2 years ago
Admissions Advice

USNA Admissions Advice


I'm going into my sophomore year and I'm starting to explore colleges with my preferred major in mind. I am looking to study Nuclear Engineering. The USNA is definitely my top choice but being an especially prestigious school I was looking for options that might be a bit more doable. Additionally, I was wondering how I can make myself a better candidate for the academy. My GPA is already pretty high and I'm top 5 in my grade but I can definitely raise my GPA a bit more so maybe some tips on that. Any information will be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @graceklikus to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.

Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

Here are a list of top ranked Nuclear engineering colleges:

UMichigan, MIT, NC State, Texas A&M College Station, Univ. of Illinois -UC, UC Berkeley, Univ of Tenn Knoxville, UWisconsin-Madison, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Purdue, Oregon State, Colorado School of Mine, Missouri University, RPI, UFlorida-Gaineville, Ohio State.

I'm not sure your personal reasons for wanting to attend Annapolis but clearly there are 2 things should know. 1.) Over the past 5 years, their matriculation for nuclear engineering has decreased from a high of 30 students (2.76% of graduates) to about 16 students (1.52%). NE is not a very popular major at USNA as compared to the 375 engineering students. 2.) They are not super highly ranked for NE either on the US New World report ranking or the Niche rankings. They don't even appear on these lists at all.

I think the other schools I mentioned are all top NE colleges that have lower admit rates. Some like Oregon State have 80% admit rate versus 8% for USNA.

If you attend any non-military academy, you would also be free from having to 4-5 years of required military service and 3 years of reserves service as well. I understand that for some applicants, they actually want a career in the armed forces and come from a military family, so I'm not throwing shade on anyone that sees all the required service as a honor and privilege. But for most people, they just want to get on with their lives, or go to grad school after undergrad.

I think some of the things you can do if you are trying to get into an academy is lot of community service or be part of JR ROTC or be an Eagle Scout. I think the military likes those that have partially assimilated into some sort of structured rank and file organization. Also since you are going to need either Congress persons or Senators to write your recommendations, it makes sense now to get on their radars and help their campaigns or so some voluntary service for those their offices. Being athletically fit is very important because you are going to have a lot of stamina to attend one of those places. There is a physical assessment test you have to pass when you apply so it's better to be in excellent shape and anticipate all the exercises you have to complete ahead of time.



Good luck.

2 years ago

Hi @graceklikus!

We have a good article on how to get into the U.S. Naval Academy here: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-get-into-the-us-naval-academy/

In short, you'll need three things to get into USNA that you wouldn't need at other schools: physical fitness, volunteer service, and a nomination.

All applicants to the USNA must pass a physical fitness test to gain admission. It's not especially rigorous, but you'll need to be in shape before you apply, preferably starting months in advance. Over 90% of admitted students performed in varsity athletics, so you would preferably be involved in a sport of some kind.

You'll also want some community service experience. Again, over 90% of admitted students volunteered in their communities, which will help go along with the fact that should you get in, you'll be required to do 5 years of military service. Community service will also help you in our third category: the nomination.

To get into the USNA, you'll need to be nominated by a sitting member of Congress. You don't need to know them personally — but each member of the House and Senate is limited to five nominations a year. You'll need an especially impressive extracurricular resume to get through this part, and you'll probably have to interview a member of their staff. Having a strong background in service and volunteering can help you craft a personal narrative that will make politicians more eager to back you.

In short, I'd prioritize making sure you have the extracurriculars to get in before spending more time raising your GPA. Grades are important, but most applicants will have them, and it'll be harder to catch up on extracurriculars as you approach senior year.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works