Maritime Academies

The Maritime Administration vigorously supports maritime training and education programs. Our intent is to improve the quality of the U.S. maritime industry through improved services to the people who serve at sea and those who work ashore in diverse professions such as shipbuilding, steamship company operations and port operations. Recent events in the world have required the Maritime Administration to address an array of security and training issues to provide a safer and more efficient operation of the merchant marine of the United States.

To ensure a consistent supply of capable and well trained merchant mariners, the Maritime Administration provides limited funding to the six State Maritime Academies (SMA's): California Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Great Lakes Maritime Academy, Texas Maritime Academy, and the State University of New York Maritime College. The education of merchant marine officers is an essential Maritime Administration responsibility to meet national security needs and to maintain the defense readiness. The maritime academies meet that need by educating young men and women for service in the American merchant marine, in the U.S. Armed Forces, and in the Nation’s intermodal transportation system. The Maritime Administration also provides training vessels to all six State maritime academies for use in at-sea training and as shoreside laboratories. The vessels are part of the Maritime Administration’s assistance to the academies to train highly qualified licensed officers.

Academy Address Phone Number Web URL
California Maritime Academy 200 Maritime Academy Drive
Vallejo, CA 94590
(707) 654-1000 http://www.csum.edu/
Great Lakes Maritime Academy 1701 East Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49686
(877) 824-7447 http://www.nmc.edu/maritime/
Maine Maritime Academy Pleasant Street
Castine, ME 04220-5000
(800) 464-6565 (In state)
(800) 227-8465 (Out of state)
http://www.mainemaritime.edu/
Massachusetts Maritime Academy 101 Academy Drive
Buzzards Bay, MNA 02532
(508) 830-5000 http://www.maritime.edu
SUNY Maritime College 6 Pennyfield Avenue
Throggs Neck, NY 10465
(718) 409-7200 http://www.sunymaritime.edu/
Texas Maritime Academy P.O. Box 1675
Galveston, TX 77553
(877) 322-4443 http://www.tamug.edu/corps/

The Student Incentive Payment (SIP) Program

The Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Student Incentive Payment (SIP) Program is available to State maritime academy (SMA) students, specifically freshmen.  Students who enroll in the SIP program receive funding to offset the cost of uniforms, books, subsistence, and tuition in return for a service obligation. The SIP Program is offered at all six State Maritime Academies.

Feel free to contact the SMA of interest listed above.  The SMA’s are unique academic institutions that provide students with an opportunity to receive a high quality education and the necessary training to become U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) credentialed Merchant Marine Officers.  Entrance requirements are to be a citizen of the United States, meet the physical standards specified by the United States Coast Guard, possess a secondary school education or equivalent satisfactory for admission to the SMA, be at least 17 years of age and not have passed the twenty-fifth (25th) birthday on the day of enrollment at the SMA, apply, be accepted, and enlist as a midshipmen in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Strategic Sealift Officer Program.  SIP participants must be in good standing with the maritime academy, and successfully complete the maritime academies bachelor’s degree, their naval science curriculum, and obtain a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Credential (MMC) with license endorsement prior to graduation.

The SIP students, called cadets, receive tuition assistance of up to $8,000 per school year.  In exchange for the financial assistance graduates of the SIP Program all incur a service obligation.  Following graduation if the graduate does not enter the armed forces of the U.S. on active duty, the SIP participant must be employed in the maritime industry for three years (preferably sailing on US Flag vessels),  maintain a USCG Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) with license endorsement for 6 years, be active in an U.S. Armed Forces reserve unit for at least 6 years and report annually their service obligation compliance to the Maritime Administration until all service obligation components are fulfilled. The maritime service employment obligation for three years may be satisfied in the merchant marine as an officer aboard U.S. merchant ships, or in shoreside maritime or intermodal transportation industry positions, if afloat employment is not available, and with the approval of the Maritime Administration. Active military duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or service as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or Public Health Service (PHS) Corps officers also satisfy the employment obligation. The SIP program assists cadets in becoming U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) credentialed mariners who are critical to both the national security and economic needs of the Nation.

Map of the United States showing the approximate locations of each Maritime Academy

Maritime Service Compliance System (MSCS)

The State maritime academy graduates in the SIP Program and graduates of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy are required annually to report to the Maritime Administration on the compliance of their service obligation. The preferred method of reporting is via the web-based computer called the Maritime Service Compliance System (MSCS) at http://mscs.marad.dot.gov.  Graduates who are unable to report via the web-based MSCS can submit annual reports via email to maritime.graduate@marad.dot.gov or mail to: The Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E., Compliance Obligation (MAR-740; W23-403), Washington, DC 20590.