UAF is home to the only Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in Alaska. The program began in 1922 as a military science curriculum mandatory for all male freshmen and sophomores. In 1935, UA President Charles Bunnell petitioned the War Department to officially open an Army ROTC program at the university. Approval was granted in 1940 and ROTC has continued to develop ever since. Today's UAF program is staffed with Regular Army and Alaska National Guard officers and non-commissioned officers, providing students with a balance of knowledge and experience. This curriculum challenges students to develop interpersonal, mental and physical skills, cultivating leaders of character, capable of bearing the responsibilities of tomorrow's civil and military leadership positions.
The focus of ROTC is academic excellence and preparing leaders. All students enrolled in at least one course are assigned a faculty member to provide leadership and academic counseling. The counseling is closely monitored by the department head and is conducted twice every semester.
ROTC offers a variety of resources including scholarships, athletic teams and academic assistance. The Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC), funded by the Department of Defense, gives ROTC students the opportunity to work on ARSC systems through research assistantships.
Neighboring Fort Wainwright offers students numerous opportunities to participate in military activities such as the arctic biathlon competition, mentorships and recreational activities in an arctic environment.
The Department of Military Science hosts several activities and organizations. The Ranger Challenge team, a varsity-level sport, participates in an annual competition against other Pacific Rim schools in Hawaii or Guam. Other athletic events include a rifle team and color guard. The color guard routinely participates at the opening of UAF Nanook sporting events. The ROTC Cadet club, also sponsored by the department, is an integral part of the university. Cadet club members organize campus events and public service projects.
Army ROTC provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships and stipends. The current stipend ranges between $300 and $500 monthly depending on military science class level, and is tax free for all committed cadets. ROTC scholarships also pay 100 percent of tuition and mandatory fees and provide $900 annually for books and supplies. In accordance with NCAA regulations for this university, Army ROTC scholarships may be awarded in conjunction with athletic scholarships. Scholarships are available for four, three or two years and may be used for graduate studies.
Army ROTC also offers partnership, or simultaneous membership programs, with the Reserves and National Guard. These partnerships provide a suite of financial assistance programs for ROTC cadets, including tuition assistance, GI Bill benefits and bonuses, stipends and pay. In addition, Army ROTC at UAF is granted a limited number of room waivers and chancellor's tuition waivers for qualified students.
Military science courses are the same as any other college-level course and satisfy electives to a maximum of 23 credits toward degree requirements. Classes, including outdoor skills labs, are offered every semester. Labs are designed to give students hands-on instruction in areas such as rappelling, skiing and survival.
Army ROTC comprises two levels: the basic course followed by the advanced course. Credit for the basic course can be earned in three ways: by completing freshman and sophomore military science classes, by completing a four-week summer camp or by having prior military basic training. Students incur no obligation to Army ROTC or the Armed Forces during the basic course.
Students who complete the basic course may enter the advanced course, which is normally reserved for juniors and seniors pursuing a commission in the Regular Army, Army Reserves or Army National Guard. A minor in military science is available. For more information about ROTC at UAF, see Fees and Financial Aid, Degrees and Programs-Military Science and the Military Science course descriptions, or contact the Department of Military Science at (907) 474‑6852/7501, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.