Norwich University

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the nation and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Founded in Norwich, Vermont in 1819, the school is now set among the scenic Green Mountains of north-central Vermont in the city of Northfield.

    Two-thirds of Norwich’s residential students join the Corps of Cadets. If you choose the military option, you will be part of one of the top 10 U.S. institutions that prepare students to be commissioned officers in the U.S. military. With many opportunities to compete for ROTC and institutional scholarships, Norwich University’s financial aid packages make the school one of the nation’s most affordable private educations.

    The Norwich University Corps’ four-year leadership model provides you with a chance to learn how to lead, think critically, influence others, and act with honor and integrity. You’ll get the chance to apply your skills gained through leadership positions within the Corps. You’ll also stand out in athletics, in the classroom, in the community, and in student organizations. The bottom line—you’ll make an impact through study abroad programs, service-learning events, student government, and volunteer activities. As a member of the Corps, you’ll take part in two years (four years if you plan to pursue a commission) of ROTC training each week. ROTC classes are taught by a cadre of military officers.

    Norwich University Corps of Cadets by the Numbers

    • Year Established: 1819
    • Number of Cadets: 800
    • Approximate Number of Cadets Commissioned Annually: 285
    • ROTC Programs: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps

    What Kind Of Degree Programs Are Offered At Norwich?

    You can choose from over 40 majors from biology, chemistry and math, to international relations, political science, and criminal justice. Norwich University’s curriculum will prepare you to excel in any field you choose. You can pursue a career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. military or prepare yourself to be a leader in civic and governmental positions nationwide.

    Am I Eligible To Join The Corps Of Cadets?

    As long as you have been accepted to Norwich University, you have the option to join the Corps of Cadets. If you join an ROTC program, you have to join the Corps. To be commissioned through one of the ROTC programs, you’ll also need to qualify physically and medically to join the U.S. military.

    How Do I Apply To Join The Corps Of Cadets?

    To apply as a cadet in the Corps, you will need to apply and be accepted to Norwich University. To apply to Norwich, you can either complete the university’s in-house form called the Norwich App or the national  Common App. After you complete one of the applications, you will be prompted to send in your supplemental items, such as your high school transcript and test scores.

    Admission to Norwich University is competitive and your file is carefully reviewed by the Office of Admissions. Norwich University is a rolling admissions school, which means that while applications and deposits may be received past the deadlines outlined below, they are accepted only on a space-available basis.

    What Branches Of The Service Have ROTC Programs On Campus?

    Norwich University hosts three branches (four if you include the Marine Corps option of Naval ROTC). You will have the option to choose which branch interests you most.

    Army ROTC

    Norwich University’s Army AROTC program is the oldest ROTC program in the nation. ROTC was formalized in 1917, and Norwich has proudly graduated officers of honor and character for the U.S. Army for more than 100 years. All Cadets live the military lifestyle, participate in at least four semesters of ROTC, and can choose to earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army or as a civilian leader. Norwich boasts the highest rate of active duty commissions in the nation and scholarships awarded for contracted Army cadets in the nation.

    Air Force ROTC

    AFROTC Detachment 867 at Norwich University was established in 1971. To enroll in the AFROTC program, you must be a full-time student. AFROTC at Norwich University provides you the chance to become a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force or Space Force upon graduation.

    Navy and Marine ROTC

    For over 30 years, the Naval ROTC program at Norwich University has commissioned officers that have served the U.S. Navy proudly as surface warfare officers (SWO), submarine warfare officers, special warfare officers (EOD or SEALs), Naval aviators, and Naval flight officers. As a Navy option midshipman, you’ll be assigned a designator during your senior year. If you are interested in a career as a Navy nurse, you can compete for a Nursing Scholarship awarded during your senior year of high school. If you choose the  Marine option, you are designated either as a ground officer or aviation officer upon commissioning.

    What Types Of Military Scholarships Are Available At Norwich University?

    Campus-Based Scholarships

    If you are a current high-performing Norwich University cadet, you can compete for scholarships through exemplary performance, starting the second semester of your freshman year.

    Army ROTC Scholarships

    You can compete for an Army ROTC scholarship that pays full tuition, book allowance, and a monthly stipend for two, three, or four years. In return, you will earn a commission as an Army officer in either the Active Duty Force, the Army Reserves, or the National Guard.

    Air Force ROTC Scholarships

    The Air Force offers two, three, and four-year scholarships to high school students and students currently enrolled in college. Read on to find out what scholarships are available at Detachment 867.

    High School Scholarship Program (HSSP)

    If you are competing for an HSSP scholarship, you will need to apply through AFROTC.

    Air Force ROTC In-College Scholarship Program (ICSP)

    If you were not awarded a scholarship out of high school, you have the chance to compete for in-college scholarships in the spring of your freshman year term and again in the fall as a sophomore. Scholarship availability will depend from term to term based on funding.  Consideration for scholarships reviews the following: Commander’s ranking in the cadet class, cumulative GPA, and physical fitness assessment scores.

    Naval and Marine ROTC Scholarships

    The Navy offers two, three, and four-year scholarships to high school students and students currently enrolled in college. Read on to find out what scholarships are available at Norwich University.

    Four-Year Scholarship

    If you are competing for a four-year scholarship, you will need to apply through NROTC. The scholarship covers full tuition, partial fee coverage, $750 book stipend, uniforms, and subsistence allowances. If you want to compete for a Marine Corps Scholarship, you must pass the Marine Corps physical fitness test and get a minimum of 74 on the Armed Forces Officer Qualification Test (AFOQT).

    Two- or Three-Year Scholarship

    If you are competing for a two-or three-year scholarship, you will need to apply through NROTC. Benefits and deadlines are the same as the four-year scholarship. If you want to compete for the Marine Option Two & Three-Year Scholarship, you must contact the Marine Office Instructor at the Navy ROTC Unit you are planning on attending for details on the application process.

    What Is My Service Commitment After Graduating From The Norwich ROTC Program?

    Once you get your degree, your military service begins. You’ll begin military life as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Marines, or an ensign in the U.S. Navy. Most ROTC graduates have a service commitment of four years.

    If you receive an Army ROTC scholarship or enter the Army ROTC Advanced Course, you agree to complete eight-years of service with the Army. If you enroll in the Army ROTC Basic Course, you are not committed to service in the Army unless you are on an Army ROTC scholarship. All scholarship students will be required to serve in the military for eight years. You may fulfill your obligation by serving three years on active duty and five years in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR). If you are on a four-year scholarship, then you’ll serve four years active and four years in the IRR.

    If you are accepted into special programs like as a pilot, your commitment will be longer. After you complete your service obligation, you can leave the military or continue your military career. Many officers stay on for 20 years and retire from the military.

    What Is Life As A Norwich University Cadet Like?

    As a cadet, you’ll learn to lead from day one. Leadership positions are earned and are based on your academic achievement, leadership potential, physical fitness, and job performance. From your rook to senior year, you’ll have plenty of chances to learn how to lead yourself and to lead others. You’ll be an inspiration for those who serve with you.

    Rook Year (Rook to Cadet)

    After you complete Rook Orientation the week before the semester starts, you’re considered a Rook. Halfway through your second semester, you’ll be officially recognized as a cadet during a special ceremony that symbolizes your preparedness for more responsibility within the Corps. You’ll learn about personal accountability and be expected to develop the study skills need to excel as a student. Basic military skills, the honor code, and team building are all emphasized during your Rook year and through ROTC programs.

    Sophomore Year (Private to Corporal)

    Your sophomore year will allow you to assume personal responsibility, and you’ll be expected to study on your own. You’ll learn through small group leadership methods and further develop your own leadership style.

    Junior Year (Private to Command Sergeant Major)

    Your junior year is where you shine as a leader of groups of lower-class cadets. You’ll be responsible for training underclassmen to seeing to their welfare. You’ll also supervise other cadets by providing them counseling and investigating any honor code violations. Your ROTC training will continue, and you’ll decide if you want to follow the commission path and become an officer after you graduate.

    Senior Year (Private to Colonel)

    Your senior year will allow you to lead not just underclass cadets but the entire Corps of Cadets. You’ll plan and oversee all of the Corps organization’s decision-making policies and training (with the help of the Corps commissioned officers and NCOs).

    Written by Team