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Frequently Asked Questions - Medical/PFE
Q:  If I took a medical examination for another service academy, will I need to take another medical examination for the Coast Guard Academy?
A:   No. The Department of Defense Medical Evaluation Review Board (DoDMERB) administers the physical examinations for all service academies. You need only one physical for all service academy applications as well as ROTC scholarship applications. However, it is always possible that other medical tests will be necessary. If that is the case, you will be notified.

Q:  Does the physical fitness examination have to be submitted for my record to be reviewed?
A:   To be considered for Early Action you must electronically submit the results of the PFE by October 15 for Early Action. The regular application deadline is January 15.

Q:  Will my pre-existing medical condition disqualify me from becoming a cadet?
A:    All disqualified applicants who receive a conditional appointment are automatically considered for a waiver. The Academy is responsible for the medical waiver review process; however, any additional information needed for the review will be requested through (and should be submitted directly to) DoDMERB. The status of your review will be accessible to you on the DoDMERB website. After carefully reviewing your medical records, our Chief Medical Officer will recommend whether or not a waiver should be granted. The Superintendent will then decide whether to accept or deny the recommendation and forward the waiver request to Coast Guard Headquarters. The final decision to grant a medical waiver resides solely with Coast Guard Headquarters and is not subject to appeal.

Q:  How do I apply for a medical waiver?
A:   The waiver process is automatic if a student is in contention for appointment, so at this point there is nothing you need to do.

Q:  Can I use my PFE scores from AIM on my regular application?
A:   You can use your PFE score if you received above 130 points and finished the exam.

Q:  Is participation in high school sports required of applicants?
A:   When reviewing applicants' files, we are looking for well-rounded students. Part of the application is the Physical Fitness Examination (PFE) and PE teacher/coach evaluation. We do require that cadets maintain their physical fitness so being physically fit before arriving is necessary. Participation in organized sports prior to arriving at the Academy is not required; however, being involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, including physical fitness, is recommended.

Q:  Who can administer the Physical Fitness Exam (PFE)?
A:   Any gym teacher or coach. It does not need to be a gym teacher or coach for a sport that you are playing. Additionally, a JROTC instructor, Scoutmaster, or person working at a gym can administer the PFE for you. A relative cannot administer your PFE.

Q:  What are the medical requirements for flight school?
A:   Medical qualification for flight school includes passing a Class 1 Flight Physical. Two big issues, aside from being in good physical health, are dental and vision requirements. The dental exam will check for cavities and other problems with teeth and gums that may be affected by changes in air pressure while engaged in flight. Basically, you will be required to have no dental problems and no cavities. Vision requirements are also very stringent. Eyesight should be 20/20. If not, it must be correctable to 20/20, no exceptions. Uncorrected visual acuity must be better than 20/50 in either eye. There are other limitations imposed, based on the type and strength of the lens prescription. In addition, normal color perception, depth perception, and field of vision are also required. Some corrective surgeries can be disqualifiers as well.

If you did not find the answers to your Admissions questions, please ask us directly.