ROTC and graduate school at the same time?
July 15, 2011 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Is it reasonable to join ROTC while getting an MPP?

I am looking into doing an MPP after I finish school next year. I will graduate with no debt and don't want to take out student loans. Although I think I'll get some sort of scholarship/fellowship/teaching assistantship, I'm not confident that I'll get a full ride. So with this in mind, I have a few questions:

Will it be difficult to do both an MPP and ROTC at the same time in terms of time commitment/physical tiredness/etc.?

How hard is it to get scholarships for both/either?

ROTC specific: What service would you recommend? If you have personal experience, what are the classes and summer training programs like?
posted by mewohu to Education (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I did ROTC for my undergraduate (Navy) and as far as I know the Navy does not do graduate level ROTC but the Air Force and Army do. I don't know enough about the programs to know if they have limits on what degrees they'll take.

In terms of workload, ROTC is designed to be accomplished by undergrads taking a full load so it's not a huge burden but there is a time commitment.

Expect some early mornings, maybe a couple times a week (PT, close order drill). You'll probably have to take a ROTC specific class every semester. They'll probably be another group lecture every week for a couple of hours (guest speakers, special training, etc). You'll need to keep your physical fitness level up so you can pass the PT test. All these things may or may not happen at the school you're actually attending (many ROTC units are consolidated with a bunch of schools in one geographic area so you might need to factor in travel time).

If you know what school you want to get your MPP at, your best bet is to contact one of their ROTC unit and they'll be able to give you specific information about how the program runs at their school. Note that each service will have it's own schedule and process so what goes for the Army doesn't apply to the Air Force - if you're still unsure about service check with both.
posted by macfly at 7:41 PM on July 15, 2011

I spent a little time in Army ROTC, but as a college freshman. We had PT every morning at 7:30am (required to attend three times per week) for an hour, a classroom lecture once or twice a week, and "lab" on Fridays, which was all morning til usually 1-2pm. Some programs might use different days or be more or less strict about things, of course. Oh, and a couple times per semester we'd have 2-4 day field training exercises over the weekend, which took place at a local Army post.

I don't specifically know anything about ROTC for grad students, but what they did with the undergrads coming into the program with two years left is send them to a training course (LTC) at Ft. Knox for a month the summer before they started to get them up to speed.

It didn't strike me as particularly difficult to get a scholarship at all, at least at my school. But that was a while ago. I agree with macfly that your best bet in general is to get in touch with the ROTC units at whichever schools and get information directly from them.

FWIW, at my school Army ROTC always seemed like more fun than Air Force (we didn't have Navy)... but I think there are plenty of reasons to want to actually serve in the USAF for a few years rather than the Army. Also depends on what kind of job you want to do.
posted by lullaby at 3:20 PM on July 16, 2011

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