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Home / Admissions / Common Disqualifying Medical Conditions

Common Disqualifying Medical Conditions

This list is provided to help you understand medical conditions that may be disqualifying for admission to the Coast Guard Academy. The list is not inclusive, but rather reflects the conditions that most commonly arise. Please consider this list as a factor in your decision to apply. Your Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) physical exam is the definitive source for medical qualification decisions. If you are offered an appointment to the Coast Guard Academy and are medically disqualified by DoDMERB, you MAY be eligible for a medical waiver to attend the CGA.


  • History of anaphylaxis or systemic allergic reactions to stinging insects, food or food additives
  • Any allergic condition that requires use of emergency medication interventions (Epinephrine auto-injector)

Color Vision

Color vision deficiency of ANY KIND is disqualifying.


Applicants must have sufficient teeth, natural or artificial, in functional occlusion to ensure satisfactory biting or chewing.

  • Eight or more teeth with multi-surface caries (cavities) that have not been corrected prior to arrival
  • Current orthodontic appliances traditional braces or Invisalign) for continued treatment are disqualifying. Active orthodontic care must be completed (applicant must be de-bracketed) prior to reporting day. Retainer appliances are acceptable once all orthodontic care is complete.
  • History of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder that is symptomatic or had required treatment in the last 12 months

Ears and Hearing

  • Moderate hearing loss in the 500 to 4000Hz frequencies. Current or history of use of hearing aids.
  • History of middle or inner ear surgery
  • Abnormalities of the external ear requiring recurrent evaluation or treatment or that would interfere with proper wearing/use of military equipment
  • Perforated eardrum or surgery to correct perforation in the preceding 180 days before physical exam

Endocrine System and Metabolism

  • History of goiter
  • History of thyroid disorders including, but not limited to hyper/hypothyroidism, thyroiditis
  • Current or history of diabetes mellitus


  • Any defect or disorder of the extremities (including movement and range of motion) that produce noticeable deformity or interfere with normal daily functions
  • Torn cartilage, unstable ACL or PCL, or surgical correction of any ligaments if unstable or symptomatic
  • Chronic knee pain syndrome including, but not limited to patella-femoral syndrome
  • Pes planus (flat-footed) when accompanied by symptoms
  • Use of rigid, prescribed orthotics
  • Knee ligament repair (ACL/PCL) within 12 months or recurrent repair of ligaments of the knee
  • Repair of the meniscus in the last 6 months
  • History of dislocation, subluxation or instability of one or more joints
  • Recurring stress fractures or single episode of stress fractures in the last 12 months

Eyes and Vision

  • Uncorrected visual acuity worse than 20/400 in either eye
  • Distant visual acuity of any degree that does not correct to 20/40 in both eyes with corrective lenses
  • Refractive error exceeding plus or minus 8.00 diopters (spherical equivalent)
  • Astigmatism exceeding 3.00 diopters and anisometropia exceeding 3.5 diopters
  • Refractive error corrected by orthokeratology, kerato-refractive, PRK, laser or any other corneal enhancement have numerous criteria to meet in order to be qualified. Please contact our office for specific information.

Genitourinary System

  • Horseshoe kidney or absence of one kidney
  • Atrophy or absence of both testicles
  • Undescended testicle
  • Active or difficult to treat genital herpes (even if asymptomatic)
  • Bilateral kidney stones or single kidney stone in the preceding 12 months of the exam
  • History of abnormal menstrual cycle

Head, Scalp, Face and Neck

Abnormalities which interfere with wearing military equipment or are disfiguring

Heart and Vascular System

  • Cardiovascular defects or other congenital abnormalities
  • History of recurrent or ongoing cardiopulmonary symptoms including, but not limited to syncope (fainting) and pre-syncope

Lungs and Chest

  • History of pneumothorax within the past year if due to simple trauma or surgery, or a history within the past three years if spontaneous
  • Asthma, including reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, reliably diagnosed and symptomatic after the 13th birthday. Reliable diagnostic criteria may include any of the following elements: Substantiated history of cough, wheeze, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath, which persists or recurs over a prolonged period of time, generally more than 12 months.
  • History of prescription or use of medications (including but not limited to inhaled or oral corticosteroids) for treatment or alleviation of symptoms of airway hyper responsiveness after the 13th birthday

Nervous System

  • Diagnosed seizure disorder after the 6th birthday
  • Any chronic pain syndrome
  • History of or recurrent syncope, pre-syncope or non-traumatic loss of consciousness
  • History of recurrent headaches or frequent or severe headaches within the past two years
  • Concussions with post event symptoms lasting greater than one month
  • Two or more concussions within the last 12 months
  • History of three or more concussions

Nose and Sinuses

  • Malformations or deformities that interfere with speech, breathing, chewing, or the ability to swallow
  • Chronic sinusitis inadequately controlled or history of sinus surgery in the past two years
  • History of vocal cord dysfunction

Psychiatric and Personality Disorders

  • Any disorder or history of disorders with psychotic features
  • History of impulse control and conduct disorders
  • History of depression requiring medication, outpatient treatment or hospitalization
  • History of anxiety requiring medication, outpatient treatment or hospitalization
  • History of any eating disorder
  • Attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder or learning disability such as dyslexia, which interferes with perceptual or academic skills past the 14th birthday. Use of medications to reduce symptoms of ADD or ADHD within the previous 24 months.


  • Eczema or atopic dermatitis after the 12th birthday
  • Contact dermatitis or allergy to rubber/latex
  • History of psoriasis
  • Current diseases of sebaceous glands to include severe acne (on or off antibiotics), if extensive involvement of the neck, shoulders, chest or back is present or would be aggravated by or interfere with the proper wearing of military equipment
  • Treatment with systemic retinoids, including, but not limited to isotretinoin (Accutane) until four weeks after completion of the course of treatment

Spine and other Musculoskeletal

  • Any deviation or curvature of the spine likely to impair normal function or wearing of proper military uniform or gear or causes physical symptoms. Lumbar or thoracic scoliosis greater than 30 degrees.
  • Herniated disc or history of surgical correction of this condition
  • History of chronic or recurrent low back pain
  • Surgical or congenital fusion of any part of the spine
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