If you live in Washington State and are interested in pursuing a career as an officer in the U.S. Navy, Army or Air Force, you can join an ROTC program at one of several schools in the state. Many of Washington's ROTC programs also allow students to participate as an elective to gain leadership experience without any obligation. Learn more about some of the state's ROTC programs below.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||2017-2018 Tuition (in-state)*||Scholarship Options|
|Pacific Lutheran University||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Tacoma, WA||$40,722||Full and partial tuition scholarships plus room and board|
|Washington State University||4-year, Public||Pullman, WA||$11,391||Full and partial tuition scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|University of Washington||4-year, Public||Seattle, WA||$10,974||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|Seattle University||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Seattle, WA||$42,885||2-,2.5-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
|Eastern Washington University||4-year, Public||Cheney, WA||$7,109||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and/or monthly stipend|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Overview of ROTC Programs in Washington State
There are ROTC programs across Washington state at both public and private universities, all of which provide the opportunity to compete for tuition assistance and other benefits. Some schools only offer Army ROTC, and others have ROTC programs for multiple branches of the military, either at their campus or through a partner institution.
Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific Lutheran University has only 3,100 students, according to the NCES, but offers a range of liberal arts degree programs and professional programs. Pacific Lutheran students can participate in Army ROTC for leadership and team-building experiences and to gain individual military skills. Pacific Lutheran cadets are able to apply for national Army ROTC scholarships to cover up to four years of tuition and fees, but the university also pays for room and board over and above the scholarship amount a cadet receives. In return, cadets agree to participate in the full ROTC program, which includes physical fitness training, leadership laboratories and military science classes. There are also opportunities to join extracurricular activities like sports, social events, band and theater, among many others.
Washington State University
Washington State University in eastern Washington offers Army and Navy/Marine Option ROTC to its students. The university itself hosts the Army ROTC Cougar Battalion, while those interested in Navy ROTC will be enrolled as a student with Washington State but do all NROTC activities just across the border at the University of Idaho. NROTC midshipmen can apply for the Marine Corps Option during their first two years of the Navy program. Any student can participate in the Army ROTC program for up to two years as an elective, without incurring any military obligation. In any of these programs, students gain leadership and military experience, and have the option of participating in extra training opportunities such as field camps and special skills schools.
University of Washington
The University of Washington is a large public school in the Seattle area that hosts an ROTC program for the Army, Navy and Air Force. The goal of each program is to produce highly trained future military officers. The programs therefore emphasize academic rigor, physical fitness, and military skills like communication, leadership and tactics. The University of Washington's Army ROTC was a recipient of the MacArthur Award in 2016-2017, recognizing it as one of the top programs in the country. Students can join any branch's program while studying toward any major of their choice. However, Navy ROTC students who choose an engineering, math or sciences major have a greater chance of receiving a Navy scholarship.
Seattle University hosts an Army ROTC program that primarily recruits science, technology, engineering, math and nursing students. However, the university offers over 120 majors in total, and students from any major can be accepted into the ROTC program. Nursing cadets in particular combine their academic curriculum with special ROTC opportunities like the Nurse Summer Training Program to work toward a career in the Army Nurse Corps. Other students can apply to participate in any number of training opportunities in addition to the normal ROTC program. These include Air Assault training, Mountain Warfare training and Cadet Troop Leadership Training, all of which are national programs that accept cadets from across the country each year.
Eastern Washington University
Campus life at Eastern Washington University is about community engagement and the great outdoors. Students can go on adventures like river rafting and skiing with the outdoor club, join one of 150 student organizations, or help with a volunteer project. For additional outdoors and leadership experience, Eastern Washington students can participate in Army ROTC with the school's Military Science Department. The Department offers a major and a minor in Military Science, but ROTC is open to students from all major programs. The curriculum is also open to anyone for up to two years as an elective, without any obligation to serve in the U.S. Army after graduation.