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Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering; Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; Government; Management; ORCA Education at USCGA

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Founded in 1876, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut is a professional college educating future United States Coast Guard officers. It is a fully resident military cadet campus and the smallest United States federal service academy.

The Academy provides a four-year Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program, with the curriculum heavily oriented toward math, science, and engineering. Like the other U.S. federal service academies, the students receive a full scholarship and the graduates serve in the military for at least five years after graduation. However, unlike the other service academies, there are no congressional appointments — admission is based solely on nationwide competition.

The Coast Guard Academy has a proud tradition as one of the most selective colleges in America. Students come to the Academy to be challenged academically, physically, and professionally. By providing excellent academic programs, a structured military regimen, and competitive athletics, the Academy graduates competent and professional military leaders who serve their country and humanity with honor as Coast Guard officers.

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Programs

  • Civil Engineering Major: Civil Engineering (CE) provides a solid background in mathematics and basic sciences applied toward the study and design of engineered systems. As a broad field encompassing many disciplines, Civil Engineering offers a challenging and fulfilling career to individuals with a wide variety of interests. Upper level courses in the major include study in structural analysis, geotechnical engineering, construction, water resources, and environmental engineering. The program emphasizes development of open-ended problem solving, team building skills, creativity, and communication ability. In the senior level capstone design course, students integrate what they have learned in the design of a complete Civil Engineering system. Graduates of the major are well prepared to pursue a variety of career opportunities and graduate programs in and out of the Coast Guard. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
  • Electrical Engineering Major: The Electrical Engineering (EE) major is a sound undergraduate educational program that prepares future officers to be the Coast Guard’s leaders in developing, evaluating and implementing new technologies. The two essentials for this role, an understanding of a systems approach and fluency with computers, are at the core of this major. This program challenges cadets to become critical thinkers who can use computer systems and analytical methods to solve real world technical problems. The Electrical Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
  • Mechanical Engineering Major: The Mechanical Engineering major provides a solid foundation for service as a Coast Guard Officer, professional engineering practice, and further study in Mechanical Engineering or many other related fields. The major requirements develop the students’ ability to apply scientific principles in the design and analysis of mechanical and energy conversion systems. Students are challenged with design problems in most of the major courses, which provide opportunities for developing creativity in solving real-world problems. The program culminates with a hands-on capstone design project in which teams of students use their acquired knowledge to design, build, and test a practical device.
  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NA&ME) Major: The Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NA&ME) major provides a strong undergraduate educational program in engineering, mathematics and the sciences, focused on the design and analysis of ships and boats. The curriculum has significant commonality with a typical mechanical engineering degree, but instead has a heavy focus on ship design and ship systems during the 2/c and 1/c (junior and senior) years. This program, which is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET  the premier engineering accreditation agency of over 3,100 programs in more than 20 countries.
  • Government Major: The study of Government, History, Ethics, Foreign Language, English, and Law comprise the Humanities Department; and in concert, they offer cadets a major in Government. Part of the mission of the Department is to ground all cadets, whatever their majors, in the liberal arts. For government majors, that grounding continues with a multidisciplinary selection of courses leading to either of two Government tracks: International Affairs or Public Policy. With these twin missions, Humanities offers more core courses than any other department.
  • Management Major: The AACSB International Accredited Management Major provides high quality undergraduate degree, preparing students for their future role as stewards of public resources and global business and government leaders. The Management major at the Coast Guard Academy is built primarily on the intellectual foundations of the behavioral sciences, economics, mathematics, information technology and accounting/ finance. Students are educated in the broad array of functional skills and analytical processes required of contemporary leaders and managers.
  • Operations Research and Computer Analysis (ORCA) Major: The Operations Research and Computer Analysis (ORCA) major provides graduates with a background in mathematics, statistics, and computers. The primary focus of the Operations Research and Computer Analysis (ORCA) major at the U. S. Coast Guard Academy is to enable cadets to conceptualize and describe reality using the tools of mathematics and statistics, develop appropriate models, derive solutions using computer technology, apply the solutions to specific Coast Guard and other real world problems and to effectively communicate solutions.
  • Marine and Environmental Sciences Major: The Marine and Environmental Sciences (MES) major stresses understanding of the complex relationships between humans and the land, oceans and atmosphere. Importantly, this program is not simply marine biology. Rather, MES provides a technical, multi-disciplinary education closely aligned with Coast Guard missions by integrating oceanography, chemistry and biology.

Professional Maritime Studies

  • Four courses are taught that cover a spectrum of operational topics including basic and advanced navigation, maritime communications, nautical rules of the road, risk management, relative motion theory, collision avoidance, basic emergency procedures and homeland security and maritime domain awareness missions.  The program is enhanced by training and educational opportunities in the navigation lab, training tug boats, ship simulation facilities, and many summer training opportunities at actual working Coast Guard units.

USCGA Features

The Coast Guard Academy is more than a great place to learn and grow; it's a great place to live. The region has a long tradition of embracing the sea, the military and higher education. The campus is on the waterfront, set upon rolling hills with meticulously manicured grounds. The living environment is secure, supportive and regimented, in the best tradition of the US service academies. The Coast Guard Academy provides an atmosphere of closeness and inter-reliance that befits the humanitarian mission and commitment to service above self.

  • Campus Location: The US Coast Guard Academy is situated on a classic New England college campus
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and The Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering majors are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The Management major has been accepted into candidacy status by the American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • Undergraduate Major Areas: Academy graduates select from eight majors: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Government, Management, Marine and Environmental Science and Operations Research and Computer Analysis
  • Honors Internships: The program accepts students from all fields who exhibit a dedication to extracurricular endeavors, an interest in cultural issues and a strong commitment to community service. Most importantly, those selected must demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and be effective communicators in order to convey what they learned in Poland to their peers at the Academy.
  • Pay: All cadets receive pay totaling ,150 per year. Cadet pay is furnished by the government for uniforms, equipment, textbooks, and other expenses incidental to training. These funds cover all official expenses and are used only as directed by the Superintendent. Each cadet receives a portion of his or her monthly pay for personal expenses. Any funds remaining in cadets' accounts are given to them upon graduation or departure from the Academy.
  • Obligation: Upon graduation from the Coast Guard Academy, there is a five-year commitment to serve as a commissioned Coast Guard officer. Approximately 80% of Academy graduates go to sea after graduation, although some go to marine safety offices, ashore operations, or flight training.
  • Tuition: No tuition fees for US citizens.
  • Further Study & Service Commitment: 80% of graduates go to graduate school (most paid for by the Coast Guard) and 85% of graduates choose to serve beyond their five-year commitment
  • Accomplishments (other): Two graduates are NASA astronauts

Last updated: Mar 12, 2017

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