Currently the United States Marine Corps does not have a separate Reserve Officer Training Corps or Marine ROTC program of its own. Students interested in attending college on a Marine ROTC Scholarship can choose the Marine option from the Naval ROTC program. Since 2012, this option has been available at more than 150 colleges and universities in the United States.
The Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps or ROTC program’s Marine Option provides financial assistance with college tuition, fees, books, and miscellaneous expenses related to Officer training costs. Potential Marine officers study naval science, history of the U.S. naval academy, as well as Marine Corps. There is a summer training cruise conducted by the Navy after freshman year that must completed as well as additional Marine training programs. Following junior year, recruits must complete a six-week Marine Officer Candidates School at Quantico. Upon graduation with a BA degree and completion of the ROTC program, recruits are commissioned as Marine Corps Second Lieutenants.
Qualifying for the ROTC Marine Option scholarship requires that applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 23 and must plan to graduate before age 27, unless their entry into college has been delayed by military service. In those cases, applicants can have up to 36 months of their time in the active-duty military counted against these requirements, as long as they still expect to graduate by age 30. Applicants must be Unite States citizens and have either a high school diploma or GED certification.
ROTC Marine Option applicants cannot have any criminal convictions either in the military or civilian life. Applicants cannot carry any personal philosophical or religious beliefs that would contradict the Marine Corps oath to defend the United States Constitution or government. Potential applicants can apply to the ROTC program without a college acceptance letter; however they must show proof of college acceptance to collect on a scholarship.
A minimum score must be achieved on one of the three approved tests before an applicant is eligible. This can be either a combined math or critical reading score of 1,000 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, a 22 on the American College Test or 74 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test. Students who are already in the ROTC or have complete 45 quarter hours or 30 semester credits are not eligible for a ROTC Marine Option scholarship.
Benefits of the Marine-option ROTC program:
- Learn the skills required to successfully manage the college course workload the college or university of your choice.
- Learn about the history, capabilities, and missions statements of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps.
- Experience the different aspects of Marine Corps life and training. This takes place during the summer after sophomore year.
- Attend Marine Officer Candidates School. The ultimate test of everything the ROTC program has prepared you for. The MOC School is the measuring stick where candidates will find out whether they are cut out to be Marines.
- Upon completion of the ROTC program and Officer Candidates School, you will earn the commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.