Candidates must be nominated to the Academy by a U.S. Representative or Senator. Candidates may only be nominated by qualified authorities from their state or territory.
Nominating authorities may nominate any candidate to the USMMA from their State/Territory. Per the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations, 46 CFR Ch. II, 310.53), candidates must be resident of a State to be nominated by:
- a Member of the U.S. Senate representing that State, or
- a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives whose Congressional District is located in that State
A candidate does not have to reside in the same Congressional District as his/her nominator (a Member of the U.S. House of Representative CAN nominate a candidate who resides in a District other than their own, as long as it is in their (the nominator's) State/Territory.) This differs from nominations to the USMA, USNA, and USAFA.
Nominating authorities select their nominees by any methods they wish, including a screening interview. This screening may be administered as early as July of the year before appointment is sought. Nominees must reside in the state or territory that the nominating official represents, or have a “home of residence” in a particular state, or territory represented by the nominating official.
A candidate should apply for a nomination early. Some nominating authorities establish deadline dates for the receipt of nomination requests in order to allow adequate time for processing and evaluating requests. The ideal time for a candidate to apply for a nomination is in May of junior year in high school.
Nominating authorities may submit the names of their nominees to the Academy (via web portal) any time between August 1 and January 31 of the school year preceding that in which admission to the Academy is sought.
N.B. There are no Presidential, Vice-Presidential, military-affiliated, JROTC-honor unit, ROTC or Unit Commander, or Medal of Honor nominations permitted to the Academy. Those nominations, along with others, are only permitted to the 3 Department of Defense Academies (USMA, USNA, and USAFA). This is in accordance with federal law (the Code of Federal Regulations).