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Program Information

Four-Year Program

The Four-year Program consists of the Basic Course (first two years) and the Advanced Course (second two years). University academic credit is earned for all coursework satisfactorily completed.

Basic Course students do not incur any military obligation, the course is taken like any college course. They are not, for instance, required to wear uniforms to class or get military haircuts. The Basic Course is designed to introduce the student to basic military concepts and foundations of leadership, while at the same time having fun. Class activities include rappelling, rifle shooting, and the option to participate in extracurricular activities such as the Ranger Club, Drill Team, and Rifle/Pistol Club. Course enrollment is limited to freshmen and sophomores. (The permission of the department chairperson is required for other students.) In the spring of each year, freshmen and sophomores many compete for several ROTC state and federal scholarships. After completion of the Basic Course the student decides whether or not they want to enter the Advanced Course. The Department of Military Science evaluates their qualifications and determines their eligibility for acceptance.

Advanced Course students include all those who have either successfully completed the Basic Course, have been through basic training, or receive advanced placement credit. The last two years of the program are designed to prepare the student for a career as an officer in the United States Army. Entry into the Advanced Course is a joint decision by the student and the Department of Military Science. To gain acceptance into the Advanced Course, a student must: be of sound moral character, a U.S. citizen under 31 years of age, have no philosophical views which would make the student a conscientious objector, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00, and have no medical conditions which would prohibit military service. Students entering the Advanced Course sign a contract with the government and earn $450 to $500 tax-free each school month during their last two years of college. They may continue to compete for numerous federal and state scholarships. Advanced Course students incur a military obligation as an officer in the Army Reserve, National Guard, or Active Army. The length of obligation varies depending on the type of commission received. Students can receive Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty or National Guard Duty. Coursework for the Advanced Course is discussed in the Military Science course descriptions. Advanced Course students also attend the Cadet Leadership Course for 32 days,  normally between their junior and senior years. Students receive pay, travel allowance, and room and board while attending the course.


The Two-year Program permits the student who has successfully completed the ROTC Leader’s Training Course, or who has a status of Veteran, prior service, NG, or USAR, to enter directly into the Advanced Course Program.

Cadet Initial Entry Training is approximately 30 days long and provides training in leadership, rappelling, map reading, rifle marksmanship, physical fitness, tactics, communications, first aid, and water survival. The student attending ROTC Cadet Initial Entry Training is paid and receives free lodging, meals, and college credit (6 elective hours). The Camp is designed to provide the student with Basic Course credit. Students wishing to attend Cadet Initial Entry Training should apply early in the spring semester.


This program is open to students in the Advance Program. It enables them to remain a member of, or join a local Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserve unit as officer trainees while attending college. Pay through either of these units is based on that of a Sergeant E5.  See the Enrollment Officer or call your local National Guard/Army Reserve recruiter for details.


Army ROTC is the best leadership course in America and we’re looking for scholars, athletes and leaders to become future Army officers. The program is based on college electives and activities that you take right along with your other classes.  But ROTC is like no other class you’ll take.

In Army ROTC, you develop your leadership abilities.  There are activities such as rappelling and survival training to help increase your self-confidence and discipline. Your studies may include time management, communications, and small-group decision-making. Ultimately, you’ll learn about the Army and what it takes to become an officer.

Whether you're a college-bound high school student or already attending a college or university, Army ROTC has scholarships available. Scholarships are awarded based on a student's merit and grades, not financial need.

Army ROTC scholarships consist of:

  • Two-, three-, and four-year scholarship options based on the time remaining to complete your degree
  • 100% tuition/fees OR room/board (if eligible)
  • $600 per semester book allowance

Living Learning Community Room and Board Scholarship

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Living Expenses

Army ROTC scholarships also provide monthly living allowances for each school year.

Monthly stipends rates are based off of the Military Science year.  Cadets only receive stipend while classes are in session. 

  • MS I-$300 per month
  • MS II-$350 per month
  • MS III-$450 per month
  • MS IV-$500 per month

This allowance is also available to all contracted non-scholarship Cadets (Note: Non-scholarship cadets cannot contract until their Sophomore year)

To Apply:

Schedule an appointment with Mr. Shannon Lewey to find out more about the application process, benefits, and commitments.  

  • High School Students - If you think Army ROTC may be right for you but have some questions, we can help you find the answers.
  • College Students - There are several options available to those who are already in college and are now considering Army ROTC.
  • Enlisted Soldiers - Ready to make the switch to becoming an Officer? Explore your options.

Tuition Waivers

Southern Illinois University Army ROTC receives 40 Illinois State Tuition Waivers for each of the Fall and Spring semesters every year.  If awarded, 100% tuition and the General Activity fee will be waived for that semester.  The State of Illinois mandates Army ROTC award 10 per Military Science class.  Applications are distributed the first week of each semester and waivers are awarded mid-semester.  If awarded, commitment is to the Army ROTC Program for that semester; NOT to the Army.

Eligibility Requirements

All students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree who are residents of the state of Illinois, registered with Selective Service, and satisfy the criteria in a through h below are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Illinois ROTC programs will not award unused waivers to students who do not meet the eligibility requirements. Please see the IL Scholarship Standard Operating Procedure for more details along with the Illinois Code.

Applications for each semester (Fall and Spring only) are due to Mr. Shannon Lewey, Kesnar Hall Room 116.

  1. Meet all academic requirements of their university and be eligible to meet all commissioning requirements (pre-qualify per AR 145-1) upon graduation and completion of Army ROTC.
  2. Complete all DODMERB exams within the second semester of being awarded this scholarship. This must be completed in order for this scholarship to be awarded in subsequent semesters.
  3. Maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Earn at least a 2.0 each semester and a 3.0 in Army ROTC. In the case of incoming freshmen who have not established a college GPA, the minimum standard is a 2.5 high school GPA and a score of 19 on the ACT.
  4. Be a resident of the state of Illinois.
  5. Students will achieve a score of 60 points in each event on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) by the end of the first semester that the scholarship is awarded and maintain a score of 60 points in each event for every subsequent semester that the scholarship is awarded.
  6. Be in compliance of the Army height/weight/body fat standards or show progress toward attaining the standards. Acceptable progress will be determined by the Professor of Military Science (PMS).
  7. Enroll in an Army ROTC course as a cadet.
  8. Attendance
  • Attend at least 95% of all required physical training, including APFT sessions.
  • Attend at least 95% of all required classes and labs.
  • Participate in the Field Training Exercise (FTX) for that semester unless excused in advance by the PMS.

Additional questions please contact us.