Can I Attend OCS If I’m Not In College

Q: Can I apply for OCS if I am not in college?

A: The short answer is, “no”. A requirement of any Marine commissioning program is that you be currently enrolled in college full-time (credit load depending on your educational institution.) Or, have a 4 year degree from a accredited institution. So you can apply for and attend OCS after college.

The major itself does not matter to the Marine Corps. And unlike service branches like the Navy or Air Force, it has no bearing on your selection.

Your OSO can start an application for you before you are enrolled in college, or during your first semester. However, many won’t because you don’t have a GPA yet. OSOs are extremely busy people and they won’t spend much time on a applicant who doesn’t meet the basic requirements.

ocs after college
U.S. Marine candidates with Officer Candidates school (OCS) participate in an obstacle course at OCS, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Jan. 16, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Yasmin D. Perez)

For that matter, some OSOs may allow you to start an application if you are enrolled in community college, with the intent to transfer to a baccalaureate (i.e. 4 year) granting institution. However, you are not eligible to have your package briefed to a selection board until you are enrolled somewhere that can grant you a bachelors degree.

2 thoughts on “Can I Attend OCS If I’m Not In College

  1. Some clarification: The academic major you select DOES matter…there are education prerequisites for certain MOSs. For example, if you are interested in competing for an MP slot, you are more or less required to have some sort of criminal justice background. If you are interested in being a financial management officer, a business/accounting background is probably beneficial and helps your chances of getting your desired MOS. With the new cyber warfare MOSs, your TBS platoon commander and potential MOS monitor will likely look for some sort of computer science background.

    That being said, I’m a Combat Engineer Officer with a degree in International Studies.

    Good luck, and Semper Fi!

    Capt Butler

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