Overview of ROTC Contracting

ROTC students are generally classified as one of two types:  Enrolled and Contracted.


Enrolled students are those exploring the Basic Course of the program’s 100 and 200 level courses. Enrolled students ARE NOT obligated to contract, meaning to enter a commitment and finish the program. Students can drop after one term, or they can complete the entire two years of the Basic Course before making their decision. Enrolled students earn elective credit towards their degree while in the Basic Course. Enrolled students are NOT receiving any type of financial assistance from the Army for college.


Ten EWU Cadets contract into the ROTC program on September 20, 2018 in front of historic Showalter Hall.

Contracted students are those who have entered a contract and committed to complete the Basic and Advanced Courses of ROTC. Contracted students then enter the Army as an officer upon graduation, either on Active or Reserve duty. Most students are contracted with ROTC on scholarship, but some are contracted non-scholarship in conjunction with National Guard or Reserve service.

A student MUST be contracted in order to enter the Advanced Course, and Basic Course credit must be obtained in order to enter the Advanced Course. The Basic Course is considered a pre-requisite for the Advanced Course.


Progression is when a student enrolls in ROTC at the beginning of college and proceeds through the entire two years of Basic Course before contracting and moving into the Advanced Course. Some students start ROTC on scholarships out of high school, and many of them earn scholarships while enrolled in the Basic Course. The majority of students in the Basic Course are NOT contracted as they progress through the program.

Lateral Entry

Lateral Entry is any other means, other than Progression, for a student to earn Basic Course credit before entering the Advanced Course. This is ideal for students who start ROTC later than a student directly out of high school. We have several options to award, or for a student to earn, Basic Course credit. For example, a student veteran is automatically awarded Basic Course credit, and as long as a student veteran has two years remaining in school, they can enter the Advanced Course. We have an option for a student to accelerate the Basic Course by simultaneously taking the Military Science 100 and 200 levels in the same year. The preferred method to earn Basic Course credit is for a student to attend the ROTC Basic Camp, a 4-week ROTC camp at Fort Knox, KY. A student automatically earns Basic Course credit by attending Basic Camp.

Lateral Entry Option 1 (Veterans)

College students who are Veterans, or who are currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves, can automatically earn the entire two years worth of Basic Course credit. This means that as long as they have two years remaining in college (undergraduate or masters), then they can automatically enter the Advanced Course. We recommend that a prior service student enroll in the Basic Course, even for one term, to understand how the program works. Just as important is for the Veterans to build bonds with the Cadets who they will serve with as the future student leaders of the program (if they contract into the Advanced Course).

Lateral Entry Option 2 (JROTC)

Students who have experience in the high school Junior ROTC program can earn some credit for the Senior ROTC program. The ROTC Enrollment Officer helps a student determine how much credit can be awarded for JROTC. Former military academy Cadets can also earn ROTC Basic Course credit.

Basic Camp

This path is the most preferred method for college students (non-Veterans) who start ROTC later in college to earn Basic Course credit. It is perfect for a student who starts the program late and has missed any portion of the Basic Course. It is also the best way for transfer students to earn Basic Course credit. One of the perks to Basic Camp is that an enrolled student can attend, and if they decide that ROTC is not for them, then they do NOT have to contract into the Advanced Course.

Basic Camp is a four-week course Leadership course located in Fort Knox, KY. Cadets are taught leadership, teamwork, and problem solving by being placed in rigorous and challenging exercises. Cadets also learn to rappel, fire an M-4, and perform several obstacle courses.


Acceleration is a path where the entire Basic Course of ROTC is completed in 1 year. Essentially, this is a 3-year program to complete ROTC. A student would have to be highly successful in college and have the ability to take 5 credits of ROTC Basic Course classes without detering their graduation. This is an option for transfers who enter EWU with a Direct Transfer Agreement, or a current EWU student who did not start the program as a freshman.

Alternate Entry and Accelerated Commissioning

These paths are only available to highly qualified students who cannot enter the Advanced Course under any other option. Both paths are reserved for students who excel academically, are involved in the college and community and are at a high level of fitness.