United States Naval Academy Reviews

  • 17 Reviews
  • Annapolis (MD)
88% of 17 students said this degree improved their career prospects
94% of 17 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

Joshua Dale Gillespie
  • Reviewed: 6/21/2023
  • Degree: History
"Summary: I graduated from USNA in 2000 with a B.S. (History, which says volumes in and of itself), then served a number of years as an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. Since leaving active duty, I have worked in every career from retail sales to construction, executive sales to project management. Positives: USNA has a long (often over-romanticized) history and culture that I'm extremely proud to have been afforded the opportunity to experience first-hand. The friendships made there last a lifetime, truly. Over the course of my adult life, people have generally responded positively to the knowledge I am an "alumni". Cons: USNA does NOT prepare a junior officer to succeed in the Armed Forces. Perhaps at one time it did; that time is obviously passed. Modern officers are confronted with a variety of technological, emotional, physical, and political challenges "Four Years by the Bay" simply cannot adequately address. In my opinion, we'd do far better by our aspiring Midshipmen by sending them out to sea as apprentices with periodic returns to academia to meet core curriculum requirements. I honestly see no value in producing 21 year old ensigns and second lieutenants when the demands of the job more appropriately match people in their early 30s. Beyond this, USNA (again, in my opinion) may actually inhibit some emotional growth in younger, "fresh from high school" students. Many people learn a great deal about managing personal finances and "everyday life stuff" during their first four years away from home... USNA cannot help by get in the "way" of this experience. I believe far too many people leave the Academy LESS mature than they arrived, and often with a predilection for self-destructive behavior once removed from its rigorously restrictive routine. All in all, there are so many options for bright young people to consider... this cherished institution may not be the "best fit" for all of them."
Benjamin Salomon
  • Reviewed: 6/9/2019
  • Degree: Mechanical Engineering
"The Naval Academy provides midshipmen with an opportunity for a career in service to the nation. Graduates can choose from many options upon service selection during their senior year including Aviation, Submarines, Surface Warfare, and Marine Corps along with other, more specialized areas. While all graduates receive baseline engineering training, those that choose an engineering field of study are particularly well-prepared for future challenges and opportunities while serving in the fleet. One of the reasons for this is that a mathematical mindset is very helpful when working in a high-stress environment as it provides for a strong technical competence, while providing needed flexibility to focus on the most important resource, people. The typical Naval Academy graduate serves 5 years in the military upon graduation. This commitment is longer for pilots, typically 9 years. While most people would be reticent about a long service commitment, these additional years are usually spent with higher pay and the opportunity for duty in exotic locations around the world. Overall, the Naval Academy provides opportunities for Midshipmen in accordance with its mission and is a great career opportunity for the diligent high school applicants."
  • Reviewed: 5/18/2019
  • Degree: English
"Its certainly not for everybody. The alumni network is very strong outside the military and can open some doors. I felt that my experiences at USNA were basically worthless as far as the military was concerned which was upsetting because at the time I was very interested in a national security career. Of the people I attended with, nearly all of them were top high school students who came to USNA with similar aspirations. Most of them ended up doing jobs they despised in the military and then, if they were brave enough to leave after their commitment, were left with the Herculean task of completely reinventing themselves at 30, at which point its very difficult to get away from the military stigma. You wont qualify for the GI bill during your five year commitment so youre looking at 8 years if you want the grad school scholarship. Grad schools dont know how to read your GPA so if you were a humanities major confused about why you were getting crushed under 12 credits of strictly engineering your senior year you wont get any leniency in admissions. They used to talk about the academy bump for grad school admissions when I was in school; nothing could be further from the truth. A select few who come in knowing exactly how to game the system will get elite graduate degrees at taxpayer expense and then quit at the end of their five year commitment and never participate in public service again. I still agree with the schools mission and I felt that I became a better person for attending but honestly for a kid with lots of options the military is a horrible place to do a career. I still remain close with my military friends but after seeing how most people struggle outside the military I question if I would do it again and I dont think I would want my children to join. I ended up working in one of the most competitive, highly remunerated fields in the country but it was mainly through grit, determination, and luck. That being said my position feels extremely tenuous and the grads I know in this industry seem to flounder well into their late 30s. The question you have to ask yourself as a high school student is where do I want to be 10-20 years from now? Because if your plan is to go to USNA do five years and then get out and wing it, I would strongly caution against attending. Also dont go there if you want to be a doctor; I havent seen that work out for most of those types either."
  • Reviewed: 1/10/2019
  • Degree: History
"First of all, the young men and women seeking to serve their country should be commended for their choice. However, from what I have witnessed, I have come to strongly believe in the strength of officer commissioning sources like ROTC, OCS, and PLC as much more effective and beneficial platforms for officer formation when compared with the service academies. While the Naval Academy thrives upon its reputation as an elite training ground for young officers, the reality is extremely far from the pictures seen by aspiring officers on the brochures and USNA websites. Beneath the pomp and circumstance and the fancy parade uniforms, my experience at the academy seemed to have more in common with a Victorian boarding school than an actual military training environment. While the academy experience is constricted by a bloated bureaucracy, excessive company formations, parades, and mandatory football games, ROTC offers aspiring officers with the best of both military and civilian collegiate worlds. When it comes time for training, I know that my peers in ROTC were given extremely intense yet effective physical workouts, ruck-runs, and training opportunities like the Global Officers program which funds ROTC students to go abroad in the summer. Despite its rigorous reputation, it is only during plebe year that USNA midshipman undergo regular fitness training while only once having the opportunity to join the Marine Corps in combat exercises. ROTC students maximize their limited time with their instructors in highly effective training classes. While the academy is indeed an extreme experience in the sense that it leads to an extremely dorky social environment with plebes being only allotted 12 hours to leave campus per week with youngsters faring little better, there a complete breakdown of military training intensity past plebe year with many of the midshipman I have witnessed going from star high school athletes to overweight sophomores, juniors, and seniors having to go to weigh-ins. Unlike what the administration would have you believe, the rigidity of USNA in limiting the midshipmen from leaving the Yard does not equate to increased discipline and military training among midshipmen, but does tend to increase the binge drinking, pornographic addiction, and sexual assault perpetration among the burnt-out upperclassmen. Honestly, most of the plebes coming out of high school as strong athletes and student leaders are more qualified to military leadership than their older peers who have been train-wrecked after spending the vast majority of four years on the Yard. For aspiring officers in our day and age, they should know beforehand that by choosing a service academy, you are not choosing the most elite training grounds for future officers, but rather an extremely constricting boarding school environment that poses as such. By choosing ROTC at a strong civilian university, whether Ivy League or a well-standing public school, you will be down an excellent and bright path to being commissioned and you should in no way feel you have to take a backseat to academy graduates. Both ROTC and Academy grads have made incredible and nightmarish officers. While the academies should not necessarily be completely defunded, the administration should look to ROTC as a model for making these training grounds match the potential of their young officers and provide quality training while allowing students to get some sleep, succeed academically, and for Gods sake allow them more than just a few hours per week to take a walk off campus or grab a beer!"
Anthony Chase
  • Reviewed: 6/1/2018
  • Degree: Engineering
"The best place to be from. Highest ROI in and out of uniform. USNA prepares you for life in all areas. USNA will be the most challenging yet rewarding education institution you will ever attend. Awesome alumni association that continues to help graduates while they are in uniform and after they leave the military."
Daniele Anderson
  • Reviewed: 4/13/2018
  • Degree: History
"The US Naval Academy is a military service academy. Each person who attends must take a regimented STRM curriculum, regardless of major. In addition every student must play a sport. The education is valued at over $300,000. Almost all the facilities are excellent with multiple gyms and areas to work out. The campus is historic and beautiful; registered as a living museum. On campus there is an actual naval museum. The housing is considered the largest continuous dormitory in the United States. Ranked number 1 public university in the United States in 2017."
Scott M
  • Reviewed: 2/18/2018
  • Degree: Aerospace Engineering
"It's been a couple years since I graduated, but the opportunities that graduating form this school have offered have not slowed down. Since I left the military, the network that the school provides has at least partially helped in my placement in post military positions. As a graduate, the school continues to offer opportunities and open doors."
Neel. G
  • Reviewed: 5/20/2017
  • Degree: Mechanical Engineering
"The United States Naval Academy, is an education haven. It is a free institution to all who enter with a guaranteed job upon graduation in the armed services. It is a liberal school by name but an engineering school at heart. The instructors are split between part military and part civilian giving you the best of both worlds."
Megan Misencik
  • Reviewed: 3/7/2017
  • Degree: Economics
"The United States Naval Academy is not a place for the feint hearted, as the institutions ultimate goal is to produce leaders within the Navy and Marine Corps. The institution is academically similar to an ivy league, with the exception that one is also expected to play a sport and hold leadership positions along the way. This is a leadership school where you will fail at some point within your four years here, but along the way you will learn valuable lessons on why you failed and how to not make the same mistake. As a result, you will become stronger. The Naval Academy's academic programs are most certainly rigorous as shown by the fact that students are required to complete at around 140 credit hours in four years, no exceptions. Athletically, the Naval Academy is a D1 school, and has every sport from rugby to track to football. The sky is the limit and should the school not have your sport, then start a club and have at it. Unlike any other university, upon graduating from the Naval Academy, one is guaranteed a job that carries a five year commitment. Once your five years of obligated service are up, you may chose to leave the military and pursue a civilian career. When considering whether or not to leave the military, the Naval Academy has a vast alumni network there to help support you no matter if you are still serving or not. Arguably, the Naval Academy has one of the strongest alumni networks in existence that is willing to lend you a hand at any step in life. This is not a school for those that are on the fence about the military. This is an institution only for those students wanting to receive an Ivy League education knowing they want to serve as military officers within the Navy or Marine Corps. This is an institution where you must be prepared to serve in both times of peace and war. Earning a degree here is a bonus that will set your future for the remainder of your life."
  • Reviewed: 3/1/2017
  • Degree: Political Science
"The United States Naval Academy is an outstanding military institution that combines a rich history in service with academic excellence. Students have the opportunity to study under professors at the top of their field in engineering and government based disciplines, while being challenged in extracurricular ways that promote personal growth and leadership development. Academics are very challenging and military lifestyle may seem relentless and overwhelming at times. However, the school is dedicated to each student's success and development as a naval officer. A fantastic career opportunity awaits at graduation for students willing to dedicate themselves and accept the challenge."
Kelsey Reichardt
  • Reviewed: 11/30/2016
  • Degree: Political Science
"Although it's difficult to get into USNA, I really enjoyed my time there and all the experiences and opportunities that I got while attending! I loved my professors and the political science program, the networking opportunities and the friends that I made. You are required to serve in the US Navy or Marine Corps upon graduation but I wouldn't trade any of the experiences I had. Overall, I'd highly recommend this prestigious institution!"
  • Reviewed: 8/22/2016
  • Degree: Physics
"The experiences and value from this institution cannot be beat. You will have unique experiences your friends in regular colleges will not have, and national leaders will constantly come speak. You will receive a (very small) salary, not pay tuition, and, most importantly, you will receive the privilege of leading our country's young men and women in the Navy or Marine Corps after you graduate. However, you must realize you will not have the traditional college experience. Additionally, there will be a stigma from some that you come from privilege, whether you do or not. But you will realize that many of your fellow students did. As someone who did not come from privilege, this took some getting used to."
  • Reviewed: 8/10/2015
  • Degree: Information Technology
"College was a necessary experience to gain the knowledge I needed to excel in my job and the military. USNA allowed me to do this and mature at the same time to be able to take on my Officer role immediately. A top tier education and I get to do what I love."
  • Reviewed: 4/7/2015
  • Degree: Political Science
""The toughest place in the world to be, but the best place in the world to be from." The combination of an applied engineering experience with a liberal arts approach (teaching us how to learn, not what to think) provided more than any other college could have. I transferred to the Naval Academy from another elite college after one year and I could not have been happier with my decision. I learned far more in my four years at Annapolis than I ever could have at another school. The Academy provided me with purpose, meaning, hard skills, soft skills, and a cadre of peers whose loyalty supersedes that of any civilian institution. I would not trade my time by the Severn River for anything!"
K-P. Heinemeyer
  • Reviewed: 3/24/2015
  • Degree: Military Science
"The Academy prepared me for a challenging and interesting life. Aside from the suppurb academics, the Academy prepared me to compete in the world through instilling in me leadership, integrity, loyalty, and drive. Almost 50 years after graduation, I still benefit from the values and education I received at this Institution. It was a tough place to succedd at, but the experience has helped me endure throughout my life."
Dr. FeetWet
  • Reviewed: 3/21/2015
  • Degree: Political Science
"Wonderful education that covered so much--ironically, far broader in scope than a traditional "liberal arts" education. I work completely out of the academic major and warfare specialty I studied and trained for at Navy, but the habits, confidence, and leadership learned there have served me very well. In my current field, I'm in frequent contact with grads from the other Top 5 schools and I'd stack Navy up against any one of them."
  • Reviewed: 3/19/2015
  • Degree: Political Science
"It is a $61 million annual industry to headhunt service academy grads, and more USNA grads have held C-suite seats than the other schools. I'm proud of my school, and will continue to hire USNA grads every chance I get. See you at MOJO and SACC, and GO NAVY!"