The United States Naval Academy is an authorized federal military academy nearby to Annapolis, Maryland. Established on 10 October 1830, under Secretary of War Henry S. Callahan, it is the fifth oldest of all commissioned colleges in the nation. Its main aim is to train students for service in the United States Navy. Classes at the Academy range from first-year cadets who have limited experience to those who have been in the service for years. Some graduates even go on to become officers in the Navy, Army or Marine Corps.
The Academy has its own flag and seal. As a federal association, the Academy charges tuition in terms of units annually. The fees are expressed in dollars. The prices may differ from year to year, with increases decided only upon request. Students attending can elect either to take courses through the Internet or through local correspondence. Enrollment is limited to individuals who meet the general admission requirements.
The curriculum of the Academy covers courses in Psychology, History, Mathematics, Agricultural Science. All cadets are required to complete one year of courses in American History. After this year, all cadets can enroll in classes that focus on foreign languages, mathematics, science, and English. To ensure an even academic environment, the United States Naval Academy maintains academic standards that are much higher than those at other colleges and universities.
Upon graduation, all United States Naval Academy graduates become eligible for promotion to the grade officer (CO) level. A graduate of this prestigious Academy can expect to be promoted to lieutenants or senior quartermaster within a few months after graduation. At the rear of most lieutenants or senior quartermasters are the petty officers who are responsible for day to day operations in the fleet. These officers usually have much less training than their senior counterparts and will be stationed aboard a vessel before becoming full officers. Graduates of United States Naval Academy majors can expect to be deployed to a sea duty base or other operational location upon completion of their naval service.
The United States Naval Academy also offers a Student Professional Development Program, which is designed to help students enhance their skills in academic, athletic and leadership areas. Students can pursue a certificate in Communications, Computer Information Systems, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Finance, Insurance, Information Technology, Law Enforcement, Paralegal, Social Service, and Strategic Sustainability. Students can complete the program in twelve months, but it does take at least four years to earn a full Bachelors Degree in these disciplines. As with all colleges and universities, once a student has graduated they must be accepted to a graduate course in their field of choice.
With an eye towards professionalism, the United States Navy requires its midshipmen and officers to take refresher courses every two years. At the end of each of these courses, midshipmen and officers are required to take a final evaluation exam that consists of both a written and oral section. This exam is used as a major stepping stone toward promotion to full officer status. If an officer does not pass this exam, there are several options to consider in order to achieve a promotion to first lieutenants, then senior lieutenants, and then ensigns.