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The Royal Military College in Kingston, Canada

The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), a “university with a difference,” is a full-service university that serves three distinct academic groups. To begin, RMC educates and trains students on campus for careers as commissioned officers in the Canadian Armed Forces. 

Second, the college provides university education to hundreds of military and civilian Department of National Defence members from a distance. Third, RMC is equally proud of its distinctive and well-regarded graduate arts, sciences, and engineering graduate programs available to military and civilian students.

Keep reading to learn more about Royal Military College Canada

History of the Royal Military College, Canada

The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) is a military academy that has also been a degree-granting university of the Canadian Armed Forces since 1959. It is currently the only federal institution in Canada with degree-granting authority; the Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act, 1959, granted RMC the power to confer degrees in the arts, sciences, and engineering. Programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels on campus and through the Division of Continuing Studies’ distance learning program.

The college is located on Point Frederick, a 41-hectare (101-acre) peninsula in Kingston, Ontario, and is a mix of historic and modern academic, athletic, and dormitory facilities. Officer cadets at RMC are trained in the “four pillars”: academics, officership, athletics, and bilingualism.

Academics at RMC

The Royal Military College’s mission is to educate, train, and develop Officer Cadets for leadership careers in the Canadian Armed Forces – the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the Canadian Army.

Most ROTP (Regular Officer Training Plan) students receive free education and a monthly salary to cover incidentals. The courses are available both on-site and online in both official languages: English and French. Officers must serve two months of mandatory service for each month of subsidized education after graduation.

RMC has 19 undergraduate programs in the arts, sciences, and engineering. RMC offers 34 graduate programs, including 14 doctorates. The Division of Continuing Studies and the Faculty of Arts, Engineering, and Science offer undergraduate and graduate level programs, including the “Officer Professional Military Education” program (OPME). 

The Department of Applied Military Science (AMS) offers two programs: one at the graduate level, the Land Force Technical Staff Programme (LFTSP), and one at the undergraduate/community college level, the Army Technical Warrant Officer’s Programme.

The core curriculum, designed to provide a balanced liberal arts, science, and military education, is required of all undergraduate students. Economics, Psychology, Mathematics, English, Calculus, Military History of Canada, Chemistry, Canadian History, Physics, and Civics are all part of the Core Curriculum.

The Royal Military College of Canada Ranking

RMC is recognized nationally and internationally as a military university of academic excellence, offering high-quality undergraduate and graduate education and specialized professional development.

According to the Ranking Web of Universities, the Royal Military College of Canada is ranked 62nd in Canada and 2837th globally.

  • Unirank ranks the Royal Military College of Canada 66th in Canada and 2518th worldwide.
  • My Canadian University ranks the Royal Military College of Canada ninth in Canada.
  • In 2009, Research Infosource ranked it the second-best Research University of the Year.
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Campus Life at Royal Military Academy Canada

Enrollment in on-campus and graduate programs is limited due to competition among qualified applicants. Because of military service commitments following graduation, most on-campus undergraduates receive free education; these Officer Cadets also receive an additional monthly salary. RMC offers flexible schedules for students with work and family obligations, accessible courses and degrees, and academic credit for appropriate military and professional experience through its distance education programs.

Since 1876, RMC has placed its graduates in military service, government, business, and professions. RMC ex-cadets are almost always found in positions of leadership and responsibility.

RMC research is internationally recognized, emphasizing the humanities, engineering (computer and electrical, mechanical and aerospace, ammunition, chemical and civil), environmental sciences, physics, space, chemistry, international and cyber security, governance, and defense economics.

Student Life at Royal Military College

student life at RMC
The Royal Military College in Kingston, Canada 2

The RMC Cadet Mess in Yeo Hall has facilities for social and recreational activities. Staff and faculty have access to the Senior Staff Mess.

Yeo Hall houses the Royal Military College of Canada chapels serving the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim communities.

The Baronial Hall, or Currie Hall, designed by Percy Erskine Nobbs in 1922 to honor the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I, plays an important role in the life of the university. During special events, invited speakers and dignitaries may address the university population or the general public from the Great Hall. Many conferences in Kingston, Ontario, book the halls for lectures or presentations.

The student clubs and organizations associated with the RMC include  Expedition, Fish & Game, Flying, golf, Judo, Juggling, Taekwondo, Outdoors, Paintball, Broomball, Cheerleading, Chess, Climbing, Cycling, Debating, drama, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Video Editing, War Games, Water Polo, Windsurfing, Women’s Rugby and Yachting. An Automotive Club has recently been added.

The RMC Drama Club presented “Shakespeare in Scarlets,” a satirical look at college fraternization policy, at Currie Hall in March 2012, with cadets serving as actors, writers, directors, and tech crew. The CANEX is a small retail store in Yeo Hall that sells personal items, souvenirs, snacks, and dry cleaning. 

You can learn more about the centers and institutes here

The on-campus cadet mess in Yeo Hall, Bill & Alphie’s, is named after Bruce Bairnsfather’s Great War cartoon characters. Old Bill and Little Alphie, stone carvings by Bruce Bairnsfather based on two World War I cartoon characters, stand at RMC’s Yeo Hall entrance.

The campus is located on the shores of Lake Ontario and has easy access to two lakefront parks, which are popular student hangouts. The campus is also about a 10-minute walk from the city’s downtown. Cadets are required to participate in community service. Every year, there is a required class project. 

First-Year Orientation Period at RMC

The most difficult challenge many cadets will face during college is the First Year Orientation Period (FYOP). FYOP occurs in the first month of the academic year after the first mod of BMOQ is completed. Before the 2015-16 academic year, cadets would attend a two-week program known as recruit camp, where they would receive basic military training before entering college. Recruit camp is no longer required because newly hired cadets complete half of their BMOQ before attending RMC. FYOP is similar to freshman week at civilian universities, except that it lasts three weeks, and cadets are subjected to extreme stress for nearly the entire time. 

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FYOP begins with the Arch Parade, in which the First Year class is marched onto College grounds by their FYOP staff, who are third and fourth years.

First-year cadets are expected to maintain an exceptionally high standard of dress and deportment throughout FYOP. They are always required to march. Physical training is provided, with frequent long runs up the nearby Fort Henry, Ontario, hill. Daily inspections of room standards and attire are carried out. First, They are not permitted to leave RMC or receive visitors during FYOP. Mail and phone calls are permitted but limited.

The obstacle course is the FYOP’s crowning achievement. The obstacle course lasts over two hours and comprises twelve obstacles built by each squadron and placed around the college grounds. Obstacles such as a 12-foot wall and a rope bridge are designed to test First Years’ teamwork and physical fitness. The time it takes to complete each obstacle is used to judge the First Year flights. 

FYOP comes to an end when the obstacle course is completed. First Years are given a parade in which they are officially welcomed into RMC and assigned to the Cadet Wing. Cadets are then permitted to see their friends and relatives and leave the college grounds.

P.S. Previously, cadets were required to wear their College uniform when leaving the college grounds, but this rule was changed in 2017; cadets can now wear civilian business casual clothes. The post-war Chesley committee, led by Brigadier Leonard McEwan Chelsey, developed many aspects of the FYOP, including the obstacle course and mentorship program.

Military Training Overview at Royal Military College Canada

Military training as an RMC cadet begins with Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School Saint-Jean in the summer before the first and second years. 

Those cadets who still need to complete BMOQ are usually enrolled in seven weeks of Second Language Training (SLT) at Canadian Forces Language School Detachment Saint-Jean, or they may stay in Kingston to study a second official language. The remaining summers are spent doing other training based on each cadet’s specific elements or occupations.


The Athletic component, one of the four components of the Royal Military College of Canada, provides opportunities for officer cadets to participate in physically and mentally demanding sports to develop their physical capabilities, confidence, and leadership. Physical education is intended to “build a strong foundation of skills and knowledge in physical fitness, sports, and military-related activities for RMC Officer Cadets through a progressive and diverse physical education program.” 

The mission is to “foster a passion for active living and leadership in physical activity.” Cadets must take physical education classes and participate in intramural sports for at least four hours weekly to improve their physical fitness and develop the military and athletic skills needed to lead their troops.

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How Much is Tuition at Royal Military College?

Tuition fees for undergraduate students (2022-23) range from $3,020 to $4,140 per term for Canadian undergraduate students and $2,670 to $2,980 per term for Canadian graduate students. International students pay tuition ranging from $7,410 to $7,690 per term for graduate students. The lower tuition rates apply to arts and sciences programs, while the higher rates apply to engineering programs.

Most on-campus undergraduates receive free education due to military service commitments following graduation; these Officer Cadets also receive an additional monthly salary. Funding has been established to assist civilian students eligible for master’s and doctoral programs in working alongside graduate students from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Admission Requirements into RMC

All you need is an equivalent of a high school diploma (Grade 12) at a pre-university level acceptable to RMC, with credits sufficient for regular admission to a university in the province where the student is completing secondary education.

Plus, Proof of English proficiency is required. 


Officer cadets in the ROTP are required to live on campus. There is a mix of single and double rooms, with a preference for single rooms for senior years. All of the residences are co-ed. On-campus dining is available. Cadets in the UTPNCM program do not live on campus.

The Kingston Military Community Sports Centre (KMCSC) has full recreational facilities, including an indoor swimming pool and ice rink, and is located very close to the College.

Academic Programs at Royal Military College

There are 67 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs at RMC. In Arts, Science, and Engineering, the college offers 19 undergraduate programs, 34 graduate programs, and 14 postgraduate programs. Students who meet the prerequisites and have relevant interests can choose from three levels of programs. The following is a comprehensive list of all RMC programs.

Faculty of Engineering

  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering  and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Of Science

  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Space Science

Faculty of Arts

  • Humanities (English, History, or French)
  • Social Science (History, Politics, and Economics)
  • Military and Strategic Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Military Psychology and Leadership

Applied Military Science

  • Army Technical Staff Officer Programme
  • Army Technical Warrant Officer Programme

Faculty of Continuing Studies

  • Continuing Studies Division – RMC Saint-Jean
  • Graduate Studies and Research


Q1. Do students get paid at RMC?

RMC has a Work Study Program that provides on-campus employment for students who demonstrate financial need at a rate of $12 per hour. Students are supervised by faculty or staff members.

Q2. What is the undergraduate tuition at RMC for international students?

The undergraduate tuition for international students ranges from 5,000 to 7,500 USD.

Q3. How do international students apply to RMC for admission?

Applicants, including international students, who wish to apply to RMC for the ROTP must do so online at the official website. Select Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) on the enrolment application form.

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