Program Overview

Duke University NROTC is part of the North Carolina Piedmont Region Consortium (NCPR), one of the premier NROTC units in the nation. The NCPR consists of Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and NC State University. Each university maintains their own program while collectively benefiting from the NCPR through consortium wide events, competitions, and rotating Navy and Marine Corps personnel and civilian staff. 

Being a member of the Duke NROTC Battalion is a challenging and rewarding commitment that trains you to become a leader of Sailors and Marines, a duty and responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. Upon graduation from Duke University, Midshipmen commission as Ensigns in the United States Navy or Second Lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps.

The primary goals of the NROTC Program are to provide students with:

  • An understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of Naval Science
  • A basic understanding of associated professional knowledge
  • An appreciation of the requirements for national security
  • A strong sense of personal integrity, honor, and individual responsibility
  • High state of physical fitness for health and military performance
  • An educational background which will allow the students to undertake successfully, in later periods of their careers, advanced/continuing education in fields of application and interest to the naval service

Here is what you can expect as a Duke Midshipman: 


This is the number one priority of all Midshipmen as the completion of your degree earns you the privilege of commissioning. In addition to balancing a normal rigorous academic course load at one of the top universities in the country, Duke Midshipmen are expected to enroll in a naval science course each semester. There are other course requirements, which depend on the contract the midshipman is under. For example, Navy option Midshipmen can expect to take the following:

  • Calculus: One year by end of sophomore year 
  • Physics: One year of calculus-based physics by end of junior year
  • English grammar and composition: One year 
  • National Security Policy/American Military Affairs: One semester
  • Regional Studies: One semester 

All degree programs at Duke are rigorous and a midshipmen must select a major within the NROTC 3-tier system. Information on which majors qualify as Tier 1, 2, or 3 can be found here.

Midshipmen must maintain a 2.5 minimum GPA each semester and cumulatively in the program. While a weekly tutoring session is mandatory for all Midshipmen taking calculus and/or physics, it is the Midshipmen’s responsibility to take advantage of the plethora of academic resources Duke has to offer. 

Physical Training

While Navy and Marine Corps physical fitness standards are different, all midshipmen are held to a high standard of physical excellence and participate in Physical Training (PT) once or twice a week. PT sessions are held at 6 in the morning and run by Midshipmen. Duke Midshipmen can also expect to complete 3 PRTs each semester (Physical Readiness Test) which consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run. 

Military Professional Training

On Tuesday afternoons, the Battalion engages in activities to either help develop leadership skills or gain insight into paths they may follow in their future service. Whether it occurs inside or outside, or includes physical aspects or learning about and discussing important topics, Midshipmen always leave one step closer to being ready to enter the fleet. When the time for service selection rolls around for seniors, one can be certain that after several years of preparation by the active duty and the words of wisdom from the guest speakers in Tuesday labs, the decision will be an educated and confident one.

All Duke Midshipmen are required to wear uniforms on Tuesdays from 8 am to 5 pm. You will learn how to properly iron and wear your uniform, shine your shoes, wear a cover and groom yourself during Naval Student Orientation. 

As Midshipmen rise from class to class, they take on more responsibilities within the battalion. All day-to-day functions are planned out and executed by Midshipmen, under the oversight of the Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Midshipmen are presented with copious opportunity to gain invaluable leadership experience as they rise from Midshipman in Ranks to Leading Chief Petty Officer to Department Head and possibly even to Battalion Commander, the highest billet attainable by any Midshipman.

Campus Life

Duke Midshipmen are a diverse group of individuals who engage in a wide variety of campus clubs and activities. Many Midshipmen are active in the Greek system, sports on the varsity and club levels, various academic groups, and community service organizations. Tenting in Krzyzewskiville (more commonly known as K-ville) for men's basketball games before heading inside to march in as part of the Color Guard is just one example of how Midshipmen fully participate in both military culture and Duke culture. Duke Midshipmen also take advantage of the academic opportunities available through the University. Many Midshipmen have studied abroad and traveled as far as Spain, Australia, and China.

While the U.S. Navy does not regulate what organizations a midshipman can join, projection of a professional image is always expected of Midshipmen.