ROTC is just one part of the overall college experience. For most of a cadet's week, life is very similar to any other college student: classes, studying, spending time with friends, extra-curricular activities, etc. What is different is the addition of one Military Science course each semester, a leadership lab every Thursday afternoon, physical fitness on M,W,&F mornings and a Field Training Exercise (FTX) one weekend each semester. (Non-scholarship freshmen and sophomores are not required to attend physical fitness training and the FTX).
Additionally, an ROTC cadet will be held to higher standards of conduct by their instructors. They are expected to attend all classes, bring all required material and to be on time, in the proper uniform. They will learn habits which will benefit them in any field or walk of life beyond the military. They will also become familiar with the Army values - Loyalty, Discipline, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage - and more importantly, strive to live by them.
Some cadets will also join an ROTC extra-curriculur activity, such as the Ranger Challenge Team, Color Guard or the Rifle Team. These teams are led by other cadets and will train for competitions/events. Some cadets will choose to live on the ROTC floor in Douglas Hall. Approximately 20% of NIU's cadets live on this floor and benefit from the camaradarie and daily encouragement they gain from their peers.
While there are opportunities to volunteer for special summer training programs, all cadets between the junior and senior year will attend the Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, WA. The course is about 30 days long and is designed to evaluate leadership and potential as a future Army officer.
Lastly, upon graduation, an ROTC cadet will recieve a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Graduates will go either into the full-time, active duty Army or serve part-time in the United States Army Reserves or National Guard.