At the University of California, Irvine (UCI), there is a wide array of undergraduate programs and resources designed to serve our diverse student body. One program that you may be unfamiliar with is UCI’s ROTC program. To ensure that students know about the significant benefits associated with joining the ROTC, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the program. 

What is the ROTC?

The ROTC, or Reserve Officer Training Corps, was first established on UCI’s campus during the 2010-2011 academic school year as an extension of the program at California State University, Long Beach. Over the last ten years, UCI’s ROTC program has steadily grown, with approximately 60 cadets enrolled today.

The ROTC program’s ultimate goal is to train and develop cadets so they are ready to commission as second lieutenants into the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. Cadets are classified as MSI, MSII, MSIII or MSIV, depending on their years in the program. For instance, MSI cadets refer to freshmen recruits enrolled in basic military science courses and training. MSIV cadets are seniors who are in their final year of the program and getting ready to commission into the U.S. Army.

To learn more about the ROTC program, click here.

How does the ROTC fit into the Division of Undergraduate Education?

UCI’s ROTC program is housed in the Division of Undergraduate Education. This is because cadets in the program must enroll in ROTC training courses and classes through UCI’s General Course Catalogue. ROTC courses and labs are designed to offer training in leadership, physical conditioning, and other basic military skills. 

While cadets enrolled in the ROTC program take special classes, the ROTC is not a separate major or school within UCI. Students take ROTC classes alongside their respective major courses. Students can join the ROTC regardless of their school, department, or major. Students are also allowed to participate in other campus activities while enrolled in the ROTCthis includes involvement in sports, fraternities, sororities, and other campus clubs and organizations.

For more information on ROTC classes and training programs, click here.

How can you join the ROTC?

Students who join the ROTC during their first and second years at UCI do not need to fulfill any prerequisites and can sign up for ROTC classes during open enrollment. Signing up for ROTC classes is a great way to explore the program and learn about all the opportunities that it offers. Once accepted into the ROTC, cadets must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Juniors and seniors who wish to join the program must complete basic training by attending ROTC courses during their first two years at UCI, or by attending Basic Camp during the summer before their junior year. Hosted at Fort Knox, KY, Basic Camp is a way for juniors to enter the advanced ROTC training courses at UCI (MSIII and MSIV) without having been involved with the program during their freshman and sophomore years. Additionally, cadets who wish to continue onto MSIII and MSIV must officially contract with the Army. This means that cadets must swear an oath that, upon graduation, they will commission into the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, or Army National Guard.

MSIII cadets are also required to attend Advanced Training Camp in the summer before their senior year. Held at Fort Knox, the month-long camp is designed to train ROTC cadets to meet Army standards, further develop their leadership skills, and evaluate their officer potential. 

To learn more about joining UCI’s ROTC program, please click here.

How do students benefit from joining the ROTC?

There are many benefits to joining UCI’s ROTC program. While the program will help students improve their leadership abilities, critical thinking skills, and physical fitness, these benefits are only the tip of the iceberg. 

The most significant advantage of joining the ROTC program is the availability of scholarships. Through the ROTC, students can access two, three, and even four-year scholarships to cover the cost of attending UCI. Not only are there scholarships to cover the cost of tuition and educational materials, but cadets even have access to scholarships that cover housing costs and provide a monthly allowance for additional expenses. 

Another major benefit of joining the ROTC program is that cadets who complete their MSIV training are 100% guaranteed a job in the Army once they graduate from UCI. 

To learn more about the scholarships available through UCI’s ROTC program, please click here. For more information on commissioning with the U.S. Army, click here.

How has the program adapted to the current COVID-19 pandemic?

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, UCI transitioned to a remote environment for Spring Quarter 2020. Following suit, the ROTC program also made the switch to online learning and training. Regular classes and labs were conducted via Zoom, and instructors leveraged additional resources to ensure cadets were maintaining their regular physical fitness training. As UCI has now committed to remaining remote through the Fall 2020 Quarter, the ROTC program will continue to operate remotely as well.

The pandemic has also affected the training camps that typically take place during the summer. Instead of cadets traveling and convening at Fort Knox, UCI’s ROTC program will offer both Basic and Advanced Training Camps locally and in a virtual setting this summer. 

For more information on UCI’s ROTC remote summer training camps, click here.

Do you still have questions about UCI’s ROTC program? Then please contact the program coordinators here. Interested in exploring everything that the program has to offer? Then visit the ROTC website here.