The military science curriculum teaches the principles of management and leadership as a foundation for civilian and military careers. Graduates of this program are eligible for appointments as commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

For more information on participating in ROTC or on scholarship opportunities, please contact rotc@vcu.edu or call (804) 828-7682.


Army ROTC offers students several opportunities for scholarships worth more than $29,000 at VCU. High school students and students on campus may apply for a four-year scholarship. Two-year scholarships also are available to on-campus students. All scholarships cover VCU tuition, most books, laboratory fees and provide between $300 to $500 a month during the school year for living expenses.

The four-year program

The traditional four-year program is divided into two parts.

Basic course

Normally freshman and sophomore years, which cover military history, traditions, organizations and national defense. The emphasis in the course is on leadership development and general life skills. There is no commitment to the U.S. Army, unless the student is on a ROTC scholarship.

Advanced course

Departmental approval is required to enter junior- and senior-level classes. They cover instruction and practice in management, tactics, ethics, professionalism and continued leadership development.

All ROTC uniforms and materials are furnished at no cost. Students selected for advanced classes receive $450 or $500 a month during the school year.

During the summer between the junior and senior years, students will attend a four-week course, Leadership Development and Assessment Camp. LDAC provides hands-on experience and evaluations for students at Fort Lewis, Wash.

The two-year program

Students who have not taken any of the basic classes are still eligible for a commission through the two-year program.

In this program, student attend the Leader’s Training Course at Fort Knox, Ky., for four weeks during the summer. Upon completion of LTC, students are eligible for the advanced courses in their junior and senior years.

Simultaneous membership program

This program allows students to become members of the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve while enrolled in Army ROTC.

Advanced ROTC SMP students are paid for their guard/reserve training plus they receive a monthly ROTC allowance of $400, $450 or $500 for up to three years.

ROTC for veterans

If students are veterans, military experience can fulfill the basic course requirements. Some veterans may enroll directly into advanced courses. In addition to any financial assistance received from ROTC, veterans still are qualified to receive any and all VEAP/GI Bill/Army College Fund benefits to which they are entitled.

MILS 101. Military Science and Leadership: Introduction to the Army. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 1 laboratory hour. 1 credit. Introduces students to fundamental components of service as an officer in the U.S. Army. Forms building blocks of progressive lessons in values, fitness, leadership and officership. Also addresses "life skills" including communications theory and practice (written and oral) and interpersonal relationships.

MILS 102. Military Science and Leadership: Foundations of Agile and Adaptive Leadership. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 1 laboratory hour. 1 credit. Introduces students to "life skills" of problem-solving, decision-making and leadership. Designed to help students be more effective as leaders, both immediately on campus and in the long term in either military or civilian life. Introduces students to fundamental officer skills such as map reading, land navigation, tactics and leadership values/actions. Using these basic skills, students will build a rudimentary understanding of the core competencies necessary to become an Army officer and leader.

MILS 201. Military Science and Leadership: Leadership and Decision Making. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 1 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisites: MILS 101 and MILS 102 or permission of department chair. Explores the dimensions of creative and innovative tactical leadership strategies and styles by examining team dynamics and two historical leadership theories that form the basis of the Army leadership framework. Aspects of personal motivation and team building are practiced by planning, executing and assessing team exercises, and by participating in leadership labs. The course continues to develop knowledge of leadership values and attributes through understanding Army rank, structure and duties as well as broadening knowledge of land navigation and squad tactics. Case studies provide a tangible context for learning the Soldiers Creed and Warrior Ethos as they apply in the contemporary operating environment.

MILS 202. Military Science and Leadership: Army Doctrine and Team Development. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 1 laboratory hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: MILS 201 or permission of department chair. Examines the challenges of leading tactical teams in the complex contemporary operating environment (COE). Highlights dimensions of terrain analysis, patrolling and operation orders. Continued study of the theoretical basis of the Army leadership framework explores the dynamics of adaptive leadership in the context of military operations. Cadets develop greater self-awareness as they assess their own leadership styles and practice communication and team-building skills. COE case studies give insight into the importance and practice of teamwork and tactics in real-world scenarios.

MILS 203. Military Science and Leadership: Leader's Training Course. 6 Hours.

0-6 credits. Prerequisites: enrollment in the ROTC program, military service obligation and permission of department chair. Five-week summer course consisting of leadership training at Fort Knox, Ky. Completion of this course equates to completion of MILS 101, 102, 201 and 202, and enables students to enroll in the advanced military leadership courses. Amount of academic credit awarded depends upon amount of basic military science credit previously earned. Travel pay and salary provided through Department of Military Science and Leadership. Graded pass/fail.

MILS 301. Military Science and Leadership: Training Management and the Warfighting Function. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 1 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MILS 101, MILS 102, MILS 201 and MILS 202 (or MILS 203), permission of department chair and military service obligation. Challenges cadets to study, practice and evaluate adaptive team leadership skills as they are presented with the demands of the ROTC Leader Development and Assessment Course. Challenging scenarios related to small unit tactical operations are used to develop self-awareness and critical thinking skills. Cadets receive systematic and specific feedback on leadership abilities.

MILS 302. Military Science and Leadership: Applied Leadership in Small Unit Operations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 1 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MILS 301 or permission of department chair. Provides instruction and case studies that build upon leadership competencies and military skills attained in MILS 301 in preparation for future responsibilities as Army officers. Specific instruction is given in individual leader development, planning and execution of small unit operations, individual and team development, and the Army as a career choice.

MILS 306. Military Science. 0 Hours.

0 credit. Prerequisite: MILS 302 and successful completion of four basic military science courses or MILS 203 Basic Military Science for six credits. ROTC National Advanced Leadership Camp. The ROTC camp summer practicum is six weeks long. Individual and group experience for application of leadership training. Exposure to leadership situations that require decisions made under physical and mental stress conditions.

MILS 401. Military Science and Leadership: The Army Officer. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 1 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MILS 302 or permission of department chair. Develops student proficiency in planning, executing and assessing complex operations, functioning as a member of a staff, and providing performance feedback to subordinates. Cadets are given situational opportunities to assess risk, make ethical decisions and lead fellow ROTC cadets. Lessons on military justice and personnel processes prepare cadets to make the transition to becoming Army officers. MS IV (senior) cadets lead lower-level cadets. Both classroom and battalion leadership experiences are designed to prepare MS IV cadets for their first unit of assignment. Cadets identify responsibilities of key staff, coordinate staff roles and use battalion operations situations to teach, train and develop subordinates.

MILS 402. Military Science and Leadership: Company Grade Leadership. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 1 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MILS 301, MILS 302 and MILS 401, or permission of department chair. Explores the dynamics of leading in the complex situations of current military operations in the contemporary operating environment. Cadets examine differences in customs and courtesies, military law, principles of war, and rules of engagement in the face of international terrorism. Cadets also explore aspects of interacting with non-government organizations, civilians on the battlefield and host nation support. Course places significant emphasis on preparing cadets for Basic Officer Leadership courses and their first unit of assignment. Utilizes case studies, scenarios and "What now, Lieutenant?" exercises to prepare cadets to face the complex ethical and practical demands of leading as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

MILS 492. Military Science and Leadership: Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 independent study hours. 1-3 credits. Maximum of 3 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses. Enrollment is restricted to students of junior or senior standing who have acquired a minimum of 12 credits in military science and leadership. Determination of the amount of credit and permission of the department must be obtained prior to registration. The course is a mechanism to continue students’ study of leadership and Army doctrine when they have exhausted all other available military science courses. Students will critically examine several historical and contemporary leaders through the lens of different theories of leadership. These theories will come from the Army’s leadership model, as well as those used in the civilian sector. At the conclusion of this course, students will have mastered the Army’s leadership model and be prepared to develop subordinate leaders as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Graded as pass/fail.