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Military Science and Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at The University of South Dakota is not just another course of study. ROTC is leadership training that will be valuable in any profession. ROTC students are part of an organization that teaches teamwork, leadership and self-discipline.
- Basic Course Level - open to all USD students who want to explore Military Science and experience the challenges of leadership. There is no obligation to serve in the military and withdrawal from the program is allowed at any time, just like a regular campus class.
- Advanced Course Level – accepting the challenge of completing the ROTC program and becoming a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army. Entering the Advanced Course requires a contracted obligation to serve in the U.S. Army upon graduation. Graduates are commissioned as U.S. Army Second Lieutenants and may choose either to compete for selection to full-time Active Duty in the Regular Army or serve with either the National Guard or the U.S. Army Reserve.
- Four-year program
- Freshman / sophomore – complete the Basic Course Level
- Non-scholarship option – may contract and obligate during sophomore year (stipend begins)
- Junior / senior – complete the Advanced Course Level
- The summer between junior / senior year, attend Leader Development and Assessment Course. All contracted student cadets attend this four-week training event at Fort Lewis, Washington.
- Two-year program
- For those wanting to join after their sophomore year or as graduate students (must have at least four semesters of school remaining).
- Conditionally contracted to attend Leader's Training Course (LTC), a four-week training course held at Fort Knox, Kentucky each summer.
- Once LTC is completed, contract to the Advanced Course Level.
- Prior to graduation, attend Leader Development and Assessment Course.
- Students with prior service in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines may be eligible for placement in the Advanced Course without the Basic Course / LTC prerequisite.
- Additionally, Army National Guard and Army Reserve students / soldiers may join ROTC their sophomore year and earn additional money (stipend) as a Simultaneous Membership Program cadet.
Beyond the ClassroomStudents in USD's Military Science program benefit from challenges - both mental and physical – above and beyond the normal undergraduate experience. The program's unique leadership training helps you develop life skills. Some of these opportunities include the following:
First aid instruction
Off-campus adventure training
Ranger Challenge – intercollegiate competition. Cadet teams compete in military skills events such as the obstacle course, orienteering and ten kilometer road march with full equipment
- Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) – intercollegiate competitions with precision target rifles
Newly graduated and commissioned U.S. Army Second Lieutenants who choose Active Duty earn competitive salaries for their leadership skills. They also enjoy promotions, salary increases, medical care for themselves and their families, life insurance, pension and 401k option, and paid annual vacation time. Army officers can choose to retire after 20 years of active service, Job opportunities in the Army following graduation include:
Just the Facts
- Any USD student is eligible to participate in the Basic Course. Must have at least four semesters of school remaining and meet physical requirements for the Advance Course.
- Military science courses at USD are tuition-free.
- Resident South Dakota students, who are enrolled in ROTC and contract into the Advanced Course without an ROTC scholarship are eligible for the USD Reduced Tuition Incentive, a 50 percent tuition reduction during junior and senior years (undergraduate degrees only).
- Students attending either the Leader's Training Course or the Leader Development and Assessment Course receive approximately $800 and all travel, lodging and food expenses are paid.
Army ROTC awards a limited number of scholarships each year. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.