Department of Military Science

Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

Columbus State University, in conjunction with the Department of the Army, sponsors a Department of Military Science to instill the Army values and teach leadership principles to students in preparation for future service to the Nation. Army ROTC aids students in developing those abilities and attitudes which will make them academically successful. The program trains and educates select students to become commissioned officers for the Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve. Students may elect to take the first two years of training and instruction without any military obligation. Students who missed the first two years of military science requirements can receive credit for those courses by attending ROTC Basic Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky during the summer months. These students will earn their commission after completing the remainder of commissioning requirements.

Army ROTC Benefits

Army ROTC is "unlike any other college course you can take" because we offer leadership and management training that you cannot get anywhere else here at CSU. If you participate in Army ROTC, you will gain skills in the following areas:

  1. Leadership and management training- learn how to be an effective leader
  2. Leadership experience- don't just read about it in a book
  3. Team dynamics- learn how to be an influential team member
  4. Interpersonal skills- learn how to work well with others
  5. Communication skills- refine your oral and written skills. 

The Army ROTC program has two and three-year campus based scholarships available for highly qualified students already enrolled at Columbus State University. These scholarship opportunities are merit based and not based on financial need.


  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between the ages of 17 and 26
  • Have a college GPA of at least 2.50
  • Meet physical standards
  • Agree to accept a commission and serve in the Army on Active Duty or in a Reserve Component (Army Reserve or Army National Guard)

Your Commitment

  • Serve full time in the Army for four years
  • Selected Cadets may choose to serve part time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career (see below)

Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) Scholarship Program

The GRFD scholarship program is designed for Cadets who are interested in obtaining a commission as an officer in the Army National Guard (ARNG) or US Army Reserve (USAR) with a guarantee for a Reserve Component (RC) assignment. GRFD scholarships offer either full tuition and mandatory fees or a room and board flat rate of $10,000 per year, and cover up to 2 years/4 semesters of benefits. GRFD scholarship awardees also receive an annual book allowance and a monthly stipend based on their academic year. GRFD Cadets must participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) while attending college which means they will also receive pay for attending a drill one weekend per month as well as a two-week annual training in a local ARNG or USAR unit. In return for these scholarship benefits, a GRFD Cadet will serve as a Commissioned Officer in either the ARNG or USAR in a drilling status for 8 years after Graduation.

In addition to these scholarship benefits, GRFD Cadets that are military occupational skill-qualified (MOSQ) can collect Selected Reserve-Montgomery GI Bill (SR-MGIB) and SMP Kicker benefits in conjunction with this scholarship. Since GRFD Cadets also participate in the SMP, Cadets serving in the ARNG may use available State Tuition Assistance (STA), if offered by their State, to cover tuition and fees and combine this with the GRFD scholarship for room and board expenses.

ROTC Basic Courses (Freshmen and Sophomores)

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
MSAL 1215
Introduction to Military Leadership
and Introduction to Military Leadership Lab
 Credit Hours2
MSAL 1216
Military Leadership and Development
and Military Leadership and Development Lab
 Credit Hours2
Second Year
MSAL 2225
Innovative Military Team Leadership
and Innovative Military Team Leadership Lab
 Credit Hours3
MSAL 2226
Foundations of Tactical Military Leadership
and Foundations of Tactical Military Leadership Lab
 Credit Hours3
 Total Credit Hours10

The Basic Course takes place during your first two years in college as elective courses and is open to all students. It normally involves one elective class (2 credit hours) and lab (1 credit hour) each semester along with the requisite physical training and field training exercises. You will learn basic military skills, the fundamentals of leadership and start the groundwork toward becoming an Army leader. You can take Army ROTC Basic Courses without a military commitment.

Basic Camp (MSAL 2420 Military Leadership Training Course)

Basic Camp is a 31-day training event designed to introduce Cadets to the Army. The objective is to develop Cadet leadership skills and train them on individual and junior leader tasks to develop and reinforce Warrior Ethos and our Army Values. Basic Camp provides the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in ROTC, and, ultimately, the Army. Basic Camp’s primary target audience is the Lateral Entry Cadet and the freshman Cadet. Lateral Entry Cadets typically decide to join ROTC in their sophomore year of college, thus require Basic Camp to learn what normal-progression Cadets have learned in their first two years of military science classes, during their freshman and sophomore years of Army ROTC.

ROTC Advance Courses (Junior and Seniors)

Plan of Study Grid
Third Year
FallCredit Hours
MSAL 3231
Adaptive Military Team Leadership
and Adaptive Military Team Leadership Lab
 Credit Hours4
MSAL 3232
Military Leadership and Ethics in Changing Environments
and Military Leadership and Ethics in Changing Environments Lab
 Credit Hours4
Fourth Year
MSAL 4245
Applied Military Leadership Management
and Applied Military Leadership Management Lab
 Credit Hours4
MSAL 4795
Dynamics of Military Leadership in a Complex World
and Dynamics of Military Leadership in a Complex World Lab
 Credit Hours4
 Total Credit Hours16

The Advanced Course takes place during your last two years in college as elective courses. It normally includes one elective class (3 credit hours) and lab (1 credit hour) each semester in addition to the requisite physical training and field training exercises, plus a summer leadership camp. You will learn advanced military tactics and gain experience in team organization, planning and decision-making. To benefit from the leadership training in the Advanced Course, all Cadets must have completed either the Basic Course or have attended Basic Camp. Entering the Advanced Course requires a commitment to serve as an Officer in the U.S. Army after you graduate.

Advance Camp (MSAL 3415 Military Leaders' Development and Assessment Course)

Advanced Camp is now held annually at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The 31-day course is the U.S. Army's largest training exercise; Advanced Camp is the U.S. Army Cadet Command's capstone training event. The purpose of the course is to train U.S. Army ROTC Cadets to Army standards, to develop their leadership skills, and to evaluate their officer potential. Most Army Cadets attend Advanced Camp between their junior and senior undergraduate years after having contracted to join the Army. Successful completion of Advanced Camp is a prerequisite to becoming an Army officer through ROTC.