Naval Science

The Navy ROTC program encompasses the science of nautical matters and principles of leadership—both vital to the art of being a naval officer. The program has three interacting and equally important aspects. The first consists of the academic major with subjects taught by the University. For Navy Option students, these subjects must include one semester of regional studies with emphasis on developing countries; (for Scholarship Program and non-Scholarship Program) two semesters of calculus and two semesters of calculus-based physics; two semesters of English composition; and one semester of American military history/national security policy. The second aspect consists of the professional academic subjects taught by the Department of Naval Science. The third aspect consists of naval professional training gained from leadership laboratories (two hours a week throughout the year), indoctrination tours conducted at Navy/Marine Corps facilities, and summer cruises aboard Navy ships.

Freshman naval science academic classes focus on the functions, organizations, and hardware of the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense, providing a primer for military etiquette, customs, and the operational structure of the Department of Defense. Additionally, students will take Naval History and Maritime Affairs. This introductory course is a study in the progression of modern sea power and the evolution of our rich naval traditions. Sophomore classes concentrate on leadership and basic engineering and weaponry. Students will participate in advanced tactics and navigation and ship handling in their junior and senior years, with a capstone Leadership and Ethics course prior to graduation and Commencement.

All Navy and Marine Corps classes meet one-and-a-half hours, twice a week. Complementing the academic classes, a weekly leadership laboratory, typically held on Wednesday morning, will feature leadership lectures, general military training, drill, current affairs, and other relevant topics.

Completion of the Navy ROTC program obligates the service member to a multi-year contractual obligation. The active duty component is five years for surface and sub-surface warfare, six years post-training for NFO, and eight years post-training for pilots. Scholarship midshipmen enjoy a full tuition scholarship, a book and living stipend, and a paid, active-duty summer cruise every summer.

Naval Science Courses

Students in the NROTC program must take the following naval science courses prior to graduation:

  • Introduction to Naval Science
  • Sea Power and Maritime Affairs
  • Naval Ships Systems I and II (Navy Option only)
  • History of War
  • Navigation I and II (Navy Option only)
  • Evolution of Warfare (Marine Option only)
  • Leadership and Management
  • Leadership and Ethics
  • Amphibious Warfare (Marine Option only)

Certain other courses may be substituted for naval science courses.

Career Opportunities

All Navy midshipmen will be designated as Line Officers, with some commissioning as nurses (not available to Boston University students). Our communities include:

  • Surface Warfare
  • Aviation
  • Submarine Warfare
  • Marine Officer

Cyber-Option Scholarship Reservation (COSR)

The new cyber-option NROTC scholarships are a key part of a comprehensive Navy strategy to attract, recruit, and develop elite cyber professionals needed to operate securely and effectively in cyberspace.

This includes providing intense professional and career development programs for officers as well as enlisted and civilian cyber security experts. The new cyber-option NROTC scholarship program will allow the Navy to identify the best and the brightest young minds to support the Navy’s cyber force.

The Navy will award five cyber-option NROTC scholarships annually to high school seniors or first-year college students who individually place in the top 20 percent at the U.S. Cyber Challenge competition or similar cyber competitions. The U.S. Cyber Challenge competition is a national talent search and skills development program that identifies young Americans with the interests and technical skills required to fill the ranks of cyber security practitioners, researchers, and professionals who become innovative leaders in cyber security.

Applicants must have been nominated by a Navy representative from Fleet Cyber Command and meet the requirements for entering the NROTC program, such as maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale or ranking in the top 40 percent of their class and scoring competitively in the ACT and/or SAT, and passing a physical exam, along with other selection criteria.

Upon commissioning from the NROTC program, the cyber-option scholarship winners will use their skills in cyber warfare leadership positions as restricted line cyber warfare engineers or information warfare officers.


The nurse option is not currently available through Boston University. Please contact the Boston University Recruiting Officer for more information.

United States Marine Corps

The Marine Corps officer is a leader, a warrior, and an upstanding citizen instilled with the special trust and confidence of our nation to lead its expeditionary force.

Distinguished by a Commission

Officers are college graduates who have earned and accepted an appointment by the President of the United States. Their commission gives them the responsibility of leading Marines as they defend the Constitution of the United States.

Trained by Leaders to Be Leaders

During initial training, Marine officers learn from experienced senior officers. Specialized training instructors then help them refine skills in their specific field. This process ensures that new officers can lead from the front.