General Advice for Grades 9-12
Although it is too early for you to apply, it is not too early to prepare. By starting now, you will get a head start on making yourself a competitive candidate. The key to candidacy at the Academy is simple: achieve good grades in challenging college prep courses, hone your competitive spirit by participating in athletics, and practice your leadership skills in clubs and serving your community. For now, please have a look at our STEM Website, which provides information regarding the Naval Academy Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math camp. You may apply for STEM as a rising 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th graders. We recommend that you apply for this wonderful opportunity to see the Naval Academy and explore the world of STEM!
If you are in 10th grade, you should continue focusing on your academics, extracurricular activities, leadership roles and taking the PSAT. 10th grades are also able to apply for STEM. When planning your high school curriculum, you should keep the following suggestions in mind:
- 4 years of Math: Algebra I/II, Geometry, and Trigonometry (at a minimum) and Pre-Calculus or Calculus if offered.
- 4 years of English
- 2 years of a Foreign Language
- 1 year each of Chemistry and Physics (with a lab if available)
- 1 year of US History and 1 year of World or European History
- Computer instruction is very helpful
- We recommend Honors, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses if offered.
Please keep the following timeline in mind if you are currently in 11th grade:
- Starting in December of your junior year (if not sooner): Take the ACT and SAT exams early and often. If you do not score well on one, take the other. The Naval Academy combines the highest math and verbal scores from either test to evaluate your competitiveness. Results are accepted as late as February of your application year.
- January-March of your junior year: Complete a USNA Summer Seminar application. This application also serves as the preliminary application so there is no need to submit another one.
- April of your junior year: Complete a preliminary application (if you did not apply to Summer Seminar). If you meet the minimum academic standards, you will be notified that you are an official candidate and you will be given instructions on how to complete the remainder of your online application.
- Spring of your junior year: Begin contacting the offices of your Representative and both of your US Senators to request a nomination. Many Congressional members set an early fall deadline for nomination requests. Check their websites to determine their procedures.
- June of your junior year to March of your senior year: Complete your online application, medical examination, and Candidate Fitness Assessment.
If you have already entered 12th grade, please complete a preliminary application as soon as possible. If you meet the minimum academic standards, you will be notified that you are an official candidate and you will be given instructions on how to complete the remainder of your online application. You should be sure to manage your application carefully, paying special attention to deadlines for your individual congressional nominations. We also suggest that you read our FAQs page and try to learn more about life at USNA to make the most informed college decision possible. If you believe USNA is for you, begin preparing yourself physically for the challenges of Plebe Summer and apply now!