Military Science - Army ROTC Curriculum - Southwestern Illinois College

For information about the Army ROTC and class schedules, call 618-650-2503. Classes may be held at a Southwestern Illinois College campus or Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Military Science

The purpose of Military Science is to develop young women and men into junior commissioned officers for positions of responsibility in the Army Reserve, Army National Guard or Active Army. Those who successfully complete the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program normally earn commissions as Lieutenants in the United States Army.


ROTC may be completed in several different ways as outlined below.

  1. Four-Year Option. Military Science is traditionally offered as a four-year option. It is best to start as a freshman, but special arrangements can be made for those who start as sophomores. The first two years of Military Science are voluntary (without service obligation) and designed to give the students a perspective on their leadership ability and what the Army can offer them. Students who continue in ROTC and pursue a commission upon completion of the last two years of Military Science are provided with a subsistence allowance (up to $2,000) and all necessary uniforms and Military Science books.
  2. Two-Year Option. The two-year option is designed to provide greater flexibility in meeting the needs of students desiring commissions in the United States Army. Southwestern students who do not participate in the fouryear or community college transfer option are eligible for enrollment at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Basic prerequisites for entering the two-year option are:
    Students must be accepted at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
    Students must be in good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA) and pass an Army medical examination.
    Students must have two academic years of study remaining (undergraduate or graduate). If students are undergraduates, they must have junior status.
    Students will attend a six-week summer camp to obtain the knowledge acquired by students in the four-year option. Attendance at the basic camp does not obligate students in any way and is only intended to provide students experience with Army life and its opportunities. Students will be paid approximately $750 for attendance at basic camp.
ROTC Scholarships

The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps currently has 12,000 scholarships in effect, which pay for tuition and fees, books, and provides $100/monthly for the academic year (4-year institution only). These scholarships cover periods of four years, three years, and in some circumstances two years. Southwestern sophomores should apply in January for the two-year scholarships. Special consideration for scholarships is given to students in engineering, nursing, business, and any of the physical sciences. Scholarship students normally incur a four-year active duty obligation; however, they may request reserve duty to serve with the National Guard or Army Reserve, or may initially compete for scholarships which guarantee reserve or guard duty.

In addition, Illinois State Army ROTC scholarships are available at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. These scholarships pay for tuition on a charter basis and are renewable. Please contact the Army ROTC Military Science professor for details.


All students who desire to enter the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps must be United States citizens, be in good physical condition, and have high moral character. Students must be at least 17 years old to enroll and not over 30 when they receive their commission. Additional qualifications to be admitted into the advanced course include an academic average of “C” or better and passing an Army medical examination.

Academic Preparation

The SIUE Army Reserve “Officers” Training Corps academic preparation consists of two parts: (1) earning a degree in the student’s chosen academic subject, and (2) completion of 18 semester hours (four-year option) or 12 semester hours (two-year option) of the Military Science curriculum. The courses in Military Science are university level academic courses. The curriculum consists of classroom instruction and a leadership laboratory in which students receive leadership experience.

Leadership Laboratory

Leadership Laboratory is required of all students enrolled in Military Science classes. Classes are held one hour each week unless otherwise designated. In addition, students attend one mandatory field training exercise each semester. Leadership Laboratory develops individual military skills and leadership ability through participation in drill and ceremonies, survival training, rappelling, field training exercises and exposure to progressively greater responsibilities within the Cadet Corps Organization.

Extracurricular Activities Sponsored by Army ROTC

Army ROTC students are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular activities designed to enhance the development of individuals’ leadership skills and military knowledge. These activities include the Color Guard, Ranger Club and intramural sports. Students not enrolled in ROTC may participate in these activities with the permission of the Professor of Military Science.