Saturday, February 11, 2017

NUPOC Program - Homepage and Overview

** Detailed Information Available via Menu Bar Links Above **

One of the first things I did after assuming the role of Nuclear Officer Accessions Manager was to conduct a thought experiment:  If I had heard about the NUPOC Program and was intrigued and wanted to learn more, where would I look?  How difficult would it be to find relevant information to help inform my decision on whether to proceed with an application?

What I found was troubling.  After 5 years in the Nuclear Navy I knew where to look for data and had the benefit of personal experience to reinforce what I read, but absent those two factors there was shockingly little information available.  What did exist was a long-defunct NUPOC Blogspot, a few dispersed posts and conversations on Reddit and, and the official Navy Website that consists of a one paragraph summary, a short video, and an unconvincing rejoinder to contact your local officer recruiter.  

My intent in creating this site was to address this dearth of readily available information, to provide my own commentary on what I think is the very compelling value proposition of the NUPOC Program, and to make as many external sources covering topics like program history, congressionally-published pay and benefits tables, exit opportunities, interview study materials, etc, readily available to potential applicants who are attempting to determine whether the program is a good fit for them.  I hope you find it useful as you consider the program - regardless of whether you decide to apply.  

I make every effort to be objective and candid in the portions of this site which are my commentary.  Two caveats: (1) I do not purport to speak for the Navy as a whole, and (2) I am genuinely convinced that NUPOC is one of the (if not THE) most compelling programs available to intelligent and motivated college students/graduates.  The financial benefits up-front are eye-catching, but the key in my view is the body of experience and the skills you will develop, coupled with how it sets you up going forward (whether in the Navy or the exit opportunities that are available).  I bring this up to point out that I, like everyone else, have a perspective that I've developed through experience and that you should keep an open mind as you read here, elsewhere, and (if you choose to begin the application process) on the orientation trip to make sure this is something that appeals to you.  

The following discussions can be reached via the menu bar above:
  • "What is NUPOC"  - Program Summary, Overview of Some Key Benefits
  • "Applicant Profile" - Key data on recent NUPOC Applicants (in Aggregate)
  • "Submarines/Surface" - Summarizes Similarities and Differences in job, career path, etc
  • "Instructors" - Discusses roles of Power School and Prototype Instructors and how they differ from one another and from non-instructor positions 
  • "NR Engineer" - Overview of the Naval Reactors Engineer Position
  • "DC Interview" - Explains how I choose who attends each interview, and gives a general overview of the interview process and a few recommendations
  • "FAQs" - Exactly what you would think ---- answers to frequently asked questions

To the right, you will find a plethora of links to good information as well as the dates for upcoming orientation trips and interviews.  Many of the links are referenced specifically in the text of one or more of the discussions noted above, but all provide useful data.  


  1. Brian, great website, thanks very much. I am the father of a high school senior who has been accepted into the NROTC program, but is awaiting some school waiting list decisions. His highest math or ACT equivalent = 760, verbal or ACT =720. Quick question: and just looking at future options, in case the NROTC route doesn't work out ( no acceptances into his chosen schools) , is the earliest he could apply to the program halfway thru his sophomore year?

    1. Basically, yes. He could start to apply around the start of his sophomore year, but the earliest he could come to the interviews (the final step in Application) would be 30 months prior to graduation.

  2. Thank you very much. I'm assuming his attractiveness as a candidate would be higher with freshman course work in the physical sciences, math or engineering. Would his SAT & ACT scores that he has just taken this year still be good ?

    1. He will need to have two semesters of calculus and two of calculus-based physics. AP scores can contribute to these as long as more advanced technical courses have been taken. Beyond that, the more STEM classes the better, but there are no other explicit requirements. We look at the best set of SAT scores ("Super score" of sections may be used) and there is not a time requirement on those.

  3. Thank you once again. Last question: could his semesters of calculus and calculus-based physics count towards that req'ment?

    1. Sorry, the semesters that he has already taken this year in 12th grade.

    2. Yes and no. A waiver would be required, but this is usually granted so long as he takes more advanced Technical courses at the college level