College of Arts & Sciences Military Science


Motivate & Train

Military Science and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) are on campus to motivate and train students to become leaders in the United States Army, or for any profession. Qualified students earn federal commissions while they earn their bachelor's degree by taking military science courses, completing a four-week Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) and maintaining established standards in ethics, academics, physical fitness and citizenship.

Who's Eligible?

Military Science students participate in the program while completing degrees in their chosen fields. In some degree programs, Military Science courses can be used to fulfill social science or elective credit requirements. Any student with at least four semesters of school remaining is eligible to apply.

Am I Obligated to Serve?

Military Science is divided into two levels: basic and advanced. At the basic course level (freshmen and sophomores), you're under no obligation - you can withdraw from the program at any time and are not required to serve in the military. It's a great way to explore Military Science.

If you choose to continue in the advanced course level, you are contracted - that is, you sign an agreement to serve in the Army upon graduation. After graduation, you are commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, and you can choose either to serve with the National Guard and Reserve or compete for selection to active duty commissioned officer assignments.

Partner Schools

Cadets at the Prairie Fire Battalion often participate in the ROTC program at USD while attending school at another location. See our Partnership Schools page for more information.


Through partnership agreements with various local colleges, students enrolled in a nursing curriculum can participate in ROTC sponsored by USD. See the Army Nursing Page for more information.


Military Science courses at USD are tuition free!  And ROTC gives you access to one of the largest financial assistance programs in the nation. You can begin the application process for national four-year ROTC scholarships during your junior year of high school.

We also offer qualified students two- and three-year on-campus full tuition scholarships, money for books, and a non-taxed monthly stipend. Non-taxed monthly stipends are also available for non-scholarship ROTC students. And if you're a resident of South Dakota enrolled in ROTC, you're eligible for the USD Reduced Tuition Incentive, a 50% tuition reduction during your junior and senior years (undergraduate degree only).

Students who attend either the Leader's Training Course or the Leadership Development and Assessment Camp receive approximately $820, and all travel/lodging/food expenses are paid for.

Contact Damian Donohoe at for more information on Army ROTC scholarships or to fill out an application.


Let us answer your questions!

Helpful Links

Should you need more information, check out these links: