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Cal Maritime - California State University Maritime Academy - Merchant Marine Programs

Merchant Marine, Marine Transportation, Logistics & Engineering Education at Cal Maritime

california maritime academy

Established in 1929 and located in Vallejo, California, the California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) is a unique and specialized campus of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system. In 2015, California Maritime Academy was officially renamed as California State University Maritime Academy (CSU Maritime Academy). 

Cal Maritime is one of only seven degree-granting maritime academies in the United States - and the only one on the West Coast. In 2008 the U.S. News and World Report ranked Cal Maritime as the 6th best Baccalaureate College on the West Coast.

The California Maritime Academy’s waterside campus on the northern end of San Francisco Bay is tucked into a quiet cove with ever-changing views of the ever-changing maritime world. This world is much more than operating commercial ships; it is a global economic force linking with various modes of transportation to get commodities and people from point A to point B. Operating this global enterprise requires engineers, business leaders, port managers, deck officers, environmental advocates, Maritime Security consultants, etc. Cal Maritime produces professionals in these and other areas related to the ocean as a resource and an engine for a global economy.

The License School, launched by Cal Maritime in 2001 is designed to meet the needs of the smaller vessel approved courses, including testing at the Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV), 100 Ton and 200 Ton levels. Other classes include Towing Endorsement and Sail Auxiliary.

The Maritime Safety and Security Center (MSSC) is a maritime-focused safety and security-training center located in Richmond, California. It was developed through a public/private partnership between the Chevron Richmond Refinery and California State University, Maritime Academy. Cal Maritime operates the center. MSSC provides integrated safety and Security planning, preparedness, response and mitigation training and strategies to guarantee an operational whole.

cal maritime campus

Academic & Training Programs

Undergraduate Programs

  • BS Degree in Business Administration - International Business and Logistics: Preparation for careers in international Maritime Business and global logistics. Theoretical foundation of knowledge and practical level of experiential learning. One multi-week, study-abroad experience and one co-op.
  • BS Degree in Facilities Engineering Technology: Preparation for careers designing, operating and maintaining land-based physical plants, power generation, and engineering systems.Practical experience, including simulators, coupled with theoretical background. One training cruise and two co-ops
  • BS Degree in Marine Engineering Technology: U.S. Coast Guard license – Third Assistant Engineer. Preparation for operating and maintaining engineering systems on a ship as a licensed engineering officer. Practical experience, including simulators, coupled with math and science coursework. Three training cruises. May participate in U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard programs leading to a reserve officer’s commission
  • BS Degree in Marine Transportation: U.S. Coast Guard license – Third Mate. Preparation for work on a ship as a licensed deck officer. Includes academic breadth, Simulator experience, and technical expertise. Three training cruises. May participate in U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard programs leading to a reserve officer’s commission.
  • BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering: Preparation for research, design, development, and evaluation of engineering systems. Math and science intensive and hands-on experiences. Combination of training cruises and co-ops. May participate in U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard programs leading to a reserve officer’s commission.
  • BA Degree in Global Studies and Maritime Affairs: Preparation for careers in maritime Security (port security, vessel piracy, and maritime terrorism), maritime trade and economics, maritime environmental policy, and Maritime Law. Internationally focused coursework, internships, and study abroad opportunities. One two-month training cruise on the Training Ship Golden Bear ( or one multi-week, study-abroad experience) and one co-op.

Graduate Program

  • Master of Science (MS) in Transportation and Engineering Management: An advanced course of study in business and management fundamentals combined with specialized preparation for career advancement in Engineering, Transportation, or Humanitarian/Crisis Management.
  • Developed and delivered in close collaboration with business and industry the curriculum provides a mix of cutting-edge theory and creative real-world applications to prepare students to succeed in a challenging and changing global market. Students will tackle case studies and simulations throughout the program. The curriculum culminates in a Capstone project, where students synthesize their learning by addressing a pressing real-world organizational issue. You can complete your graduate degree in as little as 20 months.
  • Every student has the opportunity to choose one of three specializations within the program. Your studies will be customized to your interests and career goals.
  • Online: The program including lectures, special presentations, discussion groups, assignments, group work and reading materials are completely on line. You can attend class anytime 24/7 from anywhere in the world helping you to fit learning into your busy life and stay on track.
  • Target Audience: Mid-career professionals in maritime and related fields who wish to further their education and employment opportunities, with a particular emphasis on those wishing to make a transition from sea to shore. Highly motivated students coming directly from undergraduate studies will be considered as well.
  • Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management: The Emergency Management graduate certificate prepares professionals to participate in important conversations on mitigating the effects of climate change and other known hazards. This certificate program recognizes the need to prepare emergency management professionals to actively engage in the political process to promote policy change.

Cal Maritime Features

Students choose Cal Maritime for its small class sizes and the many opportunities they have for hands-on learning in classrooms, laboratories, workplace co-ops and aboard our Training Ship Golden Bear. There’s also tutorial and remedial assistance available when wrestling with the challenges of learning new skills. The Tutoring Lab offers academic support through FREE tutoring services for CMA students. CMA encourage the development of each student's potential as an independent learner. Tutoring is available in: Math and Calculus, English/Writing, Science, Computers, Engineering, Marine Transportation and Navigation, Global Studies and other areas of study

  • Campus Location: CMA is located at Vallejo in the San Francisco Bay Area on the northeastern shore of San Pablo Bay. Vallejo is the largest city in Solano County, California. Vallejo is home to the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom theme park (formerly Marine World and Marine World Africa USA
  • Accreditation & Memberships: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), The Marine Engineering Technology and Facilities Engineering Technology programs are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, The Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, The Business Administration program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
  • Undergraduate Major areas: International Business and Logistics, Facilities Engineering technology, Maritime Affairs, Marine Engineering, Marine Transportation, and Mechanical Engineering,
  • Graduate Major areas: Transportation and Engineering Management
  • ROTC Programs: There is no armed service obligation attached to graduation from the California Maritime Academy. However, financial aid and additional career opportunities exist for those students who choose to participate in one of the following military programs. Coast Guard - California Maritime Academy Pre-Commissioning Pilot Program, Coast Guard - Maritime Academy Graduate Program, Navy /Merchant Marine Reserve Program, and Navy ROTC
  • Co-ops/Internships: Required internships in shore-side companies, with government agencies or aboard commercial ships complete the critical connection between classroom instruction and real-world practices as well as connecting future graduates with possible employers.
  • Training: During the summer, the Training Ship GOLDEN BEAR exposes students both to the responsibility of running a 500’ vessel and to the exotic cultures of international ports of call, before returning during the main school year.
  • Residence: Cal Maritime is a residential campus. All students are required to live on campus and participate in a meal plan for all four years of their education at the university. Cal Maritime has four facilities that you may reside in. Although all incoming students will live in Upper Residence Hall or on TSGB (Training Ship GOLDEN BEAR). All incoming students are placed in spaces on a first come, first serve basis, while keeping specific needs in mind. All Students involved in the Freshman License Track Living Learning Program will live on the TSGB for a semester.