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The mission of the U.S. service academies is to provide instruction and experience to all cadets so that they graduate with the knowledge and character essential to leadership and the motivation to become career officers in the U.S. military.

To be eligible to enter an Academy, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States
  • Of good moral character
  • Unmarried with no dependents
  • At least 17, but less than 23 years of age by July 1 of the year you would enter.

It takes a well-rounded program of leadership, academic, and athletic preparation to be one of the few who can meet the Service Academies’ high admission standards and the fierce competition for appointment. Carefully consider the characteristics of dedication, desire to serve others, ability to accept discipline, sense of duty, and morality, and the enjoyment of challenge in deciding if you want to pursue an Academy education.

It is recommended that young persons who aspire to go to one of the service academies take a college preparatory curriculum in high school that stresses English and Math. Also, they should plan on taking the ACT and SAT tests as early as possible and more than once.

During the admissions process, prospective cadets will be given the Candidate Fitness Assessment. All three academies have the same physical fitness events: the basketball throw; pull-ups (men & women) or flexed-arm hang (women); shuttle run; modified sit-ups; push-ups; and the one-mile run. The purpose of these tests is to evaluate a candidate’s upper body strength and endurance. Please check with each academy on their specific requirements for the Candidate Fitness Assessment.

The minimum SAT scores for the academies are 500 verbal and 500 math. The average SAT scores at the academies are 540-620 verbal and 630-710 math. The minimum ACT scores for the academies are 21 English, 19 Social Studies, 24 Mathematics, and 24 Natural Science. The average ACT scores are 23-27 English; 24-29 Social Studies; 27-32 Mathematics; 28-32 Natural Science (minimum and average scores are slightly higher for the Naval Academy). Virtually all cadets are from the top 25% of their high school class.