At the Naval Academy, the academic program is focused especially on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), in order to meet the current and future highly technical needs of the Navy. Graduates who are proficient in scientific inquiry, logical reasoning and problem solving will provide an officer corps ready to lead in each warfare community of the Navy and Marine Corps.
The following majors are offered from which midshipman may select to study:
While the majority of midshipmen will choose their majors freely, the needs of the Naval Service take precedence. For the Naval Academy Class of 2013 and beyond, at least 65% of those graduates commissioned into the U.S. Navy must complete academic majors in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics disciplines. This institutional requirement applies as well to NROTC programs at other colleges. At the end of plebe year, midshipmen choose a major course of study with counsel from academic and military advisors.
Some of these areas offer additional specialization within the major. For example, the aerospace engineering major has tracks in aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering reflecting the Navy’s interest in atmospheric and space flight. Minors in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Arabic and Chinese are offered to those who complete four advanced courses in one of these languages while at the Academy.
Upon graduation, a Bachelor of Science degree is awarded regardless of major, by law, due to the technical content of the core curriculum. Those in the top 10 percent of their class graduate with distinction. Those who have completed special honors programs in one of the selected majors graduate with honors.