Marine Commissioning Programs

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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  • Scott

    So for the PLC do you have to have a specific ACT or ASVAB to get accepted

    1. USMC Officer

      No, for the PLC program you are already in college so your actual transcript has more weight.

      1. Scott

        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.

  • Nick

    How do you apply for the PLC if you have been accepted to a college?

    1. USMC Officer

      Contact your local Officer Selection Officer (OSO)

  • Mike Maddux

    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?

    1. USMC Officer

      You need to graduate first. You would attend the 10 week course. The two 6 week courses is only for PLC.

      1. Mike Maddux

        Great, thank you for the information sir!

    2. Paula

      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.


      1. USMC Officer

        Hi Paula,

        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.

  • Dan

    What are the requirements for the PLC

    1. USMC Officer

      -Full-time student at 2 or 4 year College or University
      -18 to 28 years old

      Complete info here

  • Jenna

    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

    1. USMC Officer

      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.

  • Lidia

    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?

    1. USMC Officer

      There is no minimum since you already have a degree. Contact your local OSO for more information.

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