What is Army ROTC?

Army ROTC produces high quality officers to serve in the US Army. It is also a college elective you can try out for up to two years with no obligation. Unlike traditional college courses, Army ROTC gives you a wide range of experiences while you work toward a degree. You'll combine classroom instruction with practical experience, learning skills that are sure to give you an edge over your peers when it comes time to look for a job. Whether you're planning a career in the Army or the corporate world, Army ROTC is a smart elective course to take. Additionally, SU's ROTC Battalion has consistently been ranked in the top 10% of the 272 College ROTC programs across the nation.

How does ROTC work?

ROTC consists of the Basic Course (Freshman and Sophomore years), which is the primary basis for entry into the Advanced Course (Junior and Senior years), and the Advanced Course leads directly to service as an Army officer. At the end of the Sophomore year, students who wish to enter the advanced course, but did not complete the Basic Course may attend the Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) and receive Basic Course credit. Basic Course credit is also given to students with prior military service, either Active or National Guard or Reserve, who have completed Basic and Advanced Individual training.

What is the Basic Course?

The Basic Course is designed for beginning students who want to qualify for entry into the Advanced Course and for those who want to try Military Science without obligation. You will learn basic military skills, the fundamentals of leadership, organization, and management, which will lay the groundwork toward becoming an Army leader. In addition to the Military Science classes, we offer the opportunity to participate in organized physical training (PT), Leadership Excellence Orientation Labs at Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA, and other challenging extracurricular activities.

What is the Advanced Course?

The Advanced Course builds on what you learned in the Basic Course. Your junior year will focus on the direct application of leadership, problem-solving, decision-making, and team-building skills through the execution of varied training events. Experienced instructors and Senior Cadets will provide constant, performance-oriented feedback and mentoring to help you realize your potential. Your junior year will culminate with your attendance at the Cadet Leadership Course (CLC). CLC is where you will put all you have learned in the three prior years to the test. Entering the Advanced Course requires a commitment to serve as an Officer in the U.S. Army after you graduate.

Are scholarships available?

There is a wide variety of scholarships available. High school students may apply for 4-YR Active Duty or 3-YR scholarships. For current and transfer college students there are 3-YR and 2-YR scholarships and Guaranteed Reserve Forces Scholarships. We have 2-YR scholarships available for graduate students

Frequently Asked Questions

Is enrolling in Army ROTC the same as joining the Army? Once a student starts taking ROTC courses, is he/she obligated to join the Army?

Enrolling in the Army ROTC Basic Course (the first two years of college) is not the same as “joining the Army” and does NOT involve a commitment of service to the Army unless you have received an Army ROTC Scholarship. However, the primary purpose of Army ROTC is to produce quality Army Officers, so students must agree to serve as Army Officers (commissioned as Second Lieutenants) upon graduation in order to receive a scholarship, or to complete the ROTC Advanced Course (the last two years of college). 

What is the service commitment to the Army if a student accepts an ROTC scholarship, or wishes to complete the ROTC Advanced Course?

The service commitment upon completion of the ROTC Advanced Course and graduation from college is 8 years in total. Scholarship recipients, if selected for Active Duty, must spend at least 4 years in full-time Active Duty status, and may spend their remaining time in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). (Non-scholarship graduates may spend 3 years on Active Duty and 5 years in the IRR.)

Some cadets may choose to serve their 8 years working part-time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career.

How likely is it that a cadet will get their first choice of branch or duty location after graduation?

Duty station and branch are both determined based on what the Army calls the Order of Merit List (OML). All of the senior cadets in the nation are placed on a list ranking them in descending order based on GPA, Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) performance, and the cadet’s overall performance in the ROTC program. The better a cadet performs physically, academically, and in their leadership roles, the more likely they are to get their first choices in branch and first duty station.

What are Military Science courses like? How much time will I spend doing ROTC activities? Will ROTC interfere with my other studies?

Military Science classes at Seattle University involve an elective course taken each quarter which includes typical classroom work as well as hands-on field work. In addition, our ROTC cadets meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 0600-0700 in the Redhawk Center Astro-Gym to participate in a physical training regimen, and one weekend per academic quarter is spent doing hands-on field training at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington.

Academics are a priority for all ROTC cadets. We know that being a student comes first and our Cadre members work closely with Seattle University Faculty and Staff to ensure that our cadets succeed in all of their courses.

How much money does an Army ROTC Scholarship award and what does the money pay for?

Depending on how many courses you have left to complete in your degree, and what kind of scholarship you are awarded, you will either have your tuition paid in full for 2, 3, or the full 4 years it takes to finish your course of study. At some universities, cadets must decide whether to use their scholarship to cover tuition OR room and board - however, at Seattle University, the university off-sets the cost of room and board, so everything is covered. In addition, you will receive a $1200 book stipend for the year, and a monthly stipend of $350-$500 (the amount increases by $50 each year in ROTC), to pay for additional costs of living.