen as well as the type of scholarship awarded.


What is an average week like for a midshipman? Will I be able to participate in other activities besides NROTC? Does joining NROTC take away from my “college experience”?


  • For much of the week, midshipmen live life as “normal” students. They attend classes, workout, and live in dorms with non-midshipmen. NROTC at UNC does not require students to live with other midshipmen or in specific dorms.
  • Midshipmen will be required to wear uniforms once per week, usually typically on the day of Naval Science lab.
  • For those enrolled in the required Calculus and Physics courses there are mandatory tutoring hours. Tutoring is provided by the battalion in addition to the available university resources.
  • Battalion physical training occurs once per week for all midshipmen. Midshipmen who do not meet the physical fitness requirements and Marine option midshipmen are required to attend at least one additional PT session.
  • Incoming midshipmen will spend the first 10 weeks completing weekly Personal Qualification Standards (PQS) requirements. PQS provides a basic overview and understanding of the Navy and Marine Corps structure, customs, and communities. This knowledge is essential for a full understanding of the Navy and Marine Corps. It culminates in a PQS oral board in which midshipmen are tested on all their knowledge in a style that mimics PQS boards in the fleet.
  • During the Fall semester the NROTC battalion performs clean ups of Kenan Football Stadium on Sundays following home games. This provides funding for battalion activities throughout the entire year.
  • Midshipmen are encouraged to pursue other interests outside of NROTC. Midshipmen participate in Greek life, work for Campus Recreation and as research assistants, and many volunteer with other organizations on campus. However, the first semester adjusting to college life with the additional time demands of the unit can be hard to balance and incoming midshipmen are encouraged not to overwhelm themselves.


  • While academically challenging, life as a Marine while at the university is a far departure from life in the fleet.  While still expected to uphold all grooming standards, Marines will be wearing proper civilian attire most of the time while they are at the university.  The only occasion where a Marine will have to wear a uniform is Thursdays (the same day as the leadership lab).
  • As an active duty student, you are expected to fully participate and be integrated and participate within the midshipmen battalion.  Participation within the battalion includes events ranging from PT at least twice a week, weekly leadership labs, and holding midshipmen battalion billets. This allows further development as a Marine and to mentor and develop midshipmen into future Marine and Naval Officers.


Can I take Naval Science courses if I am not in the NROTC program?

All registered students at UNC are allowed to take Naval Science classes. The Naval Science Department offers courses in everything from naval history to leadership and ethics and the instructors actively encourages students who are not in NROTC to enroll in their classes. Check out the course descriptions online or better yet, call us and talk to us about what we have to offer.


Am I allowed to study abroad while in NROTC?

Yes, there are study abroad opportunities for midshipmen that can be taken during the normal fall and spring semesters and summer sessions.

Students wishing to study abroad should indicate interest early to their active duty advisor. It is important to identify this early to ensure proper completion of the program.


Why should I attend UNC? What makes the UNC NROTC program unique?

The UNC Battalion traces its history back to the pre-flight school established during WWII. Many buildings on campus still reflect the renovations that occurred at the school during this time, Kessing Pool, Woollen Gymnasium, and Navy Field are all still landmarks on UNC’s campus. More information on the history that entwines the Navy and UNC can be found here. During this time two future United States Presidents attended pre-flight training at UNC- Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.

The UNC Battalion is relatively small unit, with an average of 40-50 midshipmen, which allows for more time and personalized training for each midshipman.

The UNC Battalion also has a high scholarship achievement rate, with almost every single college programmer receiving a scholarship by their junior year.


Can I lose my scholarship once it has been activated?

Yes, a student may lose his or her scholarship if they fail to meet academic, mental, or physical requirements.


How should I prepare for NROTC once I am selected for a scholarship?

Incoming midshipmen should begin a physical training plan that prepares them for the Navy and Marine Corps fitness tests respectively. Incoming midshipmen should also speak with Academic Advisors at the University to register for an appropriate course load for their first semester. If you are unsure about information provided to you please reach out with questions.