Military Colleges and Academies

Learn about military schools and service academies, which train future officers, doctors, engineers and other military professionals.

Military Colleges and Universities

The U.S. military operates many types of schools to train members of the U.S. military, foreign militaries, and civilians in certain fields. The military academies are colleges that train future officers.

The military also operates its own medical school, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Students pay no tuition or fees, and receive a salary and military benefits.

Some of the military schools include:

Senior Military Colleges

Senior military colleges are civilian schools that combine higher education with military instruction.  Students participate in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program and can go on to become commissioned officers following graduation.

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Military Service Academies and Other Ways to Become a Military Officer

You can become an officer in the U.S. military by graduating from one of the U.S. service academies. The academies are colleges that train future commissioned officers.

Benefits and Commitments

  • Tuition, room, and board are free.
  • You get paid while you are attending.
  • You must serve for several years in the military after you graduate, unless you go to the Merchant Marine Academy—then you have other options.

Five Service Academies

There are five military academies:

How to Get Into a Military Academy

To be accepted into any service academy except for the Coast Guard Academy, you must first be nominated to the school by either:

  • A U.S. senator
  • A U.S. representative
  • The vice president of the U.S., who can nominate applicants to any academy except the Merchant Marine Academy.

For more information, contact your senator, representative, or the vice president.

How to Get Into the Coast Guard Academy

Submit an application directly. You don't need to be nominated.

Other Ways to Become a Military Officer

You can also earn an officer commission through:

Contact a recruiter for the Department of Defense service branch you are interested in to learn more about these programs:

For U.S. Coast Guard officer programs, contact Coast Guard Recruiting.

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Last Updated: September 14, 2018