If you’re striving to become an officer in the Marine Corps, you’ll earn an undergraduate degree before you are commissioned. You can get money to pay for your undergraduate education through the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School program. During the program, you may study Marine Corp military history and participate in fitness programs. Post graduation with a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, you may complete the Officer Candidates Course, a 10-week commissioning program. The courses are held in summer, fall and winter.
Should you have an Associate’s degree you may likely be enrolled in the Marine Corps’ Meritorious Commissioning Program (MCP). After you complete 75 semester credit hours you qualify to graduate from the program. Even if you initially entered the Marine Corps as an enlisted member, you can apply for commission through the officer’s program. If you don’t have a Bachelor degree you may have to enroll in an accredited college or university to complete a four-year degree.
After you graduate from an accredited college or university, you may have to commit to serve in the Marines for a certain number of years (e.g. four, five). Because the military establishes relationships with certain colleges and universities, allowing them to prepare you to serve as an officer in the Corps, you won’t have to worry about conducting much research on the school as far as the value of the college or university goes, because the military generally only works with quality postsecondary schools.
Your Marine Corps recruiter can help you find a list of colleges and universities near where you live that teach approved Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs. During the programs you take electives in areas like liberal arts, science and humanities. You also take core courses that are related to your major. For example, if you major in psychology, you may take core courses like childhood development, abnormal psychology and psychotherapy treatment methods. In addition and because you’re striving to become an officer in the Marine Corps, as part of the ROTC you may also take courses like military history, military terminology, chain of command and military equipment.
To participate in the Marine Corps’ tuition assistance program (TAP) you generally attend a tuition assistance orientation program and complete and submit a TAP application. Submit your application to the Marine Corps Education and Career Services Center. You can participate in the program if you take classroom or online college degree programs. As an undergraduate student you must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) to get reimbursed for tuition you pay upfront. If you’re a graduate student you must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.