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  • College of Arts & Science

    • Military Sciences
    • Hanna Hall
    • tel: 610-499-4098
    • fax: 610-490-7028
  • Mr. Keith Karbel




military friendly school

Widener University is a nationally-recognized "Military Friendly School".

Widener is among the top colleges and universities nationwide doing the most for America’s military families, according to VIQTORY media company.

Army ROTC is a leadership development program run by the Military Science Department. Students develop their leadership abilities by learning critical-thinking skills; the value of character, competence and courage; self-discipline; and team building.

Students also challenge themselves through participation in activities such as physical fitness, orienteering, rappelling, small-unit tactics, marksmanship, and leadership reaction courses.

Additionally, ROTC Cadets are eligible to apply for generous scholarships that can cover the full cost of tuition as well as room and board.

Upon completion of the ROTC program and fulfillment of all requirements for a baccalaureate degree, a student may receive a commission as a second lieutenant and is eligible for assignment with the Active or Reserve Forces of the U.S. Army.

Army ROTC Participation

  1. Participating student - Students register for the military science classes only (MS 101 through MS 202). Since they are not enrolled as cadets, they are not covered for any liability beyond that of the university and therefore DO NOT participate in activities outside the classroom (e.g., physical training, leadership labs, and field training). 
  2. Enrolled cadet (the most common option) - Students fully participate in ROTC by taking the military science classes, physical fitness training, leadership labs, and field training. The government covers enrolled cadets for any injuries occurring during ROTC sanctioned training. They wear the Army uniform to all ROTC functions and must adhere to military customs and standards. Unless under contract, enrolled cadets are NOT obligated to future military service.
  3. Contracted cadet - Contracted cadets fully participate like other enrolled cadets, but they are also under obligation to future military service. Scholarship winners must contract to receive benefits. Non-scholarship cadets must contract by the MS III/junior year to continue in the program.

Service Obligation

Cadets commissioned as second lieutenants are required to serve for a period of eight years. How this obligation is fulfilled is determined by whether the student was a scholarship or non-scholarship cadet and whether the student serves on Active Duty or in the Reserve Component.

  • Those selected for Active Duty will typically serve 3 to 4 years full time, with the remaining 5 or 4 years in the inactive reserve (available for recall).
  • Those choosing or selected for the Reserve Component typically serve for 6 to 8 years part time in a drilling status (one weekend a month, plus two weeks per year, other than periods of active duty for training or mobilization); their remaining years of obligation, if any, can be served in the inactive reserve. 

Misconceptions about ROTC 

  • ROTC instruction is not the same as Army Basic Training. Cadets receive training in basic military skills, such as rifle marksmanship and small-unit tactics, but the emphasis is on applied leadership development and the practical aspects of managing resources and sustaining operations in dynamic organizations.  
  • ROTC cadets do not enlist in the active Army. They remain full-time college students. Their service commitment begins shortly after graduation.
  • ROTC cadets cannot be sent to war. They must obtain their four-year academic degree before they can receive a commission and then must complete their branch-specific officer basic course before assignment to a troop unit.
  • Cadets do not major in ROTC. Military science courses are taken for elective credit. Cadets are free to major in any accepted academic discipline
  • ROTC training does not take priority over academics. ROTC activities are kept to a minimum to allow cadets to focus on academics. Each cadet's college cumulative GPA constitutes 40% of his/her total evaluation while in ROTC.


Schedule a visit to learn more about the Army ROTC program at Widener University.