Military instruction began at Cornell University in 1868 under the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862. Since that time, officer education has been underscored by the construction of Barton Hall in 1914 and the establishment of a formal Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) unit in 1917. Since then, military education at Cornell University has expanded to include each of the military services and evolves to keep pace with the latest military changes and emphasizes the development of leadership and managerial skills.
The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) trains undergraduate students to become commissioned officers in the United States Armed Forces. Students in ROTC must attend service-specific ROTC academic classes, which count for college credit and participate in weekly leadership labs and physical fitness training as part of the program. Students may receive a competitive, merit-based scholarship, covering all or part of college tuition and fees.
ROTC graduates serve in all U.S. Armed Forces branches and incur a three to eight-year active duty service obligation (ADSO) and/or an eight-year military service obligation (MSO) if they accept a commission as a regular officer.
ROTC programs offer prospective and current college students a number of benefits, including:
- An opportunity to develop technical and leadership skills
- A structured path to a career after college
- Specialized professional training for military officer positions after college
- Scholarships that cover tuition, fees, books, and other student necessities
- Long-term career guidance and continued professional education
Each service program is headed by a senior military officer who also serves as a full professor on the Cornell faculty.
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