ROTC Programs in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey provides multiple opportunities to get involved with an Army or Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program while completing your college degree. Many schools allow students to choose any major and participate for two years or a full four years. Even schools that lack stand-alone ROTC facilities may provide the opportunity to complete training at a different university through New Jersey's extensive school partnership networks.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location Tuition (in-state)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
Seton Hall University 4-year, Private South Orange, NJ $39,258 Full scholarships and/or monthly stipend
Rutgers University 4-year, Public New Brunswick, NJ $14,372 2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships
Union County College 2-year, Public Cranford, NJ $9,240 Full scholarships and/or monthly stipend
New Jersey Institute of Technology 4-year, Public Newark, NJ $16,430 4-year and partial-tuition scholarships
Princeton University 4-year, Private Princeton, NJ $45,320 2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend
Drew University 4-year, Private Madison, NJ $48,052 2, 3 and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Overview of ROTC schools in New Jersey

New Jersey is home to both 2-year and 4-year schools offering ROTC programs. Most are Army ROTC programs, but there are also several schools with cross-town partnerships that offer Air Force ROTC. The purpose of the cross-town agreements is to extend ROTC and the associated benefits to as many schools as possible, whether or not they have their own training and course facilities. Below is more detailed information on the offerings of several schools.

Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University's Army ROTC is known as the Pirate Battalion, and offers the two-year Basic Course as an elective for anyone, as well as the Advanced Course for those wishing to be commissioned as an officer upon graduation. If you begin the Army ROTC program while already in college and are interested in completing the full course, you have the option of participating in the summer Leader's Training Course instead of the Basic Course. Seton Hall ROTC is a large program, accepting cross-enrolled students from more than twenty other northern New Jersey schools. This provides the unique opportunity to network with a diverse group of people from the surrounding area. Seton Hall also offers an Air Force ROTC program in the same type of partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Air Force ROTC students are enrolled full-time at Seton Hall University, but take their ROTC classes each week at NJIT.

Rutgers University

Rutgers is the largest university in New Jersey, with nearly 50,000 undergraduate students and 150 major options to choose from. The mission of the university's Army ROTC program, the Scarlet Knight Battalion, is to provide comprehensive training in order to commission Second Lieutenants into the Regular Active Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard. There are multiple points of entry into Army ROTC: you can enroll at any time as long as you have at least two years of undergraduate or graduate study left. You can also participate if you are already serving in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard and would like to be an officer.

Union County College

Union County College is a community college offering certificate and 2-year associate degree programs as well as additional educational services like online and continuing education programs. The vast majority of the student body are residents of New Jersey, although that is not a requirement to enroll. Union County College has a cross-town partnership with Seton Hall University for students wishing to do Army ROTC, and with Rutgers University's Newark campus for Air Force ROTC. Any Union County College student who wants to participate in either program will do their regular coursework at Union County's campus and ROTC coursework and training at the partner institution's campus. After completing the first two years (the Basic Course) of Army ROTC, students may choose to continue on to the Advanced Course by moving to an institution with an Army ROTC program.

New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology's Air Force ROTC program combines technical education in aerospace studies with intense military leadership training. Students are required to take 16 credits of aerospace coursework in addition to courses toward their bachelor's degree. These include an introduction to the Air Force, particularly designed for those students who aren't yet contracted into ROTC through a scholarship, to help them learn about the Air Force and decide if they are interested in committing further. The program also makes a concerted effort to engage with students in a multi-faceted manner through the use of indoor and outdoor instruction, discussion sessions and group work. As a technical institute, many of the graduating cadets go on to more technical careers in areas such as computer science, space systems or flying.

Princeton University

This small Ivy League university prioritizes academic excellence and a commitment to service, and its Army ROTC program is no different. Students can pursue any undergraduate or graduate degree at Princeton while participating in the ROTC program. The two-year Basic Course is open to all students, and comes completely free of commitment to the US Army, unless the student has accepted a scholarship. The Advanced Course is open to those who have completed the Basic Course or the summer Leadership Training Course and accept a commission as officer into the Regular Army, Army Reserve, or National Guard. Princeton ROTC offers multiple special training programs, such as field training exercises and combat water survival training, as well as the opportunity to participate in summer activities like the Mountain Warfare School or language and culture classes.

Drew University

Drew University Army ROTC is another partner of Seton Hall University, about a 20-minute drive away, and students attend their ROTC training at Seton Hall twice per week. As described in the Seton Hall University section, the Pirate Battalion follows the standard Army ROTC curriculum with a commitment-free Basic Course followed by the Advanced Course for commissioned cadets. Drew University is a small liberal arts college that offers undergraduate majors in approximately 30 disciplines and numerous professional and extracurricular organizations. One unique offering due to its location is the school's New York City semesters, which focus on topics such as Wall Street, theater, and the United Nations, among others. Students can participate in any of these programs concurrent to ROTC.

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