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Can U.S. Military Academies Enroll International Students?

May 21, 2015
This weekend, people across the United States will celebrate Memorial Day, which commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
 
In honor of Memorial Day, we are highlighting the U.S. military’s elite universities: the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. All four universities are certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and may accept F-1 international students. However, the admissions process for these academies is extremely competitive and unlike other U.S. universities.
 
The U.S. Department of Defense administers the Army, Navy and Air Force academies’ international student admissions policy, which is based on strict federal regulations. This policy says that each of these academies may only enroll 60 international students at any one time and only from certain countries. The U.S. Department of State and the Department of Defense select eligible countries on an annual basis. U.S. embassies notify invited nations to nominate a certain number of candidates each year. Upon successful graduation from these military academies, the international cadets will not be commissioned for service in the U.S. military. For more information on the admissions requirements for each of these academies, please visit their respective websites.
 
The Coast Guard is administered under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and follows a different international student enrollment policy. The admissions process is highly selective. Upon graduation, international cadets are not commissioned for the U.S. Coast Guard; however, prior to enrollment each international student cadet must have their sponsoring country certify that the cadet will serve in that country's Coast Guard, Navy or other comparable maritime service upon graduation. According to the U.S. Coast Guard Acedemy website, 121 international cadets from 37 countries have graduated from the academy, and there are currently 24 international cadets enrolled. 
 
There are other SEVP-certified military academies in the United States, both at the high school and college level. Visit the Study in the States school search page to find out if a school you are interested in attending is certified to enroll F or M international students. 
 
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