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Naval Engineering, Architecture & Other Engineering and Majors for the US Navy and Marine Corps

usna annapolis

As the undergraduate college of the Naval service, the US Naval Academy (USNA) prepares young men and women to become professional officers in the US Navy and Marine Corps. Naval Academy students are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. Navy. They attend the academy for four years, graduating with bachelor of science degrees and reserve commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Naval Academy graduates serve at least five years as Navy or Marine Corps officers.

The Naval Academy's philosophy of education stresses attention to individual students by highly qualified faculty members who are strongly committed to teaching. Classes are small, with an average size of fewer than 18 students. All courses at the Naval Academy are taught and graded by faculty members, not by graduate assistants.

The 600-member faculty is an integrated group of officers and civilians in nearly equal numbers. Officers bring fresh ideas and experiences from operational units and staffs of the Navy and Marine Corps. The academy's civilian faculty members give continuity to the educational program and form a core of professional scholarship and teaching experience. Working together closely, these military and civilian faculty member form one of the strongest and most dedicated teaching faculties of any college or university in the United States.

Academic Programs



The Naval Academy's philosophy of education stresses attention to individual students by highly qualified faculty members who are strongly committed to teaching. Classes are small, with an average size of fewer than 18 students. The undergraduate programs of study areas:

Undergraduate Engineering Majors

  • Aerospace Engineering (EAS): The Aerospace Engineering Department offers one of the most exciting and challenging academic programs at the Naval Academy. The program is structured to produce naval officers who will meet the challenges of serving in such areas as naval aviation, space, and research.
  • Computer Engineering (ECE): Computer engineering is a good major for someone who enjoys problem solving, who did well with science and math courses in high school, and who is interested in technology. Computer engineering majors apply classroom concepts in the laboratory throughout the program. In fact, the majority of student learning will take place in the laboratory. The department uses a two-pronged strategy to emphasize skills needed by computer engineering majors: (a) individual learning at lab stations to ensure thorough understanding of required skills and (b) team efforts in solving design problems. Labs are regularly updated with leading-edge technology.
  • Electrical Engineering (EEE): Electrical engineering is a technically demanding and highly rewarding major. It involves a significant amount of time solving problem sets, doing programming and performing laboratory work. It is a good major for someone who enjoys solving challenging yet important problems, who did well in science and math courses in high school, and who is interested in technology.
  • General Engineering (EGE): Few midshipmen choose general engineering initially. Instead, they transfer into it after finding one of the other engineering majors to be more demanding or more narrowly focused than expected. The major is designed to allow such midshipmen to complete graduation requirements within a respectable engineering program.
  • Mechanical Engineering (EME): Successful and satisfied engineering majors are often those that have a desire to understand how things work and how they can make them work better. In addition, a successful mechanical engineer must understand the mathematical and physical relationships that underlie engineering analysis and design.
  • Naval Architecture (ENA) / Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering (ENM): A midshipman contemplating this major should enjoy applying creative and analytical skills to engineering problems. Midshipmen are also encouraged to learn more about this multi-faceted major by visiting the Hydro Lab or contacting any of the naval architecture faculty. A degree in naval architecture allows for numerous career paths in both the military and civilian sectors. With an identified critical shortage of naval architects (both military and civilian) in the coming decades, multiple opportunities exist. Graduates from this major include admirals and astronauts, as well as designers of offshore power and sail boats (including America’s Cup), submarines, surface warships, commercial vessels and exotic craft.
  • Nuclear Engineering (ENR): With a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering, a Navy or Marine Corps officer is well prepared for a wide variety of career assignments both ashore and afloat. Operational sea billets in surface ships, submarines, surface nuclear ships, and aircraft squadrons provide a wealth of opportunities for a nuclear engineer to develop practical engineering experience. The knowledge and skills of those with a background in nuclear engineering are in demand in naval service and civilian life.
  • Ocean Engineering: The major strikes a balance of theory, laboratory/experimental work, and practical application. Students who excel in the major are typically strong in mathematics and science. The ocean engineering major does require hard work and study but it can also be very gratifying, particularly for students who gravitate towards hands-on activities and love the ocean, mechanics, life support systems, and the design of a wide variety of ocean vehicles and structures.
  • Systems Engineering (ESE): In the first class year, systems majors have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the discipline and learn about the engineering design process as part of their capstone project, which is the highlight of their studies. Upon graduation our majors join their selected communities with great confidence as their studies have prepared them for a technology-rich workplace.

Other Undergraduate Majors

  • Arabic
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Computer Science
  • Cyber Operations
  • Economics
  • English
  • General Science
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Oceanography
  • Operations Research
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Quantitative Economics 

U.S. Naval Academy Admissions

Steps for Admission and Basic Requirements for Eligibility:

  • You must have a social security number to apply to the US Naval Academy
  • United States citizen
  • Good moral character
  • At least 17 and not past their 23rd birthday on 1 July of the year they would enter the academy
  • Unmarried
  • Not pregnant; and No dependents
  • A preliminary application must be submitted to become an official candidate for next year’s entering class. If you have applied for the Summer Seminar program, please do not submit a preliminary application.
  • To receive an offer of appointment to the Naval Academy, an applicant must obtain a nomination from an official source. There are many nomination sources and applicants are encouraged to apply to all available sources. This normally includes a U.S. Representative, two U.S. Senators and the Vice President of the United States.
  • The Naval Academy requires candidates to take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT-I) or the American College Test (ACT) prior to admission. For admission purposes, the academy will evaluate candidates based on the highest score in each individual category if you elect to take these tests multiple times. You should set up testing with your high school guidance office or register online at the above sites. You may prequalify to become a candidate (applicant) using your PSAT scores, however these will not be used as final admission criteria.
  • If the information provided in your Preliminary Application indicates your record is strong enough, you will become an official candidate for admission and you will receive a candidate information letter as early as the July prior to your high school senior year. Upon completion of your candidate file, the Admissions Board will review your record.
  • The Naval Academy program is physically challenging. All candidates are required to undergo a thorough medical examination.
  • The Candidate Fitness Assessment is a component of your application and will be submitted electronically. The test consists of a one-mile run, a 'shuttle' run, a kneeling basketball throw, abdominal crunches, push-ups, and pull-ups or a flexed-arm hang for women (when pull-ups cannot be accomplished). The purpose of the test is to evaluate coordination, strength, speed, agility, and endurance. The test can be administered by anyone with a physical education degree, an active duty officer, or a blue and gold officer. Candidates accustomed to regular physical activity should have no difficulty with the Candidate Fitness Assessment. Being properly conditioned prior to Induction Day cannot be overemphasized. You will be far better prepared to meet the stringent physical demands of Plebe Summer if you maintain a high level of physical fitness during high school.
  • The decision to attend the Naval Academy is a major one. Before you make that kind of commitment, you will want answers to many questions about the academy and the naval service.
  • The USNA uses a selection process known as "rolling admissions." As soon as all of your candidate packet forms are received, the Admissions Boards will determine your scholastic "whole person" qualification. If your record of achievement is truly outstanding, you could receive an early offer called a Letter of Assurance.

LAST UPDATED ON Sep 14, 2017

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