Commissioning Requirements 

The basic requirements to become a Marine Officer are fairly simple:

  • Must be 17 to 28 years old

  • Pass a DOD Medical Examination Review board

  • Possess or be in the process of completing a Bachelor's Degree from an Accredited Colelge

  • US Citizen 

  • Complete a Physical Strength Test (PFT) with a competitive score

  • Complete a Commissioning Program

Some requirements will vary depending on the specific commissioning program.


Read on to learn more about the general requirements.

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Age Requirements

You must be at least 21 to be an Officer

The specific age to apply for a commission varies based on the program. 

To apply for USNA or NROTC, you will need to be between 17 and 23, not having reached your 27th birthday upon your commissioning date.

For PLC and OCC you must be between 17 and 28.

For MECEP, ECP, and other enlisted to officer programs (excluding the Naval Academy), you must be between 20 and 30 years of age, although waivers exist for qualified Marines with high potential in the Officer Corps.

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Medical Examination

Ensuring You Are Healthy

Although we will discuss this more on another page explaining the DODMERB Process, the basics of your medical requirements are as follows:


The Military requires you to be in generally healthy medical condition before you can join. They will perform a physical exam and review of your medical record to ensure you can serve.

There are numerous medical conditions that can get you disqualified from military service.

Some of these are to be expected, such as missing limbs, psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disorders, hormonal, gastrointestinal, or other systemic conditions.

Others may be more surprising. We have heard of disqualification due to food allergies, thyroid issues, and orthopedic injuries.

Waivers exist for nearly everything, so if you believe you may be disqualified, have the discussion with your OSO. Even if you are temporarily disqualified, you can request a waiver.

Education Requirements

4 Year College Degree

Marines are strict about education standards. The stigma that Marines do not value education is flat-out false.

To join the Marine Corps you must be a Graduate of an accredited College or University.


The specific major of your degree does not matter and does not impact the options available to you when you apply for a commission (with the exception of a Legal contract).

There are plenty of Combat Engineers and Pilots who majored in English or History, so don't worry about restrictions your degree may place on your ability to commission.



Citizens only

You must be a citizen of the US in order to  commission.


The Marines will not bring foreign nationals to the United States to serve in the military nor are there any ways to earn your citizenship as part of a commissioning program (there are for enlisted legal residents).

Native born or naturalized citizens can serve without restriction. 

Physical Fitness

You Must Pass a PFT to become an Officer

Physically preparing for the Marine Corps is addressed in more depth on our Physical Preparation page.


It is important to know that all candidates will be evaluated based on their performance during the Physical Fitness Test.


This PFT is composed of abdominal crunches, pullups, and a 3 mile run.  Candidates have the option of completing push-ups in lieu of the pullup portion or planks in lieu of the crunches.  

Scoring high on the PFT is one of the best ways to ensure you can secure a seat in any of the competitive commissioning programs.

If you need help preparing, check out some of our workout guides in the Shop.