Last Updated on November 16, 2023
This guide provides helpful information for those who seek educational financial assistance through the Navy HSCP (Health Services Collegiate Program) during Fiscal Year 2024.
This program provides scholarships to students in the medical field in exchange for subsequent service as a commissioned Naval Officer in Navy Medicine.
There are many aspects and inherent requirements involved in this program.
So, let us jump right in.
What is the Navy HSCP?
The Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP) is a scholarship program that offers financial incentives to students in selected health care professions to achieve degree/certification requirements and gain a commission in the Navy Medical Corps (MC), Dental Corps (DC), or Medical Service Corps (MSC).
This program is like the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) because it provides scholarships to students in the medical field, and their payback service obligation is similar.
However, HSCP differs from HPSP in many ways. Here are some examples:
- HSCP is an exclusive Navy program. This means that HSCP is not available to those who seek a subsequent commission in another branch of military service. The Department of the Navy funds the HSCP and is therefore only available to those who wish to serve in the Navy, whereas the HPSP is a Department of Defense program, so its participants may join another service after school.
- In HPSP, students attend their designated schools as civilians who receive full tuition and fees and receive a monthly stipend. On the other hand, HSCP students do not receive full tuition and fees, but receive full military pay and benefits while attending school.
Nonetheless, the total monetary value of both programs is similar. The benefits are just delivered differently.
Who is the Navy HSCP for?
The Navy HSCP benefits students who are pursuing a career in the following medical fields:
- Healthcare Administration
- Environmental Health
- Industrial Hygiene
- Social Work
- Occupational Therapy
- Physician Assistant
What are the Benefits of the Navy HSCP?
Upon selection for participation in the Navy HSCP, students will receive the following benefits:
- Receive full military pay and benefits as an active duty E-6 while attending school, to include housing allowance based on the school location. This benefit amounts to well over six digits in monetary value. At the time of this writing, it is up to $269,000.
- Opportunity to be promoted to E-7 (along with an increase in monthly income)
- Full medical and dental insurance coverage through TRICARE
- Earn 30 days of leave each year in school
- Time in the program counts toward military retirement. This means you earn qualifying years for retirement benefits even before you serve in the Navy.
You may review the current military pay schedule here: https://www.dfas.mil/MilitaryMembers/payentitlements/Pay-Tables/
You may review the current Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) here: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm
NOTE: The figures provided here are subject to change without notice. Contact your local Navy Medical Officer recruiter for the most current information regarding benefits and requirements.
Participants will receive full salary and allowances (except for clothes) commensurate with their rank, but tuition, books, and other school-related expenditures are their own.
Navy HSCP Eligibility Requirements
Because of the obvious great benefit of this program, the selection process can become quite competitive.
To be eligible for the Navy Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP), applicants must be American citizens, no older than 42 years old, who are competitively pursuing a qualifying healthcare-related degree and credentials.
The list of eligibility requirements for Navy HSCP listed below is current as of September 2023, per the Navy Personnel Command. No updates have been issued so far.
Applicants must be citizens of the United States.
Those who want to apply must be at least 18 years old and able to commission by the time they are 42 years of age. Waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants must be enrolled in, or approved for admission/transfer to, a recognized college, university, or institution of study for a specific health profession. This prerequisite is not met by online/distance learning degree programs.
Medical schools must be accredited by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (www.lcme.org) or the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (www.osteopathic.org).
With dentistry school, the American Dental Association must accredit the institution (www.ada.org).
For MSC education programs, the institution must be accredited under the subspecialty standards outlined in this program guide: Medical Service Corps Officer program.
Regarding nursing education, it is imperative that the institution be accredited in accordance with the accreditation criteria outlined in this program guide: Nurse Corps Officer program.
Degree or certification requirements must be completed within 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, or 48 months after enlisting.
Prior to enrollment, selectees must have an authorized degree or course of study completion plan to calculate the predicted graduation or completion date.
Applicants must have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. Waivers will be handled on an individual basis.
Selected individuals must finish their education or training as full-time students who attend all regular school sessions. Following selection, students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.5.
Upon conclusion of each academic term, official transcripts must be submitted to the Commander, Naval Recruiting Command (COMNAVCRUITCOM).
Failure to maintain the required 2.5 GPA, failure to produce full academic transcripts, or any sign of tampering or academic fraud may cause dismissal from Navy HSCP.
Waivers for failing to meet statutory GPA standards will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Students at pass/fail schools must maintain excellent academic standing to finish school, as specified by their degree completion plan at the start of their HSCP participation.
If a selectee cannot satisfy standards, COMNAVCRUITCOM will notify the corresponding officer community manager (OCM), along with a suggestion for waiver or dis-enrollment.
Participation in a non-mandatory co-op or work-study program will be denied if it causes a delay in the estimated graduation date.
Selectees may not extend their expected graduation date, stop attending courses, change majors, take part in exchange programs, or transfer schools unless specifically approved by the OCM via COMNAVCRUITCOM.
Dis-enrollment may occur if previous consent is not obtained.
Medical Corps Participants
Before graduating and being granted access to active duty, candidates are required to successfully complete and obtain a passing score on either the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) step 1 and step 2 Clinical Knowledge (step 2-CK) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) level 1 and level 2 Cognitive Evaluation (level 2-CE).
Step 1 of the USMLE or level 1 of the COMLEX must be completed prior to the start of the third year academic curriculum of medical school, and COMNAVCRUITCOM must receive the results by September 15, of that year.
Failure of these examinations following three attempts will lead to separation from the U.S. Navy or an extension of active duty in accordance with the relevant Navy regulations and terms and conditions of the service agreement.
If you are unable to secure a valid state license after completing your internship, you may be administratively separated.
Dental Corps Participants
Applicants must take and pass part I of the National Dental Board Examination (NDBE) before to the start of the third year academic curriculum, and the results must be submitted to COMNAVCRUITCOM by the 15th of September of the third year academic curriculum.
Failure to take the exam or submit the results to COMNAVCRUITCOM may result in administrative sanctions, including dismissal.
Applicants must take Part II of the NDBE in December during their fourth year of study and submit their findings to COMNAVCRUITCOM by 15 February (second tries must be completed by March and results submitted by 15 April).
Failure to pass any section of the NDBE for the second time may result in dismissal from the program and the necessity to complete required service for training in an active duty enlisted position.
This option necessitates that the unenrolled applicant undertake recruit training.
If curriculum requirements are not met in time for their individual exams, dentistry program participants must submit a written waiver request to the DC OCM via COMNAVCRUITCOM, accompanied by a letter from the dean of student affairs.
Personnel will not be commissioned as a DC officer until they pass sections I and II of the NDBE after graduating from dental school.
Medical Service Corps Participants
MSC uses this program for its medical program specialty.
In collaboration with Bureau of Navy Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) Manpower and Resources – Total Force (M1) and the MSC Chief’s office, the MSC OCM determines which MSC specialties are eligible for this program.
The healthcare administration, environmental health, industrial hygiene, audiology (externship), pharmacy, occupational therapy, podiatric residency, entomology, and physician assistant specializations are addressed below.
Applicants must be enrolled in, or accepted for admission to, an accredited college, university, or school of study for a master’s degree in health care, hospital or health service administration, health policy, or a master’s in business administration with a concentration in healthcare administration.
Applicants must be enrolled in a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (www.cahme.org), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (www.aacsb.edu), or the Council on Education for Public Health (www.ceph.org).
Applicants must be enrolled in, or accepted for enrollment/transfer to, an accredited college or university for a baccalaureate or master’s degree in environmental health from a National Environmental Health Science and Accreditation Council (www.ehacoffice.org) accredited program, or a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in environmental health from a Council on Education for Public Health accredited College of Public Health (www.ceph.org).
Coursework in environmental health, epidemiology, biostatistics, communicable diseases, food safety, water quality, air quality, vector control, solid waste and wastewater management, public health sanitation, toxicology, risk assessment, risk communication, and microbiology should be included in degree plans.
Applicants for master’s degrees should have a bachelor’s degree in environmental health, biology, chemistry, physics, or another science.
Applicants must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment/transfer to an accredited college, university, or school of study for a bachelor of science (BS), master of science (MS), or master of science public health (MSPH) degree with a concentration in industrial hygiene from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (www.abet.org) accredited institution.
Those who are approved or enrolled in doctoral programs will also be evaluated, with a preference for programs with a specialization in industrial hygiene.
Applicants enrolled/accepted at ABET-accredited universities in Environmental, Health and Safety, or Safety will be assessed on an individual basis.
Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in industrial hygiene, environmental health, biology, chemistry, physics, or an engineering degree related to industrial hygiene.
Applicants having suitable industrial hygiene work experience and professional certification may be evaluated for exceptions to criteria on a case-by-case basis.
Occupational Audiology (Externship)
Applicants must be enrolled in a clinical doctorate program in audiology at an accredited college, university, or school of study.
To be eligible for the externship the following year, applicants must be at the conclusion of their second year of study or in their third year.
Applicants must be enrolled in, or accepted for enrollment/transfer into, an approved college, university, or school of pharmacy study. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education must accredit the program (www.acpe- accredit.org).
Graduates should take the licensing test prior to attending Officer Development School (ODS) and must get licensure from the state or jurisdiction in which they are pursuing license within one year of entering active duty.
Failure to pass the license test within one year of commissioning may cause administrative separation from the United States Navy and probable recoupment of Navy expenses under the service agreement and relevant Navy rules.
Applicants must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment/transfer to an accredited college, university, or school of study for a master’s degree in occupational therapy from a college or university accredited by the American Council on Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association (www.aota.org).
Rehabilitation sciences (upper extremity/hand therapy, occupational/human performance), behavioral/mental health (focus on post-traumatic stress disorder), neuroscience/traumatic brain injury (mild-to-moderate populations preferable), or pediatrics must be the emphasis of all internships (early intervention and school-based services focus).
At the conclusion of their study, applicants must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination (www.nbcot.org).
Failure to pass the NBCOT test within one year of commissioning may cause administrative separation from the United States Navy and probable recoupment of Navy expenses under the service agreement and relevant Navy rules.
Applicants must have completed a podiatric medical school that is accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) (https://www.cpme.org).
Applicants must be admitted into a three-year surgical residency program authorized by the American Podiatry Medical Association’s CPME.
Furthermore, board qualified status recognized by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine or the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery is strongly desired.
If you are unable to secure a valid state license after completing your residence, you may be administratively removed from the program.
Applicants must be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment/transfer to a master’s degree (thesis program) or doctorate degree program in entomology at an approved college, university, or school of study.
Entomology courses should be included in degree programs, including courses in medical entomology, veterinary medical entomology, insect ecology, pest management, insect toxicity, insect taxonomy, insect morphology, mosquito biology, and insect physiology.
Applicants must be enrolled in, or accepted for enrollment/transfer to, a master’s degree program in physician assistant studies at an approved institution or university.
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (www.arc-pa.org) must accredit the program.
To meet the regular two-year curriculum, degree requirements must be fulfilled within 12 to 24 months after enrollment.
To accommodate academic programs that need 30 months to finish, the benefit may be extended up to 30 months.
Prior to the applicant’s enrollment into the program, the professional review board will determine whether a 30-month contract is appropriate.
Applicants must pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) prior to commissioning (www.nccpa.net).
Failure to pass the PANCE within 180 days of graduation may cause administrative separation from the United States Navy and probable recoupment of Navy expenses under the service agreement and relevant Navy rules.
Nurse Corps Participants
This program is used by Nurse Corps (NC) to enable current Navy officers serving on active duty in other areas with a path to obtaining the qualifying degree required to serve in the NC.
Participants must be able to complete the requirements for a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an appropriately accredited institution, as well as obtain and maintain an unrestricted license to practice as a professional registered nurse from a state, territory, or the District of Columbia based on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) within 36 months of program enrollment.
In accordance with the Medical Department Manual (NAVMED P-117), Chapter 15, and as specified in DoD Instruction 6130.03 (Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, Or Induction in the Military Services).
On the suggestion of BUMED, DCNO N1 may waive physical problems that do not interfere with active duty performance within official Navy parameters.
In compliance with the relevant initial appointing directives (OPNAVINST 1120.4C (Appointment of Regular and Reserve Officers in the Medical Corps of the Navy), OPNAVINST 1120.5B (Appointment of Regular and Reserve Officers in the Dental Corps of the United States Navy), OPNAVINST 1120.8A (Appointment of Regular and Reserve Officers in the Medical Service Corps of the Navy), health care professionals are obligated to acquire and sustain the necessary licenses, certifications, and/or registration.
The acquisition and upkeep of a license, certification, and registration entail a personal financial investment and obligation.
In the event that licensure, registration, or certification are not obtained within the specified time periods, the HSCP candidate or graduate will be obligated to fulfill the enlisted obligation service requirement as specified in the initial contract or agreement.
Grade Point Average (GPA) Waivers
A GPA waiver may be approved in limited numbers if the candidate does not fulfill all the standards but has an extraordinary record or demonstrated expertise needed by the Navy.
Applicants between the ages of 42 and 47 are exempt from fees. Limited waivers may be granted in situations where the applicant fails to meet the age requirement but possesses an outstanding record or demonstrated skill set that is deemed essential by the Navy.
Consideration will be given to age waiver requests for specialized positions that are understaffed or have a history of failing to meet recruitment targets. In the event that a waiver is requested, the subsequent procedures must be completed before the selection board convenes.
Who May Apply
- Qualified civilians may apply.
- Enlisted candidates (active or reserve) must provide a conditional discharge from active duty or reserve status, a copy of their enlisted performance summary record, and assessments from the previous three years.
- Officer candidates (active or reserve) must submit a contingent resignation from active duty or reserve status, a copy of their officer summary record, and three years of fitness reports. The HSCP is essentially a civilian direct procurement program. As a result, student seats for those serving on active duty or in training, as well as administration of reserve status, are limited.
Civilian applicants do not have to meet special provisions to apply. Those who are selected for the program will be enlisted by their recruiting district.
They will be sent to the Navy Recruiting District (NRD) or Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) closest to their college and put on active service in the Navy as an E-6, officer candidate first class (OC1).
Enlisted applicants (Active or Reserve) must provide a conditional discharge from active duty or reserve status, a copy of their enlisted performance summary record, and a copy of their most recent three years of assessments.
Enlisted members with paygrades equal to or below E-6 will be reenlisted as E-6, OC1 in the Navy. Those with paygrades equal to or higher than E-7 will be reenlisted as E-7, OCCPO in the Navy.
Officer applicants (Active or Reserve) must submit a conditional resignation from active duty or reserve status, a copy of their officer summary record, and three years of fitness reports.
The implication of the contingent resignation is that Officer will have to re-join in the Navy as an E-7, officer candidate chief petty officer (OCCPO).
The Navy HSCP is essentially a civilian direct procurement program.
As a result, student seats for those serving on active duty or in Full-Time Support status are limited.
Navy HSCP students will be expected to maintain communication with the local Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) while assigned as an active duty enlisted member of the Navy.
The NTAG will guarantee that students meet minimal physical fitness criteria and that they have an acceptable degree of military awareness.
All physical fitness exam failures and/or failures of students to maintain touch with authorized OCM shall be reported to the NTAG.
Applicants chosen for this program must maintain professional behavior throughout the term.
Misconduct (civilian or military conviction) during enlistment may cause prompt dis-enrollment.
Participants in the program are not eligible for advancement exams.
The highest pay grade permitted in this program is E-7, which must be allowed by the Director, Military Personnel Plans and Policy (OPNAV N13) via COMNAVCRUITCOM.
Students in the Navy HSCP program who submit recommendations that result in a new admission to any medical department officer accession program will be eligible for a one-time promotion to OCCPO (E-7).
Prior to commissioning, entry grade credit will be provided under DoD Instruction 6000.13 (Accession and Retention Policies, Programs, and Incentives for Military Health Professions Officers (HPOS)).
Candidates will be commissioned in the relevant health care designator, United States Navy, upon fulfillment of degree/certification requirements, under the supervision of OPNAVINST 1120.4C (MC), OPNAVINST 1120.5B (DC), or OPNAVINST 1120.8A. (MSC).
The total commissioned obligation for all designators is eight years, with a part of that time spent on active duty:
- Active-duty commissioned obligation is for a minimum of three years from the date of commissioning or as provided in the member’s service agreement and detailed below.
- Obligated commissioned service will be performed in the chosen reserve or the individual ready reserve if it is not spent on active duty.
Medical Corps selectees must commit to serving year after year for a minimum of three years of active service. A medical internship is considered a neutral year and will not be recorded as one of the HSCP active duty payback years.
Dental Corps selectees must commit to serving year after year for a minimum of three years of active service. A year spent in an Advanced Education in General Dentistry program, or a General Practice Residency is considered a neutral year and may not be recognized as part of the HSCP active duty repayment.
Medical Service Corps selectees must spend at least three years on active duty from the date of commissioning for any one, two, or three-year program. Selectees taking part in a four-year program will be required to serve on active service for four years from the date of commissioning.
Nurse Corps selectees must commit to serve year for year with a minimum obligation of three years active duty from the date of commissioning.
Disqualification of Participants
The relevant OCM shall decide the disposition of Navy HSCP students who dis-enroll or attrite from this program prior to commissioning for any reason other than non-temporary physical disqualification.
- Students who are no longer physically fit for commissioning but are still physically fit for enlisting may be made available for recruit training or released.
- Candidates who attrite or dis-enroll and must serve the full three years of active duty from the date of dis-enrollment will be administratively demoted to the paygrade of E-3 (Seaman) before admission into recruit training. Enlisted active duty usually begins within 60 days of dis-enrollment.
- Candidates (military members at entry) who attrite or dis-enroll and are compelled to return to active service will keep their previously held rank and rate and will complete the duration of their enlistment contract or 36 months, whichever is greater. Return to active duty will usually begin immediately after dis-enrollment.
- No specialized Navy training will be approved after recruit training unless the member agrees to prolong active duty to satisfy the service requirement of the desired training program.
If you are even slightly interested in the Navy HSCP, the next logical step is to contact your local Navy Medical Officer recruiter.
They can provide you with the most current information regarding this program and help you figure out if this program is even right for you.
You may also read about a similar military medical scholarship program called the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).
If you are otherwise interested in commissioning in the regular Navy, read our guide about How to Become a Naval Officer.
Hope you find this useful in your career and education planning.