May 18, 2024  
2022 - 2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022 - 2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Military Science



The Military Science Faculty.  

Military Science Program

A unit of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps was established at the College of William & Mary on July 1, 1947, with an assigned mission to qualify students for positions of leadership and management in the United States Army and the civilian sector. By participating in the ROTC program a student may earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Active Army, the United States Army Reserve or the Army National Guard, while pursuing an academic degree. The program offers a general military science and leadership curriculum which enables a cadet to qualify for assignment into any one of the 16 branches of the Army. The Military Science and Leadership Department is a joint program with Christopher Newport University. Classroom courses are taught at the College of William & Mary, with field leadership training conducted at sites such as Ft. Eustis, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Pickett, the Mariner’s Museum, and in Matoaka Woods at the College of William &  Mary. Participation includes:

  1. $4,500-$5,000 subsistence allowance during junior and senior years; some books and all uniforms are furnished by the Department of Military Science.
  2. An opportunity to participate in leadership and confidence-building activities as land navigation, adventure training, marksmanship, field training exercises, and physical training. The leadership and management skills development program includes education, training and experience that prepare a student for leadership in military service and civilian life.
  3. An opportunity to earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and a job opportunity in a leadership position with a starting salary and allowances of $39,000 per year, increasing to $73,700 in four years, or an opportunity to serve in the Army Reserve or National Guard.
  4. Newly commissioned officers may request an educational delay in their entry on active duty in order to pursue graduate studies in medicine, law or divinity.


Four-, three- and two-year scholarships are available. Students compete for several thousand scholarships nationwide. Freshmen and sophomores may apply for the three- and two-year scholarships, respectively. These scholarships pay for:

  1. Tuition & Mandatory Fees (fully funded)
  2. Books (up to $1200 annually)
  3. Expense stipend ($300-$500 tax free per month)

Requirements for Enrollment

Any full-time freshman or sophomore student who is physically qualified and not already holding a commission in any armed forces may enroll in the Basic Military Science and Leadership program. Those meeting these qualifications, but who have had prior military experience in the armed forces; ROTC in another college; or in junior ROTC in high school, should consult the Department of Military Science & Leadership. Entrance into the Advanced Course (300- and 400-level) is based upon the following:

  • Satisfactory completion of the Basic Course, Leader Training Course, advanced placement due to prior military service, or three years of JROTC;
  • Successful completion of an Army physical examination;
  • Execution of appropriate loyalty statements and contractual agreements;
  • Satisfactory completion of the appropriate screening tests; and
  • Selection by the Professor of Military Science.

Requirements for Commissioning

The Department of Military Science and Leadership offers two, three, and four year programs that will qualify students for commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. General requirements for commissioning include:

  1. Completion of the Military Science and Leadership Basic Course.
    1. Four-Year Program. Complete MLSC 101  / MLSC 103 , MLSC 102  / MLSC 103 , MLSC 201  / MLSC 203 , MLSC 202  / MLSC 203  during the freshman and sophomore years.
    2. Three-Year Program. Students who have less than four years to graduate and are accepted into the Military Science and Leadership program after their first term can complete the MLSC 100-level courses simultaneously with the MLSC 200-level courses as determined by the Professor of Military Science & Leadership.
    3. Two-Year Program. Either prior military service, three years of Junior ROTC or attendance to the four-week ROTC Leader Training Course during the summer (between the sophomore and junior years) will provide placement credit for the ROTC Military Science and Leadership Basic Course.
  2. Completion of the Military Science and Leadership Advanced Course:
    1. Complete MLSC 301  / MLSC 303  and MLSC 302  / MLSC 303  during the junior year.
    2. Attend a 33 day ROTC Cadet Summer Training Course during the summer between the junior and senior years or following the senior year.
    3. Complete MLSC 401  / MLSC 403  and MLSC 402  / MLSC 403  during the senior year.
  3. Completion of HIST 318 HIST 318 - United States Military History, 1860-1975 . This course is taught by the University’s Department of History.


A non-scholarship student incurs no obligation to the military by participating in freshman or sophomore Military Science and Leadership courses (MLSC 100 and 200-level courses). These courses offer a student the opportunity to evaluate the prospect of military service and to qualify for the Advanced Course beginning in the junior year. When a cadet enters the Advanced Course, he or she contracts and is obligated to accept a commission, if offered, as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army upon graduation.

Career Placement: Active Duty and Reserve Forces Duty

All commissioned officers incur an initial eight-year obligation. ROTC cadets have a choice of requesting Active Duty or Reserve Forces Duty. The difference between the two options is listed below:

  1. Active Duty. The first three to four years are served on active duty, with the remaining four to five years served in the Reserves.
  2. Reserve Forces Duty (Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserve). Newly commissioned officers may enter active duty for approximately 90 days to attend a branch-specific Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) and serve out the remainder of their eight year obligation in the Reserves while pursuing a civilian career. Cadets may choose to guarantee this option prior to entrance into the junior year.

Description of Courses

Note: No more than twelve of the Military Science credits count toward the 120 credits needed for graduation. The remaining credits will appear on the student’s official transcripts.

Basic Courses

The following Military Science Basic Courses are designed for freshmen and sophomores: MLSC 101 , MLSC 102 , MLSC 201  and MLSC 202 . The Basic Courses introduce freshmen and sophomores to the fundamentals of leadership and management while they learn about the opportunities and prospects of ROTC and commissioned service. Students complete these courses without service obligation (except Army scholarship students) while qualifying for the Advanced Program. All students must participate in the Leadership Laboratory (MLSC 103  and MLSC 203 ) in the Basic Courses.

Advanced Courses

These courses are designed to prepare juniors and seniors who have agreed to seek a commission as officers in the United States Army. Freshmen and sophomores may not take the Advanced Courses.

Programs and Course Descriptions



    Military Science