Military Science

Scope and Objectives

In accordance with the National Defense Act of 1920 and with the concurrence of the Regents of the University of California, a unit of the Army Senior Division Reserve Officers’s Training Corps (ROTC) was established on the Los Angeles campus of in July 1920. Navy and Air Force units were established in 1938 and 1949 respectively.

This voluntary training in the Army ROTC program allows students to qualify for an officer’s commission in the Army while completing their college education. The ROTC curricula are not considered academic majors, but ROTC courses may be taken as free electives and applied toward the total course requirements of a major. For students contracted in the Military Science Department, 26 units of military science credit may be applied toward the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. The ROTC program is also available through UCLA Extension.

All three ROTC departments offer voluntary four- and three-year programs for freshmen and sophomores. The Army and Navy/Marine Corps also offer a two-year program for current and transfer students. All have leadership laboratories that teach leadership and management skills.

All commissions are reserve commissions. Active duty obligation following commissioning varies depending on branch of service and designated career field or occupational specialty. The Army offers both active- and reserve-duty opportunities directly after commissioning.


ROTC scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to U.S. citizens regardless of parents’s income. Scholarships cover full tuition or housing (on or off campus) up to $10,000, a $1,200 allowance for books and fees, and a tax-free monetary allowance between $300 and $500 per month during the academic year. Applications for four-year scholarships may be obtained online. Completed four-year applications should be submitted by February 28 of the year preceding college matriculation. Two- and three-year scholarship applications may be obtained from the Military Science Department by e-mail or by calling 310-825-7381, and are considered when received.

Army ROTC Program

Army ROTC is a program that enables students to become officers in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, or Army National Guard while earning a college degree. The curriculum supplements students’s academic majors by offering elective courses ranging from leadership and management to military law. Courses are augmented with leadership laboratories that stress practical skills such as first aid, land navigation, survival techniques, rappelling, military tactics, and scenario-driven leadership reaction courses. Non-ROTC students may enroll in many of the military science courses without enrolling in the ROTC program.

Additionally, students who decide to become Army officers can receive summer training in military parachuting (Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA), helicopter operations that include rappelling from a hovering helicopter (Air Assault School in Hawaii), and mountaineering operations (Northern Warfare School in Alaska).

Scholarships are available for two, three, and four years of academic study and are awarded on a competitive basis. Army scholarships pay for full tuition and mandatory fees or housing, up to $10,000, and provide a tiered stipend ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per year and a $1,200 book allowance. Nonscholarship, contracted ROTC cadets also receive the tiered stipend of $3,000 to $5,000 per year. Students in the program also compete for over $50,000 in merit-based scholarships provided annually by various private organizations that support the Army ROTC program. Additionally, students may work part-time as officer trainees in local Army Reserves or National Guard units through the simultaneous membership program (SMP). Contracted students can fly free on military aircraft within the continental U.S. on a space-available basis.

Students may select a branch of the Army in which to be commissioned from 16 specialty fields, including military intelligence, aviation, signal communications, finance, logistics, nursing, and engineering. Prior to completion of the ROTC program, students may request to go on active duty or serve part-time in the Army Reserves or National Guard.