There are two primary courses in US Army ROTC: the Basic and Advanced courses. For those cadets that don't participate in the full four years of study, there is the Leader's Training Course.
The Basic Course is taken during your freshman and sophomore years. As far as your class schedule is concerned, the Basic Course typically involves one elective class and one lab period during each semester. These are supplimented with physical and field training outside of class time. You will get an introduction to the US Army (customs and traditions, military operations and tactics, health and fitness) and Army leadership (goal setting and accomplishment) during your freshman year. The second year will include deeper study of military operations and tactics, principles of war, applied leadership theory, and communications.
The Advanced Course is for those cadets in their junior and senior years in college. The structure of instruction is essentially the same as the Basic Course with a class and lab period along with the fitness and field training outside of the class time. Upon entering the Advanced Course, those that haven't already committed to US Army service because of a scholarship will have to make that commitment. It is not possible to take the Advanced Course and not commit to US Army military service. With the commitment in mind, the classes start focusing more on what each cadet will experience as young officers in service. During their junior year, cadets will be instructed on command and staff functions, weapons, team dynamics and peer leadership, law of war, and other knowledge needed for leading a small tactical unit. During the summer between the junior and senior year, each cadet attends Leader Development & Assessment Course, a five-week training session at Fort Lewis, Washington. Upon starting the senior year, cadets will receive training on military justice, ethical decision making, personnel management, cultural awareness, post and installation support, and how to train a force. This will finalize the class training for the foundation that each US Army officer needs to know. These skills and knowledge will be reinforced after graduation when each person goes to Officer Candidate School (OCS). Those officers that attended ROTC will find themselves promoted an additional officer grade upon graduating from OCS.
Leader's Training Course
For college students that miss out on the Basic Course, they can take the Leader's Training Course (LTC) during the summer before their junior year and still get involved in ROTC. LTC squeezes the two years of lessons and training offered in the Basic Course into a four-week class taught each summer at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Each day, you will find yourself being pushed physically with physical training (water survival, rappeling, ropes course), classroom training, weapons training, and land navigation training. This is accompanied with constant feedback to the cadet on how well they are performing and ways to improve their skills.
LTC is broken down into four phases. The Soldier First Phase starts of with the essential physical training, drill and ceremony instruction, and team building exercises. Next, the cadet will expand their training into the field for navigation skills as well as team building in adventure activities in the Warrior Leader Phase. The third week is the Bold Leader Phase where each cadet is given opportunities to lead the teams they've previously focused on being a fellow follower in. The Future Leader Phase closes the training. Cadets will receive final feedback from instructors on their progress during the class and advice on how to develop into a better US Army soldier and leader. For those that undergo this training, once it has been completed and you commit to the Advanced Course and service in the US Army after graduation, you may also qualify to receive a $5,000 bonus.