Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Motto Discipline, Knowledge, Leadership
Type Public
Established 1891
Endowment $13,051,554 (2014)[1]
President RADM Francis X. McDonald, USMS
Administrative staff
full-time, part-time
Undergraduates 1400 cadets
Postgraduates 331 students
Location Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, USA
Athletics Official site
Colors Blue      and      Gold
Mascot Buccaneer

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (also called Maritime, Mass Maritime, MMA or Mass (when differentiating between the other Maritime Academies)) is a regionally accredited, coeducational, state college offering undergraduate degrees in maritime-related fields, as well as graduate degrees and professional studies. Established in 1891, Mass Maritime is the second oldest state maritime academy in the United States. The Academy is located on Taylor's Point in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, in the United States and prepares students for careers in the marine transportation, engineering, maritime business, emergency management, and environmental fields. Originally established to graduate deck and engineering officers for the U.S. Merchant Marine, the academy has since expanded its curriculum. Though not required, some graduates go on to serve in active & reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Academy operates a training ship, the USTS Kennedy.

The Academy offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Marine Transportation, Marine Engineering, Environmental Protection & Safety, Facilities Engineering, International Maritime Business, Emergency Management, and now Energy Systems Engineering (added February 2, 2012).

The Academy also offers a Master of Science in Emergency Management as well as Facilities Management and a wide array of professional/continuing education programs.


USS Ranger

Massachusetts Maritime Academy was founded by an act of the state legislature on June 11, 1891 as the Massachusetts Nautical Training School; the name was changed in 1913 to the Massachusetts Nautical School and it took its present name in 1942. The school's first training ship was the USS Enterprise on loan from the Navy.

The school was located at a pier in Boston until 1936. It then was moved to Hyannis, MA on Cape Cod, where it remained until after World War II. In 1946, the Academy acquired land at the State Pier on Taylors Point in Buzzards Bay, MA at the southern end of the Cape Cod Canal with a berth deep enough to accommodate the USS Charleston, the school's new training ship. A classroom building was built, but life and education at the school continued to revolve around its training ships for the next 25 years.

In 1972, the state legislature appropriated money to build brick dormitories, a cadet mess hall, the library, a second classroom building that also encompassed the school's administrative offices, a football and baseball diamond, and a gymnasium. At that time, the structure of the Corps of Cadets shifted from ship-based watches and divisions to a platoon, company and battalion system similar to that of the Naval Academy better suited to the new dormitories.

Women were first admitted to the academy in 1978, with the Class of 1981. At that time, the existing battalion structure was expanded to become a two-battalion regiment as two additional company dormitories were completed. The most recently completed building was for the school's radar simulator trainer.

One unique off-campus program run by the Academy is the scale model ship-handling program (similar to the supertanker training school in France) that is run on a pond ten miles from the campus. It is the only program of its kind in the United States. Many types of 'ships' and several scale model 'ports' are set up on the pond. The quality of the training ship's officers receive from this program is such that the U.S. Coast Guard will remit a quarter of the sea time required to upgrade a deck officer's license from Chief Mate to Master upon successful completion of the course.

Mass. Maritime's traditional Marine Transportation or Marine Engineering majors were expanded to include many additional maritime-related majors in 1990 (see Academic Programs, below) in time for the school's centennial celebration. At the same time, for the first time the Academy began offering master's degree programs in various disciplines.

In 2008, the Academy acquired a Vestas 660-kilowatt wind turbine and began installation of solar power screens on top of the dormitories. As the windspeed across the campus averages 12 to 15 knots year round, the location is ideal for wind power. At present, 30% of the Academy's power needs are supplied by the wind turbine and solar power. The current administration hopes to eventually make Massachusetts Maritime Academy's campus self-sufficient in regard to electric power. As it is, the Academy is the 'greenest' of the twelve colleges in the state college system and one of the greenest colleges in the country.

Regiment of Cadets

All residential students are members of the Academy's Regiment of Cadets. Within the Regiment, cadets supervise other cadets in a broad variety of activities, including the orientation of freshmen, room inspections, Morning Formation, daily cleaning stations, study hours, sea term planning and shipboard responsibilities. Students who seek to enroll in the Facilities Engineering or the Emergency Management programs as non-uniformed commuter students must apply in writing for admission to that status.

Academy freshmen, called "Youngies" (short for "young swine"), arrive at the Academy in mid-August for Orientation, a two-week military-style indoctrination program that is physically and mentally demanding. It encompasses regimental training, military drill, and physical fitness. It also serves as an introduction to shipboard/maritime safety, nomenclature, and customs. The indoctrination period and cadet candidate program is essential to the preparation for the youngies' first semester at sea (sea term) in January.

After Orientation, the academic year begins. For the rest of their first academic year as fourth class cadets, Youngies continue to be required to adhere to stringent rules affecting many aspects of their daily life.

Second class cadets (juniors) are designated Squad Leaders and are in charge of the training of the Youngies. First class cadets (seniors) hold cadet officer positions within the regiment and/or aboard the training ship.

Academic programs

Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering

Prior to the expansion of its offered majors in 1990, the Academy was exclusively a merchant marine college, tasked with the training of future cargo ship officers. The Academy only offered majors in the ship transport subjects of Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering.

Marine Transportation (or Deck) students are in training to become deck officers and learn seamanship, ship navigation, cargo handling, navigation rules and maritime law. Marine Engineering (or Engine) students learn the functions, operation, and maintenance of the ship's propulsion engines (steam and diesel) and other shipboard systems.

In addition to completing all shore-side college classes, students in these two majors must sail on four sea terms (the third may be as a cadet on a U.S.-flag commercial cargo ship) and pass a 4-day professional exam administered by the U.S. Coast Guard in the latter part of senior year. These students earn a Merchant Marine Officer's License upon graduation. Marine Transportation students earn Third Mate licenses while Marine Engineering students earn Third Assistant Engineer licenses.

Vestas V47-660kW wind turbine at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Environmental Protection & Safety (EPS)

This major prepares students for positions in the fields of environmental protection, environmental management and marine safety. Students receive a multi-disciplinary, integrated education in sciences, management, law, communications and safety as related to environmental issues.

These students must be members of the Regiment and must sail on at least one sea term. EPS students also supplement their college classes with independent studies and internships.

Facilities Engineering

This program prepares students for careers in facilities engineering, management, and operations in positions providing for the safe, economical, and sustainable operation of the various equipment found in industrial plants, office buildings, hospitals, power plants, and all facilities requiring heat, air conditioning, and electrical power.

Also students are provided the opportunity to take the optional, highly encouraged, examination for a Massachusetts Stationary Engineer license and/or the examination for a Massachusetts Municipal Waste Water Operators license. Other professional certifications are also available.

The curriculum also includes one sea term and three, six-week co-ops with industry.(2009Ray Henry)

International Maritime Business

This major prepares graduates to enter the maritime shipping and transportation industry as a business professional. The program includes elements of international business, logistics, and transportation.

The curriculum includes introductory courses in vessel familiarization and computer applications; cognate courses in such areas as marine safety and port terminal operations; and courses in economics, finance, accounting, business of shipping, global logistics, chartering and brokerage, marine insurance, international business, negotiations and organization management. It also includes a capstone seminar in international maritime business during the senior year.

The practical component of the curriculum includes one sea term and two internships.

Emergency Management

This major's curriculum encompasses the three key concepts of hazard, risk, and disaster in emergency management. The program teaches risk management concepts including risk assessment, control analysis, strategy section, and implementation and evaluation. In the case of disaster, the students will study the different time stages in a disaster cycle: mitigation or prevention, preparedness, and response and recovery.

The Academy hosted a summit of faculty of Maritime Academies on April 17, 2009, in order to address the need to respond to pirate attacks.[2][3][4]

Energy Systems Engineering

The new Bachelor of Science in Energy Systems Engineering (ESE) program is the third undergraduate engineering degree to be offered at MMA. It began in fall 2012 with the class of 2016. This program prepare graduates for careers in the many varied segments of the fast-growing energy industry in positions that provide for the engineering planning, design, and installation of various equipment and systems required for the generation, management and distribution of electrical power.

The program requires the students to obtain 128 academic credits through classroom and laboratory instruction, including 45.5 credits of general education courses. The new ESE major courses include advance mathematics and applied engineering courses along with specific courses that address the design of alternative and renewable energy systems. In addition to academic credits, the students earn 18 program credits for cooperative (co-op) experiential learning. This includes six credits for Sea Term I and 12 credits for two summer ESE co-ops. The ESE program requires the completion of two co-ops that are scheduled for the students' junior and senior summer sessions. The ESE co-op program provides the students with energy industry specific opportunities to gain first-hand industry knowledge, establish professional contacts, and develop future employment options.

Students in the ESE program will be required to take the nationwide Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam in the spring semester of their senior year. Students in the ESE program can also take a USCG marine engineer license option. This option will require a fifth year to accommodate marine engineering coursework and will require three additional sea terms taken during the students' sophomore through fifth year winter sessions. During the spring semester of their fifth year, the license option students would take the USCG Third Assistant Engineer's license exam.

Sea term

USTS Enterprise in 2005

Sea terms are conducted between the two academic semesters, in January and February. Cadets register soon after the New Year holiday, and prepare the USTS Kennedy for sailing, including loading provisions in the freezers and dry stores spaces. The ship sails for foreign ports of the Caribbean Sea three out of four years, and one in four formerly traveled to the Mediterranean Sea. At least one of the Caribbean voyages includes the Panama Canal and an Equator crossing.

The voyage lasts about 52 days on average, and during that time a cadet will rotate through class and laboratory training at sea, ships operations including deck and engine watches, maintenance and emergency drills. Port visits offer a time to relax, but still include watch responsibilities and ship's maintenance.

Training ships

Shanghai exchange program

The Academy offers an inaugural exchange program to Shanghai Maritime Academy, an 18,000-student school situated next to a deep-water port. Cadets spend 100 days in the Shanghai program taking maritime business, law, and marketing classes and exploring the country to gain the experience they will need in the international maritime field.

Four months later, Chinese cadets make the trek to Taylor's Point and spend a semester at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. They are immersed into American culture, featuring trips to Boston, New York, Washington DC, and Plymouth Plantation.

The exchange would afford participants both Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Dalian Degrees.

Campus alternative and renewable energy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy has done a great deal of work to incorporate green and safe energy to the campus. The campus geen energy initiative consists of solar panels on top of the dormitories that provide 81 kilowatts of solar power to the campus. The Academy also owns a 660 kilowatt wind turbine that provides nearly 20 percent of the campus's electricity.

Combined heat and power has been installed in the dormitories. Micro-turbines (small scale combustion turbines) generate electricity for the campus while utilizing the waste heat and flue exhaust to heat the hot water used in the dormitories.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Information Commons is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Building. The 42,000 square foot building opened in September 2011 and was a 23 million dollar project. The construction of the building used 100% recycled steel; 20% recycled concrete; and 40% recycled insulation. The wood in the building is all bamboo as well. The building is cooled and heated by a geothermal system along with chilled beam technology. Additional light sensors and natural light are provided with skylights reducing the need for artificial lighting when enough natural light is present. The building is furnished with water conserving fixtures and the landscaping uses no irrigation for the planted areas. Water captured from the roof irrigates plantings adjacent to the building. In addition, the pitch of the roof of the ABS Information Commons increases the airflow directed towards the wind turbine by 8%.


Massachusetts Maritime Buccaneers
University Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Conference MASCAC, NEFC
NCAA Division III
Athletic director Bob Corradi
Location Buzzards Bay, MA
Varsity teams 18
Football stadium Edward A. Ellis Field
Basketball arena Clean Harbors Athletic Center
Nickname Buccaneers
Fight song Our Director, Anchors Aweigh (unofficial)
Colors Blue      and      Gold

Sports teams for Massachusetts Maritime Academy compete as the Buccaneers and currently include baseball, men's and women's crew, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's sailing, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's track & field, and volleyball. These teams compete in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference, Eastern College Athletic Conference, New England Football Conference, Pilgrim Lacrosse League, Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference, Intercollegiate Sailing Association and the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance.



Michael F. McCarthy, Commander, USCGR, MMA Class of 1997; Commanding Officer Port Security Unit 305.


  1. "Massachusetts Maritime Academy". U.S. News & World Report.
  2. Ray Henry (2009-04-18). "Maritime academies try to learn from recent attack". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-04-20.
  3. "MMA hosts piracy summit". Cape Cod Online. 2009-04-18. Archived from the original on 2009-04-20.
  4. "Mass Maritime weighs additional anti-pirate training". Boston Herald. 2009-04-19. Archived from the original on 2009-04-20.
  5. "Massachusetts Maritime Academy History". p. 9. Archived from the original on February 20, 2004.
  6. "Emery Rice T. V. Engine (1873)" (PDF). The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. September 28, 1985.
  7. "Massachusetts Maritime Academy History". p. 2. Archived from the original on December 24, 2002.

Coordinates: 41°44′23″N 70°37′27″W / 41.73972°N 70.62417°W / 41.73972; -70.62417

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