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Schools for Navy

Naval colleges prepare students for combat at sea. These same colleges also train students who want to become Marines. For that reason, the colleges for the two branches are generally the same. Students can earn degrees from colleges with a Naval ROTC program. To view a list of these NROTC schools, click here. The Navy specific schools of the five Federal Service Academies are Annapolis Naval Academy and King's Point Merchant Marine Academy.

Annapolis Naval Academy

Annapolis Naval Academy is among the most selective colleges of the United States. It is a four-year co- educational federal service academy that educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as Midshipmen. The academic program grants a Bachelor of Science degree with a curriculum that grades Midshipmen's performance upon a broad academic program, military leadership performance, and mandatory participation in competitive athletics.

In 2010, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Naval Academy as #16 in the National Liberal Arts category in the 2011 edition of its Best Colleges ranking report. In addition in the area of High School Counselor Rankings of National Liberal Arts Colleges, the Naval Academy was ranked #1 and ranked #5 in the category of Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. In the same year ranked the Naval Academy as #29 in its report "America's Best Colleges 2010."


To gain admission, candidates must secure a nomination, which usually comes from the member of Congress in the candidate's home district, or can also come from a Senator, Vice-President, or President, or be the child of a Medal of Honor recipient. The process is not political and applicants do not have to know their Congressman to be nominated.

Candidates must also pass a physical fitness test and a medical exam. By law all US Service Academies require a nomination before an Appointment is offered. The process of admissions to the US Service Academies is highly competitive; but very worth the effort as the benefits are incredible. The Secretary of the Navy may appoint 170 enlisted members of the Regular and Reserve Navy and Marine Corps to the Naval Academy each year. Additional sources of appointment are open to children of career military personnel (100 per year); and 65 appointments are available to children of military members who were killed in action, or were rendered 100% disabled due to injuries received in action, or are currently prisoners of war or missing in action.

However, children of Medal of Honor recipients are automatically appointed to the Naval Academy; they only need to meet admission requirements

Benefits for Students

Students at the Naval Academy are Midshipmen. Tuition for Midshipmen is fully funded by the Navy in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Approximately 1,300 "plebes" enter the Academy each summer for the rigorous Plebe Summer, but only about 1,000 Midshipmen graduate. Graduates are usually commissioned as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps, and occasionally as officers in the US Air Force, US Army, and U.S. Coast Guard.

Upon graduation, most Naval Academy Midshipmen are commissioned as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps and serve a minimum of five years after their commissioning. If they are selected to serve as a pilot (aircraft), they will serve 8 to 11 years minimum from their date of winging, and if they are selected to serve as a naval flight officer they will serve 6–8 years.

Midshipmen are able to "cross-commission," or request a commission in the Air Force or Army, provided they meet that service's eligibility standards. In 2004, the first of a hand-full of graduates was "cross-commissioned" into the Coast Guard. Every year, a small number of graduates do this – usually 3 or 4, and in a one-for-one "trade" with a similarly inclined cadet at one of the other service academies.

King's Point – United States Merchant Marine Academy

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), or what's often referred to as King's Point, is charged with training officers for the United States Merchant Marine, branches of the military, or the transportation industry.

Midshipmen (as students at the Academy are called) are trained in marine engineering, navigation, ship's administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, and many other subjects important to the task of running a large ship.

Although the Merchant Marine Academy is under the United States Maritime Administration (USMA), and is a part of the Department of Transportation, its students are appointed as Midshipmen or Merchant Marine Reserves U.S. Navy Reserves.

Each student also is required to serve eight years in the military reserve, maintain a license as an officer in the merchant marine of the United States for at least six years, or serve the foreign and domestic commerce and national defense of the United States for at least five years. Graduates of the Merchant Marine Academy may also take their commission as an officer in the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, United States Marine Corps, United States Army, United States Air Force, or the NOAA Commissioned Corps. If they choose the active duty option, USMMA graduates are obligated to a minimum service requirement of 5 years.


As with all of the other 5 Service Academies (with exception of the Coast Guard Academy), and in addition to requiring strong GPA and SAT/ACT scores, the Merchant Marine Academy requires that the candidate be nominated by a U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator. It's not a political nomination, nor do the candidates need to know the Representative responsible for nominations.

Applicants are also required to write an essay, obtain letters of recommendation from three sources (including one from their guidance counselor), take the DoDMERB (Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board) physical, and take the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) to asses physical fitness.

Benefits of King's Point

Midshipmen at Kings Point have a wide variety of options upon graduation. Unlike the nation's other military academies, graduates of USMMA are required to fulfill their service obligation on their own by providing annual proof of employment in a wide variety of occupations as approved by the United States Maritime Association for a specified period of time.

Graduates may elect to fulfill their service obligation by working as licensed officers on U.S. flagged merchant vessels, as civilians in the maritime industry, or as active duty officers in any branch of the armed forces of the United States. Regardless, graduates are required to maintain their US Coast Guard issued merchant marine officer's license for a period of at least 6 years.

Those graduates electing to enter the civilian work force in the Maritime Industry, and those sailing in the Merchant Marine, are also required to maintain their Naval Reserve commission (or another reserve component commission) for a period of at least 8 years and are required to serve in the maritime industry for at least 5 years following graduation.

On average about 1/3 of each graduating class goes to sea working in the United States Merchant Marine as officers serving on ships in overseas trade, inland & near-coastal transportation, research vessels, and other types of vessels.

Another 1/3 generally go to work in the maritime industry ashore working in commercial shipping, ship broking, intermodal logistics, marine engineering, maritime law, maritime insurance or defense contracting.

And, about 1/3 enter the military as active duty Commissioned Officers. Of those going on active duty most enter the US Navy as Naval Aviators, Naval Flight Officers, Surface Warfare Officers, Submarine Officers or occasionally even as SEALs. Some midshipmen enter the Marine Corps and Coast Guard, while a small number enter the US Army, US Air Force and their Reserve or National Guard components. Midshipmen may also apply for commissions in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with the NOAA Commissioned Corps.

A graduate from USMMA will receive upon graduation:

  1. A Bachelor of Science Degree
  2. An Unlimited USCG License as a Merchant Marine Officer, either 3rd Mate or 3rd Assistant Engineer, and
  3. A Commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve, or if accepted, as an Ensign in the US Navy, US Coast Guard or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, US Army or US Air Force. Graduates who choose military service, must serve at least five years in the active duty force of their respective service.

List of Staff Colleges Specific to Navy / Marine Training

  1. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island
    • College of Naval Command and Staff
    • College of Naval Warfare
    • Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, California) – The Naval War College Monterey is a satellite office of the United States Naval War College, College of Distance Education (CDE) located on campus at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. NPS itself is not a NWC school and is not a Staff College.
  1. Marine Corps University
    • Marine Corps Command and Staff College

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