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The Level of Education Required for a Navy Seal

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Navy Sea, Air and Land Forces, better known as Navy SEALs, are intensely trained operatives in the Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations division of the U.S. Navy. They conduct counterterrorism operations, perform secret missions behind enemy lines, capture and eliminate enemy targets and participate in direct warfare. You must meet minimal education and physical requirements to become a Navy SEAL.

Basic Degree Requirements

A high school diploma or general education diploma is the minimum educational requirement for Navy SEALs. You do not need college credits or a degree to be a candidate for SEAL training. However, you must between 17 and 28 at the time of enlistment and eligible for secret-level security clearance. The Office of Personnel Security and Suitability, Bureau of Diplomatic Security conducts national agency, law enforcement and credit history checks to determine if you qualify for the necessary security clearance.

Degree Requirements for Officers

Navy SEALS who want to be promoted to an officer role do need a college degree. The Navy does not have specific degree requirements, but does expect officers to have proven academic performance in a challenging bachelor-level major. Other required qualifications for SEAL officers include leadership experience and foreign language skills or cultural expertise.

Physical Screening Test

Every SEAL candidate must meet minimum Navy Physical Screening Test (PST) requirements for Navy Challenge Programs. The timed test requires you to do 50 push-ups in two minutes, 50 sit-ups in two minutes and 50 pull-ups in two minutes plus swim 500 yards in 12.5 minutes and run 1.5 miles in 10.5 minutes. You are allowed between two and 10 minutes of rest between each activity.

SEAL Training

Navy SEAL candidates must undergo the most mentally and physically rigorous training the military has to offer. Initial training lasts 12 months and includes basic orientation, physical conditioning, combat diving instruction, land warfare training, and parachute jump school. Afterward, you must complete 18 months of predeployment training and intensive specialized training. Successful completion of the training programs will result in assignment to a combat operation as a Navy SEAL.


Karen Schweitzer is a writer and author with 10-plus years of experience. She has written 11 non-fiction books and currently works as a senior editor for In her spare time, she blogs and assists clients with article writing, editing, proofreading and other projects.

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