ROTC/Military Science

The Military Science program at Mercyhurst is open to both male and female students who are interested in learning about the military and gaining leadership and team building experience from the premier leadership course in the nation.

Students may enroll in Military Science in their freshman or sophomore year. During this time there is no obligation to the military unless you accept a scholarship offer.  Enrolled “cadets” receive instruction in the fundamentals of leadership with emphasis on self-discipline, integrity, confidence and responsibility. This enables the student to evaluate situations, make decisions, and develop attributes considered essential to a leader in either the civilian or military community. Military science classes are free of charge to all full-time students who earn academic credits that may be applied toward graduation requirements. Up to six of the academic credits earned through military science courses may be applied to the 121 credits needed for graduation from Mercyhurst University.

Students who desire to earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, or Army National Guard upon graduation may contract on scholarship or non-scholarship through the military science program. Please contact our office at 814-824-3229 or 814-871-7524.


    Mercyhurst University joined the “Pride of PA” Battalion in the 1990s to offer a central support system for our students interested in pursuing a career with the military. The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program trains cadets utilizing various forms of physical training, outdoor activities, and monthly leadership labs over the course of a student’s academic career. By sophomore year many students choose to become contracted cadets who, upon graduation, will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. They have the opportunity to compete for active duty assignments or select a National Guard or Army Reserves posting.  Junior year is the most rigorous in terms of workload and physical preparation. During this time you’ll learn how to lead anywhere from seven to 30 cadets while also preparing for Cadet Summer Training (CST) at Fort Knox, KY. There cadets are evaluated on general leadership skills, land navigation, basic military tactics, and strategic thinking. Following CST some cadets can attend Cadet Troop Leadership Training.  This places cadets in an active duty unit to shadow a lieutenant and learn about day-to-day operations. Since the battalion’s establishment in 1948, the Military Science program has graduated and commissioned more than 1,000 officers, with eight ascending to the rank of general.

    To recruit, retain, develop and commission the future officer leadership of the United States Army and motivate young people to be better citizens through support of local JROTC programs.

    Motto: “I Will Do My Duty—Train To Lead!”

    ROTC Scholarships

    Eligible students can apply for Army ROTC scholarships worth approximately $38,000 annually.  The scholarship pays full tuition and fees plus $1200 annually for books. Students also receive a tax-free stipend of $420 each month during the school year, and additional stipends for critical language skills (such as Russian, Chinese, and Arabic) can be applied for.  Finally, Mercyhurst generously provides full room and board to all ROTC contracted cadets, meaning 100% of your required educational costs are covered from the time you accept a scholarship. Please contact Student Financial Service’s ROTC Liaison for further information.

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Must be a U.S. citizen
    • Have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5 from high school or college
    • Pass a medical exam (Army pays for appointments)
    • Pass a fitness test consisting of push-ups, sit-ups and 2-mile run
    • Desire to serve on Active Duty (4 year commitment) or Guard/Reserve duty (8 year commitment) after graduation.
    • 1000 SAT (math / verbal) or 19 ACT (excluding writing); these scores are only for pre-college competition and are not required if competing after enrollment at Mercyhurst

    High school students can apply online for ROTC scholarships. Current college students may apply by contacting our office at 814-871-7524.

    Captain Sergio Franco
    Assistant Professor of Military Science
    Military Level I & II Instructor

    Mr. Raymond Patterson
    Recruiting Operations Officer
    Scholarships and Enrollment Officer

    Mrs. Sharon Dugan
    Human Resource Assistant

    Mr. Joseph Burwell
    Supply Technician


Course of Instruction

    Cadets will learn how the personal development of life skills such as cultural understanding, goal setting, time management, stress management, and comprehensive fitness relate to leadership and the Army profession. The focus is on developing basic knowledge and comprehension of Army leadership dimensions, attributes, and core leader competencies while gaining an understanding of the ROTC program, its purpose in the Army, and its advantages for the student.

    Cadets will learn how Army ethics and values shape the Army and the specific ways that these ethics are inculcated into Army culture. Cadets can expect to explore the seven Army Values, Warrior Ethos, explore the Profession of Arms, Army Leadership and critical communication skills.

    Cadets demonstrate Critical and Creative Thinking and the ability to apply Troop Leading Procedures (TLP). Comprehension of the officer‘s role in Leading Change by applying Innovative Solutions to Problems in concert with the Principles of Mission Command. The Army Profession is also stressed through leadership forums and a leadership self-assessment. 

    Begins the journey to understand and demonstrate Cross-Cultural Competencies as they relate to Army doctrine and how they apply in a combatant commander’s Engagement Strategies. Army Values, Teamwork, and Warrior Ethos and their relationship to the Law of Land Warfare and philosophy of military service are also stressed. The ability to lead and follow is also covered through Team Building exercises in small units up to squad level. 

    Challenges cadets to study, practice, and apply the fundamentals of Army Leadership, Officership, Army Values and Ethics, Personal Development, and small unit tactics at the platoon level. Cadets receive systematic and specific feedback on their leadership attributes values, and core leader competencies from instructor, other ROTC cadre, and MSL IV Cadets using the Cadet Officer Evaluation System (OES).

    Builds on the lessons learned and leadership attributes gained and developed during MSL301. This is an academically challenging course were Cadets will study, practice, and apply the fundamentals of Army Leadership, Officership, Army Values and Ethics, Personal Development, and small unit tactics at the platoon level. At the conclusion of this course, Cadets will be capable of planning, coordinating, navigating, motivating and leading a squad and platoon in the execution of a mission during a classroom PE, a Leadership Lab, or during a Leader Training Exercise (LTX).

    Develops cadet proficiency in planning, executing and assessing complex operations, functioning as a member of a staff, and providing performance feedback to subordinates. Cadets assess risk, make ethical decisions, and lead fellow Army ROTC cadets. They identify responsibilities of key staff, coordinate staff roles, and use situational opportunities to teach, train and develop subordinates.


    Explores the dynamics of leading in the complex situations of current military operations in today’s operational environment. Cadets examine differences in customs and courtesies, military law, principles of war and rules of engagement in the face of international terrorism. They also explore aspects of interacting with nongovernmental organizations, civilians on the battlefield and host nation support. The course places significant emphasis on preparing cadets for their first unit of assignment.