Navy ROTC Marine Corps Option

Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship recipient
Ei Ei Naing poses for a photo at Recruiting Sub-Station West Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 6, 2021. Naing is the recipient of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarship for Recruiting Station Des Moines Iowa/Nebraska. (Sgt. Timothy R. Smithers/U.S. Marine Corps)

The purpose of the Marine Option NROTC program is to educate and train highly qualified young men and women for careers as commissioned officers in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Marine option NROTC units are located at selected colleges and universities throughout the country. Upon graduation and successful completion of required courses and training, a midshipman is appointed a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. While attending a university as a scholarship student, active-duty Marines who are selected as Marine option NROTC scholarship recipients are released to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and do not receive pay and allowances.

Each Marine Corps Recruiting District screens and selects applicants for the Marine option NROTC four-year Scholarship Program. Contact your local recruiting district for selection board dates and submission deadlines. Selected applicants are awarded the scholarships through a highly competitive selection process and receive full tuition, books, fees and other financial benefits at many of the country's leading colleges and universities.

Marine Option NROTC Eligibility

General eligibility requirements for the program are as follows:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be 17 years of age by Sept. 1 of the year starting college and less than 23 years of age 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 an equivalency certificate (GED) by Aug. 1 of the same year of anticipated entrance into the four-year NROTC Scholarship Program.
  • Be physically qualified by 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.
  • Have no criminal record of military or civilian offenses.
  • Apply for and gain admission to an approved NROTC college or university. Admission to an NROTC institution is not required during the selection process; however, notification of admission must be received before the scholarship can be activated.
  • Achieve qualifying scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) of 1000 minimum composite, or the American College Test (ACT) of 45 minimum composite. Both the SAT/ACT math and English scores must be from the same test. Applicants cannot combine their best math score and their best English score to achieve the qualifying score for application.
  • Students with more than 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of college credit upon application or students already enrolled in the NROTC College Program are not eligible for four-year NROTC scholarships. These students should see professors of naval science at the host university's NROTC unit to discuss other scholarship opportunities.


Marine option NROTC applications are available online. Once submitted, the application will be forwarded to a local recruiter for processing. You should receive a call within two weeks to set up an appointment to gather any additional information required for completion of your package.

Full information concerning the Marine option NROTC Scholarship Program is available from any of the colleges and universities with NROTC units or from Navy and Marine Corps recruiters. A list of colleges and universities is available on this website at the Colleges and Universities page.

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ROTC Related Topics

  • Applying for the NROTC
  • NROTC eligibility
  • Academic requirements
  • Military service obligations
  • NROTC scholarships
  • NROTC Nurse Program
  • NROTC summer training
  • Navy officer career paths
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