Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions


Army ROTC is a program available to all undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of their college or major. The Army Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) program qualifies students for appointment as officers of the United States Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard. Students (other than those with ROTC scholarships) attend the first two years of study without incurring any obligation to serve in the military. The regular course of study includes military science classes, which develop leadership, confidence, maturity, responsibility and dependability. Those who complete the program earn a commission as an Army Second Lieutenant.

Academic Credit

Students in the ROTC program are granted credit for their military science courses, which can be used to fulfill general education degree requirements.


Military Science is a course of study that is independent of an undergraduate's major or the school the student attends. The program teaches cadets the leadership skills and knowledge they will need to be commissioned as officers in the Active Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. There are two types of cadets: contracted and non-contracted. With respect to time, contracted cadets often treat ROTC participation like a part-time job. Contracted cadets receive a monthly stipend between $300 and $500, and a book stipend of $600 each semester. Non-contracted cadets are typically freshmen and sophomores who are enrolled in the program to see if they like it and compete for scholarship and contracts, but have no obligation. The four components of the ROTC Program are: classroom instruction, leadership labs, field training exercises, and physical fitness training.

Classroom Instruction

Classes introduce cadets to military customs, courtesies, and traditions plus military history and Army organization. Classes are held one, two or three times a week based on academic class.

Leadership Labs

Leadership labs provide a performance oriented learning environment in which cadets receive practical hands on training opportunities to apply subjects from the classroom to the field. Labs are designed and supervised by ROTC instructors and administered by senior Army ROTC cadets. Leadership labs are held once a week for a duration of 2 hours.

Field Training Exercises

Field Training Exercises build on classroom and lab experience by offering cadets the opportunity to refine their leadership skills while leading small groups in a variety of situations and exercises. Cadets participate in one weekend field training exercise each semester. The activities vary each semester and are held at several locations throughout PA.. Field Training Exercises provide cadets with opportunities to train in teams, build their confidence, and test their skills in activities such as rappelling, land navigation, Situational Training Exercises, and on the Field Leadership Reaction Course. Contracted cadets are required to attend field-training exercises and non-contracted cadets are encouraged to attend. Most cadets look forward to participating in these events.

Physical Fitness Training

Physical training and health is an integral component of cadet development. It provides juniors and seniors with an opportunity to further develop their leadership and organizational skills by planning and administering a cadet fitness program that contributes to the overall wellbeing of each cadet. Physical conditioning is assessed with a diagnostic physical fitness test. As an individual responsibility, cadets are expected to exercise at times convenient to their individual schedules.

Basic Enrollment Criteria

To enroll in the program you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Full-time student with at least two years until graduation
  • Cumulative GPA above 2.0
  • Good physical health
  • Demonstrate leadership potential
  • Be a US Citizen before contracting

Cadets must be commissioned before their 31st birthday. This may be extended one month for each month of prior active military service up to the age of 34. In exceptional cases, age may be waived up to age of 35. Some special situation waivers are possible.

Basic Course

Open to all freshmen and sophomore students without obligation. Scholarships for Full Tuition or up to $20,000 per year for Room & Board become available each year to qualified Basic Course students, and are awarded based on merit. Those who complete the program and commission as Second Lieutenants incur a mandatory service obligation. All Classroom instruction is supplemented with practical exercises, which place cadets in positions of progressively increasing responsibility.