About the Texas A&M Maritime Academy

The Texas A&M Maritime Academy is one of six maritime academies in the United States. It provides an opportunity for you to learn how to operate and maintain an ocean-going vessel. In addition to classroom and field training during the regular school year, you will sail aboard the Training Ship GENERAL RUDDER during three summer cruises to gain practical experience in seamanship, navigation, and engineering operations. At the conclusion of the program, you will be examined to become licensed in the Merchant Marine as a deck or engineering officer and may seek employment in the exciting field of marine transportation.

The Maritime License Option Program:

The Corps is a learning laboratory for leadership, management and self-discipline. Midshipmen are organized into a paramilitary unit with muster, watch standing, shoreside training, small boat handling, and ship maintenance duties. Midshipmen must also complete training in marine firefighting, first aid, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques. Midshipmen majoring in Marine Biology, Marine Sciences, and Marine Transportation may seek a Third Mate's License (Oceans Unlimited). Midshipmen in Marine Engineering Technology may seek a Third Assistant Engineer's License (Steam and/or Motor Vessels, Unlimited). Note: All Marine Transportation majors must participate in the Corps. 



The Texas A&M Maritime Academy prepares you for licensing as an officer in the American Merchant Marine. If you are pursuing a Third Mate's (deck) license you may choose to study Marine Transportation, Marine Biology or Marine Sciences. A Third Assistant Engineer's license is available to you if you are studying Marine Engineering Technology. Students in master's degree programs at TAMUG may also elect to participate in this program.
During three summer training cruises, you serve as a crewmember aboard the oceangoing GOLDEN BEAR, the EMPIRE STATE, the GENERAL RUDDER, and some commercial ships (limited to number of berths). Upon graduation, if qualified, you may opt to serve as an officer in the Merchant Marine Reserve, the U.S. Naval Reserve or the U.S. Coast Guard reserve. Each training cruise is a progressive step to becoming a proficient Merchant Mariner.


Engineering Program:

The Marine Engineering Technology curriculum is an inter-disciplinary program based on a thermal power-oriented specialization in classical mechanical engineering, with additional courses in electrical power and naval architecture.  Theoretical knowledge is reinforced though practical application in labs and through direct operation of marine machinery aboard the University's training ship.  The program prepares students for careers as engineering officers aboard merchant ships, as well as careers in shipyards, building, inspecting, and repairing vessels.  In addition to shipping, graduates can work in many other fields, including: offshore exploration and development, petroleum production and refining, power plant operations, construction, and repair, and facilities engineering at institutions such as hospitals and universities.  License Option Students will take the United States Coast Guard license examination for, and obtain a license as, a Third Assistant Engineer (engine officer) in the United States Merchant Marine.  These students must participate in the Corps of Midshipmen and complete specialized training in first aid, CPR, and marine fire fighting.  While enrolled they must take three summer cruises aboard the Maritime Academy’s training ship.


Deck Program:

The curriculum stresses seamanship, navigation, ship handling and cargo loading.  Graduates must pass the United States Coast Guard license examination as a third mate (deck officer) in the United States Merchant Marine.  These careers as officers aboard seagoing vessels often lead to management careers in maritime industries ashore.  Students must participate in the Corps of Midshipmen while enrolled and they must take three summer cruises aboard the Maritime Academy’s training ship.


The Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC):

NROTC offers those Midshipmen who desire to become Naval Officers and meet the qualifications to qualify for a commission while attend TAMUG.  These Midshipmen are full integrated into the Corps of Midshipmen, and perform all the activities required of the Corps.  Most uniforms for NROTC Midshipmen are provided at the expense of the Navy.  To be eligible for a Commission, NROTC Midshipmen must complete all requirements for a bachelor’s degree as well as certain courses specified by the Navy.  Midshipmen may join the NROTC Program as National Four Year Scholarship Winners or as non-subsidized college program applicants.  All NROTC scholarships pay full tuition, fees and uniforms.  All scholarship and junior/senior level Midshipmen receive an allowance of $250-400 per month depending on class standing.  Midshipmen are also paid during the summer cruise training periods.


Strategic Sealift Officer’s (SSOP) Program/NROTC:

The Department of Naval Science trains Midshipmen who desire to participate in the Strategic Sealift Officer’s Program , a voluntary joint program establish in 1925 between the US Navy and the US Merchant Marine.  The mission of the SSO is to assist the US Navy in times of war/mobilization by augmenting the Navy’s sealift capacity.  License Option Midshipmen may apply to join the SSO program as they are entering the program. Midshipmen who possess the appropriate military aptitude/bearing, academic standing and motivation and receives a positive interview and endorsement form the Officer in Charge of the NROTC program may apply via the Commandant for the SSO program and if selected on a competitive basis may be offered the opportunity to join the SIP program – (receives $8,000 a year for up to four years).   Upon graduation and receipt of a license, Midshipmen will be commissioned as an Ensign USN.  They can also apply for active duty in the Navy or another branch of the Armed Forces. 
Basic Eligibility Requirements (Click here for PDF of Requirements for NROTC or SSOP)

  • Be under the age of 34
  • Pass a Navy physical exam
  • Pass the semi-annual Physical Readiness Test
  • Be enrolled in a license option curriculum
  • Maintain a minimum GPR of 2.0 on a 4.0 system


US Coast Guard MARGRAD Program:

The Coast Guard has two maritime academy specific programs that would be beneficial for cadets interested in USCG service at Texas A&M Maritime Academy.

Maritime Academy Graduate (MARGRAD) Direct Commission Officer Program is available to maritime academy students who (1) graduate with a USCG license or (2) have a qualifying degree in an applicable maritime field. Selected applicants receive a commission in the Coast Guard and serve as officers. Qualifying students apply in their senior year and receive a three-year contract upon completion of their degree.  Available for License Option only. Click HERE for more information regarding the U.S. Coast Guard's MARGRAD program.

Auxiliary University Program (AUP) is designed for students while attending schools. AUP is a volunteer program that provides students the opportunity to affiliate with the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary while enrolled in colleges across the country. AUP students gain valuable leadership experience, operational skills, and earn professional qualifications while serving their community and supporting the missions of the Coast Guard. Participation in the TAMUG AUP is open to all students (not just Cadets), who are also eligible to serve in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Click HERE for more information about the Coast Guard Auxiliary University Program.


Email Questions to Corpsinfo@tamug.edu

The Texas A&M Maritime Academy Viewbook

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Parents: Look at the Texas A&M Maritime Academy Parent's Association FACEBOOK page for information and Q and A.