NROTC Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find out everything I possibly ever wanted to know about NROTC UC Berkeley?

This website will be your best source of knowledge about NROTC at UC Berkeley and is especially useful for incoming and current midshipmen. You can also find information about the NROTC program in general, especially how to apply for the program, at https://www.nrotc.navy.mil (note the “s” in the web address).

What does the NROTC program pay for?

Scholarship midshipmen receive full tuition, educational fees (such as lab fees), and $375 for books each semester (note that Stanford and Davis midshipmen are paid book stipends by semester, although the schools are on the quarter system). The NROTC scholarship does not pay for room and board. Scholarship midshipmen also receive a tax-free stipend each month that classes are in session, depending on class standing (freshmen: $250, sophomores: $300, juniors: $350, and seniors: $400).

How much military service will I owe after graduating college?

Scholarship midshipmen owe eight years of service, four of which must be active duty. The remaining four will be inactive reserve where, in time of war and extreme personnel crisis, you could be called to serve. Thus, for all intents and purposes, you are required to serve five years. Those who go into training-intensive fields, such as Nuclear Power, Aviation, or Medical, incur longer service commitments.

Will I have to go to boot camp?

No. Boot camp trains enlisted personnel, not officers. NROTC midshipmen are given an optional (but strongly recommended) “freshmen orientation,” but it is not designed as a boot camp. NROTC midshipmen do not go to Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) either, with the exception of Marine Option midshipmen, who attend “Bulldog” during the summer between their junior and senior years.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

Applications for the four-year scholarship are available online at https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/application/default.cfm. In general, the earlier you apply, the better. You can start the application process as early as the second semester of your junior year in high school. Note that to finalize your application, you will need a full transcript including your complete junior year. Scholarship applications for the school year for which you are applying are due no later than January of that year. For example, if you are applying for the 2015-16 school year, your application is due by January 2015. If you are in Northern California, you can call the San Francisco Naval Recruiting District main number for officer programs at (650) 603-9633. If you are out of the area, go to http://www.navy.com/findarecruiter/ and type your zip code into the “Recruiter Locator.” This will provide you with a number for “officer positions.”

If I receive the NROTC scholarship does that mean I receive acceptance into the university itself?

No. The NROTC and the university admissions processes are separate and not related. Acceptance into the NROTC program does not constitute acceptance into the university itself. It is your responsibility to gain admission to the university. Contact university admissions for information on acceptance.

Who may apply for a scholarship?

To be eligible for a four-year scholarship, you must

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be 17 years of age by September 1 of the year starting college and no more than 23 on June 30 of that year. Applicants must not have reached their 27th birthday by June 30 of the year in which college graduation and commissioning are anticipated. (Applicants who have prior active duty military service may be eligible for age adjustments for the amount of time equal to their prior service, on a month-for-month basis, for a maximum of 36 months, provided they do not reach their 30th birthday by June 30 of the year in which graduation and commissioning are anticipated.)
  • Be a high school graduate or possess equivalency certificates by August 1 of the year of entrance into the four-year NROTC Scholarship Program.
  • Be physically qualified by Navy or Marine Corps standards.
  • Have no moral obligations or personal convictions that will prevent conscientious bearing of arms, and supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic.
  • Apply for and gain admission to NROTC colleges. (This is not required during the selection process, but notification of admission must be received before the scholarship can be activated.)
  • Achieve qualifying scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). (Note:SAT/ACT math and English scores must be from the same test; applicants cannot combine best math with best English scores to achieve a qualifying score.)
    Navy Option: SAT: 530 verbal; 520 math or ACT: 22 verbal; 21 math
    Marine Corps Option: SAT: 1000 composite combined or ACT: 22 composite
What can I do if I’m found “not physically qualified” for the NROTC Program?

You can request a waiver through the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) and the Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET). Details are online at https://dodmerb.tricare.osd.mil/MiscMenuItems/faqs.asp#num4q. Requests can be mailed to DoDMERB at: DoDMERB, 8034 Edgerton Drive, Suite 132, United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840-2200. We have had midshipmen who requested and were granted waivers for “disqualifiers” such as asthma and allergies; start early and be persistent to maximize your chances.

I didn’t get accepted/didn’t apply for a four-year scholarship. Can I still join the NROTC program?

Yes. The NROTC College Program allows non-scholarship midshipmen who attend UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Cal Maritime, and Stanford to participate in NROTC and provides an opportunity to earn scholarship benefits for your last two, and occasionally three, years of college. The service obligation for college program midshipmen is three years of active duty after graduation (or three and a half years for Marine Option college programmers). If you are interested in participating in the College Program, contact our office at (510) 643-6345. There are also a limited number of four-year scholarship opportunities. If you are majoring in a technical major, you have an advantage to one of these scholarships; contact us for more details. You may also want to investigate non-NROTC officer programs such as the Navy Baccalaureate Completion Program and the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program. For more information on these programs, contact a Navy recruiter; their contact information is listed above under the question “How do I apply for a scholarship?”

What kind of career options will I have?

The NROTC program is designed to commission unrestricted line officers for the Surface Warfare, Marine Corps, Submarine, Aviation, Special Warfare (SEAL), and Special Operations (Explosive Ordnance Disposal, etc.) communities. Limited openings are available for specialized, restricted line fields, such as being a doctor in the Navy Medical Corps or an Engineer for Naval Reactors. See the document “Career Opportunities in the Navy” on the NROTC UC Berkeley website under “Fo’c’sle” for more information.

What limitations are there for women?

Woman can serve in every Naval career field that men can, with a few exceptions: Special Warfare and certain positions in Marine combat arms units. Special Operations, such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and nearly every other Marine Occupational Specialty are available to women. In addition, the submarine community is now accepting female officers to serve aboard nuclear submarines. At our unit, women are fully integrated into the company, having served in every position of responsibility. Female graduates from our unit have gone on to serve on surface ships (both conventional and nuclear), naval aviation, the medical corps, and the Marine Corps.

As a NROTC midshipman, what majors can I choose?

You are free to pursue any major you please. Midshipmen at our unit have majored in a wide range of subjects, from Music to Political Science to Nuclear Engineering. However, during the application process, certain engineering majors are considered more preferable to others and will gain advanced consideration. To find out more information visit the main NROTC site for academic requirements located at https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/academicreq.cfm.

What are the academic requirements of the NROTC program?

The NROTC program requires all Navy option midshipmen to take two semesters/quarters of Calculus, two semesters/quarters of Calculus-based Physics, two semesters/quarters of English, one semester/quarter of Military History or National Security Policy/ American Military Affairs, and one semester/quarter of World Culture/ Regional Studies. AP and transfer credits generally can count towards these requirements provided that they are accepted by your college for the equivalent classes and units. In addition, midshipmen take a Naval Science class every semester. Marine Option midshipmen are exempted all non-Naval Science academic requirements except for one course in Military History or National Security Policy; Marine option midshipmen also participate in Marine Seminar every semester. In order to remain in good academic standing, all midshipmen must maintain a GPA of at least 2.5.

What are the physical requirements of the NROTC program?

As future military leaders, midshipmen are expected to keep themselves in good physical shape and maintain their weight/body fat percentage within acceptable standards. Navy option midshipmen are required to take a Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) every semester. The PFA consists of a weigh-in, push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run. Marine Option midshipmen take a Physical Fitness Test (PFT) on a similar schedule, where pull-ups are required rather than push-ups and the run is lengthened to 3 miles. Failure to pass the PFA/PFT for two consecutive semesters can lead to disenrollment. Midshipmen are also required to demonstrate basic swimming proficiency by their sophomore year. Specific physical standards can be found on our website on the “Midshipman Resources” page.

How much of my time in college will NROTC consume? Can I do other extracurricular activities and NROTC?

At UC Berkeley, NROTC midshipmen meet every Thursday for a three hour period of Leader Development Training (LDT) followed by Naval Science classes. In addition, there are generally a few mandatory all-hands events scheduled on weekends throughout the course of a semester. Those midshipmen who hold positions of responsibility within the company and/or participate in NROTC extracurricular activities such as Armed Drill Platoon or Color Guard devote additional time to their NROTC obligations. Although NROTC can be a lot of work, midshipmen’s primary mission is to maintain satisfactory progress toward a college degree. Thus, the NROTC program tries to provide as much academic support as possible, even hiring private tutors if necessary. Midshipmen who are required to take a class that meets Thursday afternoons may apply to go on Leader Development Training Absence (LDTA), which temporarily exempts them from attending LDT. Most midshipmen are able to balance their commitments with NROTC with other activities. In addition to NROTC extracurricular activities, midshipmen have participated in Greek organizations (fraternities and sororities), both the Berkeley and Stanford bands, other music groups, dramatic productions, social dance, dorm staff, and athletics at all levels (intramural, club, and varsity). Midshipmen have also conducted academic research (including writing honors theses) and studied abroad.

If I’m at Stanford, Davis, or Cal Maritime, how do I get to Leader Development Training?

Midshipmen who attend Stanford, Davis, and Cal Maritime carpool on Thursdays to attend the weekly LDT and Naval Science classes.  Note that while Stanford freshmen are generally prohibited from having a car on campus, one can get a waiver for participating in NROTC; see Parking and Transportation Services’ website at http://transportation.stanford.edu/parking_info/ResidentStudent.shtml#froshwaiver for more information. Because of the one-hour drive for many cross-town midshipmen, mandatory activities at the Berkeley campus are kept to a minimum and are typically scheduled on Thursdays.

What kind of summer training does NROTC involve?

Each summer, midshipmen are assigned to a summer training “cruise” designed to expose them to life on real Navy ships and flight squadrons, and Marine Corps platoons:

  • Between freshmen and sophomore year, all midshipmen participate in Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) in either San Diego, CA or Norfolk, VA, which exposes them to each of the major career opportunities (Marine Corps, surface warfare, submarine warfare, and naval aviation).
  • Between sophomore and junior year, Navy option midshipmen participate in a “second class” cruise, in which they shadow one or more mid-level petty officers and learn about enlisted life aboard ships. Cruises typically range from two to four weeks; in past years, midshipmen have been aboard cruisers, destroyers, aircraft carriers, supply ships, submarines, and command ships, and have had port visits in Mexico, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Australia, Spain, France, Italy, and Bahrain. Marine option midshipmen participate in Mountain Warfare School.
  • Between junior and senior year, Navy option midshipmen conduct their “first class” cruise, in which they learns what it is like to be a junior officer on a ship, submarine, or in an aircraft squadron (either “ashore,” on a Naval Aviation base, or “afloat” on an aircraft carrier). Navy option midshipmen also have the opportunity to participate in Foreign Exchange (FOREX) programs with a number of foreign navies; in recent years midshipmen from our program have gone on cruises with the Belgian Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Marine option midshipmen participate in “Bulldog,” an intensive six-week training program at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA.

One can receive a waiver to miss any of these cruises except the last (“first class”) cruise; however, it is strongly encouraged that midshipmen complete all summer training, as it is some of the most useful and fun preparation for life as an officer in the Navy or Marine Corps.

I’ve been accepted to UC Berkeley as a “spring admit.” Can I still do NROTC?

Yes. In most cases, your NROTC scholarship covers your tuition for Extension courses in the fall. You need to file a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) by the university deadline, and enroll in extension course at http://www.unex.berkeley.edu. Note that enrollment is done on a first-come, first-served basis, so the earlier you enroll, the better. Your courses must be approved for transfer credit to UC Berkeley in order for the Navy to pay your Extension tuition. Also note that incoming freshmen will take Naval Science 1 in the fall, which is a 2-unit course. For housing information, see http://www.housing.berkeley.edu/livingatcal.

I’ve been accepted as a midshipman in the unit, and I am preparing to attend school in the fall. What next?

1. If you haven’t received an information packet from NROTC UC Berkeley already, contact the unit at (510) 643-6345 and make sure we have your summer contact info, including phone number, mailing address, and email.
2. Prepare to attend Freshmen Orientation before school starts. This is an optional, but strongly recommended step to your success in the NROTC program. It is not hazing or “boot camp,” but rather an intense but fun familiarization program to introduce you to the military.
3. Register for classes. UC Berkeley students, remember to sign up for Naval Science 1 and Naval Science Lab through Telebears.
4. Get ready for school and to embark on a unique and wonderful experience unparalleled in the civilian sector.

What military benefits am I entitled to as a NROTC midshipman?

Midshipmen are members of the Navy Reserve, and as such are entitled to a full range of military benefits. Midshipmen have full access to military bases and their amenities (commissaries, exchanges, recreational facilities, etc.) The military bases located closest to NROTC UC Berkeley and its cross-town affiliates are listed below.

  • Travis AFB - http://www.travis.af.mil – Located in Fairfield, CA near UC Davis. Large base with excellent commissary and exchange, medical facilities, Space-A travel terminal.
  • Coast Guard Island - http://www.uscg.mil/mlcpac/iscalameda/default.htm - Located in Alameda, CA near UC Berkeley. Small base with limited exchange, few facilities.
  • Camp Parks – Located in Dublin, CA has a small exchange.
  • Midshipmen can also utilize Space-A flights and temporary military lodging (TML) facilities. Information regarding Space-A travel and TML can be found at http://www.militaryliving.com.
  • As future officers, midshipmen have access to civilian programs designed for military service members, such as USAA and Naval Federal Credit Union financial services.
I have some other questions or would like to talk to some current midshipmen to ask them about the program. How do I do this?

Contact our recruiting officer via email: nrotc@military.berkeley.edu or call: (510) 643-6345