Currently, an estimated 2 millions seafarers are operating some 80,000 vessels in the global merchant fleet. However, there could be a shortage of merchant sailors to crew commercial ships in a few years.
The Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Northwestern Michigan College on beautiful West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan is here to help counteract that problem.
Of the six state maritime academies operating in the United States, GLMA is unique: It is the only one located on a freshwater body.
Established in 1969, the Academy is a maritime college where men and women become licensed mariners on ships of unlimited tonnage or horsepower; including research vessels, cruise ships, freighters, tankers and more.
Students (cadets) earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Technology and the USCG license (unlimited) as either a Deck or Engineering Officer.
The programs prepare cadets to work in management (as an officer) in the commercial shipping industry aboard ships of any type, sailing on the Great Lakes, rivers and oceans. Deck Officers also earn their First Class Great Lakes Pilotage.
Cadets learn the ways of the sea aboard the 224-foot long training ship, a former Navy vessel, now named the T/S State of Michigan (Training Ship State of Michigan).
Individuals who are admitted to the academy follow a four-year curriculum with a condensed curriculum offered to those who have already earned a Bachelor’s (or higher) degree.
The maritime curriculum includes classroom instruction, labs, simulation and three semesters at sea.
Minimum required age is 17 with a high school diploma or GED. There is no upper age limit. The average age at the Academy is 27.
The Academy admits 60 cadets each fall. Total cadet body is over 200.
The United States Merchant Marine refers to those individuals (licensed or unlicensed) who make their living in the maritime industry. Merchant Marine officers have extensive training and managerial skills — essential in operating vessels that move goods within the United States and international waters. Merchant Marine officers are not in the military.
Similar to the way commercial airline pilots are licensed by the FAA, commercial shipping officers must be licensed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and International Credentials are issued by the United Nations International Maritime Organization.
Sign up for information today about the Great Lakes Maritime Academy and check it out!
Great Lakes Maritime Academy
715 E Front St
Traverse City, MI 49686
Contact the Admissions Office
231-995-1213 or 231-995-1209