Naval ROTC

Incoming NROTC Scholarship Students: Review schedules, expectations, and required documents for all Incoming Midshipmen.

The mission of the Naval ROTC Unit is to develop midshipmen mentally, morally, and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor, and loyalty in order to commission them as naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character and are prepared to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.

The Naval ROTC Unit provides two programs in which Cadets may enroll, US Navy or US Marine Corps. Successful completion of the Naval ROTC curriculum will satisfy VMI's military requirements for graduation and will lead to a wide variety of career and reserve opportunities in the Navy and Marine Corps. 

The NROTC Unit at VMI is one of four NROTC units in Virginia and 77 nationwide, merging the finest traditions of VMI and the Naval Service.


Honor – I am accountable for my professional and personal behavior. I will be mindful of the privilege I have to serve my fellow Americans
Courage - The value that gives me the moral and mental strength to do what is right, with confidence and resolution, even in the face of temptation or adversity
Commitment - The day-to-day duty of every man and woman in the Department of the Navy is to join together as a team to improve the quality of our work, our people and ourselves.


The primary goals of the NROTC program are to provide students with: 

  • an understanding of the fundamental concepts of naval science;
  • a basic understanding of associated professional knowledge;
  • an appreciation of the requirements for national security;
  • a strong sense of personal integrity, honor, and individual responsibility;
  • an educational background which will allow them to successfully undertake, in later periods of their careers, advanced/continuing education in fields of application and interest to the naval service; and 
  • a high state of physical fitness for the purpose of health and performance



Naval ROTC midshipman uses simulator equipment.
Navy ROTC cadets at VMI visit US Navy ship during spring training.
NROTC cadets training to commission as US Marines
Marine-option cadets with Navy ROTC train in the field and carry a US Marine Corps flag.
NROTC cadets at VMI train with pipes to simulate possible tasks in the US Navy.
Navy ROTC cadets at VMI learn naval rope skills during FTX
Marine Corps option ROTC cadet with NROTC unit trains with weapons.
Female leader speaks during Marine Corps training with the Navy ROTC battalion at VMI.
Navy ROTC graduates smile following their commissioning ceremony.
Female cadet at VMI receives US Marine Corps insignia pins from family during Commissioning


Naval ROTC Programs

There are three programs available to qualified Virginia Military Institute cadets.

National ROTC Scholarship Program: 

Selected applicants for the Navy ROTC Scholarship Program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, and receive full tuition, books stipend, educational fees and other financial benefits at many of the country's leading colleges and universities. Upon graduation, Midshipmen are commissioned as officers in the unrestricted line Naval Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve.

Cadets train for tasks they may face once commissioning into the US Navy or US Marine Corps after completion of Naval ROTCNROTC Scholarship Information and Application

  • USN: Offers a 4-year and 3-year Scholarship (Can apply as a HS Junior or HS Senior until 31 January of senior year) 
  • USMC: Offers a 4-year Scholarship (Can only apply as a HS Junior or HS Senior)

NROTC Sideload Scholarship: 

This program offers the same benefits as the National Scholarship, and is offered directly from the NROTC at VMI. Candidates must attain a 2.5 CUM GPA and a “good low” (USN) or 235 (USMC) fitness test score in order to be eligible.

  • USN/USMC: Offers a 3-Year and 2-Year Scholarship

College Program (Advanced Standing), USN/USMC: 

This program has the same application process as the NROTC Sideload Scholarship. Students are eligible to graduate and commission in the USN or USMC with the following stipulations:

  1. The student will receive a monthly stipend ($250/$300/$350/$400)
  2. The student DOES NOT receive tuition and books
  3. The student is guaranteed to commission alongside their Scholarship peers


In accordance with governing directives outlined on, the requirements for membership in NROTC are:

  • U.S. Citizenship, a Naturalized U.S. Citizen or in process of becoming a Naturalized U.S. Citizen (See Note 1)
  • Not less than 17 years old and not yet 23 by September 1 of the year starting college.
  • Must not have reached 27th birthday upon graduation and commissioning.
  • Applicants with prior military service may be eligible for age adjustments for amount of time equal to their prior service, on month-by-month basis, for maximum of 36 months, if they will not reach their 29th birthday upon commissioning.
  • Applicants must have no criminal record of military or civilian offenses pending or federal convictions.
  • High school graduation or equivalency certificate by August 1 of year of entrance into four-year Navy ROTC Scholarship program.
  • No moral obligations or personal convictions that prevent conscientious bearing of arms and supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic or to taking an oath to perform such acts.
  • Medically qualified by Navy or Marine Corps standards.
  • You must not have any body piercing or tattoos that violate Navy or Marine Corps policy.
  • Navy and Nurse Option Only
    • Students with 30 or more semester hours or students with 45 or more quarter hours of college credit upon submission of the online application are not eligible for the NROTC National Scholarship. It is recommended that these students contact the Professors of Naval Science at the Host University's NROTC Unit to discuss other scholarship opportunities.
      • College credits do not count until an applicant has graduated high school and completed a term of college; then all college credits earned (prior to and after high school graduation) count towards the eligibility requirements.
      • If you are a high school graduate and complete a term of college prior to submitting your application, all college credits earned (in high school and in college) are counted towards the credit limit.
      • If you are a high school graduate and are currently attending/enrolled in college, all college credits anticipated to be earned during the application year (defined as April to December) will count towards the credit limit


Scholarship selectees must be a U.S Citizen in order to activate the scholarship. Scholarship selectees must obtain their U.S. citizenship and activate their scholarship within the first academic year after the stated scholarship offer begin date listed in their scholarship notification letter or their scholarship offer will be rescinded. retroactive benefits will not be approved for those selectees who delayed activating their scholarship due to not obtaining their U.S. citizenship. Applicants with dual citizenship may apply and, if selected, activate their scholarship but must renounce their citizenship to the other country and surrender the passport for that country in order to continue in the Navy ROTC Program.

NOTE 2: 

The academic requirements for initial enrollment and subsequent maintenance of good standing in NROTC are a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and academic credit hours satisfactory to VMI. Programs of "probation" and "leave of absence" are used to assist a midshipman who may have academic problems. However, if a midshipman cannot overcome his/her academic difficulties within a reasonable number of semesters, he/she will no longer be enrolled.

The Commanding Officer of the NROTC Unit, VMI, who is also the Professor of Naval Science (PNS), determines who will be enrolled, placed on probation, leave of absence, or no longer enrolled.

More Information:


At VMI, the NROTC program provides enrolled midshipmen different financial assistance and monetary allowances dependent on whether they are in the scholarship or college program. The following assistance is provided for the:

Scholarship Program: 

  • Tuition: Type I Scholarship (100%) both resident and nonresident.
  • Comprehensive Fees: (yearly) 100%
  • Diploma: 100%
  • Textbooks: $375 per semester book stipend
  • Subsistence: A subsistence allowance of $250 per month for 10 months a year (maximum of 40 months). This amount increases by $50 each academic year.
  • Uniforms: An annual uniform commutation allowance of $815 is provided to help defray the cost of naval uniforms. Naval uniforms required for summer training are provided by the NROTC Unit.
  • Summer Training: During summer training midshipmen are paid approximately $500 per month.
  • Travel: Travel expenses for Midshipmen are paid in conjunction with NROTC training.

College Program:

  • Subsistence: A subsistence allowance of $5000 for the junior year and $4000 for the senior year (advanced standing only).
  • Uniforms: An annual uniform commutation allowance of $815 is provided to help defray the cost of naval uniforms. Naval uniforms required for summer training are provided by the NROTC Unit.
  • Summer Training: During summer training midshipmen are paid approximately $500 per month.
  • Travel: Travel expenses for Midshipmen are paid in conjunction with NROTC training.


The NROTC academic program consists of three parts. Both Scholarship and College Program Midshipmen are required to complete the entire program as a prerequisite for commissioning.

Two female NROTC cadets working on a project1. VMI academic fields of study:

Midshipmen in the Navy Scholarship program are strongly encouraged to pursue majors in engineering and hard science curricula in order to meet the technical demands of today's Navy. The process of selecting potential Navy scholarship winners is oriented towards the selection of cadets pursuing technical degrees.

There is no requirement that Marine Option Midshipmen either on scholarship or seeking a scholarship pursue a technical major.

2. Required Courses:

All NROTC Midshipmen must take the courses listed in the VMI Academic Catalogue according to their option.

3. Other courses taught by VMI professors:

The Navy specifies the following courses, taught by VMI faculty, as a part of the Naval Science academic curriculum:

Course Title 

Year Taken 

Who Must Take 

Semester Hours 





College Mathematics 




Physics (Calc. Based) 




Physical Science 




Foreign Cultures 








American Military History or National Security Policy 




NROTC Courses 





SCN:  Navy Scholarship; CPN:  Navy College Program SCM:  Marine Scholarship; CPM:  Marine College Program


Scholarship program midshipmen are trained for approximately four to six weeks during each summer between academic years. During the first summer, midshipmen are briefly exposed to the varying career options in Naval Aviation, Surface, Subsurface, and the Marine Corps at various bases in the United States. The second summer's training is a cruise aboard an operational ship in the fleet, located anywhere in the world. During the third summer, candidates for Navy commissions cruise aboard fleet operational ships, at home and abroad, serving in the capacity of junior officers. Marine Corps candidates are evaluated and screened for commissioning at Quantico, Virginia. Summer training is a critical facet of the four year NROTC curriculum, continuing at sea the lessons introduced in the classroom. This opportunity to participate in current operations around the world is unparalleled. Few midshipmen return from cruise without having had several eye-opening experiences.

VMI has two professional organizations in which all midshipmen are encouraged to become involved, the Trident Society and Semper Fi Society. These organizations have been developed around a three pronged agenda:

  • Professional: Functions such as guest lecturers and base visits designed to enhance the midshipmen's professional development.
  • Service: Active community service programs that include projects such as "Adopt a Highway" and "Toys for Tots."
  • Social: Provide intermittent functions that allow midshipmen to socialize and to get away from the daily rigors of VMI. Such events include field meets and picnics.

Introduction trips are offered at various times throughout the year for NROTC Midshipmen interested in submarine warfare, aviation, surface warfare, and Marine Corps specialties. These trips are to such places as Charleston, SC, Pensacola, FL, Norfolk, VA, Washington, D.C., and Camp Lejeune, NC.

The Navy and Marine Corps Birthdays are celebrated each year in accordance with the tradition of the Naval service. The Midshipmen Battalion holds this events annually.


Midshipmen who successfully complete the NROTC program and earn the recommendation of the Professor of Naval Science are commissioned during graduation ceremonies at VMI. They are entitled immediately to the pay and allowances of their status as Navy Ensigns or Marine Corps Second Lieutenants. For Navy Ensigns, the initial active duty assignment is determined by their service selection during senior year and will include professional schooling such as flight or nuclear power training, or service aboard ships, posts or stations throughout the world. All Marine Second Lieutenants will be assigned to The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia for their initial training. Within each branch of service, there are a variety of career opportunities.

Cadets commission into the US Navy and US Marine Corps following Naval ROTC at VMI


NROTC Staff 2023Currently, a complement of two Marine Officers, one Marine Gunnery Sergeant, six Navy Officers are assigned to the Naval ROTC staff at VMI.

If you want to know more about the NROTC Unit, Scholarships, or how Midshipmen fit into the VMI Corps of Cadets, read our Fact Book. If you cannot find the information you are seeking within the fact book, then please contact us by email, at the links on the left of this page.

The Naval ROTC Unit was established at VMI on 1 July 1974. NROTC classes commenced with the beginning of the school term in August 1974.

The establishment of the VMI NROTC Unit is a continuation of the long-standing tradition of mutual respect and service between VMI and the Naval service, especially the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Alumni Medal of Honor Recipients


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