U.S. Naval Academy, MD Image 1
    U.S. Naval Academy, MD Image 2

    U.S. Naval Academy, MD History

    The United States Naval Academy was established in 1845 by the Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft. It was called the Naval School until 1850 when the curriculum changed from 5 years of study, with 3 spent at sea, to require only 4 years of study and summers at sea. The school now resembled other 4-year institutions and was renamed the U.S. Naval Academy. It is the second oldest of all 5 service academies.

    Though the academy started with 50 plebes, or freshmen, on a 10 acre site of the former Fort Severn, today it graduates around 1000 and sits on 338 acres. Midshipmen must apply to the academy and be nominated, usually by a member of Congress. Originally midshipmen went on to either the Navy or Marine Corps as ensigns or second lieutenants, respectively, but as of 1959 they can choose to cross-commission in any service.

    Women were accepted in 1976 after Congress admitted women into all the services. Today female midshipmen account for about 13-14% of each class. International students of allied nations also account for a small percentage. In 1933, President Roosevelt signed into law that every midshipman would receive a Bachelor of Science degree upon graduation, even back-issuing degrees to those who had already graduated. Of the roughly 1300 plebes who enter the academy each year, only around 1000 graduate.