Naval Science

Program adviser: Sean Cooper, 55 Whitney Ave., 432-8223; 

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program educates young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the United States Navy (USN) or Marine Corps (USMC). NROTC develops future officers mentally, morally, and physically, and instills in them the highest ideals of duty and loyalty and the core values of honor, courage, and commitment. The Naval Science program prepares students to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.

Academic Requirements

The Naval Science curriculum includes courses on topics such as Navy and Marine Corps organization, at-sea navigation, leadership, naval history, amphibious warfare, engineering, and weapons systems. Courses emphasize development of professional knowledge and leadership skills, which are placed in the context of military service immediately following graduation from Yale College.

Students in the NROTC program enroll in one Naval Science course per term. Most Naval Science courses count for enrollment credit only; they do not count toward the thirty-six course credits required for the Yale bachelor's degree. NAVY 212 and NAVY 414 do count toward graduation credit. Some courses are required for both Navy and Marine option students, while others are specific to the branch of service. All NROTC students must also enroll in the Naval Science Laboratory each term.

Navy students must complete eight core curriculum courses offered by Yale College: two term courses in calculus to be completed by the sophomore year, two term courses in calculus-based physics (with laboratory) to be completed by the junior year, two term courses in English or equivalent writing courses, one term course in history or national security policy, and one term course in world culture or regional studies.

For Navy students, the usual sequence of Naval Science courses is:

First-Year Sophomore Junior Senior
Introduction to Naval Science Seapower & Maritime Affairs Naval Engineering Naval Operations
Navigation Leadership & Management Naval Systems Leadership & Ethics

Marine students must complete three core curriculum courses offered by Yale College, including two term courses in English or equivalent writing courses, and one term course in history or national security policy.

For Marine Corps students, the usual sequence of Naval Science courses is:

First-Year Sophomore Junior Senior
Introduction to Naval Science Seapower & Maritime Affairs Elective Evolution of Warfare
Elective Leadership & Management Fundamentals of Maneuver Warfare Leadership & Ethics

Advising and Application to the Program

Application to the National Scholarship Program Eligible applicants must use the online application to complete and submit all the required information to apply for the NROTC scholarship. Applicants select either the Navy or Marine Corps option and scholarship recipients are appointed midshipmen in either the United States Naval Reserve (USNR) or United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR), as appropriate. Scholarship recipients are granted the compensation and benefits authorized by law and current policy for a total period not to exceed four years (forty months or fifty months with approved fifth year benefits). During this period, the United States government pays for college tuition, authorized academic fees, a textbook stipend, and a subsistence allowance, and provides uniforms or compensation in lieu. Upon conferral of a degree, graduates are commissioned into the Navy or Marine Corps for a minimum of five years of active duty service. Yale students who matriculate without a scholarship may apply for the National Scholarship program during the fall term of their first year.

Application to the College Program Students without a scholarship who are in their first or second year may apply for enrollment in the College Program and compete for two- or three-year scholarships. If selected for the two- or three-year Scholarship Program, students receive the same benefits as students in the National Scholarship Program for their remaining undergraduate studies. Upon conferral of a degree, graduates of the College Program are commissioned into the Navy or Marine Corps for a minimum of three years of active duty service. Yale students interested in the College Program may apply directly to the Yale University NROTC Unit.

Yale NROTC midshipmen are required to complete the course of study prescribed by their Yale degree program and enroll in one Naval Science course each term in addition to other NROTC-specific academic requirements. Midshipmen must enroll in Naval Science Laboratory (NAVY 100), where they are exposed to formal drill, military science presentations, guest lecturers, and practical sessions in Naval Science coursework. They are also required to wear their uniforms to their weekly Naval Science Lab and other battalion activities.

Participating in the NROTC program does not preclude involvement in other campus or community organizations, sports, or activities. On average, we expect midshipmen to devote approximately six to eight hours a week to the NROTC program. Each term, this includes:

  • One Naval Science course
  • One Naval Science laboratory
  • Physical training once per week
  • Optional extracurricular activities such as Drill Team/Color Guard

During the summer, midshipmen take part in summer training cruises aboard ships or submarines, with aircraft squadrons, or in the field with Marine Corps units. Midshipmen have found their summer cruise experiences very rewarding. In addition to the hands-on training opportunities alongside sailors and marines, midshipmen gain valuable insight regarding future service assignments.

Naval ROTC New Student Indoctrination (NSI) This program is an introduction to the military for all incoming first-year Naval ROTC students from across the country, and takes place at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. There are three scheduled NSI sessions during the summer; sessions are two-and-a-half weeks long. Students will be contacted in advance and assigned to one of the sessions; Naval ROTC funds student travel to and from the Great Lakes. NSI focuses on military training and topics such as marching drill, uniform wear, core values, customs and courtesies, chain of command, and inspections. Education on Naval operations, service selection, drug and alcohol policies, and equal opportunity/sexual harassment policies begins to create the foundation upon which four more years of professional training is built. Attendance at NSI is mandatory for all first-year Naval ROTC scholarship recipients.

Students are also highly encouraged to participate in Yale's First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips (FOOT). There will most likely be a Naval ROTC-specific FOOT trip in August, to enable the incoming class to get to know one another during an outdoor backpacking trip. 

For additional information about the NROTC program at Yale, visit the Yale University NROTC website, or send questions to Information about the NROTC program in general is available on the National NROTC website.


Professor Captain William Johnson, USN (Adjunct)

Lecturers Commander Scott Ryan, USN; Captain Ratsamy May, USMC; LT Ryan Buck, USN; LT Dale Pettenski, USN