ROTC Programs

What is ROTC?

The Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) program is one of the most successful leadership programs in the U.S.1 It offers cadets paid tuition and a guaranteed military career post-graduation. ROTC programs at Grand Canyon University can help you develop governance skills that meet high U.S. Military quality standards and that will be useful in many post-military careers.

Benefits of ROTC in College at GCU

Army ROTC combines a structured curriculum with hands-on learning and training that may provide students with a strong foundation of leadership skills. After completion of the program and graduation from college, you may become a Second Lieutenant in active duty, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

Enrolling in the Air Force ROTC is also available to you at GCU. As a cadet, you will be guided through the mission and values of the U.S. Air Force with the opportunity to become officers upon graduation. To learn more about the requirements and how you can enroll, please reach out to

If you would like GCU’s Army ROTC Color Guard to present or post the nation's colors at your events within the Phoenix metropolitan area, click on the link below and complete the form.

A request must be made at least four weeks in advance. Please keep in mind, the Color Guard is a student-run group; therefore, availability is based on the schedule of our students. Requests are typically answered within 1-3 business days.

Build lifelong relationships with fellow ROTC members within the training environment and participate in activities. Take advantage of various extra-curricular activities such as field training activities, Color Guard, Ranger Challenge, summer internships, volunteer opportunities, summer training opportunities and building strong relationships with fellow cadets.

humvee and recruitment station
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Week in the Life of an Army ROTC Cadet

ROTC member lifting weights
ROTC members do rigorous exercise on a GCU lawn in purple shorts with black kettleballs
ROTC army cadets standing in black tees and fatigue pants and caps

If you’re considering joining ROTC, you may be curious what a typical week could look like for you. As an Army ROTC Cadet, you can expect:

  • Three or more physical training days, 5:30 am formation
  • One lab day, 5:30 am formation
  • Field training exercises once per semester

Opportunity to Serve

When you graduate from our ROTC program, you will have the opportunity to serve in the U.S. Army, Air Force or Space Force as a commissioned officer.

The Army ROTC program provides a full range of opportunities for those with prior enlisted service in the Army to become officers.2

For more information on Green to Gold, please contact

ROTC members gather at a basketball game in GCU arena with GCU wants you language on their shirt backs

Explore ROTC Scholarship Opportunities at GCU

Eligible GCU students may have the opportunity to compete for an Army ROTC scholarship. You may be eligible for full tuition scholarships, allowances for books and more.

Group of ROTC cadets in black t-shirts and fatigue caps and pants run into open doors

Future Jobs for Cadets Who Complete ROTC in College

After completing ROTC training in college, you will have the opportunity to commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. You may choose to be full time in the Army or part time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

There are various Army career fields that graduates may choose to serve in, including:

  • Transportation and logistics
  • Human resource management
  • Finance
  • Nursing
  • Engineering
  • Cyber security
  • Infantry
  • Law enforcement
  • Military intelligence

Courses focusing on crucial topics such as military science, leadership dynamics, military history and training management can all help to prepare cadets to serve in these various fields.


If you’re thinking about joining the Army ROTC, read through some of the most frequently asked questions and answers to learn more.

No. Enrolling in Army ROTC is not joining the Army. ROTC Cadets are college students who are being trained and educated to become Army commissioned officers. Students enrolled in college ROTC programs must agree to serve as officers in the Army after graduation in order to go through the entire program. Enrolling in the first two years of ROTC courses does not carry a service obligation unless the cadet has also received an Army ROTC scholarship.2

Army ROTC classes normally involve one elective class and one lab per semester. Although the classes involve hands-on fieldwork as well as classroom work, they are standard college classes that fit into a normal academic schedule.2

Army ROTC cadets can major in nearly all academic areas.2

Yes. Selected cadets may choose to serve part-time in the Army Reserve or National Guard while pursuing full-time civilian careers.2

In college and after graduation, cadets find that the training and experience they have received are assets, whether pursuing an Army or civilian career. Employers place high regard on the management and leadership skills that ROTC instructors stress.5

No. Anyone can enroll in ROTC. Regardless of whether you’re a scholarship winner or not, all ROTC books, supplies and equipment are furnished at no cost to you.5

Army ROTC Commitment

Your obligation to the Army is eight years total:

  • Students who receive an Army ROTC scholarship are required to complete four years of Active Duty and four years of Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).4
  • Students who finish the Army ROTC program without receiving a scholarship have an obligation of three years of Active Duty and five years of IRR.
  • Students who choose to join a reserve component such as the Army National Guard or Army Reserves have a service obligation of eight years.

Air Force ROTC

GCU has partnered with Arizona State University (ASU) to offer an Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) minor, located at ASU's Tempe campus. Participating students are expected to attend Aerospace Studies (AES), Leadership Laboratory (LLAB) and Physical Training (PT) classes based on their university’s academic schedule. Objectives from missed classes must be accomplished in order to get credit for those missed days of class. Please note that transportation is not provided for students commuting to ASU.

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program is the foremost school of leadership in the nation that provides cadets the opportunity to commission as Air Force lieutenants after attending and leading a full college career. Our Detachment 025 ranks among the finest AFROTC programs that can help you in your goals of joining the Air Force or the Space Force, as the courses provided are meant to ensure foundational knowledge of both fields. Partnering 4 world-class university training with AFROTC leadership skills and an established physical fitness program, AFROTC welcomes you to serve their nation as leaders in whatever capacity you are in.

Students will complete GCU’s AFROTC program at ASU’s Tempe campus. Detachment 025 operates on ASU’s academic calendar, so please refer to that academic calendar for expected class dates.

If you're currently a student at GCU and are interested in pursuing the Air Force ROTC minor, contact your University Admissions Counselor (UAC) or Student Services Counselor (SSC) to get started. Once you complete and return the ROTC minor form, you will be enrolled in AFROTC courses.

You will also need to complete all the required enrollment steps and attend the New Student Orientation program (NSOP). All new students, including crosstown students, are expected to attend this event and be present in the correct uniform.

When joining the program, GCU students choosing to live in on-campus housing should ensure they apply for early housing by contacting GCU’s ROTC office.

All students must be able to complete at least three full-time years of undergraduate schooling beginning the fall semester of the year they join AFROTC to be eligible for AFROTC cadet status. A cadet may include years in a master’s degree or a slowed-down academic progression (as long as they stay above full-time status) in order to meet the three full-time years of undergraduate schooling requirement.

AFROTC courses count towards meeting the full-time student status requirement. Additionally, specific STEM majors are granted an additional fifth year in their undergraduate degree to meet this requirement as well. Exceptions to the three full-time years of student status requirement are generally limited to prior enlisted service members accepted into a specific Enlisted Commissioning Program or in a law program.

All students desiring a commission into the Air Force or Space Force must be U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens must provide the original Immigration Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card and be able to become U.S. citizens within 12 months after the student competes and is awarded entry into the last two years of the program.

Dual citizens who desire to be a cadet must express, in writing, their willingness to renounce their citizenship to another country and relinquish any foreign passports. This requirement does not constitute an official renouncement of citizenship to another country.

For further questions, please reach out to the ROTC office at 602-639-6618 or email

Try ROTC with No Obligation to Military Service

Non-scholarship students can try Army ROTC programs for up to two years with no obligation while they work toward a college degree at GCU.

If you have questions, or if you would like to know how to enroll in the ROTC program, email

1 U.S. Army. (n.d.). Get a world-class education in leadership. Retrieved Jan. 3, 2024.

2 U.S. Army. (2017). Army ROTC Engagement Fact Book.

3 Army Publishing Directorate. (2023, April 28). Army regulation 145-1. Retrieved Jan. 3, 2024.

4 You will also take a three-credit class that may be used as an elective toward your degree.

5 U.S. Army. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved Jan. 3, 2024.

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