Your Guide to the Navy’s HPSP for Medical School Funding

Scholarship Snapshot
Amount:
over $300,000
Scope (Full or Partial): full scholarship
Target Country: United States of America
Target Audience: Health Professionals
Deadline: Rolling

The Navy offers generous scholarships, financial assistance, and continuing education programs. The primary aim of the Health Professions Scholarship Program is to enable you to obtain a fully funded education in designated healthcare professions, such as medicine or dentistry, to complete degree requirements and obtain a commission in the Medical Corps. In addition, you will receive a monthly stipend of around $2,300 while enrolled in the program.

The value of this program could be well over $300,000 during a four-year professional school program. Upon graduation, you commit to serving on active duty as a commissioned officer in the Navy for a minimum of 2 years, or the duration of your scholarship, whichever is longer.

If you’re already in or currently working toward a career as a physician, dentist, optometrist, physician assistant, or clinical psychologist, the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) can cover your tuition for up to four years, provide a monthly stipend, and reimburse your expenses for books and equipment. You can finish your education with little or no debt while learning to lead others, further distinguishing your career, enhancing your credentials, and expanding the boundaries of your expertise. Plus, if you’re a student or resident, you can concentrate on your education or training with no military or training obligation until after your program is completed.

Benefits: 

  • Scholarships: Choose from 2, 3, or 4-year scholarships.
  • Bonus: Get a $20,000 signing bonus.
  • Tuition: Your tuition is fully covered.
  • Monthly Stipend (Active Duty): Receive $2178.90 each month while on active duty.
  • Monthly Stipend (Inactive Duty): Get a monthly stipend determined by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) while on inactive duty.
  • School Fees: All required school fees are paid (except housing and meals).
  • Reimbursement: Get reimbursed for books, supplies, and equipment (up to certain limits).
  • Active Duty Pay: Receive active duty pay and benefits for 45 days every year.
  • Educational Contracts: Institutions handle tuition and approved expenses for program participants.
  • Reimbursement Rules: Reimbursements are for textbooks, equipment, and supplies with proper receipts. They cover expenses similar to those of non-program students. No refunds for taxes
  • Stipend Start: Stipend payments begin based on your oath of office, contract signing, or academic year start.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Citizenship: You Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Age: Complete your degree by age 42.
  • Gender: Open to both male and female
  • Health: Must meet the Navy’s physical requirements.
  • Education: Must be enrolled in or accepted for transfer into a medical school accredited by the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above to apply. Must complete studies or training as full-time students, attend all normal school sessions (2 semesters or 3 quarters), and maintain a GPA above 3.0 after selection. Degree requirements must be fulfilled within 48 months
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Service Obligation

The Medical Corps (MC) mandates a minimum service commitment of three years (or four years with the signing bonus). Appointees are required to serve one year for each year in the program, with each additional six months of participation adding six months. Appointees serving less than three years on active duty must complete at least three years.

During the program, appointees must fulfill the following:

  • 45 days of active duty in a Navy clerkship or under school orders annually
  • Attend ODS before reporting to their first permanent duty station.
  • Serve one year of active duty in a non-training status for each year of scholarship participation (internship and dental AEGD/GPR time are not counted), with a minimum of three years of active duty.

This obligated service is in addition to any other unmet active-duty service requirements.

Appointees must sign an agreement to:

  1. Accept an appointment in the appropriate officer corps, USN, on active duty upon program completion.
  2. Fulfill active-duty requirements arising from program participation.
  3. Accept an active-duty position as a commissioned officer, unrestricted line, USN, if offered, due to voluntary withdrawal or academic performance. Waivers may apply based on government interests.
  4. Be aware of licensure and certification criteria and cover the cost of maintaining a practice license.
  5. Acknowledge prompt activation to active duty upon finishing course requirements.

All Naval Officers have an eight-year service commitment, with inactive duty time spent in the Selected Reserves or Inactive Ready Reserve

When to Submit Your Application:

The ideal time to apply for a four-year scholarship is in the autumn preceding the year you intend to commence medical or dental school. For students who are already enrolled in medical or dental school and are interested in 3, 2, or 1-year scholarships, it’s advisable to apply at least 12 months in advance. Scholarships are granted on a rolling basis, and the application process typically spans about 6–8 weeks.

Medical and dental students who wish to apply should consider initiating their application as early as 12 months before their intended start date for medical or dental school, particularly for the four-year scholarship. Additionally, applications are accepted year-round and can be submitted at any time.

How to Apply:

To initiate your application for the Health Professions Scholarship Program, seek further details, or if you have inquiries, please send an email to MedicalVIP.fct@navy.mil. This will connect you with a medical officer recruiter in your vicinity.

Alternatively, you can reach out to:

HMC (SW/AW) Jennifer Gabbard

C: 617-631-7577

Jennifer.gabbard@navy.mil

HM1 (FMF) Neekita Cort

C: 617-285-7479

Neekita.cort@navy.mil

O: 617-753-3322

HPSP Frequently Asked Questions

How do I undergo orientation as a Naval Officer?

To acclimate yourself to the Navy and get ready for active service, you’ll participate in the Officer Development School (ODS) held in Newport, Rhode Island, either during your first or second summer break while in school. During your time at ODS, you will receive the salary and allowances of a Navy Ensign, which amounts to approximately $5,000 for the five-week program. Additionally, the Navy will cover your travel expenses for the round trip from your school to Newport.

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What are Clerkships?

During your time in school, it’s a requirement to apply annually for a temporary active-duty Navy clerkship. It’s important to note that your participation in Officer Development School (ODS) is also considered a clerkship. Typically, these clerkships are scheduled to occur during the summer and have a duration of approximately 45 days, during which you will receive your full Navy pay and allowances.

Clerkships serve as a valuable opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the procedures and techniques employed within the Navy Health Care system. They come with the added benefit of Navy-funded travel and offer a refreshing break from the routine of academic studies. If your school’s curriculum doesn’t allow for the complete 45-day active service period at a Navy medical facility, you have the option to complete part or all of your clerkship at your school. Importantly, you will continue to receive your full pay and allowances in such cases.

What is Annual Training (AT)?

You have the option to apply for 45 days of annual training (AT) for each year you participate in the program. During your AT periods, you will receive active duty pay and benefits. Your initial AT opportunity may involve Officer Development School (ODS). As for your third and fourth ATs, these are typically designated for clerkships at military facilities, aimed at providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the Navy Health Care System. If your school’s curriculum cannot accommodate the entire 45-day AT period at a Navy medical facility, you have the flexibility to complete part or all of your clerkship at your school.

It’s important to note that only one AT period is allowed within a 12-month timeframe, which is calculated from October 1st to September 30th, following the Department of Defense fiscal year. Additionally, during an AT period, stipend payments are temporarily suspended, and participants receive compensation in the form of active duty pay and benefits commensurate with their rank.

Annual Training Types

  1. Officer Development School (ODS): Attendance at ODS is not needed if a person has prior Navy commissioned service, has attended the Naval Academy, or has taken part in the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC).

Participation in the Navy Officer Development School (ODS) is compulsory for all individuals, including those with prior Navy, enlisted, or commissioned experience in another branch of the military.

ODS serves as an essential training ground for fundamental military skills, proper uniform presentation, and military etiquette. Typically, it is completed before matriculating into professional school; however, it can be scheduled at any convenient time as long as it is finished before reporting for active duty. If you wish to attend ODS after your graduation, your detailer will incorporate it into your active service orders.

  1. Clinical Clerkship: Clinical clerkships involve rotations at a Navy hospital or clinic where trainees actively participate in instructional and patient care activities. These activities are conducted under the guidance and supervision of a Navy physician possessing the necessary credentials.
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Usually spanning a duration of two to four weeks, clinical clerkships provide trainees with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Navy’s healthcare system. Additionally, these rotations allow trainees to connect with program directors and department heads and even engage in interviews for potential future internships.

To fulfill the remaining 45-day requirement, the Accessions AT staff arranges school orders. This arrangement permits students to return to school and resume their regular academic routines while still receiving active duty compensation and benefits. Typically, clerkships are scheduled to occur at the conclusion of the junior year and the commencement of the final year of study.

  1. School Orders: During the initial years of education, it’s often not practical or feasible to dedicate a whole month away from school. So, instead of having to withdraw from school, participants in the HPSP program have the option to request what’s known as “school orders.”

When on “school orders,” students remain enrolled in their educational institution and continue their regular class schedules while still receiving their full active duty pay and benefits corresponding to their rank. It’s important to keep in mind that during this period of school instruction, international travel and extended vacations are not permissible. However, short weekend getaways within a 300-mile radius of your school are allowed.

Furthermore, while on school orders, there is no obligation to wear a uniform or be present at a military facility.

  1. Research and Operational Medicine Clerkship: For those unable to attend Officer Development School (ODS) or who fall into categories like Naval Academy graduates, former naval officers, or NROTC participants with additional AT opportunities, there are alternative avenues to engage in Annual Training (AT).

These options include clerkships in research and operational medicine. AT sessions are typically planned for a maximum of four weeks and are intended for training that requires travel to specific locations.

The remaining 17 days of your AT can be designated as “school orders.” During this period, you can still receive your active duty pay and benefits while continuing your regular school routine.

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