Academic and Administrative Offices

Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

ROTC Programs

Military training has existed at MIT ever since the Institute opened its doors in 1865. More than 12,000 officers have been commissioned from MIT, of whom more than 150 have reached the rank of general or admiral. Students who are United States citizens or who have applied for citizenship, are of good moral character, and are medically qualified for military service, may enroll in the programs for leadership training. Non-citizens who fulfill naturalization requirements for citizenship prior to graduation may enroll and participate in the two -year nonscholarship programs. Any full-time MIT student may participate in the programs for leadership training.

All three programs have the following characteristics in common:

  • Application is voluntary.
  • Admission is selective.
  • All admit men and women.
  • Enrollment as a nonscholarship freshman or sophomore does not involve a military service obligation.
  • Most students enter the program at the beginning of their freshman year. However, entry up to the beginning of the junior year is available.
  • To be eligible for a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces, students must complete the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program, including summer training, and earn their bachelor's degree.
  • Upon request by the student, any required summer employment financial aid contribution can be waived if summer training makes such employment impossible.
  • Nonscholarship students may compete for ROTC scholarships, many of which cover full tuition and fees, and range from one to four years for the Army, Air Force, and Navy.
  • Enrollment as a scholarship recipient beyond the freshman year generally creates an obligation of four years of active duty in Navy, or Air Force, or four years of active duty or eight years of reserve duty in the National Guard or Reserve for the Army.

Aerospace Studies (AS), Military Science (MS), and Naval Science (NS) subjects are not included in a student's grade point average, and the credits do not count toward a degree. These subjects cannot be applied toward the Physical Education Requirement. In some cases, the ROTC programs may include departmentally approved subjects that provide academic credit.

Students who accept a contract to become an officer must maintain acceptable levels of academic performance and physical fitness. ROTC academic performance requirements may exceed Institute standards. Breach or willful evasion of the contract could lead to a period of enlisted service or to repayment of scholarship funds.

Specific information concerning benefits, ROTC training programs, career opportunities, and contractual obligations can be obtained from the program offices listed in this section.

Air Force ROTC

The Air Force ROTC program provides students the opportunity to become commissioned officers in the Air Force after completing their undergraduate or graduate degree. It is designed to develop the leadership and management skills essential for an Air Force officer while preparing the student for assignment in a career field related to his or her academic specialty.

Training Program

The program consists of classroom and leadership laboratory work during the four years of academic study and one summer training period of four weeks between the second and third years at an Air Force base. Students with three academic years remaining may enroll in the four-year program by combining the first two years.

The first two years of the four-year program are known as the General Military Course (GMC). Upon completion of the GMC and summer field training, students may compete for entry into the Professional Officer Course (POC). Selection into the POC is based on academic aptitude and performance, successful completion of the GMC and field training, and recommendation of the professor of Aerospace Studies.

Two-Year Program

The two-year program is for highly qualified students who do not complete the first two years of the four-year Air Force ROTC program. Such students may apply if they have two years remaining in their academic program at MIT. In order to complete the GMC requirement, these students will meet with the instructor to set up an academic plan to make up the GMC. They receive the same benefits and complete the same academic program required of POC members in the four-year program.


Air Force ROTC scholarships are available on a competitive basis to qualified applicants. Scholarships pay up to full tuition, include $900 per year for textbooks, and a $300–500 nontaxable allowance each month. Two- to three-and-a-half year scholarships are offered on a competitive basis in addition to the four-year scholarships offered to high school seniors. The detachment commander also has three-and-a-half year full-tuition scholarships to award to outstanding freshmen (technical majors) and $18,000 per year scholarships to award to non-technical students.

Classroom Instruction

The Aerospace Studies curriculum emphasizes the history, organization, and mission of the Air Force, including its role in national defense strategy and American society. Academic classes and leadership laboratory activities provide training and practical experience in developing leadership and managerial skills.

Students enrolled in the first two years of the program attend one hour of class and two hours of Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). In the final two years of the program, the class time is three hours per week with the same LLAB requirement. LLAB has always been a highlight of the program, introducing cadets to a variety of motivational and interactive activities. Aside from standard drill practice, students participate in guest-speaker events, athletic competitions, self-defense class, marksmanship training, rock climbing, career day, and much more. Cadets must also complete two hours of physical fitness training each week.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Air Force ROTC scholarship program and the POC, students must be citizens of the United States; physically qualified in accordance with existing Air Force regulations; and enrolled at MIT, Harvard University, Salem State University, Tufts University, or Wellesley College as full-time students.

Application Procedure

Interested students can sign up for the Air Force ROTC program by visiting the Aerospace Studies Department, Room W59-114, 617-253-4475,


The Army ROTC program at MIT is designed to enhance a student's college education by integrating into the curriculum leadership and management theory with leadership practicum modules. Through coursework and in-class practical experience, students will develop decision-making, team-building, and time-management skills—leadership qualities that are essential to success in any field, including corporate or research careers. Students completing the ROTC program earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard. Non-scholarship students may participate in the first two years of Army ROTC with no commitment to military service.

The Military Science and Leadership Program is a four-year program composed of the Basic Course (freshman and sophomore years) and the Advanced Course (junior and senior years).

Four-Year Program

The four-year curriculum combines classroom and leadership laboratory work. Any MIT student is eligible to participate in the leadership development courses regardless of academic grade.

During the summer between their junior and senior years, students participate in a four-week Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, WA (near Seattle). Upon graduation from college and successful completion of LDAC, students are commissioned as officers in the US Army, US Army Reserves, or Army National Guard.

Two-Year Program

The two-year program is designed for students who did not complete the first two years of the Army ROTC program. If students have at least four semesters remaining in their academic program at MIT or are interested in pursuing a graduate degree, they may be eligible to participate in the Advanced Course. Students must participate in a four-week training camp (Leader's Training Course) at Fort Knox, KY, in lieu of completing the Basic Course (freshman and sophomore years) or be prior service soldiers. Once students complete the Leader's Training Course, they are eligible to receive the same benefits as members in the four-year program.


Army ROTC scholarships are available on a competitive basis to qualified applicants. Two-, three-, and four-year scholarships are available each year, and are awarded on campus through the professor of military science or through a national selection board. High school seniors may apply for four-year scholarships in conjunction with their application to MIT. Scholarships pay full tuition and all mandatory fees, plus $1,200 for books and supplies each year, and a tax-free stipend ranging from $300 to $500 per month. The scholarship is flexible in that it can be used for either tuition and all mandatory fees or for room and board.

Program of Instruction

The Army ROTC curriculum is designed to enhance a student's college education by providing distinctive leadership and management training in conjunction with realistic experience. The program emphasizes leadership theory and practice, organizational management, public speaking, tactics, purpose and history of the military, and physical fitness.

Students enrolled in the first two years of the program attend one hour of class and three hours of physical fitness each week. Collegiate athletes who meet Army fitness standards are excused from physical fitness training while their sport is in season. In the final two years of the program, class and physical fitness total four to five hours per week. Students also participate in a biweekly Leadership Lab that highlights a particular military activity. Finally, students participate in a field training exercise each semester that includes small unit leadership training, military tactics, land navigation, rappelling, obstacle negotiation, and possibly a helicopter orientation ride.

Extracurricular Events

The ROTC program offers MIT students a wide spectrum of opportunities to participate in numerous challenging and rewarding extracurricular activities, such as high adventure training and field training exercises. Army Airborne, Air Assault, Mountain Warfare, and other military schooling and training programs are available on a voluntary basis to qualified cadets. Also, there are global summer internships available at national research laboratories, numerous Army bases, or the Pentagon. Finally, following graduation there are opportunities—primarily for students going on to law, medical, dental, or veterinary school—to defer the service obligation until completion of their graduate studies. Many graduate study opportunities are funded by the Army.

Opportunities in the US Army Reserve/Army National Guard

Army ROTC offers opportunities to seek a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve. This unique option provides the flexibility for newly commissioned officers to participate in the Army part time while pursuing an advanced degree or a full-time career.

Eligibility Criteria

Enrollment in the freshman and sophomore ROTC courses is open to all MIT students. To be eligible for Army ROTC scholarships and/or enrollment in the junior- and senior-year ROTC courses, students must be citizens of the United States; physically and medically qualified in accordance with existing Army regulations; and enrolled at MIT, Harvard University, Tufts University, Wellesley College, Lesley University, Endicott College, Gordon College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, or Salem State University as full-time students.

Application Procedure

Students normally apply for the four-year program during their freshman year, but students may enroll in the course or apply for a campus-based scholarship each semester. Interested students can inquire about the Army ROTC program by visiting the Army ROTC office in Room W59-192, 617-253-4471, or by visiting

Naval ROTC

The purpose of the Naval ROTC program is to provide instruction and training in naval science subjects which, when coupled with a bachelor's degree, qualify selected students for commissions in the US Navy and US Marine Corps. Upon graduation, commissionees serve in the unrestricted line of the Navy or Marine Corps. Unrestricted line officers will be expected to serve in the aviation, submarine, surface warfare communities, or the Marine Corps. Additionally, MIT commissionees are eligible to become Naval Reactors Engineers in Washington, DC.

The Naval ROTC unit at MIT offers two officer development programs: the Scholarship Program or the College Program. The Scholarship Program provides full tuition, all fees, uniforms, a semester book stipend, and a monthly stipend for two, three, or four years. Depending on which community is selected for service selection, the active duty obligation for the scholarship students is from four to eight years. Students in the College Program for two, three, or four years receive naval science books and all uniforms, in addition to a monthly stipend during the last two academic years if accepted for advanced standing by Naval Service Training Command. Students in this program must complete one summer cruise after their junior year and incur a three-year active duty obligation. Each year many of the top College Program students receive full-tuition scholarships for their remaining years in school. The monthly stipends are $250 for freshmen, $300 for sophomores, $350 for juniors, and $400 for seniors.

Harvard and Tufts students are eligible for both the Scholarship and College Programs.

Upon completion of the program and receipt of a baccalaureate degree, graduates are commissioned as Ensigns or Second Lieutenants in the Navy or Marine Corps. Newly commissioned officers report directly to active duty (or, in some cases, within one year of commissioning, generally within a few months). Upon completion of the active duty obligation, the officer may be released to inactive duty, but must serve in the individual ready reserve for a total of eight years from the date of original commissioning.

Program of Instruction

The Naval ROTC program of instruction encompasses the science of nautical matters and principles of leadership and management, all vital to being a naval officer. The program has three interacting and equally important aspects. The first aspect consists of the professional academic subjects taught by the Naval Science Department (one two-hour naval science subject is required each term), and the second aspect consists of the academic subjects taught by the Institute. In addition to recommended coursework, one year of calculus, physics, English, and one term of American military history or national security policy are required. The third aspect consists of the professional training gained from leadership laboratories (two hours a week throughout the school year), tours conducted to local naval facilities, cruises aboard active duty naval vessels, and practical navigation and piloting practice conducted aboard training craft.

Between academic years, midshipmen attend a month of summer training aboard active duty naval vessels and at shore bases throughout the world to become familiar with Navy and Marine Corps procedures.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the four-year Naval ROTC program, an entering student must be a United States citizen, at least 17 years of age, and physically qualified by the Department of Defense Medical Review Board.

Application Procedure

Further information can be obtained from the Commanding Officer, NROTC and Naval Administrative Unit, Room W59-110, at any US Navy Recruiting Station, or at