About USNA

As the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Naval Academy students are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. Navy.

They attend the academy for four years, graduating with bachelor of science degrees and commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Naval Academy graduates serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps.


At the Naval Academy, the academic program is focused especially on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), in order to meet the current and future highly technical needs of the Navy. Graduates who are proficient in scientific inquiry, logical reasoning and problem solving will provide an officer corps ready to lead in each warfare community of the Navy and Marine Corps.

The following majors are offered from which midshipman may select to study:

* = honors program available,  + = STEM major

While the majority of midshipmen will choose their majors freely, the needs of the Naval Service take precedence. For the Naval Academy Class of 2013 and beyond, at least 65% of those graduates commissioned into the U.S. Navy must complete academic majors in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics disciplines. This institutional requirement applies as well to NROTC programs at other colleges. At the end of plebe year, midshipmen choose a major course of study with counsel from academic and military advisors.

Some of these areas offer additional specialization within the major. For example, the aerospace engineering major has tracks in aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering reflecting the Navy’s interest in atmospheric and space flight. Minors in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Arabic and Chinese are offered to those who complete four advanced courses in one of these languages while at the Academy.

Upon graduation, a Bachelor of Science degree is awarded regardless of major, by law, due to the technical content of the core curriculum. Those in the top 10 percent of their class graduate with distinction. Those who have completed special honors programs in one of the selected majors graduate with honors.

Special Academic Program Opportunities

Students who excel at the Naval Academy have many opportunities to challenge and advance themselves through several special academic programs.

Special Academic Programs Conducted at USNA

  • Honors Programs –  Midshipmen with excellent academic and leadership performance can apply for honors programs offered in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, Ocean Engineering, Systems Engineering, Mathematics, Oceanography, Economics, English, History and Political Science. Honors students complete a thesis or research project and orally defend it before a panel of faculty members. Successful participants graduate with honors.
  • Trident Scholar Program –  The  Trident Scholar Program  provides an opportunity for some exceptionally capable midshipmen to engage in independent study and research during their first class (senior) year. Following their selection to the program at the end of their junior year, Trident Scholars conduct year-long independent research in an area of their interest, working closely with a faculty advisor who is an expert in the area that the Scholar has chosen to investigate. Trident Scholars carry a reduced formal course load to give them sufficient time for in-depth research and for preparation of a published thesis. Trident Scholars often report their findings of national conferences related to their field.
  • Bowman Scholar Program  – The  Bowman Scholar Program provides an opportunity for a small group of Naval Academy midshipmen who are seeking initial service assignments in the nuclear Navy to compete for appointments as Admiral Frank Bowman Scholars. Prior to their selection, candidates are screened for the Navy’s nuclear power program by the Director, Naval Reactors. If selected for nuclear power training and subsequently appointed as a Bowman Scholar, the Scholar participates in a tailored research internship during one of the summer training blocks preceding first class year and then participates in a special research-based learning opportunity during his or her last year as a midshipman. During the first year of commissioned service after graduation, Bowman Scholars are generally offered immediate, one-year graduate education resulting in a master’s degree in a technical discipline.
  • Other Special Academic Opportunities at USNA –  Midshipmen should contact their academic advisers for more information about additional special academic opportunities, including independent research, summer internships and more.

Study at Another Institution

USNA offers the opportunity for a midshipman to study for an entire semester at one of our other service academies, at another institution abroad or even in a graduate school program. Note that selection for these programs is highly competitive and a midshipman may participate in at most one of these programs; that is, a midshipman may not spend more than one semester away from USNA.


You can begin the application process as early as your Junior year in high school and we encourage the earlier the better! These steps will provide all the information you need to know about our application requirements and our admissions process.
1. Confirm Eligibility
2. Preliminary Application
3. Apply for Nomination
4. College Entrance Exams
5. Transcript
6. Medical Examination
7. Candidate Fitness Assessment
8. Interview
9. Admission Selection Process & Deadlines
You are eligible to apply for the United States Naval Academy if you meet the following criteria:

A United States Citizen
At least 17 years of age and must not have passed 23rd birthday on July 1st of year of entry
Not pregnant and no dependents
Have a valid Social Security Number (If you do not have a Social Security number you can apply for a card here
If you are in high school but are not old enough to apply, you can register with USNA to receive information about our Summer Programs.

Q Nomination Sources

To receive an offer of appointment to the Naval Academy, an applicant must obtain a nomination from an official source. There are many nomination sources and applicants are encouraged to apply to all available sources. This normally includes a U.S. Representative, two U.S. Senators and the Vice President of the United States. Below are descriptions and eligibility information for each type of nomination source. You do NOT need to know the source personally in order to receive a nomination. Keep in mind that all sources have their own deadlines, so you need to check the website for each source in advance to find out when you should start the application process.

These sources are open to all US Citizens (not a US citizen?)

Members of Congress
Each member of Congress can have five constituents attending the Naval Academy at any time.

Applying for a congressional nomination
Vice President
At any one time, five students may attend the Naval Academy based on a vice presidential nomination.

Applying for a Vice Presidential nomination

Some additional sources are open to certain individuals

Navy & Marine Corps
One hundred seventy appointments are available annually to regular and reserve Navy and Marine Corps enlisted personnel.

Applying for an Enlisted Nomination
Reserve Officers Training Corps Units
All Navy ROTC units and all Navy and Marine Corps JROTC units are eligible to nominate three candidates each.

Applying for an ROTC Nomination
Children of Deceased/Disabled Vets, POW, MIA
Up to 65 midshipmen may be in attendance at the academy based on nominations as children of military personnel.

Applying for a Special Nomination
Children of Medal of Honor Recipients
Candidates in this special category who are fully qualified for admission are automatically appointed.

Applying for a Special Nomination
Presidential Nomination
An unlimited number of presidential nominations are available for children and legally adopted children of career officer and enlisted personnel of the armed forces, active or reserve, including the Coast Guard.

Applying for a Presidential Nomination

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