U.S. Military Academies

College Admissions Information for the United States Military Academies

Military Academies in the United States offer an excellent option for students who are interested in serving their country and receiving a quality education at no cost. Students at these institutions typically receive free tuition, room, and board as well as a small stipend for expenses. All five of the undergraduate military academies have selective admissions, and all require at least five years of service upon graduation. Click on the profile links for more information.

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United States Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy. GretchenKoenig / Flickr

Although the Air Force Academy does not have the lowest acceptance rate of the military academies, it does have the highest admissions bar. Successful applicants will need grades and standardized test scores that are well above average. 

  • Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Enrollment: 3,952 (all undergraduate)
  • Nomination Requirement: From a member of Congress
  • Service Requirement: Five years in the Air Force
  • Popular Majors: Business Administration, Systems Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Behavioral Sciences, Biology
  • Athletics: NCAA Division I Mountain West Conference
  • For acceptance rates, test scores and other admissions data, see the Air Force Academy profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for USAFA

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United States Coast Guard Academy
United States Coast Guard Academy. uscgpress / Flickr

An impressive 80% of graduates from the Coast Guard Academy go on to graduate school, often funded by the Coast Guard. Graduates of USCGA receive commissions as ensigns and work for at least five years aboard cutters or in ports.

  • Location: New London, Connecticut
  • Enrollment: 896 (all undergraduate)
  • Nomination Requirement: None. Admissions are entirely merit-based.
  • Service Requirement: 5 years in the Coast Guard
  • Popular Majors: Civil Engineering, Business Administration, Political Science, Mechanical Engineering, Oceanography, Marine Engineering
  • Athletics: Division III except for Division I Rifle and Pistol
  • For acceptance rates, test scores and other admissions data, see the Coast Guard Academy profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for USCGA

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United States Merchant Marine Academy
United States Merchant Marine Academy. Keith Tyler / Wikimedia Commons

All students at USMMA train in fields related to transportation and shipping. Graduates have more options than those from other service academies. They can work five years in the U.S. maritime industry with eight years as a reserve officer in any branch of the armed forces. They also have the option of serving five years of active duty in one of the armed forces.

  • Location: Kings Point, New York
  • Enrollment: 961 (all undergraduate)
  • Nomination Requirement: From a member of Congress
  • Service Requirement: At least 5 years
  • Popular Majors: Marine Science, Naval Architecture, Systems Engineering
  • Athletics: Division III
  • For acceptance rates, test scores and other admissions data, see the Merchant Marine Academy profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for USMMA

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West Point
West Point. markjhandel / Flickr

West Point is one of the most selective of the military academies. Graduates are given the rank of second lieutenant in the Army. Two U.S. presidents and numerous successful scholars and business leaders hail from West Point.

  • Location: West Point, New York
  • Enrollment: 4,414 (all undergraduate)
  • Nomination Requirement: From a member of Congress
  • Service Requirement: 5 years in the Army; 3 years in the Reserves
  • Popular Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Economics, Civil Engineering, Industrial Management, Business Administration
  • Athletics: NCAA Division I Patriot League
  • For acceptance rates, test scores and other admissions data, see the West Point profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for West Point

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Annapolis - USNA
Annapolis - USNA. Rory Finneren / Flickr

Students at the Naval Academy are midshipmen who are on active duty in the Navy. Upon graduation, students receive commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marines.

  • Location: Annapolis, Maryland
  • Enrollment: 4,511 (all undergraduate)
  • Nomination Requirement: From a member of Congress
  • Service Requirement: 5 years or longer
  • Popular Majors: Political Science, Oceanography, Economics, History, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering
  • Athletics: NCAA Division I Patriot League
  • For acceptance rates, test scores and other admissions data, see the Annapolis profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Annapolis