For more information, visit the ROTC page.

  • No commitment to join military
  • Scholarship money potentially available
  • Finish the program here or continue at University Park
  • Learn about leadership and life skills

Penn State Altoona’s Army ROTC program is open to all first and second year students. Successful completion of the program will guarantee the Cadet a job in the Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard and earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant. To start taking ROTC classes, which are taken as electives, interested students must add ARMY 101 to their class schedule. All uniforms and equipment needed to participate in the class will be provided by the Nittany Lion Battalion.

The Four-Year Program

Penn State Altoona’s Army ROTC program is D (Delta) Company of the Nittany Lion Battalion, headquartered in the Wagner Building at University Park. As a part of the Nittany Lion Battalion, Altoona Cadets have most of the opportunities to take part in Cadet activities and training that come with membership in the largest ROTC program in the nation. There are limits to the amount of programs available to Altoona Cadets based solely on the size of the program, but the quality of instruction, availability of financial scholarships, and commissioning opportunities are the same. A minimum of six credits will count toward your degree although some majors may count up to eighteen.

The Army ROTC program consists of two parts, the Basic Course and the Advanced Course. The Basic Course consists of courses taken during the freshman and sophomore years of college, and participation requires no commitment to the military in any form. Participation in ARMY 101 (or any Basic Course class) will include two 50-minute classes, one 2-hour Leadership Lab, and three one-hour Physical Readiness Training sessions per week. Education and training will include basic leadership skills, time management, stress management, land navigation, weapons training, first-aid training, and more.

Upon completion of the Basic Course, displaying officer potential, and meeting academic and physical standards, Cadets are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Course. The Advanced Course consists of courses taken during the junior and senior years of college and will require the Cadet to sign a contract with the Army in order to attend. Cadets attend the Cadet Leadership Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, during the summer between the junior and senior years. Because D Company is a part of the Nittany Lion Battalion, Cadets are able to take all classes needed to finish the program here at Penn State Altoona or they may transfer to University Park. Instruction includes advanced leadership development, group dynamics, organization and management, small unit tactics, and administration.

Additional Opportunities

Penn State Altoona Cadets have the opportunity to participate in various programs and activities outside of the normal course of instruction. The Ranger Challenge Club meets every morning from 5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. and provides the opportunity for extra Physical Readiness Training, tactical training, and a chance to participate in the Ranger Challenge, which is held at Fort Dix, New Jersey and competes against 42 other ROTC programs. The Penn State Altoona Lion’s Guard provides a color guard for parades and ceremonies on and off campus. Philanthropic opportunities include the Run for Wounded Heroes and volunteer opportunities in the local veteran community.

Cadet Summer Training opportunities include the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency and Project GO study abroad programs. Contracted cadets have the opportunity to attend military courses such as Airborne School and Air-Assault School. They may also take part in Cadet Troop Leader Training, an internship where Cadets are partnered with active-duty lieutenants to see what life is like as an Army leader.

Military Studies Minor

By completing all four years of ROTC instruction and six-credits from an approved list of history and political science courses, Penn State Altoona Cadets will receive a minor in Military Studies.

Financial Assistance

Students enrolled in the ROTC program at Penn State Altoona are eligible to compete for campus-based scholarships (when available). These scholarships are extremely competitive but available to all Cadets that apply.

ROTC scholarships cover the following costs:

  • Full tuition
  • $1,200/year for books
  • $300/month living expenses as a freshman, $350/month as a sophomore, $450/month as a junior, and $500/month as a senior

Requirements include:

  • 2.5 cumulative grade-point average
  • Minimum of 920 SAT or ACT composite of 19
  • Passing the Army Physical Fitness Test (2 minutes of pushups, 2 minutes of sit ups, and a 2-mile run)

For more information, contact the Penn State Altoona Army ROTC department at 814-949-5145, or the Nittany Lion Battalion Scholarship and Enrollment Office at 814-865-7255 or

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