Can You Attend ROTC as an Online Student?

ROTCThe Reserve Officers’ Training Corp is a set of college electives that you can take in addition to your degree plan, and while it’s not possible to take ROTC electives online, you can still attend ROTC as an online student, according to the Army Website. There are several ways you can save time by taking online classes while still meeting the requirements of ROTC training, and when you finish your online degree, you will not only be a college graduate, but also an officer in the U.S. military. You will have to split your time between a college that offers your online degree and one that offers on-campus ROTC electives. Alternatively, you can attend one college that offers online classes as well as ROTC electives.

Resource: Top 15 Best Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill

How to Enroll in ROTC Courses as an Online Student

ROTC training involves physical instruction and teamwork, and these lessons can’t be effectively taught online. The first step in the ROTC course outline is the ROTC Basic Course, followed by the Advanced Course and then the Leader Development and Assessment Course. All of these milestones require strenuous mental and physical training as they are intended to produce future officers in the U.S. military. You will be examined and tested at the beginning and end of each semester, and your training officers will measure the improvements you make.

The best solution available for taking online courses while enrolled in ROTC training is somewhat of a compromise, but because ROTC courses don’t take too much time out of your schedule, it shouldn’t be difficult to manage. The website of the branch of the military for which you want to take ROTC courses shows a list of schools that offer these courses, and you can search the directory by U.S. state, city or zip code. You will have to ask your college’s enrollment office how to transfer your credits toward your online degree. If your school offers both online classes and ROTC training, you won’t need to transfer credits.

Advantages of Mixing Online and On-Campus Courses

The best way to find out which classes your college offers online is to browse through the online enrollment website. Colleges usually have online Web interfaces where students can log in and enroll in classes, pay tuition, apply for student aid and other activities. When you search for courses for the semester, you can filter your search results to display only courses that are offered online.

Not every degree can be completed online, but many of the required courses may still be offered in this format. For example, for-profit online schools don’t offer every degree because, in order to gain accreditation, they must offer in-person labs for majors such as biology, chemistry and physics. However, lecture courses can be taken online, so biology or chemistry majors can still get their math and English credits out of the way by taking online classes.

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Without in-person ROTC training, officers can’t operate on the same level as enlisted members of the military. After graduating and earning your degree and officer’s rank, you will be putting in active time in the Army, Air Force or Marines, and these members of the military share a very close bond that comes partly from their intense training. With modern technology, however, you can attend ROTC as an online student for most or part of your degree.