College Students

Joining the ODU Army ROTC straight out of high school simply requires acceptance to ODU as a student, and enrollment in Military Science and Leadership 101 (MSL 101) during your freshman fall semester. However, even if you didn't take this route, you can join at almost any point in your college career. See the options below, and contact your recruiter with any questions.

How to Join

Freshman students joining ODU Army ROTC in their Fall semester must register to take Military Science and Leadership 101 (MSL101).

Students joining ODU Army ROTC in the Spring semester must register for MSL 102, then take MSL 201 and MSL 101 during the Fall semester of their sophomore year to satisfy their MSL commissioning requirements.

Sophomore students who have less than four years to graduate and join the ODU Army ROTC program can complete the MSL 101 and MSL 201 courses simultaneously in their Fall semester. In the Spring semester, they must take MSL 102 and MSL 202. In addition to MSL classes, students will typically take ODU’s History 360: American Military History course, or Cadet Command’s online Military History course to satisfy their Military History commissioning requirement.

Traditional Army ROTC cadets who join during their Freshman or Sophomore year will attend the 35-day Army ROTC Advanced Course at Fort Knox during the Summer between their junior and senior years.

It is required to have done at least 2 years of Military Science and Leadership courses to graduate and commission. There are two options to consider if you fall under this category:

  • As a junior, you will need one of the following to receive placement credit for the Military Science and Leadership Basic Course (MSL 100 to MSL 200-level classes):
  1. Have prior military service.
  2. Attend the five-week Army ROTC Basic Course at Fort Knox during the summer between your sophomore and junior year.
  3. Obtain an executive waiver from the Professor of Military Science.
  • Attend graduate school at Old Dominion University to get your master's degree.

The Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) is a volunteer officer training program that allows students to be simultaneously enrolled as a MS II, III, or IV contracted cadet and enlisted Soldier within the reserve components. This provides the future officer with practical and real-life leadership experience while serving as a Reservist or National Guardsman. Should the contracted cadet’s Reserve or National Guard unit deploy, the cadet is contracted into the SMP ROTC program and will not be required to deploy. The cadet can decide to enter Active Duty, the Reserves, or the National Guard in their senior year of collegiate studies.

Benefits of the Simultaneous Membership Program include:

  • Monthly stipend of $420 a month as a contracted Cadet.
  • State and/or Federal tuition assistance.
  • Earn E-5 pay at drill.
  • G.I. Bill benefits for those who qualify.

Contact A Recruiter

Questions? If you are a prospective student with questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact our program via email at or call us at 757-683-3663.