A World War II, U.S. Navy program that permitted college students drafted into the military to finish their undergraduate and graduate education before entering military service. Designed to provide the Navy with a much needed corps of officers, doctors, engineers and other specialists, V-12 was an accelerated, year-round program that combined education with on-campus training, akin to that of the UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY, at Annapolis, Maryland. During World War II, American colleges and universities contracted to be associated with either the Navy V-12 or the Army Specialized Training Program. The two programs were virtually identical, except for the military training and the ultimate service destination for trainees. Depending on whether they were training to be future soldiers or sailors, students transferred with their soldier/sailor classmates to colleges that had been taken over by one or the other service. Regardless of the college they eventually attended, they received degrees from the colleges where they had originally enrolled.
Like ASTP, V-12 offered 22 programs of study during its existence, including engineering, medicine, dentistry, personnel psychology and foreign languages. Those who completed bachelor’s degree programs either entered the Navy as ensigns or continued their graduate studies to become doctors, lawyers or engineers before serving in the Navy in those capacities. Like ASTP, which was a progenitor of the post-World War II Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, V-12 eventually became the NAVAL RESERVE OFFICERS TRAINING CORPS.