Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I apply for a NROTC Scholarship?

The scholarship application opens April 1st in one's junior year of high school and closes December 31st of senior year. 

What types of scholarships are there? Does Duke have all of them?

There are three types of scholarships awarded: Navy, Marine, and Nurse. Duke does not have a Nurse-option program and recipients of the Nurse scholarship are not eligible to attend Duke. You can only apply for one type of scholarship each cycle. There is the opportunity to apply for a service transfer once becoming part of the program.

How do I make myself competitive for a NROTC scholarship?

The Navy is looking for individuals who have a desire to serve and develop themselves mentally, morally, and physically while in a rigorous academic environment.

  • Academics:
    • Navy
      • SAT- 540 Math; 550 Verbal; combined 1150 Math and Verbal
      • ACT- 21 Math; 22 English; 47 combined Math and English
    • Marine
      • SAT- 1000 combined Math and Verbal
      • ACT- minimum composite score of 22
      • Armed Forces Qualification Test: 74
  • Navy Options have the choice to “super-score” their standardized tests. Marine Options do not. Please note these test scores are the minimum requirement and you should seek to surpass them in order to be competitive for the scholarship. Additionally, most scholarships are awarded to those within the top 20% of their graduating high school class.
  • Physical:
    • Once a part of the unit you will be held to the Navy or Marine Corps' fitness standards according to the 20-24 age group bracket. Midshipmen are required to achieve a “Good-Low” in order to remain in good standing for their scholarship. Duke requires midshipmen to maintain an “Excellent-Low." If midshipmen do not meet this requirement they will attend remedial training.
    • All applicants must conduct at Applicant Fitness Assessment consisting of crunches, push-ups, and a 1 mile run to include in their scholarship application.
    • Applicants must be cleared medically as a part of their application process. Your physical will be reviewed by Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB) and if necessary additional information will be requested to complete your medical package.
Will JROTC help me in NROTC?

JROTC may offer some familiarity with items like military rank structure and drill, but there is no benefit to participating in JROTC. Midshipmen who do not participate in JROTC and those who do will be treated the same upon entry to the program.

What happens if my scholarship is awarded to Duke, but I do not get into the university?

If you are deferred, waitlisted, or denied from Duke, you should reach out to the point of contact listed on your scholarship selection letter to discuss transferring your benefits to an alternate school.

Can I pick what job I want to do when I graduate? Can I become a Navy doctor or lawyer out of NROTC?
  • Navy-option midshipmen have the opportunity to rank their preference for warfare community assignment during the summer before their senior year. However, preference is second to needs of the Navy. Many of the warfare communities are competitive and midshipmen must work hard to achieve a high ranking to make themselves competitive for these communities.
  • Navy-options will commission almost exclusively into the unrestricted-line communities. The Navy selects 1-2 midshipmen from NROTC each year to attend medical school. Accepting a NROTC scholarship commits you to service in the community you are assigned and there are no medical only scholarship options. If you wish to enter the Medical Officer Corps or another restricted or staff community this may not be the program for you.
  • Marine-option midshipmen do not select their community (MOS) until completing The Basic School following commissioning. Marine-options do have the opportunity to sign a flight contract before commissioning, while Navy-options do not. 
Can I lose my scholarship once it has been activated?

Yes, a student may lose his or her scholarship based on poor performance in the classroom, as a result of no progress being made in their physical fitness level, or by displaying poor potential for leadership growth. Students receive many different chances to improve upon their deficiencies. Students are routinely counseled by upper class midshipmen and also their class advisors. Finally, a student who is in jeopardy of losing a scholarship stands before a Performance Review Board (the board is comprised of NROTC staff members) and this board forwards a recommendation to the Commanding Officer in the unit. The taking away of a scholarship (dismissing the student from the program) is a last result in many attempts to correct behavior that has not been improved.

Will I be able to participate in other activities besides NROTC? Does joining NROTC take away from my "college experience"?

For much of the week, midshipmen live life as “normal” students. They attend classes, workout, and live in dorms with non-midshipmen. NROTC does not require students to live with other midshipmen or in specific dorms. Midshipmen are encouraged to pursue other interests outside of NROTC. Midshipmen participate in Greek life, work for Campus Recreation and as research assistants, and many volunteer with other organizations on campus. However, the first semester adjusting to college life with the additional time demands of the unit can be hard to balance and incoming midshipmen are encouraged not to overwhelm themselves.

How much time does the Duke NROTC unit require outside of my university class work?

Generally, you can plan on taking at least one Naval Science course every semester you are here. Additionally, each 4/C NROTC student will be involved with Personnel Qualification Standards, which includes learning detailed knowledge regarding the US Navy’s various warfare areas, weapons systems, training pipeline, and other pertinent information. Finally, NROTC students work all home football games at Wallace Wade Stadium assisting with guest services. This generates the revenue that allows our midshipmen to enjoy Battalion-sponsored events throughout the year.

Am I allowed to study abroad while in the NROTC program?

Yes, there are study abroad opportunities for midshipmen that can be taken during the normal fall and spring semesters and summer sessions. Students wishing to study abroad should indicate interest early to their midshipmen advisor.

Can I take Naval Science courses if I am not in the Duke NROTC program? 

All registered students at Duke are allowed to take Naval Science classes. The Naval Science Department offers courses in everything from naval history to leadership and ethics and the instructors actively encourage students who are not in NROTC to enroll in their classes. Check out the course descriptions online or better yet, call us and talk to us about what we have to offer.