The Marine Commissioning Programs offered provides opportunities for enlisted Marines, college students, and high school students to earn the coveted title of Marine Officer. The Marine Corps takes incredible measures to ensure that its Officers are trained and evaluated properly prior to leading Marines.
Platoon Leaders Class (PLC)
If you are currently enrolled in college, PLC is likely going to be your best bet. The program consists of two 6-week Officer Candidates School sessions. In most cases, you will attend one session during the summer after your sophomore year and one session between your junior and senior years. However, this could vary quite a bit depending on your situation. Some PLC candidates end up waiting two or more years between sessions due to medical or other reasons. Attending PLC Seniors before you graduate college means returning to school prior to commissioning. If you attend after graduating you will commission immediately and go straight to The Basic School.
If the college you are at has an NROTC program you may want to compare the two options.
Officer Candidate Course (OCC)
If you already have a college degree and you are not an enlisted Marine then OCC is the commissioning program for you. The course consists of a 10-week session at Officer Candidates School. Essentially, the OCS program is the same as that of the two 6-week sessions for PLC. OCC is a bit shorter because there is only 1 week of in processing and 1 week of out processing whereas PLC has 2 weeks of each.
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC)
NROTC offers prospective Marine Officers the opportunity to train for Officer Candidates School while attending college. Most Marine Option Midshipman are also able to receive scholarships to attend college. In addition to the scholarship benefits, Midshipman are only required to attend one 6-week session of Officer Candidates School in the summer before their senior year. However, being in NROTC means that you will have significant time commitments to your unit. This could impact your desire to join clubs and other social organizations. It is definitely possibly to enjoy college while in NROTC, but it is more difficult.
Related: A Case For Joining NROTC. It’s Truly A Great Decision.
U.S. Naval Academy
The U.S. Naval Academy is a military university that immerses students in an environment far different from other colleges. Prospective Marine Officers enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy are not required to attend Officer Candidates School. However, becoming a Midshipman at the academy does not guarantee that you will be able to commission into the Marine Corps. Rather, it is an opportunity to become an officer in either the Navy or Marine Corps.
Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP)
Enlisted Marine who already have a bachelor’s degree have the opportunity to become Marine Officers through the ECP. Marines accepted into the program attend Officer Candidates School and commission immediately.
Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program (MECEP)
The MECEP gives enlisted Marines without a college degree the opportunity to attend a university while remaining on active duty. Accepted Marines attend a 10-week session at Officer Candidates School prior to starting their education. Marines in MECEP become attached to NROTC units where they act as additional staff members.
Note: Prior to 2013, Marines in the MECEP attended one 6-week session of OCS prior to their senior years in college. Marines in the program now attend OCS prior to attending college.
Reserve Enlisted Commissioning Program (RECP)
The Reserve Enlisted Commissioning Program allows Enlisted Marines in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) Program to apply for assignment to Officer Candidates School. Upon completion Marines will be commissioned as officers in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Meritorious Commissioning Program Reserve (MCP-R)
The Meritorious Commissioning Program Reserve allows commanding officers to nominate qualified Enlisted Marines in the Corps and in the Marine Corps Active Reserve (AR) Program for assignment to Officer Candidates School. Upon completion Marines will be commissioned as officers in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
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So for the PLC do you have to have a specific ACT or ASVAB to get accepted
No, for the PLC program you are already in college so your actual transcript has more weight.
There is a required SAT/ACT and ASVAB Score for all officer programs. You must score at least 22 on the ACT, 1000 on the SAT (using only the math and reading/verbal scores) and at least a 74 on the ASVAB.
How do you apply for the PLC if you have been accepted to a college?
Contact your local Officer Selection Officer (OSO)
I am going to finish my sophomore year of college this summer and I am currently serving in the Marine Corps Reserves, do I have to wait to have my bachelors degree in hand to go to OCS? The section for RECP isn’t very clear on the timeline for when you go, is it possible to do the 6 week courses between sophomore-junior and junior-senior year?
You need to graduate first. You would attend the 10 week course. The two 6 week courses is only for PLC.
Great, thank you for the information sir!
Hi Mike. I am the mother of a son who is going to be a Marine Reservist after attending boot camp this fall. He has already been accepted to colleges and plans on atarting next year. He plans on trying for the ROTC program or PLC then going active duty after he graduates. Have you been happy with your decision to go this route. My son does want to make the Marines a FT career. I appreciate your feedback.
In my personal opinion, the ROTC program is an incredible opportunity. I was able to enjoy college life while having my education paid for and a monthly stipend. I made several life long friends and have been very happy with my career.
What are the requirements for the PLC
-Full-time student at 2 or 4 year College or University
-18 to 28 years old
Complete info here
I am currently enlisted Navy and looking to commission into the marine corps. I have my degree and have been told it is possible to switch over and commission what programs would I be elidgible for or is it only OCS? Thank you Sir
Because you have your degree, you are eligible to apply for commissioning through OCC. If accepted, you will attend the 10-week OCS course and will commission the day you graduate. To get started applying, find your local OSO.
I currently have my Bachelors degree and am interested in the OCC program. What scores do I need to obtain in the ASVAB/ACT/SAT to be eligible for the program?
There is no minimum since you already have a degree. Contact your local OSO for more information.
My son is a Marine Reservist and is currently attending college full time; he still has a little over a years to graduate. Upon graduation, he intends to apply fo OCS; What type of college major is required to be an officer? Is it possible for him to keep his status as a Reservist after completing all training?
There are no major restrictions. Yes, he can commission as a reserve contract. He will still have to do TBS and his MOS school.
I’m currently in college pursing my associates degree but my college don’t have a ROTC program, what program options do I have to become an officer. Will one of these programs help me get my bachelors degree to accomplish the officer goal.
If you’re pursuing an Associates degree, I’m assuming you’re planning to transfer to another university. To get financial help you will have to find a college with ROTC to transfer to. Otherwise you will have to get the degree on your own and apply for the OCC or PLC program.
I have completed my Associate degree and I want to chose an officer path in the Marines. What would you recommend me to do to become a USMC officer?
You will need to find the nearest OSO and they will start the application process. If you’re not sure where to go, fill out the form on the Marine Recruiting website and they will give you a call.
I’m looking for a contact. I’m prior service enlisted but am looking for a reserve commission,. I have a degree. My area is Houston, Tx.
Go to the official Marine website and select “Contact a Marine.” Fill out the information and the nearest Officer Selection Officer (OSO) will contact you.
I am looking to do the mecep program, as a marine I am currently in an online school. Is it mandatory that I have to live on campus if I do get accepted into the mecep program?
Yes, if you get selected for MECEP you will have to attend a four year college. You will become assigned to an ROTC unit where you will help the staff train Midshipman for OCS.
I am prior service navy. I was an E5 when I got out (re-1). Im finished with an associates in general studies and am about 1 yr away from a bachelors in math. What would I do to apply to be a usmc officer? Do i need a bachelors?
You can either wait until you get a bachelors degree and apply for the OCC Program. Or, you can apply for the PLC program now.
What do I need to do before I seek an OSO for the PLC like asvab score, Fitness standards, any documents I need to have, ECT as well as what steps I need to take to help me get into the PLC after talking with an OSO
Just go for it and get in touch with an OSO. It’s their responsibility to help you prepare physically and process required paperwork.
I recently graduated with my Bachelors degree. Is there a set ASVAB, ACT, SAT score needed for the OCC route? I know there is with PLC. However, I’m not sure if one those scores is needed for OCC, or if a bachelors degree is the only thing required?
Your GPA will be the primary academic statistic looked at by the board.
Are those commissioned through the Reserve Enlisted Commissioning Program required to attend The Basic School after completing OCS, before returning to their reserve unit?
Yes, you will go to TBS before your reserve unit.
Is there a way to be a Marine Officer in the reserves through the PLC program? Or do you have to do OCC-R?
OCC-R is going to be the way to go.
As a reservist if accepted to OCS will I have to remain a reservist or will I have the option to be active duty
There is a chance you can go active duty, but it depends on the quotas for your TBS class.
Is it a list of colleges and universities that the Marine Corps accepts to become an officer or is it as long as it is a nationally or regionally accredited school the Marine Corps will take it to become an Officer.
The NROTC requires you go to specific schools that have the program. Other than that, any university that issues a Bachelors degree will do.
Hello sir, I’m currently a junior in highschool planning on enlisting into the reservists, going to college and becoming an officer. If I am to do PLC is it still possible for me even if I’m a reservist? if I want to commission what are the SAT/ACT requirements for PLC? And if I want to do the full training at OCS after college what’re the SAT/ACT requirements?
Yes, you can apply for PLC while you’re in school, or OCC when you’re close to graduating. You must obtain a basic SAT combined score of 1000 or a 22 composite score on the ACT.
If you go to NORTC do you still have to go to OCS after you graduate?? I know you have to go in the summer sometimes. Or what do you do after you graduate college.
Yes, you go in the summer after your third year of college (For a four year program). After you graduate you will immediately be commissioned as an officer and will receive orders for The Basic School in Quantico, VA
My husband took early retirement (15 yrs) but has a re-enlistment code of re-2A on his dd214 (he’s eligible to get back in). He’s going back to college, any chance he could use any of these programs to get back into the Marines? Thanks.
He will need to talk directly with a recruiter. I do not have enough expertise to answer this question.
I am currently a freshman in college but am in the DEP to go into security forces. I have already gone to MEPS and signed my contract. I was intrested in maybe just finishing college and then going on to be an officer but with my contract signed, I just wanted to make sure that I am now locked in and there is no way out.
I’ve talked with my recruiter and he says know, but I’m sure you know how they can be. If he is right it’s totally fine, after all I signed that contract, but I just want to keep my options open.
Thank you so much.
If you are accepted into an officer program, you will get new orders that will supersede your current contract. Yes, the recruiter was being honest with you. In your situation, you could apply for OCC after you get your degree.
I am 14 classes away from my Bachelors degree. How soon can I put in a package to be an officer?
Start the process now!
I served 4 years in the Marine Corps, I got out as a SGT. I am currently attending school to pursue my degree in Mechanical Engineering. I will be applying to universities in the fall. Even though I got out, the thought of me serving again has never left my mind. So I figured I would look into becoming an Officer. I am currently using the G.I. bill which has helped me throughout college tremendously. Out of all the programs, which one is best suited for me?
I would go talk to an OSO about getting into the PLC program. You can knock out OCS while still in school and have confidence there’s a career waiting for you after you graduate.
I am E6 in the Navy with a Masters contemplating to commission with the Marine Corps. Which program would benefit me? Also, is it a consideration on what my degree is of what job I receive or am I just placed?
Tony, since you have a degree, you can apply to go straight to OCS. If accepted, your enlistment contract will be superseded by orders to OCS. You will compete for an MOS at TBS. Generally speaking, educational background won’t have an impact on MOS selection.
I’m a junior in college. Could I graduate college and get a commission as a reserve officer w/o being active duty first?
Yes, but you will be active for 6 months following OCS while attending The Basic School. After that, you will be stationed at a reserve unit.
Navy enlisted here currently working on master’s degree. What options are there for myself to become a marine officer in the reserves?
You apply to become a Marine officer reservist once you finish with your degree. You would go the 10-week OCC course, 6 months at TBS, and then get stationed at a reservist unit.
I am prior service Army enlisted, with 8 years of service, 36 years old. Is it possible to commission? I’m looking at Cyber, I currently have a Cyber Masters degree.
Given your circumstances, I would talk to an OSO to get options. We have programs for enlisted Marines to commission, but given your age I’m not sure if you’d still be eligible since you’re in the Army.
I’ve been out of the Army since 2016.
One of the requirements is “Must not have reached 28th birthday at time of commissioning”. You will have to go through a waiver process given your age.
Is it a good idea to do reserves right after high school and then apply for PLC the following year (freshman year of college) since being a marine already would maximize the chances of a PLC acceptance? Or most people usually just go to college first then apply to PLC from there?
In my experience, most go to college first and apply while in school. If you’re eager to be a Marine, give the reserves a go. It’s a personal choice and you’ll have to carefully weigh the pros/cons.
I am a sophomore in college now, and would like to become an officer, but the recruiter is telling me I would have a better chance of being accepted into the PLC if I go into the reserves first. Is this true? What are the proper steps that I need to take?
I can’t say whether you’ll have a “better chance”, but I will say there are a lot of things you could do besides joining the Reserves that will make your application more competitive(higher PFT scores, improve GPA, community service/other activities). Joining the Reserves is a big commitment you will need to think about.
I’m also navy enlisted and am just 1.5 years into my first contract. I wanted to enlist Marines to begin with but they weren’t able to work with my waiver. I’m 20 years old with no college credits. The Navy has programs that can get you sent to college during your enlistment (STA21) and then go on to OCS. Does the Marine Corps also have that option and would I be able to use it somehow?
You can get a degree while in the Navy and then apply to be a Marine officer through the OCC program.
would bring in a community college help me become an officer? i would have a associates degree. if so, what officer program could i go for?
After you finish your associates and transfer to a Bachelor’s program you can apply for the PLC program.
I’m a prior service Marine who is 36 years old. I seperated from active duty as a sergeant in 2007 and IRR in 2011. I have a bachelor’s degree from a prestigious school with a 3.7 GPA. I want to return to service. I’m interested in the OCC Program. Where do I stand?
Find out where the closet OSO is and setup an appointment. You will need an age waiver.
Hello, the USMC Recruiter told my son he could join the Reserves, they will pay for his college and upon graduation he will receive his commission as an active duty officer with an obligation to serve 8 years. I can find NO information on this particular program, have you heard of any such thing? Thank you.
If you mean enlisting in the Reserves, then I’m not aware of such a program.
College Grad here. Thinking about going through the process of becoming a Marine Officer. Is there a contract or route to take to strictly be a Reserve Officer without any active duty time?
Yes, the programs are the same as the Active Duty contracts. You will apply for OCC/PLC as a Reserve contract and after finishing MOS school you become a reservist.
I am currently an Active Duty Marine looking to become a USMC Pilot. I don’t have a degree yet. However, I do have 3 semesters of college under my belt and will have 4 years of Active Duty Enlisted experience at the end of my current contract. As I am currently deployed and will be at my EAS date within a couple months of my return, what course do you recommend I take to optimize my chances of getting a commission and what can I do to get a head start before my return stateside? Any and all information regarding the selection process, training program, and beneficial degrees would be much appreciated.
Thank you and Kindest Regards
I would recommend you talk to the first officer in your chain of command about applying for the MECEP program.
Hello, I am looking to enlist into the reserves and attend a community college and pursue my associates degree in order to save money and then transfer to a University is it possible to do the PLC program while I am in Community College or is it better to wait until I have transferred to a University? Thank you
You should start the application process the year before you expect to transfer.
I just did 4 years active duty and is currently doing another 4 years in the AR program. I plan putting on applying for officer in about 2 years after I get my associate. My question is since I’m AR can I become a commissioned officer active duty? If so which program is best for me?
Yes, if you get accepted into an officer program your enlisted contract gets superseded by the office contract. I would recommend looking into the MECEP program and talking to an officer at your reserve unit to get help. Otherwise, keep working towards your bachelor’s degree and apply for OCC.
My son is 30 years old, and he just started OCS boot camp last week. He was working as an attorney. He says that he will be working in military law, and I’m worried that he isn’t being entirely truthful . Is this a normal option for OCS graduates? I suspect he may be telling me he won’t be in harms way so as not to worry me, because I’ve searched all the websites and haven’t found anything saying he may go into military law. Does anyone here know anything about this subject of graduating OCS and going into military law. I don’t understand much about the military. My father was an Army Private during WWII, before I was born and I’m not at all educated or familiar with military practices, etc. Thank you.
Yes, there is a Law Contract option. Your son will go to Law School after graduating OCS. After completing Law School he will go to 6 months of The Basic School and then start working as a Judge Advocate. Program information can be found here: https://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/officer/marine-corps-law-program.html
I am currently in the AR program, I just finished 4 years active duty. Is there a way I can go from AR enlisted to active duty officer, if so what is the best option? Also can you go enlisted AR to active duty warrant officer?
Yes to both questions. However, the requirements to apply for the WO are more specific and you will need to continually check the MARADMIN for requirements. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can apply for the OCC program right now.
My asvab score is a 70. Im sudying for the sat and act but i fear the worst. Can i get into mecep with an asvab wavier? 1st class marine high pfc/cft , good pros and cons,0351.
You should keep studying and try to get the score up. Even if a waiver were approved, you wouldn’t be competitive against other applicants with similar PFT/CFT, leadership, etc.
Do you know which increment (1st or 2nd) the female platoon usually is in for PLC Jrs?
It’s usually the second.
Is it possible to do PLC while being a freshman or sophomore in community college; if I show a document stating that I will transfer to a 4-year college, will my application be accepted?
You should consider applying for the 2-year NROTC scholarship.
I am active duty and would like to return to my civilian career after my 4 year enlistment. Would the MECEP program allow me to serve as an officer in the reserves? If not, is there a program for enlisted active duty Marines to earn a Commission and serve in the reserves?
No, you will not be able to go Reserves through MECEP. You would complete your degree and then apply for OCC with a reserve contract.
I am currently attending university online to obtain my bachelors degree. It is an accelerated program that has classes starting every 8 weeks. I have about a year and a half left until I successfully obtain my bachelor’s degree. I also am prior service Army enlisted (E5, honorable discharge, completed my contract). I am currently in the IRR. Is it possible for me to become a marine officer? If so, what would my options be?
Yes, you would complete your degree and apply for OCC.
Actually, OCC is for civilians. An AR Marine would be applying through the ECP program. They will be a Regular officer when they are commissioned, unless they specifically wanted to be a reserve (drilling) officer, which could be done.
An AR Marine is not eligible for appointment as a regular warrant officer; only Regular enlisted can go Regular WO. This is per the SECNAVINST, MCO, and MARADMINs that pertain. IS it possible to be done? Yes. It could be done…but it would require a waiver by the SecNav just to start the application process…unless there was something beyond outstandingly remarkable about that particular AR Marine…they are stuck with applying for either AR WO, or leaving active duty and applying for the reserve WO: https://www.marines.mil/News/Messages/Messages-Display/Article/2086024/fiscal-year-2021-enlisted-to-warrant-officer-reserve-selection-board/
I think you meant to say that after completing OCS and TBS, if the newly commissioned officer already has a ABA approved law degree and passed the bar of any State, they will be sent to Navy JAG school, and then certified as a JAG by the SecNav, and then begin work as a Marine lawyer MOS 4402…who as line officers can and are still sent into combat or other high tempo situations. Operational law is a big thing, and commanders always want their lawyers close these days…
Is it still possible for me to become an USMC Officer with the asvab score of 61? I have already enlisted into active duty and I plan on taking one of the programs which is best suited for me.
Absolutely. Your ASVAB score is irrelevant. You should start taking college courses and take advantage of tuition assistance. This will help you later on if you apply for MECEP or one of the other programs.
my son is finishing his sophomore year in college after completing boot camp his freshman year and successfully becoming a marine, and is now a reservist.
what are his option for becoming a officer in the marines. he is completing his application to get accepted in the ocs and go to training summer 2021, summer going into his senior year? is this all the likely process? and will already being a marine help his chances?
Thank you for your help
Yes, his enlisted service will help him in the selection process. If for some reason he doesn’t get accepted this year, he can always reapply for PLC, or even OCC after he graduates college. Your son seems well positioned. Good luck!
I have recently completed my bachelor’s degree, is there still an ACT/SAT requirement for me?
No. You can meet with an officer recruiter and start the application process for OCC.
I’m currently active duty In the marine corps as a Lance Corporal. I have an associate’s degree and I’m currently enrolled part-time working on my bachelors. I’m 25 right now and I was looking to pursue becoming an officer. What would be the best route for me? I have about 60 credits left before I have my bachelors.