Military Academies

The Basics of Applying to a Military Academy

There are five military training academies in the United States, which are sometimes collectively known as the “Five-Pointed Star,” as follows:                                               

The United States Military Academy is known as West Point. It is a four-year, coeducational military academy whose “cadets” graduate as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
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The United States Naval Academy is often referred to as USNA, Annapolis, or Navy. It grants bachelor’s degrees to students based on academic, militaristic, and athletic performance.
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The United States Air Force Academy graduates are commissioned second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force. Go to for further information.

The United States Coast Guard Academy offers eight majors and, like its four counterparts, requires graduates to complete five years of active duty service.               
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The United States Merchant Marine Academy trains “midshipmen” in marine engineering, maritime law, and other subjects related to military and civilian sea transport.
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Basic Eligibility and Application Process for Candidates

A U.S. citizen (or an eligible non-citizen with proof of intergovernmental authorization)
• At least 17 years old, but younger than 23, by July 1 of admission year (for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy the upper age limit is 25)
• Unmarried
• Not pregnant
• Without dependents—not be legally responsible for support of any children

Interested students should begin preparing early in high school, and complete a preliminary application in their junior year. Students are strongly encouraged to advise their counselor as soon as possible. Your counselor is here to assist you throughout the admissions process, including notifying the administrative staff as to your intent to apply to one of the military academies.

You can request the application from a regional command office or from the institution itself, or you can apply online. You will later be required to complete additional applications for Congressional nomination and regular admissions. These applications will, in many cases, be accompanied by face-to-face interviews. Military academy candidates are required to take the standardized college admissions tests that are required of most civilian students—the SAT and/or the ACT.

                                Medical and Physical Testing Requirements

Both a medical examination and a physical fitness test are required for entry.  Information about the physical tests can be found by visiting your prospective academy’s website. Candidates should possess above average strength, agility, and endurance.

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