As part of the NROTC program, midshipmen are required to take naval science courses taught by Cornell NROTC staff. Navy options take one course per semester for a total of eight. Marine options take six naval science courses, but supplement their classes with training specifically pertaining to the Marine Corps.


Every semester, the Cornell NROTC battalion meets on Wednesday afternoons for two hours. This time is used in a variety of ways, including hearing lectures from guest speakers from various military service communities, volunteering at community service projects, and preparing to become a junior officer in the fleet.

Naval Science Course Requirements

Year Semester Class
All Freshmen Fall Introduction to Naval Science
All Freshmen Spring Sea Power and Maritime Affairs
All Sophomores Fall Leadership and Management
Navy Option Sophomores Spring Navigation
Navy Option Juniors Fall Naval Ship Systems I (engineering)
Navy Option Juniors Spring Naval Ship Systems II (weapons)
Navy Option Seniors Fall Naval Operations and Seamanship
All Seniors Spring Leadership and Ethics
Marine Options Fall Evolution of Warfare
Marine Options Spring Fundamentals of Maneuver Warfare

*All Midshipman must enroll in a Drill Lab course each Fall and Spring semester: NAVS Naval Professional Laboratory 


Non-Naval Science course requirements: Navy options

 In addition to Naval Science courses, midshipmen have other course requirements. Navy options must complete:

  • 6 credits of calculus-based physics
  • 6 credits of calculus
  • 3 credits of American Military History or National Security Policy
  • 6 credits of English (fulfilled by Cornell’s Freshman Writing Seminars)
  • 3 credits of world religion or other cultural course

Non-Naval Science course requirements: Marine options

  • 3 credits of American Military History or National Security Policy


Choosing Your Major


The NROTC program admits students of any major. However, majoring in a technical field is encouraged for Navy options and increases the chances of being awarded a scholarship. The most desired technical fields are listed as Tier 1 or 2 majors (see attached list)



Study Abroad


The NROTC program allows students to study abroad as long as students can maintain a course plan to graduate within four years. Recently, Cornell midshipmen have studied abroad in Denmark, France, Jordan, Spain, Scotland, and Australia.