Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    Apr 18, 2024  
Courses of Study 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Military Science

Military Science:

Lieutenant Colonel, Professor of Military Science and Chair, (607) 255-5661 or 255-4000

United States Army ROTC Program:

The primary objective of the Army Officer Education Program at Cornell is to commission the future officer leadership of the United States Army. Intermediate objectives are to provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of responsibility, integrity, and self-discipline, as well as an appreciation of the citizen’s role in national defense. The application of the decision-making process to a variety of situations is given major emphasis as a valuable aid in developing leadership potential. These objectives are achieved through a program covering 2 to 4 years. The program includes specific courses in military science, practical training in leadership through participation in the Cadet Corps (including attendance at a five-week summer camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky), and the opportunity to participate in a number of extracurricular activities. This combination prepares the student for commissioning and effective performance in the 16 branches of the Army. One application can result in a two-to four-year scholarship that currently provides $226,200 in funding over four years.

All courses are open to enrollment without a military obligation; some require instructor permission. Non-citizens may enroll in courses but not commission. Overall sound mental and physical condition is essential; students are required to undergo periodic physical fitness tests.

Four-Year Program:

The program is available to graduate and undergraduate students. Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States and students entering Cornell with AROTC credit from secondary or military schools (Junior Division AROTC) may receive advanced standing. Under the Four-Year Program students enroll in the Basic Course (MILS I and II) during the first two years, and the Advanced Course (MILS III and IV) during the next two years. A total of 16 credits of military subjects are taken. In addition, academic enrichment courses are required in such fields as written communications, computer science, and military history. All cadets attend a four-week Advanced Camp, with pay, between their junior and senior years. All contracted cadets participate in physical fitness training three days per week. Each year selected cadets are sent to the Airborne School, Northern Warfare Training, and Air Assault Course, depending upon availability and student standings within the ROTC program.


All cadets take one course and a leadership laboratory each semester in military science. The number of hours a week spent in the classroom varies from semester to semester, as does the credit received for each course. Additionally, cadets work out three days a week.

Practical Leadership Training:

Army Officer-Education Students:

No credit is given for leadership training, but participation is required for successful completion of the AROTC program. Students receive physical education credit for the laboratory. Each semester, cadets register for the appropriate leadership laboratory, consisting of physical fitness training three times per week, two hours of military training each week, and one weekend training exercise per semester.

Professional Military Education (PME) Requirements

In addition to the ROTC classes and leadership laboratories listed above, a number of courses are required as part of the contracted student’s academic program. These courses are offered by the university and round out the student’s professional education. The PME component of the ROTC program requires at least one college course in  each of the following areas: communication skills, military history, and an introduction to computers. Courses that meet these requirements are approved by the Professor of Military Science.


Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and are available for two to four years. Scholarships pay full tuition and mandatory fees, and cadets also receive $430 a month for up to 10 months a year and $1,200 a year for books.

Service Obligations:

ROTC graduates may serve on active duty, in the Army Reserve, or in the National Guard, depending upon the needs of the Army and the cadet’s request. Officers beginning active duty attend the Basic Officer Leadership Course II/III (normally 10 to 16 weeks) for training in their assigned branch. Upon completion, officers are assigned to a unit and location determined by the desires of the individual and the requirements of the Army. Officers selected for reserve duty attend the Basic Leadership Course, after which they are released to reserve status.

Graduate Study:

Graduate students are allowed in the program. Active duty deferments, or educational delays, may be granted to individuals who want to attend graduate school at their own expense. Requests will be considered on the basis of the needs of the service. Admission to graduate school is the student’s responsibility.