Frequently Asked Questions

What is NROTC?
Answer: The purpose of the NROTC Program is to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the Navy’s unrestricted line community, the Navy Nurse Corps and the Marine Corps. More information.

For further information concerning other colleges with ROTC units, please refer to this link:

What is expected of me in NROTC?
Answer: NROTC midshipmen are required to complete the course of study prescribed by the college or university that they attend. Midshipmen are also required to take several Naval Science courses in addition to their college’s prescribes course load. Due to the increasing complexity of today’s Navy, Navy option midshipmen are required to complete the equivalent of two semesters of calculus before the end of their sophomore year and two semesters of calculus based physics before the end of their junior year

How do I apply for a national NROTC scholarship?
Answer: Log on here.

How do I join the NROTC Unit without a scholarship?
Answer: The College Program is available for students that do not apply or are not selected for a national NROTC scholarship. Our website provides more information about the College Program and how to apply for consideration.

What is the age limit to apply for a national NROTC scholarship?
Answer: Applicants must not have reached their 27th birthday by December 31st of the year in which graduation and commissioning are anticipated. Additional entrance requirements.

What do I owe the Navy or Marine Corps after graduation?
Answer: For those midshipmen attending college and NROTC on an NROTC scholarship, the following military obligations apply.
Navy Option: Minimum of five years of active military service. Additional minimum service obligation (years) may be required for specific job assignments.
Marine Option: Minimum of at least four years on active duty.
Additional information.

Is NROTC the only way I can commission as an officer into the Navy or Marine Corps?
Answer: No, there are multiple avenues to earn a commission as an officer into the Navy or Marine corps. Other possibilities include the U.S. Naval Academy or Officer Candidate School.

Who do I talk to at the Iowa State NROTC Unit to find more information about serving in the Navy?
Answer: Our Freshman Class Advisor is LT Dustin Fuller. He can be reached at 515-294-0328 or by e-mail,

Who do I talk to at the Iowa State NROTC Unit to find more information about serving in the Marine Corps?
Answer: Our Marine Officer Instructor is Capt Alexander Macki. He can be reached at 515-294-0331 or by e-mail,

If I do not get a scholarship, and I choose to apply for the College Program, can my DODMERB physical that I submitted with the scholarship package, count as my physical requirement for the College Program application process?
Answer: Yes.

What requirements outside of my major do I need to complete for the NRTOC Program?
Answer: Navy Option MIDN will need to complete 1 Naval Science Class/semester, a National Security/American Military History Course, a Regional Studies course, 2 semesters of both Calculus and Calculus-Based Physics.

Am I locked into the tier or major that I annotate on the scholarship package?
Answer: No, you are allowed to request to change tiers or majors. The major tiers are established to prepare the Navy Officer Corps for the future to meet the dynamic challenges in the next generation of technology. Academic Majors for the NROTC Navy Option Midshipmen are divided into three categories or tiers: Tier 1 – engineering programs of Navy Interest, Tier 2 – other engineering, math and science programs, Tier 3 – Foreign language and remaining academic programs. Major Tiers do not apply to Marine options. More information.

Can I become a Doctor or Lawyer for the Navy or Marine Corps from the ROTC program?
Answer: While it is possible, that is NOT the intent of the NROTC program. If you desire to become a doctor or lawyer in the Navy, please contact your local recruiting office and ask to speak to an Officer Recruiter.

What are the physical requirements to join the unit?
Answer: For Navy Option MIDN, you will need to complete a 1.5 mile run, as many push-ups and sit-ups that you can do in a 2 minute span. For Marine Corps Options, you will need to complete a 3 mile run, as many pull-ups and curl-ups that you can do in 2 minutes. Exact times and the amount of push-ups, sit-ups, curl-ups or pull-ups are based on your gender and age at the time of the test. A chart is available for navy and marines.

When am I obligated to pay back money for my scholarship?
Day 1 of Sophomore year. If you withdraw prior to then, you are not obligated to pay the Navy anything. After that, you will be required to pay back the Navy in full.

How much of my time will be dedicated to NROTC verses other campus activities?
Answer: It would be impossible to predict what your time apart of the NROTC would be like or the time commitment for you personally. However, if you show up to the bare minimum activities that the NROTC requires you to attend, you are looking at a commitment of approximately ten hours a week. For more information, contact the NROTC main office at 515-294-6050 or e-mail at

Can I play sports, be in the band, join a fraternity or campus clubs and still participate in NROTC?
Answer: Yes. Your main commitment is to the NORTC however, we encourage you to participate in other clubs or activities during your tenure at ISU. If a conflict arises between an NROTC commitment and another activity, we are very flexible and will do our best to get you to where you need to be.

What does an NROTC scholarship pay for, and is room and board included at Iowa State?
Answer: The NROTC 4 year scholarship pays for full tuition at one of the listed colleges or universities, a stipend of $750 per academic year for text books ($375 per semester or $250 per quarter), provide all uniforms, three summer cruises, and subsistence allowance each academic month. Room and board is NOT covered by the NROTC 4 year scholarship

How does the Navy or Marine Corps determine what warfare community I will be a part of after graduation?
Navy Option Midshipmen: The warfare community that you are chosen for depends on your performance as a midshipman during your four years at Iowa State. You are more likely to get the community you want if you have higher grades and aptitude scores than other midshipmen.
Marine Option Midshipmen: Your primary focus is commissioning as a “Marine Corps Officer.” This is accomplished by succeeding as a Midshipmen in the NROTC unit, graduating Officer Candidate School (OCS), and obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Once commissioned the newly appointed 2ndLt’s next step in his/her career will be attending The Basic School (TBS), where their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) will be designated.

What is the minimum ACT or SAT scores needed for the NROTC program?
Answer: Minimum scores for the ACT, 21 Math; 22 English; and for the SAT, 520 Math; 530 Verbal/Critical Reading. However, to be competitive with other applicants it is recommend to have a minimum composite score for ACT of 25 or greater and minimum composite for SAT of 1150 or greater. Not meeting the recommended ACT or SAT composite does not mean you will not be accepted if you meet the minimum requirements, it will just be more difficult to be selected.

See the ISU Naval Science Governance document to learn more about the organization structure, operations, evaluation policy, and curriculum policies of the Naval Science Department.