This school isn’t a military academy, but it may feel like one. Freshmen kick off their college career with two weeks of physical and nautical training. Then throughout the school year, reveille is called at 6 a.m., at which time cadets don their uniforms, and, after breakfast, muster in formation. The reward for the long eight-hour school days are degrees in subjects such as engineering, marine transportation, environmental protection, and business.
All students must learn to handle the school’s training ships, and most cadets serve on at least one six-week training cruise to a foreign port, typically in the Caribbean. The payoff for this disciplined approach to education: Mass Maritime offers in-state students a low-cost education that can lead to a successful career. Recent graduates report earning an average of almost $55,000, above average even for graduates of other schools that focus on engineering or business.
Besides shipping, many grads find work in the energy, cruise, or fishing industries or go on to serve as officers in the military. The student body is not as diverse as you’ll find elsewhere: About 90% of students are male, and 90% are white. The Buccaneers have eight Division III sports teams each for men and women. As you might expect, the sailing team is especially strong.