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Department of Military Science

Reserve Officers Training Corps, Micheal Swinson, Chair

Army ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) offers college students the opportunity to serve as commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, the Army National Guard, or the U.S. Army Reserve upon graduation. ROTC enhances a student's education by providing unique leadership and management training, along with practical leadership experience. Students develop many of the qualities basic to success while earning a college degree and an officer's commission at the same time.

The Margin of Difference.  Army ROTC cadets learn to be leaders and receive hands-on experience in managing physical, financial, and human resources. They develop self-confidence and superior decision-making skills. Employers value these leadership qualities and recognize the associated potential in ROTC graduates.

Four–Year Program.  The four–year Army ROTC program consists of two parts, the Basic Course and the Advanced Course.

Basic Course.  The basic course is normally taken during the first two years of college and may be taken without incurring any military obligation.  This course covers such subjects as management principles, national de­fense, military history, and leadership development.  Basic course classes include adventure training such as squad tactics and small arms marksmanship.  Additional opportunities are also available to conduct small unit training exercises throughout Western Montana.  In addition, a variety of outside social and professional enrichment activities are available. All necessary ROTC textbooks, uniforms, and other essential materials for the basic course are furnished to students at no cost. After completing the basic course, students who have demonstrated the potential to become officers and who have met the physical and scholastic standards are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Course.  Compression of the Basic Course into two semesters may be arranged for those students who did not take military science courses during their Freshman year.

Advanced Course.  The Advanced Course is usually taken during the final two years of college. Instruction includes organization and management, tactics, ethics, critical thinking, creative problem solving and further leadership development.  Uniforms and equipment in the Advanced Course are furnished to students at no cost.  During the summer between their junior and senior years of college, Advanced Course cadets attend the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), a fully paid four–week leadership practicum. LDAC gives cadets the chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom and introduces them to Army life while also receiving academic credit. Completion of the Advanced Course requires two years of study. Each cadet in the Advanced Course receives a subsistence allowance of up to $4,500 for each year of attendance.

Two–Year Program.  The two–year program applies to incoming juniors and community college graduates, students at four–year colleges who did not take ROTC during their first two years of school, and students entering a two–year postgraduate course of study. To enter the two–year program, students must attend a fully paid four–week Leadership Training Course (LTC), normally held during the summer between their sophomore and junior years of college. At LTC, students learn to challenge themselves physically and mentally, and to build their confidence and leadership skills. After successfully completing LTC, students who meet all the necessary enrollment requirements may participate in the Advanced Course.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance.  Army ROTC scholarships are offered for four, three and two years and are awarded on a competitive basis. Each scholarship pays 100% of student's tuition and fees, $1200 a year for textbooks and supplies, and a monthly stipend totaling up to $4,500 per year while the scholarship is in effect.  Four-year scholarships are awarded to students who will be entering college as freshmen. Two and three–year scholarships are awarded to students already enrolled in college and to Army enlisted personnel on active duty. Additionally, students who attend LTC (see two–year program) may compete for two–year scholarships while at the course. Scholarship recipients can pursue degrees in any accredited four year program at the University of Montana. Students who receive scholarships are required to attain undergraduate degrees in the fields in which their scholarships were awarded.

Veterans.  Veterans may apply their military experience as credit toward the ROTC Basic Course. If eligible, a veteran may enroll directly into the Advanced Course.

Simultaneous Membership Program.  This program allows students to be members of the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve and to enroll in Army ROTC at the same time.  Students participating in the Simultaneous Membership Program receive up to $4,500 per year in tuition assistance $4,500 per year in monthly stipends and an additional $20,000 per year in other benefits.  There are also scholarships available for students participating in the Simultaneous Membership Program that are interested in staying in the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve upon graduation that pay up to $8,500 per year for living expenses and $1,200 per year for textbooks, supplies and other equipment.  These scholarships are in addition to many of the current benefits students receive as part of the Simultaneous Membership Program.

Service Obligation. There is no military service obligation for basic course students, unless on scholarship. Advanced course and scholarship (contracted) students incur an obligation to serve in the active Army, Army Reserve or National Guard.

Commission Requirements. In order to earn a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, each student must:

  1. Complete all required Military Science instruction while attending college as a full-time student, and obtain a baccalaureate or higher degree.
  2. Complete a PMS approved US History course.
  3. Meet medical and physical fitness standards.
  4. Be a U.S. citizen.
  5. Successfully complete the Leadership Development and Assessment Course.
  6. Be recommended by the Professor of Military Science.

Requirements for a Minor

Foundational Courses: In order to enroll in courses leading to the Military Science minor, students should complete MSL 101, 102, 201, and 202. The department may waive the Basic Course requirements for following situation courses: prior military service, Advanced Individual Training (AIT), Leader's Training Course (LTC) or Accelerated Cadet Commissioning Training (ACCT).

Grade Requirements: Obtain a grade of "C" or better in all courses used toward the minor, and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 for Military Science courses.

Credit Hour Requirements: A minimum of 19 hours in Military Science courses as outlined below.

Required Courses (19 hours)

  • MSL 301 Adaptive Team Leadership with Lab (4)
  • MSL 302 Leadership in Changing Environments with Lab (4)
  • MSL 401 Developing Adaptive Leaders with Lab (4)
  • MSL 402 Leadership in a Complex World with Lab (4)
  • HSTA 333 (HIST 368) American Military History (3)


  • HSTA 316 (HIST 355) American Civil War Era (3)

History/Political Science Requirement: A minimum of a combined 6 credits in History and Political Science.  Students must complete at least 3 credits from each discipline with at least 3 credits of upper division coursework in addition to the required history course.  Students may choose from the following courses:

  • HSTR 272E (HIST 226E) Terrorism: Violence in the Modern World (3)
  • HSTR 301 (HIST 302H) Political Ancient Greek Social History (3)
  • HSTR 304 (HIST 303H) Ancient Rome (3)
  • HSTR 374E (HIST 334E) War, Peace, and Society (3)
  • HSTA 316 (HIST 355) American Civil War Era (3)
  • HSTA 333 (HIST 368) American Military History (3)
  • PSCI 230X (PSC 130E) Introduction to International Relations (3)
  • PSCI 335 (PSC 335) American Foreign Policy (3)

Military Science Leadership (MSL)

A total of 24 credits are allowed toward the bachelor degree for contracted students. A total of 12 credits are allowed toward the bachelor degree for non-contracted students.

Suggested Course of Study

First Year A S
MSL 101 Leadership and Personal Development 3 -
MSL 102 Introduction to Tactical Leadership - 3
MSL 106 Army Physical Fitness 1 1
Second Year A S
MSL 201 Innovative Team Leadership 3 -
MSL 202 Foundations of Tactical Leadership - 3
MSL 106 Army Physical Fitness 1


For Advanced Course Military Science Students:

Third Year

MSL 301 Adaptive Team Leadership 3 -
MSL 302 Applied Team Leadership - 3
MSL 303 Leadership Laboratory 1 1
MSL 106 Army Physical Fitness Drill & Conditioning 1 1
Fourth Year A S
MSL 401 Adaptive Leadership 3 -
MSL 402 Leadership in a Complex World - 3
MSL 303 Leadership Laboratory 1 1
MSL 106 Army Physical Fitness 1 1


R- before the course description indicates the course may be repeated for credit to the maximum indicated after the R. Credits beyond this maximum do not count toward a degree.

Military Science Leadership (MSL) - Course Descriptions

101, 102, 195, 201, 202, 203, 204, 295, 296, 301, 302, 303, 315, 391, 401, 402, 492



Micheal Swinson, M.A., U.S. Naval War College, 2009 (Chair)

Senior Military Instructor

Travis Hambrick, US Army Sergeant Major Academy, 2010

Assistant Professors

Thomas Luhrsen, M.A., Webster University 2011

Tracy Mitchell, B.A., Carroll College, 2000

Galen Bisel, US Army Senior Leaders Course, 2009

Registrar's Office

Lommasson Center 201

Phone: (406) 243-2995

Fax: (406) 243-4807