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The Naval ROTC program at UNC-Chapel Hill offers students the opportunity to experience life at a four-year university while working towards a commission in the US Navy or Marine Corps. NROTC offers midshipmen a blend of civilian and military life, it is not meant to mirror life at a service academy. Entering the UNC NROTC program means you will become a part of a motivated community of midshipmen and active-duty students – instructed by staff who will help develop you into an officer. This community will extend far beyond your time at Chapel Hill and the relationships you build will carry on into the fleet. 

UNC-NROTC is also a part of the Piedmont Consortium that includes North Carolina State University and Duke University. All three schools fall under a single Commanding Officer. There are a few times throughout the semester when the consortium will meet together to train, compete, and learn. The traditional rivalries between the schools often bring out the best in midshipmen during consortium events.

First, let’s cover the basic expectations of you as a midshipman:


The basic academic requirements of the NROTC program are to graduate in four years while maintaining a minimum 2.5 GPA and completion of the Naval Science Minor.

The Naval Science minor emphasizes the core principles of the Navy and Marine Corps and teaches you to apply nautical navigation, weapons, engineering, and leadership skills. A full explanation of the Naval Science minor course requirements can be found on the Registrar’s Naval Science Minor Page. Example course plans, core requirements, and scholarship requirements can be found on their page. 

In addition to a 1–4-hour Naval Science (NAVS) course most semesters, NROTC Scholarship students must take: 

  • Two English courses (ENGL 105 satisfies one of these courses)
  • One course in American history or national security policy
  • One course in world culture and regional studies
  • Navy option ONLY: Two courses in Calculus (MATH 231, 232, 233 is required if placed out of 232) completed before the end of one’s sophomore year.
  • Navy option ONLY: Two courses in Calculus-based Physics (PHYS 118 and 119) completed before the end of one’s junior year.

The registrar’s page provides a sample course plan for both Navy and Marine option midshipmen, factoring in the courses required for each type of scholarship. Your Lieutenant advisor will help you to create and review a four-year degree completion plan to ensure you meet all requirements on time.

Marine and Navy option midshipmen take different core courses specializing in their warfare communities. To satisfy the minor courses, a midshipman of either option must take 14 hours of course work from the core requirements.

Navy Option NAVS Core Courses Marine Option NAVS Core Courses
Fall Freshman Spring Freshman Fall Freshman Spring Freshman
NAVS 101 (1hr) HIST/PWAD 212 (3 hrs) NAVS 101 (1 hr) HIST/PWAD 212 (3 hrs)
Fall Sophomore Spring Sophomore Fall Sophomore Spring Sophomore
NAVS 301 (3 hrs) NAVS 201 (3 hrs) NAVS 201 (3 hrs)
Fall Junior Spring Junior Fall Junior Spring Junior
NAVS 202/L (4 hrs) or NAVS 402 (3 hrs) NAVS 302 (3 hrs) NAVS 311 (3 hrs)
Fall Senior Spring Senior Fall Senior Spring Senior
NAVS 202/L (4 hrs) or NAVS 402 (3 hrs) NAVS 401/L (4 hrs) NAVA 402 (3 hrs) NAVS 411 (3 hrs)
Total Credit Hours: 24 Total Credit Hours: 16


One of the academic opportunities offered through the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is the Russian Flagship Program; a National Security Education-sponsored program created to provide resources to undergraduates studying Russian language. The UNC Russian Flagship (UNCRFP) curriculum comprises three components: four years of US-based Russian language coursework, a summer of intensive Russian language study in a Russian-speaking country, and a Capstone academic year in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Midshipmen, MECEPs, and STA-21 may participate in both the NROTC program and Flagship program during their time at UNC.

More information on the Russian Flagship Program can be found on their website.


Excellent physical fitness is a requirement for every midshipman. Officers are expected to set the standard for their sailors and Marines and exceed minimums on physical fitness tests. Hour-long physical training sessions are held in the morning at 6 a.m. and are led by fellow midshipmen.

Midshipmen are tested three times a semester on physical fitness. The Navy physical fitness test consists of a timed plank, push-ups, and a 1.5-mile run. The Marine Corps physical fitness test consists of timed plank, max-effort pull-ups, and a 3-mile run. You will be required to workout with NROTC once a week. Remedial physical training sessions will be scheduled for those who do not meet NROTC physical standards. 


When a student becomes a midshipman, they swear into the U.S. Navy Reserve. While they are not considered to be on active duty, there are still several behavioral expectations of midshipmen. Professional greetings will be used to address fellow military personnel and military customs and courtesies will be given when appropriate.

All federal, and state statutes and local ordinances will be observed and followed by midshipmen. This includes laws governing underage drinking. Furthermore, the U.S. Navy has a zero-tolerance policy for the illegal use of controlled substances. UNC-CH NROTC conducts a program-wide urinalysis once a semester, as well as random urinalyses throughout the semester, and any midshipman found to be in violation of this policy will be promptly dis-enrolled from the program.


All midshipmen are required to wear a uniform once a week. You are not required to pay for any of your initial uniform items; the U.S. Navy will supply them all to you. You will wear it from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, which is the same day as the NROTC Lab. 

You will be taught how to properly iron and wear your uniform, shine your shoes, wear a cover, and about grooming standards. There are specific regulations that govern hairstyles and what you can and cannot wear in uniform. This will most likely require incoming freshmen males to get a haircut, but U.S. Navy regulations allow for a variety of different hair styles.