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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the maritime industry?

The maritime industry, far from being a narrow enterprise, encompasses a broad spectrum of activities. It is inherently an international business entwined with the economic and political aspects of trade and foreign policy. It is at the hub of a vast intermodal transportation enterprise requiring managerial skills in finance and logistics to administer. It embraces a wide range of energy to the most sophisticated communication and control systems. The maritime industry is subservient to a global ecosystem and incorporates a reservoir of natural resources that is a fertile area for instruction and research in the ocean and atmospheric sciences and it requires highly skilled, resourceful and disciplined operators for its primary agents - ships.


What is the Merchant Marine?

The merchant marine is a collective term used to describe the commercial (i.e., non-military) vessels of a state and the officers and crew of such vessels. The merchant marine is not a uniformed service such as the Army or Navy but a collection of civilian employees of private companies or perhaps the government. Merchant officers comprise the management team aboard commercial vessels and must be "licensed." Though crew members must be certified for specific duties, they comprise the unlicensed portion of the ship's workforce.


What is a U.S. Coast Guard License?

Officers aboard ships registered in the United States must be licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard (similar to the way pilots are licensed by the FAA) and must meet international standards of training if they are to serve on vessels undergoing international voyages. Organized shipboard in two departments, the Deck Department headed by the Chief Mate, and the Engine Department headed by the Chief Engineer, ship's officers supervise the daily operations of the vessel. The junior licensed member of the Deck Department is the 3rd Mate and, in the Engine Department, the 3rd Assistant Engineer. Graduates of the Maritime College enrolled in License Programs are qualified to be licensed as 3rd Mates or 3rd Assistant Engineers upon passing a written examination administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.  For more information, click here.


What if I am a veteran or already hold a license as a merchant marine officer?

Applicants with at least two years active duty in a sea service [USN, USCG, USMC (Fleet Marine Force), USA (Engineering/Transportation Corps)] pursuing a Degree/License curriculum may elect day student (commuting) privilege after completing indoctrination. Assigned Special Status in the Regiment of Cadets, they wear the uniform prescribed by the Commandant and report weekly to his office for inspection and instructions. They participate in the Saturday Ship Work Program and Training Cruises. Special status must be approved by the Commandant of Cadets.

Students who either possess a valid unlimited tonnage/horsepower license issued by the United States Coast Guard, or have served enough time at sea to satisfy the Coast Guard requirements to sit for the license, may elect day student (commuting) privilege. They do not attend indoctrination. They are not required to participate in the Saturday Ship Work Program or Training Cruises. International students possessing an equivalent license are also eligible for Day Student privilege.


What are your admissions requirements?

A solid 3.0 GPA (an 85 or “B” average), and a combined Critical Reading and Math SAT score of 1000. Students planning on majoring in our Engineering programs need a minimal of 1100 on the SAT.


What is the application deadline?

The College operates on an early decision basis. The deadline for admission applicants to deposit is May 1, 2012.


What materials are needed for a decision to be made on my application?

Once an application is received from the SUNY Servicing Center, or The Common Application. The admissions board makes a decision based on a student’s High School transcript and SAT/ACT scores, Recommendations (2-3), personal statement and supplemental data form. Once all those items are received a decision can be made.


How long does it take for a response on a decision?

A student can anticipate a decision on their application a week or two after the application has become complete. The international students’ application process can be a lengthy one.  


How do I plan a campus visit?

Tours of the campus and interviews can be arranged by contacting the Office of Admissions. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Tours are administered Monday through Friday at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Please call at least 24 hours in advance to schedule a tour and interview.


Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Now, and/or other college credits?

Yes, AP, IB, College Now and other college credits may be eligible for Maritime College Credit. Each Class is evaluated and accepted on approval of the Department Chairperson.


Do you offer scholarships?

Maritime College offers merit and need based scholarships. Also qualified NYS residents with a 90 High School average and above with an 1100 or better on the SAT are eligible for a four-year full tuition scholarship through the Cadet Appointment Program (CAP). For further details please contact the Office of Admissions.


Do you offer work study and/or are there employment opportunities off campus?

Work study is granted through the Financial Aid Office based on a student’s submitted financial aid forms. There are other opportunities for part time jobs on campus as well as off campus. Freshmen students in the regiment cannot have a part time job off campus during the week because they are restricted to campus Monday through Friday. Due to the rigorous curricula, freshman students are not encouraged to have jobs that are time consuming.


Is financial aid available?

Maritime College is dedicated to assist students meet their college expenses.  75% of Maritime College’s student body receives financial aid. A Free Application to Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form as well as a Maritime College Financial Aid Form must be completed. Further questions should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.


What are the costs?

Click here to view the SUNY Maritime Cost Calculator



What is the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)?

The Education Opportunity Program (EOP) at Maritime College is a program of academic support and financial assistance for all statewide SUNY students who show promise of mastering college level work. To qualify for EOP, students must be residents of New York State and be ineligible for admission at the college, under its traditional standards at the same time demonstrate financial need.


What is the % of women enrolled in your school?

About 15% of the student body at Maritime College are women.


What division are your athletics?/p>

We have 20 varsity teams, 19 of which are NCAA Division III.


What is the percentage of students that participate in the Regiment of Cadets?

About 65% of the student population participates in the Regiment of Cadets.


Do you have to wear a uniform?

There are two programs at Maritime College to choose from, the Civilian Program or the Regiment Program. The students that participate in the Regiment Program have to wear a uniform. The Civilian Program is designed to offer students a traditional college experience. These students do not have to wear a uniform or adhere to the structure of the regiment. 


Is there any military obligation?

There is no military obligation for both the Civilian and Regiment Program.


What is the Regiment?

The student body at Maritime College is organized into a Regiment of Cadets. The Regiment is a military style organization and is governed by a set of Rules and Regulations similar to that of the federal service academies. The Regiment of Cadets is part of the training program which works with the Licensing program to impart military bearing, etiquette and structure as preparation for entry into the U.S Merchant Marine. 


Do you have to live on campus?

All students who are part of the Regiment must live on campus. Day Student Status is granted by the Commandant of Cadets on an individual basis to cadets with special circumstances. Living on campus is optional for Civilian students. 


What is the Summer Sea Term?

The Summer Sea Term is an integral part of the Maritime College Experience. For three summers students ship out for 60 days on the Empire State VI to train for the Merchant Marine Officer’s License. The students stand watch, take classes and perform day work. The students are obtaining six credits and invaluable hands on experience. The training ship typically visits 3-5 foreign ports and one domestic port each summer. Note: Only regimental students pursuing a U.S.C.G. license participate in the summer sea term.


How many students utilize their U.S. Coast Guard License directly after graduation?

About 40% of graduates utilize their license and go to sea post graduation.


What is the average starting salary for graduates?

The average starting salary for the Class of 2011 was $60,000 per year.


Does Maritime College have a learning center?

Student Support Services are available as well as professional and peer tutoring.


How strong is the engineering program?

All five engineering majors are ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology) accredited. For the sixth consecutive year, SUNY Maritime College is ranked in the top 100 engineering programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review.


What is your career placement rate?

Maritime College was ranked among the top colleges In Career Development Potential by published reference, Great Colleges for the Real World, (1 of only 10 colleges to receive a five star rating).  Recent graduates of Maritime College have benefited from nearly 100% job placement within 3 months.


As an international student, how do I know if I have to take the TOEFL?

If the home country’s official language is not English then a TOEFL exam is required and we will except, paper based, or iBT. If the home country’s official language is English then the student does not have to take the TOEFL exam, student should submit SAT scores instead. For clarification please contact the International Admission Counselor, Nedean Wilson at nwilson@sunymaritie.edu


What is the maximum amount of transfer credits Maritime College will accept?

For a two year institution the maximum amount of transfer credits Maritime College will accept is 75. For a four year institution the maximum amount of credits Maritime College will accept is 90. 


Are ROTC programs available at Maritime?

Maritime College has the only Navy and Marine Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program in the New York metropolitan area. The College also hosts a US Coast Guard commissioning program and Maritime students may enroll in a US Air Force ROTC program and ARMY ROTC through cross-enrollment with neighboring colleges.