What is the difference between a nomination and an appointment?

A nomination is required in order to receive an appointment. All students can apply to their congressman, senators, and the Vice President for a nomination. Alternative nomination sources are also available. Applying for a nomination is a separate process from applying to the Naval Academy. All nominating sources officially notify the Naval Academy of their nominees by the end of January. Students should apply to all the nomination sources for which they are eligible.

Appointments are invitations to attend the Naval Academy. In a typical year, approximately 5,000 candidates receive nominations. However, only 1,400 appointments will be given out. In other words, obtaining a nomination in no way guarantees that a candidate will receive an appointment. You will be notified of your appointment status by the middle of April.

Do I have to know my congressman to obtain a nomination?

Absolutely not.

Nominations are given on a competitive basis.

How do I know if I'm eligible to apply to the Naval Academy?

You must be:

  • At least 17 years of age and must not have passed your 23rd birthday on July 1st of the year of admission;
  • Unmarried, not pregnant and have no incurred obligations of parenthood;
  • A United States citizen (except for the limited quotas of international midshipmen specifically authorized by Congress); and
  • Of good moral character.
Are there any other qualifications required?

You must:

  • Be found whole person qualified by the Admissions Board
  • Be medically qualified
  • Pass the Candidate Fitness Assessment (same for all the service academies)
  • Receive an official nomination from one of many sources available
What courses should I take to make myself competitive for admission?

To improve your chances of board qualification, your high school preparation should include the following:

  • Mathematics - four years of mathematics courses, including a strong foundation in geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. Courses in pre-calculus and calculus are also very valuable and are highly encouraged.
  • Science - one year each of chemistry and physics, with lab if possible.
  • English - four years of coursework with special attention to the study and practice of effective writing. Surveys of English and American literature are especially helpful as background for the future study of literature.
To further enhance your competitiveness for admission, the following courses are also recommended:
  • Foreign language - at least two years.
  • History - one full year of U.S. history and, where possible, a full year of European or world history.
  • Introductory computer and typing courses are recommended because all midshipmen are required to use personal computers in most courses.
What Grade Point Average do I need to get an appointment?

There is no specific GPA minimum.

However, you should strive to be at least in the top 20 percent of your high school class.

Do you take the strength of my high school into consideration? If so, how?


We look at how many graduates of your high school go on to four-year and two-year colleges and universities.

Do you accept transfer students?

Yes and no.

We do accept students from other colleges as long as they meet our age requirements, but they still have to attend the Academy for four years.

I'm home-schooled. Can I still get an appointment?


Home-schooled students make up an increasing number of applicants for admission to the Naval Academy each year. Each applicant is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but we generally look for the same academic prerequisites as traditional high school applicants.

Additionally, you should let us know if your schooling is recognized by the local school board or the State Board of Education. In addition to qualifying academically for admission, home-schooled applicants should also demonstrate participation in local extracurricular activities, both athletic and non-athletic.

What is NAPS?

NAPS is the Naval Academy Preparatory School. NAPS offers a 10-month college preparatory course to regular and reserve Navy and Marine Corps enlisted men and women who are seeking Naval Academy appointments.

This program is designed to strengthen the academic background and physical preparation of incoming candidates. Navy and Marine Corps personnel who apply but are not appointed to the Naval Academy are automatically considered for admission to NAPS.

The Academy also identifies a number of promising and highly motivated civilian candidates who are not successful on their first attempt at admission and offers them the opportunity to enlist in the Naval Reserve for the express purpose of attending NAPS to prepare for admission to the Naval Academy. A separate application for NAPS is not necessary.

Visit the NAPS website for more information.

What is the Foundation?

The U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, Inc. assists promising candidates who are not appointed in their first try for admission.

This nonprofit organization awards a limited number of sponsorships for post-high school preparatory studies to enhance those candidates' qualifications for admission.

As part of its review, the Naval Academy's Admissions Board considers each candidate for Foundation sponsorship. No special request is required.

I am not a U.S. citizen and am interested in applying to the Naval Academy. What do I do?

If you are not an American citizen, you may still complete a Preliminary Application for admission, but must be a U.S. citizen prior to being admitted.

Information concerning application procedures for foreign nationals may be requested from the Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy. If you are in the process of applying for citizenship, you can apply for admission but you must be a U.S. citizen by Induction Day.

Can I get corrective eye surgery prior to entering the Naval Academy? Will this enable me to fly?

All forms of surgical, laser, and mechanical procedures performed to improve vision are disqualifying for admission. Extremely few waivers have been granted for students who have received this type of medical treatment. In general, it is prudent to delay all refractive surgery procedures until after the progression of nearsightedness associated with growth in eye size has ceased (beyond age 21 for many people).

However, the Naval Academy does allow midshipmen who have entered into their junior year to receive PRK subject to medical screening.