SUNY Maritime (MS in International Transportation Management)

I am considering the grad license program at SUNY Maritime. I understand the value of the license option, but what value does the MS in International Transportation have over a regular MBA? Do shipping companies respect this degree over, say, a Columbia or NYU MBA?

This only makes sense if you don’t already have a license and you go with the license option. Either way, an MBA from top ranked school would definitely be more valuable if you can get in.

Below is a response submitted to gCaptain by Dr. Larry Howard, head of the graduate program at SUNY Maritime College

MBAs are a dime a dozen in the market place and unless you have an MBA from a recognized top MBA program, a student who makes the investment to get an MBA does not often distinguish him or herself from the pack of other holders of the degree. Moreover, the MBA as conceived in the United States is a generalist’s business education, with the idea that the skills and tools provided by mastering the degree program (pun intended), are supposed to allow the holder of the degree to come into any industry and get to work.

The generalist concept is fine in many industries; it should be known that good managers and executives will spend a lot of time researching the particulars of whatever industry they have joined. Those who do not are ultimately not good at adding value to anybody’s enterprise, including their own.

The Master of Science in International Transportation Management gives to students everything that they might obtain from the standard MBA curriculum, with the added value of coursework and research into our industry. We have, for example, coursework in advanced chartering and brokering, and we give a joint certification (with the Association of Shipbrokers and Agents) to students who successfully complete those electives. We also have an option by which students can obtain certification in supply chain management as part of the MS degree curriculum; in fact students can design their program to get both of the certifications that I mentioned.

Our program is unique in the United States, and there are probably about six others like it in the world. Unlike the graduate programs at the Maine, Massachusetts, and Texas maritime academies, our focus is not just the maritime industry, but rather on maritime transportation as the nexus of extended global supply chains that involve all transportation modes, and many different commercial processes and activities. We have been offering the program since 1968, and have many successful graduates; each semester we bring back to the College campus several successful, recent graduates to tell their stories to current students, and give them tips on how to make the transition from successful student to successful player in the marketplace.

You can read about some of these successful graduates from our program by going to an archived news story on the college web site at:

If individually anybody cares to pursue inquiries about the Master of Science degree in International Transportation Management, I’ll be glad to follow up with him or her.

Best Regards,

Dr. Howard

Larry Howard, PhD
Chair, Graduate Program Policy Board (GPPB)
Chair, Global Business & Transportation (GBAT) Dept.
SUNY Maritime College
6 Pennyfield Ave., Fort Schuyler
Bronx, NY 10465
(718) 409-2977 (direct line)
(718) 409-7359 (fax)

This is a great response and I checked the hotnews. Interesting alumni, but I noticed not one of them was a grad license student currently on a vessel. Also, I do not believe any of the shore-side alum held a position at a director or above level. Is there anyone out there and/or can I be pointed to someone who has the MS in ITM with a license that is currently working on a commerical vessel? I have searched the internet but just can’t find any. I know they are there, but it is a bit hard to find.

Also, are there any C-level executives at major shipping companies that are alums of this graduate program? As Dr. Howard said in his response, any good executive researches the industry [and school] he/she is engaging.

Try the SUNY Alumni group on LinkedIn.

I graduated from SUNY with a masters and I’m sailing deep sea. What do you need to know? I have about 3 other friends that are doing the same.

Great! Just needed to see others who went into the masters who were focused on sailing deep sea. Also wanted to get some feedback on the masters and licensing side of the program.

What kind of vessel are you on?

Generally just looking for some tips, etc before going into the program. Would you be into an offline discussion?

Hey Bucky Bosun, I did the MS degree/license program. I work on tankers. One year, I was part of a 6 man grad/license class. We became pretty close friends while we were there. Of that class everyone thought that I would be the only guy who would not sail after graduation. A few years after graduation and I am the only guy who IS sailing. One of my friends has a very good job in NYC. I have been sailing so I am more of an operational type and removed from shore ops, but what I can say that is good about the program is the contacts. You will meet people from all over the world in that program, plus when you get out and into the biz you will have a common bond with alumni and even alumni of different schools. Send me a private message and we can talk more about it if you are interested.

i have business administration degree from overseas and i m planning to enroll to international transportation managament for master degree. Is there anyone, who completed master program, can give some hint about the program? i need general information like where you work, is there many job oppurtunities available after completing this program etc. thank you

Great to hear. If you are coming from overseas, PLEASE come with good conversational English skills. It is a great program but one of the drawbacks is that half the presentations in our classes sound like they are being delivered by Borat with a person at the Third Grade reading level.

I actually have a similar question and figured it would be best just to add onto this thread rather than start my own. I just recently graduated with an International Business and Bus. Mgmt degree from another SUNY school and am looking to get my Masters at SUNY Maritime. But unlike the previous questions, I am actually looking to become a shipbroker rather than obtaining any actual shipping license. Recently, I have been having a real hard getting my foot in the door of any shipbroking firms. I have done all I can to learn the industry for someone without any experience or knowledge on the subject(read many books/articles on every aspect off the maritime industry). I have a good sense of what it would take to succeed in this industry and I truly believe I have the characteristics to do so. Obviously someone doesn’t just become a shipbroker and I am not implying that I have any more right to be given a chance as a trainee than anyone else but going to SUNY Maritime to achieve this goal seems to be the logical next step for someone with no shipping experience.

So now to my question, would going to SUNY Maritime really give me an advantage? Or should I just take the certification course that ASBA offers? Or perhaps gain experience in sales/freight forwarding…?

Everything about SUNY sounds very appealing. It is about 30 minutes from where I live, I would probably get accepted, the cost is reasonable, and there have been many successful shipbrokers who have graduated from SUNY. But this is a 2 year commitment (minimum) so I am hoping to get as much feedback as possible. Thank you to any one who decides to give their input.

Maybe get that masters degree with the license and sail for a few years. That will give you industry experience to go with your degree.

I am not opposed to that either but that isn’t my initial goal. I read in many places that many shipbroker start off as soon as they graduate (22-24yrs old). I’m in that range now (22) and don’t want to “attempt” to get in this industry in my late 20’s. Would rather have 5 years experience by the time I hit thirty. So I’m hoping just by being in the Academy that someone will see my potential and give me a shot and by the time a graduate I would not only have two years experience, but some basic knowledge to go with.

Going to suny will give you countless opportunities to meet and network with alumni. This is how you land those killer jobs. It’s all about who you know.

You can also sail if you want to, or need to…to pay off your loans.

Stop by and talk to any grad student. The admissions people are salesmen, and will tell you what you want to hear.