The UCR program is seeking well-rounded young people who demonstrate excellent academic ability, leadership potential, physical aptitude, and desire to serve. Minimal requirements include:

  • Must be at least 17 years of age. 
  • ACT score of 19 or SAT score of 920. 
  • High school GPA of 3.0 and/or college GPA of 2.5. 
  • Minimum of two academic years remaining in undergraduate or graduate degree program.
  • Good moral and legal standing.
  • Capable of passing the Army Physical Fitness Test for age/gender.

Individual questions about a specific requirement and eligibility will be considered during an in-person or Skype interview. Interested students, parents, or representatives should contact UCR ROTC directly at


All students at a four-year institution offering ROTC can participate in the program’s Freshman and Sophomore classes without any incurred obligation or commitment. Registering as a “participating non-contract cadet” is extremely straightforward. Baseline information and a physical liability waiver is required to participate in training events, but no obligation to the military is incurred.

At a minimum, UCR encourages a six-month trial period that allows a student to get a feel for the program and understand the service requirements that come with contracting into the program. This period allows the student to register for classes, attend all training opportunities, and receive full academic credit through our Cross-Enrollment Program with CSUSB. Instructors utilize this six-month trial period to determine if the student is a good fit for the organization. The student and instructors have regular touchpoints to determine both parties current stance. If the cadet is not meeting standards, instructors provide mentorship and guidance on how to meet the standard. UC Riverside does not turn away any interested student before the junior year. We firmly believe in development and will provide a personal touch to offer a route to improvement.

No contract is required until the Junior year. If the cadet fails to meet minimum standards, the cadet will not be offered a contract. If the cadet shows promise and mutual interest in contracting, the cadet will receive a full briefing on the contract process and be given the opportunity.


Two types of contracts exist – scholarship and non-scholarship. Additional details on the scholarship application process are available on the Scholarship tab. A student will only contract once, i.e. a student cannot apply for a non-scholarship contract, sign it, and then be eligible to compete for a scholarship. Scholarships are subject to the availability of funds. We have found that students may elect to postpone contracting until the junior year in order to compete for scholarship opportunities until the opportunities are exhausted.

On the cadet side, a contract stipulates the anticipated graduation date and degree type that the student is projected to receive. The student receives a $420/month stipend during the school year for the remaining months in the contract. In return, the student is committing to finishing the third and fourth years of ROTC instruction with the promise to commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Active Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard upon graduation. The student commits to a total period of eight (8) years of service after graduation. If the student applies for and is chosen for service in the active component, a minimum of four (4) years must be spent on active duty. The student may elect to serve the remaining four (4) years in one of the other components.

Simultaneous Membership Program

The Simultaneous Membership Program allows a student to attend Army ROTC and serve in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard at the same time. The SMP program offers additional training and leadership experience – and an additional paycheck. Cadets serve as officer trainees earning E-5 pay for drill weekends and annual training. This option is available to students who have already attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training and are actively drilling with a unit – and it is also available to students who have no previous experience. Our recruiting officers can coordinate an SMP agreement that allows the cadet this opportunity without requiring the student to attend Basic Training, i.e. without any interruption to the student’s academic trajectory.


Army ROTC scholarships pay:

  1. Full cost of tuition and fees OR a $10,000/year room and board allowance.
  2. $1,200/year for books
  3. $420/month stipend

All Army ROTC scholarships are awarded based on merit and grades, not financial need. There are two distinct periods when a student can apply for an Army ROTC scholarship. The first period occurs when the student is a senior in high school.


Applicants compete for national scholarship opportunities utilizing the application and process located here:

Apply Here!

A selection board meets three times during the Student’s senior year to determine award winners. These Boards are held in October, January, and March. Scholarship award winners are notified no later than May of their senior year. It behooves an applicant to submit all materials prior to the first board so that the packet has maximum exposure.

The second period is available while the student is on campus. At UCR, students interested in competing for scholarships begin participation in the program and submit an application. Claremont McKenna College receives source funding through Cadet Command. Student applications from all six schools in the program are reviewed and judged against one another based on the availability of funds for each grade level. In 2019, three (two sophomores and one freshman) successfully competed for and were awarded full scholarships that will cover the remainder of their tuition and fees costs at UCR.

Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty

The GRFP program is designed for cadets who are interested in obtaining a commission specifically in the U.S. Army Reserves or Army National Guard with a guarantee for an assignment in these components. Scholarships cover the same costs outlined by the national and campus scholarships described above. The difference is that a cadet who accepts a GRFD scholarship is unable to pursue or accept a commission in the active component. GRFD scholarship winners are mandated to participate in the SMP program. UCR instructors and CMC recruiters can provide additional contact information regarding the availability and details for these scholarships. Our program recommends that a student experience at least six-months in the program before committing to a GRFD scholarship to ensure that the active component is not something he/she wants to pursue.

Additional Opportunities

Cadets enrolled in the ROTC program have numerous opportunities to compete for additional training opportunities. All contracted cadets must attend a mandatory 37-day evaluation at Fort Knox during the summer between the Junior and Senior years. Other paid and fully-funded training opportunities are available during the summers after the Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years for contracted cadets. 

  • Air Assault School
  • Jungle Warfare School
  • Airborne School
  • Cadet Field Training at West Point
  • Cadet Troop Leader Training
  • Drill Cadet Leader Training
  • German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge
  • Mountain Warfare School
  • Sapper School
  • Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course
  • Opportunities for world travel and cultural immersion (Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, South America)

Service Components

At the conclusion of the Junior year, cadets are evaluated for their performance in all aspects of ROTC. This computation includes physical training performance, overall academic GPA, leadership performance on campus, and Cadet Summer Training performance. A typical year has approximately 5,500-6,500 cadets entering the Senior year. All cadet performances are evaluated and an Order of Merit Score is computed. The cadets are ranked at a national level. 

In September of the Senior year, cadets submit their preferences for component of choice, service branch, and initial duty station. A typical class has approximately 3,000 Active Duty slots with the remainder being National Guard and Reserve. Cadets are not drafted into a specific component – it is based on preference. Preference for Active-Duty is not a guarantee of an assignment. A typical class has approximately 500 students who will have a preference for Active Duty and will be given an assignment in the National Guard or Reserve components.