What is Military Science?

Military Science is the name of the academic department that provides ROTC instruction at Sam Houston State University. The program includes a specified sequence of leadership, management, and professional knowledge classes as well as "hands on" leadership experiences.

What is ROTC?

ROTC stands for Reserve Officers' Training Corps. It is a program of study leading to a presidential appointment as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Armed Forces.

Is SHSU Army ROTC like "boot camp"?

No. ROTC Cadets go directly to college where they earn their degree.

Can women participate in ROTC and apply for scholarships?

Yes. ROTC is an equal opportunity program, and encourages participation without regard to gender, race, origin, or religious affiliation.

If I enroll in Army ROTC, am I joining the Army?

No. You can enroll in ROTC classes for up to two years with no service obligation whatsoever. At SHSU, you can earn credit hours that may count toward your degree. All ROTC course credits will appear on your official transcript. For those students that require a minor, Military Science is a recognized minor at SHSUand will be a natural fit into your academic plan.

What is the ROTC program comprised of?

The ROTC program is divided into phases: The Basic Course (freshmen and sophomore years), the Advanced Course (junior and senior years), Army history, organization and structure. The techniques and principles of leadership and management are stressed throughout. The Advanced Course concentrates on tactical operations and military instruction, as well as advanced techniques of management, leadership, and command.

How do students benefit from SHSU Army ROTC?

In college and after graduation, Cadets find that the training and experience that they have received are assets - whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills that ROTC instructors stress. Plus, ROTC looks great on a resume. When Cadets complete the ROTC course, upon graduation, they become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.

Does military science count as a "minor"?

SHSU counts Army ROTC as a minor.

Won't ROTC interfere with my academic or athletic pursuits?

No. There are some time demands and some voluntary extracurricular activities in ROTC. But, simply put, ROTC Cadets are more mature and better time managers than many students. Your academic and athletic success is the highest priority and we stress that. You must do well academically and athletically to succeed in ROTC.

Does Army ROTC offer scholarships?

Yes. Each year hundreds of students attending colleges nationwide receive ROTC scholarships. ROTC awards them to students studying science, engineering, nursing, business, as well as a variety of other majors. ROTC scholarships are not based on financial need. Instead, they're awarded on merit. Merit is exhibited in academic achievement and extracurricular activities, such as sports, student government, or part-time work.

Who is eligible for a ROTC scholarship?

You can apply for four-year ROTC scholarships while in high school, or two-, three-, or four-year campus based scholarships once you've started college. The scholarships are based on merit, not need. To qualify for a ROTC scholarship, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between the ages of 17-26
  • Have a high school GPA of at least 2.5
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Meet physical standards (Physical exam and Army Physical Fitness Test)
  • Agree to accept a commission and serve in the military on active duty or in a Reserve component after graduating

How much money does SHSU Army ROTC usually award and what does the money go towards?

At SHSU, Army ROTC scholarships are worth the value of full tuition and mandatory fees (or room and board), $1,200 for books and a monthly spending allowance (stipend) of $300 to $500 depending on what academic year you are in. (Freshman= $300, Sophomore=$350, Junior=$450, Senior=$500). Also, students are eligible for a State Scholarship if you are from Illinois which would waive the cost of tuition.

Can only scholarship winners enroll in SHSU Army ROTC?

No. Anyone can enroll in ROTC, regardless of whether you're a scholarship winner or not, and all books and equipment are furnished at not cost to you.

If I do eventually contract and become a Second Lieutenant, I will have to serve on Active Duty, right?

No. At least two-thirds of the upcoming graduating Cadets will receive an active duty tour. Cadets who receive Reserve Duty will serve in local Reserve or National Guard units one weekend a month, or serve in the Ready Reserves with no "drilling" requirement if a suitable unit is not available where you reside. The Reserves are one of the best adjunct career and retirement systems in the U.S. today.

I see ROTC as a potential interference to my career field. How can you get around that one?

Well, there are surely some career tracks where ROTC may not help you, but the exceptional record of graduating Cadets getting good jobs in their fields is well above average. In the Reserves, there are also a lot of job networking and contacts, and most employees view Reservists or officers leaving active duty in very positive terms. Further, students that emphasize their ROTC enrollment are generally viewed as desirable to most employers because of their competitive leadership and managerial abilities, maturity, and time management skills.

What about haircuts, wearing uniforms, and harassment?

Well, you have to be well-groomed; hair off your ears and not down your shoulders (crew cut not required). You will learn how to wear a uniform properly, but the uniform is only required to be worn during class times and training. Finally, harassment of any type went out years ago; it is not acceptable. We emphasize proper decorum, respect, military courtesies, ethics and standards of conduct; all of which apply equally well to non-military, professional careers.

What can Army ROTC do for me even if I only want to enroll for a year or two?

If you enroll in Army ROTC, we will help you become a better person in many ways. ROTC will:

  • Give you better leadership and managerial skills applicable to any field.
  • Provide you a lot of personal attention, encouraging you to get good grades and further mature. Class sizes are small and everyone is given personal counseling.
  • We compel you to stay in shape and improve your physical fitness. Yes, there are some progressive physical fitness requirements and you cannot be overweight and complete the program.
  • We give you the opportunity to learn what the military is all about these days - the role of the Army and its soldiers, (strategy, politics, technology, standards, career fields, etc.)
  • We provide additional fun and learning activities, and opportunities for you to make more friends than virtually any other organization on campus. Cadets consistently relate that one of the best aspects of the ROTC program is the camaraderie students find among each other -that is what Esprit de Corps or belonging is all about.

What makes SHSU Army ROTC different from regular college management courses?

Students in ROTC learn through a unique program that involves both classroom and "live" situations. For instance, an ROTC Cadet might be found leading classmates through adventure training.

Is enrolling in Army ROTC the same as joining the Army? Once a student starts taking ROTC courses, is he/she obligated to join the Army?

Enrolling in Army ROTC is not, strictly speaking, joining the Army. You will not be sent to boot camp. However, the primary purpose of the Army ROTC program is to produce its officers, so you must agree to serve as Officers in the Army after graduation in order to go through the entire program, or if you have received an ROTC scholarship. Enrolling in the ROTC Basic Course (the first two years of college) does NOT obligate you to serve unless you have also received a scholarship. For more details, see: Your Commitment.

What kinds of scholarships are available in Army ROTC? Are any of the scholarships retroactive?

Army ROTC offers two-, three- and four-year scholarships, which pay full and fees, include a separate allowance for books, and a monthly stipend of up to $5,000 a year. Army ROTC scholarships are not retroactive.

What is my Army service obligation to pay back any scholarship benefits, or for enrollment in the ROTC Advanced Course?

Scholarship winners must serve for four years; non-scholarship Cadets who enroll in the ROTC Advanced Course must serve for three years. All who graduate and complete ROTC training are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. For more details, see: Your Commitment.

What good is Army ROTC for a career outside of the Army?

Army ROTC is one of the only college programs that teaches leadership. This training is invaluable for any career that involves leading, managing and motivating people or fostering teamwork. Young Army Officers are typically responsible for hundreds of Soldiers and millions of dollars in equipment; this kind of management experience can be very attractive for post-Army employers. For more details, see: About Army ROTC.

Why should I choose Army ROTC over a different branch's ROTC?

The Army offers a wider range of career opportunities, in more places around the world, than any other U.S. military branch.

How do I learn more about the Army?

Starting by exploring the Army experience from our Home Page is a great start.

Are all college majors compatible with Army ROTC?

Army ROTC Cadets are allowed to major in nearly all academic areas.

What are Army ROTC courses like? How will the class work help me? Will ROTC classes interfere with his/her other studies?

Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class and one lab per semester. Although the classes involve hands-on fieldwork as well as classroom work, they are standard college classes that fit into a normal academic schedule. These courses can help students with personal and academic decision-making while giving them the tools to exercise leadership in college life, even before graduating and becoming Officers.

How will being an Army ROTC Cadet affect my daily life? Do Cadets experience normal college life and activities?

Army ROTC Cadets have the same lifestyles and academic schedules as any other college students. They join fraternities and sororities. They participate in varsity team and individual sports. They take part in community service projects. But there are two intensive Army ROTC courses that take place on Army Posts, usually during the summer:

* Leader's Training Course — This four-week summer course at Fort Knox, KY is ONLY for students who enroll in Army ROTC without having taken the first two years of military science classes.

* Leader Development and Assessment Course — All Cadets who enter the Advanced Course must attend this five-week summer course at Fort Lewis, WA between their junior and senior years.

What are the chances that I will be deployed to support the Global War on Terrorism?

It depends on the Army branch the Cadet chooses and the unit to which he/she is assigned. However, Army missions and challenges are always changing, so there's no way to know in advance which specialties and units will be needed where. All Soldiers in the Army or Army Reserve face the possibility of deployment at some point during their careers. But all Soldiers are fully trained and proficient in the tasks and drills of their units. And Officers are specifically trained to make the right decisions so that missions can be carried out safely and successfully.

Can I go into the Army Reserve or National Guard after graduation instead of the regular Army?

Yes. Selected Cadets may choose to serve part-time in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career. For more details, see: Active Duty & Army Reserve or the Army National Guard website

What is the typical career path for an Army Officer? What career fields are available?

Army ROTC graduates are commissioned as U.S. Army Second Lieutenants. They then receive specialized training in one of 17 different Army branches. During their Army careers, they'll receive regular professional training as they advance through the ranks, and they'll have many opportunities for advanced leadership positions and post-graduate education.

What kind of salary and benefits will I earn as a commissioned Army Officer?

Visit the Benefits section of this site for complete details. Specifically, the Money sub-section provides details on pay for both Officers and Enlisted Soldiers.