A candidate for admission to the Academy must be in good medical condition and must meet the requirements for appointment as a U.S. Naval Reserve midshipman. Medical examinations are conducted by a service academy examining facility designated by the U.S. Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DODMERB), and a final decision on a candidate's physical and medical qualifications is made by that board. All candidates must be physically and medically qualified for appointment by DODMERB by 16 April of the year of entrance.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The CFA (Candidate Fitness Assessment) is not the same as the DoDMERB medical exam. Passing CFA scores must be received by the Academy no later than the 1 March application deadline (refer to the section in this website that provides information on the CFA) Do not confuse the 16 April DoDMERB medical qualification deadline with the 1 March application and CFA deadline. These are two separate application requirements with two distinct deadlines.
It is the candidate's responsibility to pursue medical processing in a timely manner to its conclusion. If, for any reason, an individual does not receive written or telephone notification from DODMERB approximately 30 days after submitting an application to the Academy's Admission Office, he or she must contact DODMERB's Scheduling Department at 1-800-841-2706 to obtain a medical appointment date. Please notify DODMERB if you have completed a medical examination for any other federal service academy. Failing to disclose pre-existing medical conditions that you were aware of which are discovered after reporting to the USMMA may result in medical separation and you may be ineligible for readmission.
A candidate must have minimum uncorrected visual acuity of 20/400 in each eye, correctable to 20/20 in each eye. The refractive error to correct the vision to 20/20 must not be greater than plus or minus 6.0 diopters in any meridian; there cannot be more than 3.00 diopters of astigmatism present; and the maximum difference in power between the eyes may not exceed 3.50 diopters. The candidate must satisfactorily pass the pseudoisochromatic plate test (PIP). Any prospective candidate who has been diagnosed with substandard color vision is not eligible for further consideration. Upon reporting to the Academy, all plebes are subject to an eye examination. Those who fail to meet the Academy's visual requirements at that time will be disenrolled
Auditory acuity of all candidates is determined by an audiometer. The standards for hearing, to which the Academy ascribes, are determined by the U.S. Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board.
Height and Weight
The following table sets forth the minimum and maximum acceptable heights and weights. Height measurements below the minimum or above the maximum shown in this table are disqualifying. (Height is shown in inches and weight in pounds).
Weight Standards (Men)
Weight Standards (Women)
Heart and Vascular System
An electrocardiogram is required of all candidates. The following conditions may be causes for rejection and require complete medical evaluation: all organic valvular diseases of the heart, including those improved by surgery; EKG evidence of variations from normal heartbeat; hypertension evidenced by a predominant blood pressure reading of 140mm or more systolic, or 90mm or more diastolic. The following are causes for rejection: varicose veins, if severe or symptomatic; a heart rate greater than 100 on repeated examination; a substantiated history of rheumatic fever within the previous two years; recurrent attacks of rheumatic fever or evidence of residual cardiac damage; a history of recurring rapid heartbeat within the preceding five years (paroxysmal tachycardia).
Septal deviation, hypertrophic rhinitis, or other conditions which result in 50 percent or more obstruction of either airway, or which interfere with the drainage of sinus on either side, are causes of rejection.
Chronic skin diseases such as severe acne or eczema or unsightly congenital markings are cause for disqualification. Pilondial sinus, if evidenced by the presence of mass or discharging sinus, is cause for rejection. Pilondial cyst surgery within the past year is disqualifying.
Persistent or recurrent albuminuria of any type or the persistence of casts in the urine will be cause for rejection, even though the etiology cannot be determined. Other causes for rejection include marked phimosis, epispadias, or pronounced hypospadias; atrophy, deformity, or maldevelopment of both testicles; an undescended testical of any degree. Bed-wetting past age 12 is disqualifying.
A history of motion sickness (e.g., air, sea, swing, train or carnival ride) should be thoroughly investigated. A history of head injury in the past five years resulting in unconsciousness must be completely evaluated and an electroencephalogram is required. Evidence of degenerative disorders and such conditions as established migraine is cause for rejection.
Asthma, recurrent asthmatic bronchitis or exercise-induced bronchospasms, by diagnosis or history, is cause for rejection. Abdominal Wall Examination Hernia of any type is disqualifying until corrected; history of operation for hernia within the past 60 days is disqualifying. Other abnormal diseases and conditions which are not acceptable include stomach or small bowel ulcer or a history of one; acute or chronic gall bladder disease; removal of spleen for reason other than trauma.
Weight and Body Fat
Each student at the Academy is required to meet and maintain the standards of the Department of the Navy's Merchant Marine Reserve, U.S. Naval Reserve (MMR, USNR) program for midshipmen.
Determination of a candidate's physical status is based on weight in relation to height and, if required, on body fat percentage. The minimum and maximum parameters for individual height are listed in the Table under Height and Weight.
The maximum body fat percentages are 25 percent for men and 35 percent for women. A body fat percentage is not required for candidates whose weight falls within the parameters set forth in the Table. For those candidates whose weight exceeds the maximum for their height, a body fat measurement will subsequently be taken using the circumference (tape measure) method. In these cases, maximum limits for body fat are 25 percent for men and 35 percent for women. A candidate will be considered to exceed the medical qualification standards if both weight and body fat percentage exceed the maximum.
Candidates who do not meet the established medical requirements for admission at the time of their medical examination may still be considered for and offered a conditional appointment. Candidates are expected to report for the Academy's Indoctrination Program in July meeting the height-weight standards.
Miscellaneous Medical Disqualifications
Other medical reasons for disqualification include Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); acute communicable diseases; anemia; abnormal bleeding states; learning disabilities; diabetes mellitus or a history of diabetes in both parents; persistent sugar in urine regardless of cause; ununited fractures; a history of surgery to a major joint within the past six months; knee ligament surgery or a history of derangement of a knee joint not corrected by surgery, or evidence of instability subsequent to surgery; total loss of either thumb; tuberculosis active in the past five years; hay fever, if severe, or a record of hyposensitization therapy for severe hay fever during one year prior to examination; nasal polyps; personality disorders; symptomatic immaturity disorders such as stammering or stuttering; arthritis; and herniated nucleus pulposus or a history of operation for this condition. These conditions represent the most common causes of medical disqualification.
Note: Women applicants must also have a pelvic examination and a Pap test, if they are age 22 or older.
All candidates must be medically and physically qualified on the “UNRESTRICTED LINE” level for entry.
A candidate must have a minimum of 16 natural permanent teeth, of which a minimum of eight must be in each arch. All missing teeth causing unsightly spaces or significantly reducing masticatory or incisal efficiency must be replaced by well-designed bridges or partial dentures which are in good condition. All required dental treatment must be completed prior to final medical qualification.
Disqualifying defects are:
- lack of satisfactory incisal or masticatory function;
- less than a minimum of eight natural permanent teeth in each arch;
- edentulous spaces which are unsightly or which significantly reduce masticatory function;
- carious teeth, including minor carious areas extending into dentin;
- infectious or chronic diseases of the soft tissue of the oral cavity;
- marked malocclusion resulting in severe dentofacial deformity;
- unsatisfactory restoration, bridges, or dentures;
- severe or extensive apical or periodontal infection.
Fourth classmen must demonstrate the capability of swimming 100 yards using two basic strokes, and 15 minutes of flotation. Nonswimmers must devote a part of their time to learning basic swimming strokes, and it is therefore recommended that applicants learn to swim before entering the Academy. This requirement must be fulfilled prior to a midshipman's first shipboard training period.