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 funds and operates the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York and 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 A&M 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 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 the State maritime academies for use in at-sea training and as shore-side laboratories. The vessels are part of the Maritime Administration’s assistance to the academies to train highly qualified licensed officers.

Maritime Academies
Academy Address Phone Number Web URL
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, NY 11024-1699 (516) 726-5812 (516) 773-5582(fax)
California Maritime Academy 200 Maritime Academy Drive Vallejo, CA 94590 (707) 654-1010/1011 (707 654-1013(fax)
Great Lakes Maritime Academy Northwestern Michigan College 1701 East Front Street Traverse City, MI 49686-3061 (231) 995-1203 or 1-800-0566 X 5 X 1203 (231) 995-1318(fax)
Maine Maritime Academy Pleasant Street Castine, ME 04220 (207) 326-2220 (207) 326-4311(switchboard) (207) 326-2110(fax)
Massachusetts Maritime Academy 101 Academy Drive Buzzards Bay, MNA 02532 (508) 830-5002 (508) 830-5004
SUNY Maritime College 6 Pennyfield Avenue Fort Schuyler, NY 10465-4198 (718) 409-7270 (718_ 409-7261(fax)
Texas A&M Maritime Academy 200 Seawolf Parkway P.O. Box 1675 Galveston, TX 77553-1675 (877) 322-4443

The Student Incentive Payment (SIP) Program

The Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Student Incentive Payment (SIP) Program is available to State maritime academy (SMA) students. 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 for SIP are to be a citizen of the United States, meet the physical and medical standards specified by the USCG and The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board, 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 (SSOP). 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 Mariner Credential (MMC) with license endorsement prior to graduation.

The SIP students (called cadets), receive tuition assistance of up to the maximum $32,000, not to exceed 4 years. 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 United States 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 MMC with license endorsement for 6 years, be active in an U.S. Armed Forces reserve unit for at least 8 years and report annually their service obligation compliance to MARAD 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 if afloat employment is not available and with the approval of the Maritime Administration in shoreside or intermodal maritime transportation industry positions. Active military duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or service as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Public Health Service Corps officers also satisfy the employment obligation. The SIP program assists cadets in becoming USCG credentialed mariners who are vital to both the national security and economic needs of the Nation..

A Career Afloat Maritime Academies Map

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 Graduates who are unable to report via the web-based MSCS can submit annual reports via email to or mail to:
The Maritime Administration
1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E.
Compliance Obligation (MAR-740; W23-403)
Washington, DC 20590.