Maine Maritime Academy or SUNY Maritime College

I am a transfer from community college and was accepted as a Marine Transportation Major to pursue a deck license at both schools. I am from the west coast and the finances of attending both schools will roughly be the same for me. In either case I want to know the pros and cons of attending either academy. I am leaning more towards SUNY as I have had more interactions with them but from what I’ve researched Maine Maritime in Castine is also a great school. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.


They are both good schools. Whichever one accepts the most transfer credits is probably your best bet. License and degree are the same.

I see, so it’s more based upon what you do while you are there?

neither… GO BUCS

In all seriousness I visited all three north east academies and went with Mass. because of the good education and surrounding areas(Boston, Cape Cod). My number two was SUNY because it is much closer to my house and more to do on the weekends. As an out of stater I imagine Maine is going to be tough because its an hour from Bangor(closet built up town). Both are backpack schools and most cadets go home on weekends

SUNY takes the regiment far more seriously than Maine does but if you’re used to being close to civilization you might not do well at Maine.


Mets or Red Sox fan?


Don’t you mean, Yankees or Red Sox fan? :grinning:

Used to be you could get into regular season Yankees games for free with your Maritime College ID. At least when the old man was still alive.


Oh I meant the Mets. But let’s not let the Throgsneck bridge come between us seagoing brethren. On the borough of Queens side of the bridge Shea was preferred by many. No freebies but if you wore your uniform with that goofy USNR pin on it you got a heavily discounted military ticket for a seat way up in nose bleed territory. Cold beer, Nathan’s dogs and ear blasting jet engines from planes landing at LGA. Ah the mysteries of Flushing. I grew up a Yankees fan in northern NJ but that “old man” ruined it for me when he started a revolving door of player movements. Found it hard to root for a team I no longer recognized. Now all teams do it anyway huh?

Quite the diversion from the OP topic so deepest apologies, best of luck wherever you choose. The comments about lifestyle urban/rural are valid though so consider that aspect for sure.

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To further divert, we used to get in free through the press gate with our USNR card in my time, and didn’t always need to be in uniform. . . agreed with the nose bleed seats. Occasionally, the ushers would hit us up for a “tip” to sit in completely empty areas. . . . yet I digress. . .

I’m more of a padres fan, If that gives any hints :joy:

The regiment is very mild at MMA, but in Castine the women are scarce and the sheep are nervous.


They both have their points, but SUNY is close to Manhattan, has public transportation, and has several major airports. They also have immediate access to the financial markets that control shipping in this country and worldwide. Your best bet is to visit both of them and decide for yourself.

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If you want to spend your career at sea then I’d go with Maine, the nautical instruction is marginally better. If you want Shoreside career options go Schuyler, the proximity to NYC, Newark and Stamford makes for a lot of shore job options. If you’re not 100% sure then go Schuyler.


SUNY, so long as you know you want to be in the maritime industry. This way you have access to all the big areas where companies and the shore-side jobs congregate, NYC and Stamford being two of them OR you still have the option to go to sea. No matter which road you choose, you must go cadet observer and haul a$$, you will learn a lot and hopefully make a good impression on a company so you’ll have the sailing option available no matter what. I just do not see Maine’s proximity to shipping companies, or the ability to offer the variety of options SUNY can. That said, everyone from Maine sails and typically spend their entire careers at sea (at least from what I have seen).


Thank you everyone for the advice! It has really helped me narrow down my decision.

I feel as though I am in a similar boat as @spector425. West coast resident, looking at Maine and SUNY, and coming into the deckie route as a transferring military veteran student. My question is: I noticed that most maritime colleges only offer Marine Transportation for their deck unlimited license, yet SUNY offers it to their Marine Operations as well. What is the difference between Marine Operations and Marine Transportation in terms of career options, growth, and outlook? Is one more catered and advantageous to shoreside?

I’d have to see a breakdown of the courses required for each major to compare the differences. I’d say take whichever major has required courses that you are most interested in.

Here is the course breakdown from the catalog, it seems to me that they are quite similar but I wonder if prospective employers down the road will see care:

It looks like “operations” is a less academically rigorous program for people who can’t hang. Maine does something similar with engineers where they have Marine Engineering Technology > Marine Engineering Operations. I would do the Marine Transportation program and take MT 212 Ship, ENGR 540, and ENGR 541 as electives.

The operations major has engine classes as well and is geared for people who want to go to sea. Most cadets go the Marine Transportation (MT) route, which is a business degree. You’d do fine with either one of them. It is not an easier curriculum by any stretch and both end with the same result, however you get that engine experience with Marine Ops. You do get to wear a different pin on your uniform, which is the only difference that I ever noticed.

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