Alternative Requirements for Eagle Scout Rank

The Eagle Scout rank may be achieved by a Scouts BSA Scout or a qualified* Venturer or Sea Scout who has a physical or mental disability by completing the Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges, No. 512-730, and by qualifying for alternative merit badges. This does not apply to individual requirements for merit badges. Merit badges are awarded only when all requirements are met as stated. See the Guide to Advancement, topic, for details.

 The physical or mental disability must be of a permanent rather than of a temporary nature or a disability expected to last more than two years or beyond age 18. The application must include a written statement from a qualified health professional related to the nature of the disability. This person may be a physician, neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc., or, when appropriate, an educational administrator in special education.

Before applying, a Scout must earn as many of the Eagle-required merit badges as possible. However, where a permanent disability clearly precludes completing specific merit badges, a Scout who has earned at least First Class may apply for an alternative merit badge without waiting until all other Eagle-required merit badges are complete. Any alternatives must present the same challenge and learning level as those they replace, and must be completed prior to the 18th birthday unless the member is registered beyond the age of eligibility (reference Guide to Advancement, topic –

* In order to be an Eagle Scout candidate, a Venturer or Sea Scout must have achieved First Class rank as a registered Scout or as a Lone Scout.

Eagle Scout Rank Alternative Requirements

Obtain a clear and concise statement related to the nature of the disability from a qualified health professional.
The unit leader meets with the candidate and the Scout's parent or guardian to determine the alternative merit badges to replace those impeding the Scout's advancement.
The unit leader, parent or guardian, and the Scout (if possible) prepare supporting letters to accompany the application.
The district and council advancement committees, in turn, review the proposed alternative merit badges. They may choose to speak with the Scout, the Scout's parent or guardian, or unit leader. If the council advancement committee approves, then the candidate may start work on the approved alternative merit badges.

Note: In approving the application, the district and council advancement committees must utilize the expertise of a healthcare professional involved with youth who have disabilities.


Upon completion of the Eagle Scout rank requirements, using the alternative merit badges, the candidate appears before a board of review. The approved Application for Alternative Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges must be attached to the Eagle Scout Rank Application.

Following a successful board of review, the council processes both applications and forwards them to the National Advancement Program Team. Local council action on alternative merit badges does not require national approval.