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The Blue and Gold Book
Midshipmen formation in front of Bancroft Hall


Competition to become a midshipman is fierce, but if you are of excellent moral character, have prepared yourself for a challenging, multidimensional four-year program and want the privilege to serve as a leader of sailors and Marines who volunteered to serve their country, you should apply for admission.

Applying to enter the Naval Academy is different than most other college admissions processes. In addition to reviewing your academic record, our Admissions Board evaluates your physical fitness, leadership potential and motivation to be a midshipman and an officer in the Navy or Marine Corps. You must be recommended by teachers, interviewed by an Academy representative and nominated by at least one official source.

We want to ensure that the best-qualified candidates from around the United States and its territories are selected for admission and that young men and women have the drive and motivation to complete the four-year program and excel as Navy and Marine Corps officers. All candidates have an equal opportunity for consideration, and eligible men and women of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility Requirements for Applying to the U.S. Naval Academy

You must be:

  • at least 17 years of age and must not have passed your 23rd birthday on July 1 of the year of admission;
  • unmarried, not pregnant and have not incurred obligations of parenthood;
  • a United States citizen (except for the limited number of international midshipmen specifically authorized by Congress); and
  • of excellent moral character.
  • be found academically qualified to compete for an appointment by the Naval Academy Admissions Board;
  • be medically qualified;
  • qualify physically by passing the Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) used by all service academies; and
  • receive an official nomination from one of many sources available.

How to Become Competitive for Admission and Prepare for Academic Success

The academic program at the Naval Academy is very challenging.  Consequently, your preparation will be extremely important. Because the USNA program emphasizes mathematics, science, engineering and writing, your school preparation should include the following:

  • Mathematics: four years of mathematics courses, with a strong foundation in geometry, algebra and trigonometry.
  • English: four years of coursework in English with a special emphasis on the study and practice of effective writing.

Your application will be strengthened if, in addition to the above, you have had:

  • Mathematics: courses in pre-calculus or calculus.
  • Science: two years with at least one year of chemistry, with laboratory experience
  • English: additional courses in English and American literature as well as courses in other areas that emphasize writing.
  • Foreign Language: at least two years, preferably four, in a single language. Coursework should include regular use of the spoken language and encompass elementary syntax and grammar.

To further enhance your competitiveness for admission and your preparation for academic success, the  following is also recommended:

  • Physics: a full year including a laboratory experience
  • History: a full year of U.S. history and, where possible, a full year of European or world history.

To demonstrate your ability to meet the physical and time management demands of four years at the Naval Academy, you should take part in athletic and non-athletic extracurricular activities. Since every midshipman is involved in daily physical activity at the Academy, it is important that you get in excellent physical condition while still in high school. Plebe Summer is not the time to try to whip yourself into shape. Since we are also interested in your leadership potential, as well as your ability to manage your time, we will carefully consider your non-athletic activities and record of part-time employment or military service to evaluate your versatility and ability to accept responsibility. And, by all means, stay away from illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol.

Steps for Admission

Review the Steps for Admission (including obtaining a nomination, sources for a nomination, deadlines, costs and financial obligations, naval service obligation, police record checks, Induction Day requirements, resignations and separations, and alternate routes to admission, including NAPS and the Naval Academy Foundation.)

Selection for Appointment

The Naval Academy uses a “rolling admissions” selection process. The Admissions Board begins meeting in September and evaluates applications as they are completed by candidates. An application is considered “completed” when all candidate forms are submitted, all required documents are received, the candidate fitness assessment results are received, and the Blue and Gold officer interview is received by the Office of Admissions. It is in your interest  to complete your application as soon as possible.

If your record of achievement is truly outstanding, you could receive an early offer called a Letter of Assurance.  This indicates our intent to extend an Offer of Appointment, provided that all your remaining requirements (nomination, CFA,  and medical) are successfully completed. A Letter of Assurance could be received as early as September of your senior year. Of course, final admission will depend on continued success and good standing in your high school as well as continuing to maintain your qualifications for the Naval Academy.

If you are found qualified but do not receive a Letter of Assurance, you will be competing for an offer of appointment from within your nominating sources. Candidates will be notified of their status by April 15th. All appointees are required to notify the Admissions Office of their intention to accept or decline their offer of appointment by May 1st. Candidate files not completed by February 1st will not normally receive further consideration.

Naval Service Obligation

When you accept an appointment, you will receive a Permit to Report packet (normally sent in April) with several important documents and forms to consider and complete. One of the most important is the Agreement to Serve. This agreement, required by U.S. law (Title 10, U.S. Code, Sections 6959 and 2005) and other directives, outlines your service obligation and must be signed and returned to the Academy prior to Induction Day. It requires the consent of parents or guardian if you are a minor. In signing the Agreement to Serve, you state that you will:

  • complete the four-year course of instruction at the Naval Academy;
  • accept an appointment and serve as a commissioned officer in the Navy or Marine Corps, and serve on active duty for at least five years immediately upon graduation;
  • serve in an appropriate enlisted grade on active duty for up to four years, or reimburse the United States for the cost of education received at the Naval Academy if you do not fulfill the conditions agreed to above.

Proof of Citizenship

Prior to Induction Day, appointees must have proof of United States citizenship on file at the Naval Academy. Any of the following documents are acceptable; originals or notarized copies may be provided:

  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • U.S. Passport - notarized photocopy only
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization

Reporting for Induction Day

If you accept an appointment to the Naval Academy, you will report for induction in late June or early July, take the Oath of Office and begin Plebe Summer with your new classmates. It will be one of the most important days in your life. What you need to bring and how to make travel arrangements to Annapolis will be included in your Permit to Report packet.

Oath of Office

The Oath of Office, which must be signed and agreed to orally by U.S. citizens on Induction Day, states the following:

“I,_______________, having been appointed a midshipman in the United States Navy, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.”

Admissions FAQs

Medical Considerations

The Naval Academy program is physically challenging. All candidates are required to undergo a thorough medical examination, because our graduates will be commissioned in a wide variety of exciting career fields with strict medical standards.

The Admissions Department will submit your name to the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) who will contact you regarding where you may call to schedule your medical examination. DoDMERB will carefully review your medical exam to determine if you meet our medical standards for admission. Approximately one month after your physical is completed, you will receive (by mail) a status report of the DoDMERB findings. DoDMERB may request you provide additional information/records regarding illnesses, injuries, surgery, familial diseases, and other factors that could affect your medical status. You may also be asked to schedule follow-up appointments to determine your current medical status.

Blue and Gold Officers

Blue and Gold Officers are volunteers who can help guide you through the admissions process. When emailing a BGO, please be respectful of their time and volunteer status. For a listing of Blue and Gold Officers by state see

Admissions Events and Summer Programs 

The Naval Academy Summer Seminar (NASS) offers an exceptional opportunity for rising high school seniors to experience the Naval Academy program firsthand for one week during the summer. This program provides a comprehensive look at the total Naval Academy experience, including academic programs, life as a midshipman, physical training and Navy and Marine Corps service options. Students interested in pursuing an appointment to the Academy should seriously consider attending the Summer Seminar.

Visit USNA

A personal visit to Annapolis can help determine if the Academy is right for you. You and your family are encouraged to tour the Academy any day of the year during regular visiting hours. You can take a guided tour with a commercial service in Annapolis or through the Academy’s Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center.

Call the Visitor Center at 410-293-8687 for guided tour schedules or visit their website at

Our admissions staff does not conduct guided tours, but admissions officers located in Halsey Field House are available to answer your questions from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary. USNA admissions presentations are held Monday through Saturday at 10 am and 2 pm. The office is closed on all federal holidays.

Bancroft Hall Candidate Visitation Program

This is an invitation-only program designed for highly qualified candidates who are competitive for appointments. It is a great opportunity to spend a weekend with the Brigade of Midshipmen. During specified weekends between September and April, from 5 p.m. Thursday until 11:30 a.m. Saturday, you live with your Midshipman host, attend classes, eat in King Hall and sleep in Bancroft Hall. Admissions personnel will contact qualified candidates.

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