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.

Maritime License Option Program

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

Deck License 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 Cadets while enrolled and they must take three summer cruises aboard the Maritime Academy’s training ship.

Engineering License Program

The Marine Engineering Technology curriculum is an interdisciplinary 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 through 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 Cadets 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.

Sea Term

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.

Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC)

NROTC offers those Cadets who desire to become Naval Officers and meet the qualifications to qualify for a commission while attend TAMUG.  These Cadets are full integrated into the Corps of Cadets, and perform all the activities required of the Corps.  Most uniforms for NROTC Cadets are provided at the expense of the Navy.  To be eligible for a Commission, NROTC Cadets must complete all requirements for a bachelor’s degree as well as certain courses specified by the Navy.  Cadets 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 Cadets receive a monthly allowance depending on class standing.  Cadets are also paid during the summer cruise training periods.

Strategic Sealift Midshipman Program (SSMP)

The Department of Naval Science trains Cadets who desire to participate in the Strategic Sealift Midshipman Program (SSMP), a voluntary joint program establish in 1925 between the US Navy and the US Merchant Marine.  The mission of the SSMP is to assist the US Navy in times of war/mobilization by augmenting the Navy’s sealift capacity.  License Option Cadets may apply to join the SSMP as they are entering the program.

Cadets 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 for the SSMP and if selected on a competitive basis may be offered the opportunity to join the SIP program.  Upon graduation and receipt of a license, Cadets 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: 

  • 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

Although the Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston does not commission U.S. Coast Guard Officers, the U.S. Coast Guard does offer Maritime Academy Graduate (MARGRAD) Direct Commission Officer Program.

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.

Individuals interested in MARGRAD may also want to consider membership into an Auxiliary University Program (AUP). AUP is a volunteer program that provides students the opportunity to affiliate with the U.S. Coast Guard through the U.S. 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 U.S. Coast Guard. For those colleges/universities with an established AUP, the program is conducted as a recognized student organization of the campus.  This is the case with TAMUG AUP (Texas A&M University at Galveston Auxiliary University Program), which is open to all students (not just Cadets), who are also eligible to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. It is important to note membership in an AUP and/or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is not a requirement when considering MARGRAD. However, the knowledge and skills gained from membership will aid in understanding the requirements of an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Click HERE for more information about the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.