Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)


An Act of Congress dated July 2, 1862, provided for military science and tactics instruction in federal land-grant colleges. Such instruction has been given at Colorado State University since its establishment.

In 1919, the Department of Military Science and Tactics of the institution was included in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps under the provisions of the First National Defense Act, July 3, 1916. The ROTC Vitalization Act of 1964 provides for a two-year ROTC program in addition to the traditional four-year program and authorizes ROTC scholarships.

General Information

The Army and Air Force four-year programs complement the four college years and include one summer encampment. Students satisfactorily completing Army or Air Force departmental requirements will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army, Air Force, or Space Force.

Additionally, the Army offers a two-year program whereby a student may earn a commission after completing two years of ROTC training during the junior and senior undergraduate years or during a two-year graduate degree program. This program is designed for transfer students or students unable to take ROTC training during their freshman and sophomore years.  The minimum time needed in Air Force ROTC is three years.

Each student entering the junior year (freshman or sophomore year if a scholarship recipient) of ROTC enlists in the Army or Air Force Reserve and signs a contract. This contract includes a military service commitment and obligates the student to complete the junior and senior year ROTC courses, and to accept a commission as a second lieutenant. Army contracted cadets receive a tax-free stipend of $420 per month.  Air Force contracted cadets receive a monthly stipend amount based on the AS class level:  Freshman $300, Sophomore $350, Junior $450, and Senior $500.  The Aerospace Studies Air force ROTC book stipend is now $900.

Some graduates defer active duty until the attainment of graduate degrees. Opportunities also exist for graduate study while on active duty. Active duty officers may be selected for enrollment at civilian universities in graduate degree programs. When selected, such study is accomplished with full pay and allowances for an officer.


The purpose of the Army and Air Force ROTC courses is to develop leadership capabilities, to provide expertise in organizational skills, and to qualify students for duty as officers with the Armed Forces of the United States. The courses are designed to develop self-confidence, initiative, leadership skills, critical thinking skills, and a sense of duty and honor as a citizen and potential future officer.

College Scholarship Program

Scholarships are available to qualifying students entering or enrolled in the University Air Force or Army ROTC programs. Scholarship consideration is predicated on student ability, performance, and potential. In order to accept the scholarship, if offered, the student must enroll in ROTC, be medically qualified for military service, pass a physical fitness test, and take an oath to defend the constitution of the United States. These ROTC scholarships may provide payment of up to full tuition (resident and non-resident), laboratory expenses, mandatory fees, a textbook allowance of $900 (Air Force) and $1,200 (Army) per year, and the tax free stipend described above.

Details of the scholarship program may be obtained online through the Air Force and Army, and from the ROTC department concerned. Refer to the department listings for names of persons who can supply additional information.