There are a number of four-year colleges in Virginia that offer students the opportunity to enroll in Army Reserve Officers' Training Corp (ROTC) programs alongside traditional programs of study in a field of their choice. ROTC at these schools emphasizes leadership skills and physical fitness to prepare students for a military career, although some schools offer the option to participate in ROTC with no military obligation.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Tuition (in-state)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|Liberty University||4-year, Private||Lynchburg, VA||$21,292||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|Virginia Military Institute||4-year, Public||Lexington, VA||$17,492||Need- and merit-based scholarships|
|Virginia Tech||4-year, Public||Blacksburg, VA||$12,852||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|Virginia State University||4-year, Public||Petersburg, VA||$8,472||Monthly stipend for advanced course students|
|Radford University||4-year, Public||Radford, VA||$10,081||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|James Madison University||4-year, Public||Harrisonburg, VA||$10,390||Scholarships for military science students|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Overview of Army ROTC Schools in Virginia
Each of these schools offers an Army ROTC program for students wishing to study at a 4-year college in Virginia. Some are primarily civilian universities that allow students to participate in ROTC with or without the intention of committing to a military career, and others have a military focus that provide military science education for students who are sure they want to enlist as an Army officer. Below are more in-depth descriptions of each school.
Liberty University lets you experience ROTC training for your freshman and sophomore years before deciding if you would like to pursue a career as an Army officer. You can sign up for the basic training program with no military obligation to get a taste of active duty life while majoring in any of the school's many areas of Christian-focused, liberal arts study. If you already know you want to become an Army officer, Liberty University offers a stipend-supported Cadet Summer Training program and allows some students to directly enroll in the ROTC Advanced Course. Liberty University also has several special programs like the Simultaneous Membership Program, where cadets can take ROTC classes and work part time in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve at the same time.
Virginia Military Institute
This senior military college, one of six in the country, has the U.S.'s largest ROTC program. Approximately 900 cadets are enrolled in the program each year, and the Virginia Military Institute also commissions the largest number of second lieutenants each year. Because this is a military institution, all students are required to complete four years of ROTC training in either the Army, Navy or Air Force program. The first two years comprise the Basic Course, which teaches fundamental military skills, and the second two years are for the Advanced Course, which focuses on leadership development. These courses are taken alongside your choice of 14 majors, and are designed to not take up more time than any other college course. There is also the option to complete the program in two years, by first attending an intensive 28-day training experience in lieu of the Basic Course.
Virginia Tech is another senior military college, and one of only two in the country at a predominately civilian university. As such it offers the best of all worlds in terms of resources and opportunities for cadets, paired with flexible and diverse degree program options. In fact, there are more than 70 undergraduate degree programs to choose from. The Army ROTC program at Virginia tech is an elective that requires participating students to join the university's Corp of Cadets. This leadership organization is all about comradery, integrity and self-discipline, and acts as a support network for those preparing for an active-duty commission. Students can begin the ROTC program during any year of college, through one of several routes of entry.
Virginia State University
Virginia State University's ROTC program is called the Trojan Warrior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and it aims to develop the mental and moral standards necessary for success as an Army second lieutenant. The curriculum offers the standard Basic and Advanced Courses during the first two and second two years of study, respectively. Students enrolled in the Advanced Course will receive a monthly stipend to support themselves while they study, and upon completion they are eligible for commission in the Army Reserve, Army National Guard or Regular Army. These students will also be required to complete a summer training camp between their junior and senior years.
As with the previous universities' ROTC programs, Radford University offers Basic and Advanced Courses. The Basic Course is typically taken in the first two years of study, and carries no military obligation, unless the student is on an ROTC scholarship. The Advanced Course carries a commitment to serve in the Army. As part of every year of ROTC training, Radford University requires students to do classroom-based instruction in military science, covering topics such as leadership, military history and national defense. Radford also boasts one of the best nursing programs in the country, and links nursing education with ROTC in a special program to train Army Nurse Cadets. Radford University ROTC is a partner of the Army Partnership for Youth Success program that guarantees a job interview with participating industries and institutions for students after graduation.
James Madison University
At James Madison University, students participate in ROTC alongside any academic program of their choice, most of which provide elective credit for taking the military science courses. Cadets who are interested in pursuing the Advanced Course after completing the Basic Course will be contracted into it. Enrolling in the Advanced Course means they are eligible for commission, and allows them to take advantage of scholarships and other resources. James Madison students have the opportunity to join any of the clubs and organizations around campus, including the few ROTC-specific organizations. These include the Ranger Group, Cannon Crew and Cyber Club, among others.