Maritime - Bachelor of Science Degrees

NMC Codes 850 / 851 / 860

The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is more than just a college experience. As Michigan’s State Maritime Academy, our college educates and trains the finest Deck and Engineering Officers available to the commercial shipping industry.

As you learn more about us, you will discover a professional environment based on pride and tradition. The Academy prepares future merchant marine officers/business professionals for the challenge of operating ships of unlimited tonnage. Our training ship, State of Michigan, is utilized daily as a floating classroom and hands-on learning environment. We set sail with our ship at various times throughout the academic year to reinforce the skills taught shoreside. As cadets progress through the Academy, they learn our industry first-hand by completing essential sea time aboard the training ship and commercial vessels of the Great Lakes and oceans.

Cadets earn their maritime credentials and a bachelor’s degree. A condensed maritime curriculum for students who enter with a bachelor's degree is available.  Additionally, applicants for the engineering officer program who have completed course work equivalent to Northwestern Michigan College's Associate in Science and Arts Degree may apply for admission to the condensed program. Cadets are prepared to write the U.S. Coast Guard examination for licensing as Third Mate Great Lakes and Oceans Unlimited Tonnage and First Class Great Lakes Pilot (Deck Officer), or Third Assistant Engineer, Steam and Motor Vessels of any Horsepower (Engineering Officer). Graduates are fully compliant with Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).

Great Lakes Maritime Academy is proud of the quality education and training we have provided since 1969. Curricula range from seamanship, navigation and piloting, to steam and diesel engineering together with up to 300 days of sea time. Our alumni sail with the fleets of the Great Lakes and oceans with many having reached the pinnacle of their professions as a Captain or Chief Engineer. With exceptional employment and salaries upon graduation, the time is now to consider a career as a professional mariner. The Admissions Office is open weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Please visit for additional information.

This program is approved by the U.S. Maritime Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Michigan Department of Education. A new class begins each year in mid-August (pre-fall semester).

In addition to the above, the Maritime Academy offers a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Technology - Power Systems program.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy requires candidates meet the following:

  1. Minimum age 17, with high school diploma or GED.
  2. United States Citizen.
  3. Academic placement at freshman English and Intermediate Algebra level determined by minimum composite ACT score of 20, SAT score of 1440, transferable college credits or placement testing.
  4. No misdemeanors, felonies or legal expungements.

Acceptance to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy is competitive, with the incoming class of 60 cadets beginning in the fall of each year. Admissions decisions are made without regard to age, sex, martial status, national origin, or ethical/racial background. Applicants may apply at to submit an online application. An application checklist is provided. If you have questions, please call the Maritime Admissions Office at (231) 995-1213 or (231) 995-1209.

General Program Requirements

In addition to NMC rules and regulations, Maritime cadets must comply with the rules and regulations specified under the “Maritime Cadet Rules and Regulations.”

Department of Naval Science

The Department of Naval Science is staffed by an active duty Naval Officer. The Department offers training designed to acquaint the cadet with the mutual dependence of the Navy and the Merchant Marine in accomplishing their common objectives through the MNS 100 Naval Science course. Additionally, Strategic Sealift Officer Program (SSOP) Midshipmen will receive Navy professional development training through the MNS 200 Naval Science II and MNS 250 Leadership and Ethics courses. Upon completion of the SSOP, graduates will be commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy Reserve.

Graduation Requirements

In addition to NMC graduation requirements, Maritime Academy cadets must:

  1. Successfully complete all components of the program.
  2. Pass the U.S. Coast Guard license exam (not applicable to Power Systems Program).
  3. Achieve a 2.0 (76%) grade or higher in all courses.
  4. Deck cadets must complete Great Lakes pilotage exams as per the Academy’s Rules and Regulations.


NMC’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy offers three bachelor degree programs of study:

  • Bachelor of Science - Maritime Technology: Deck Officer
  • Bachelor of Science - Maritime Technology: Engineering Officer
  • Bachelor of Science - Maritime Technology: Power Systems

Each program provides the cadet with coursework in math, physical science, humanities, and social studies in addition to the maritime curriculum.

Federal regulations require that each cadet obtain up to 300 sailing days of practical training as a cadet observer aboard ship. Sea time is arranged by the Academy and scheduled throughout the program. In addition to shipboard duties, the cadets are required to complete written assignments and sea projects for evaluation and grading. Great Lakes Maritime reserves the right to revise the program in accordance with industry needs and government agency requirements (not applicable to Power Systems program).

A condensed maritime curriculum for students with a bachelor’s degree is available.