NROTC Major & Getting Commissioned

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Machdude, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Machdude

    Machdude Member

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    Most of the questions on here pertain to scholarships (ie 85% of scholarships go to tier 1 people), but what if my only goal is a job after college?

    I'm currently a freshman taking AROTC, looking to transfer next fall to an NROTC school (which one I have no idea)

    My question is, how much does your major affect your chances of getting commissioned? All I know at this point is that engineering is out of the question. If I got into the Academy, I feel like I could have specialized in whatever I wanted, like History or English (I mean, I would get my dream job after I graduated anyway). Though, in retrospect, this is probably why I didn't get in in the first place, not enough math smarts.

    I want a career in the fleet (SWO), but I don't know what I want to study before I get there. In this era of sequestration, will my major affect my chances of getting a commission
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It could. The 85% Tier I & II thing is for scholarships. You can enter as a college programmer with any major, because you are covering college on your own dime. However, you will need to be selected for Advanced Standing your rising junior year at which time you would contract and receive the stipend. I expect your major comes into consideration at this point but I am not certain, nor do I know how important it is. I do think that your performance in the unit and your leadership abilities are probably far more important than your major at this point, at least in the sense that it could overcome having a less desirable major. Another thing to keep in mind is that you must complete 2 semesters of Calculus by the end of your sophomore year as well as 2 semesters of Calculus based Physics by that same time. This is for Navy Options only, but it doesn't sound like something you would be too interested in doing based on your comments. (My son doesn't care for math and there is no way he will ever do, or be successful in, Calculus).

    If you're willing to let go of SWO and instead go with the NROTC Marine Option, then they don't care what your major is nor do you have to meet the Calculus and Physics requirements. This is true of both the Scholarship and Advanced Standing selection. But I suppose the Marines may not "float your boat". :rolleyes:

    Hope this helps answers your question. Hopefully someone more knowledgable than I will chime in on the importance of your major for Advanced Standing selection.
     
  3. Machdude

    Machdude Member

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    I think I could stomach two semesters of Calc and Calc based physics. It's not that I'm a lost cause in math, I'm average at worst. I just don't want to major in something I have no interest in.

    If two classes I'm not crazy about are essential to getting my dream job... I think I can manage them.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    OK. So your task is to figure out what you want to major in. I suppose you have some time freshman year to do this, but you will need to graduate in 4 years. Once you commit to a major you will probably be stuck with it after sophomore year because you will no longer be able to change major and still graduate in 4 years. Also, keep in mind that there are still 15% of folks who major in Tier III courses. It's tougher to get a scholarship that way but not impossible.
     
  5. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Interestingly, my son's BGO was from USNA with a English major, but his degree was a B of Science! So, at the academies, they seem to be putting all majors through enough science/math to award a BS rather than a BA. That may provide some sense of the general desire of the services in terms of academic knowledge.
    Now, that does not mean a engineering degree. Lots of other sciences/math degrees out there. It does seem there is a preference for the technical degrees, but there are lots of examples of smart kids with other degrees in the service.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 JMS.

    I strongly suggest you look at the Academy's mandated core curriculum that every major must take. I know for the AFA it is 4 solid yrs of Math and Science, aka 8 semesters, not 2. I know this because our son opted to go AFROTC scholarship over AFA after reviewing what a GOVT/HISTORY major was required to take for the curriculum.. This is a kid that had a 720 on his M SAT on his 1st shot, and did not even study for the SAT. Math was not a learning issue, he just didn't enjoy that as much as Govt and History.

    Also as kinnem stated there are 15% that do not go STEM. That is the same stats for AFROTC, and our DS was one of those 15%. The difference for AFROTC and the 15% compared to the 85%, those 15% students typically had just as high or sometimes even higher stats because of simple supply and demand.
     
  7. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    You can major in whatever you want but the Navy wants 85% to be tier 1&2 major. DS started out as a college programmer and Math major. By the 3rd semester he wasn't enjoying math too much and wanted to switch to a tier 3 major(Finance/Management). I thought switching to a tier 3 would doom his chances of any scholarship and encouraged him to try to hang in there with math. He used his own judgement and switched to the tier 3 and still recieved a 2 year scholarship. He did have a good GPA (3.7) with A's in Calc and Physics so maybe that helped. He will now find out in 2-3 weeks his service selection. His 1st choice is Pilot and the aviation selection board doesn't care what your major is as long as you do well on the ASTB.
     
  8. Machdude

    Machdude Member

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    Like I said, a scholarship would be nice, but I'm more concerned with getting a commission. I know the Navy mandates 85% be STEM majors, but is that for scholarships only?
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    They mandate 85% STEM majors for scholarships to achieve 65% STEM majors at commissioning. There are no guarantees when it comes to commissioning regarding major. Nor are there guarantees when it comes to commissioning, period. Ultimately it will depend far more on your performance in the battalion, including your GPA and SAT scores, than it will on your major, except perhaps at the margins. If your performance puts you on the border-line your major may come into play. Like anything else in life it's up to you to achieve it. BTW where the borderline is will shift from year to year, depending on how many ensigns they need that year. Hence, no guarantees, period.

    I can guarantee you that there will be STEM majors who are college programmers who will not make the cut, and non-STEM majors who will.
     
  10. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    What happens to your dream job if there is a big RIF? You can't just bank on a 20 year career with the Navy, things happen.

    A degree isn't always just a means to commission. Look at the big picture which means you want something you enjoy, something the Navy wants and something that has a decent employment outlook.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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