SUNY or Mass Maritime

First post on this site so apologies if this has already been discussed to death.

As a high school junior, its time to begin looking at options for fall 2011. One thing for sure, I have always known I want to work on the water.

I live in CT so am eligible for reasonable tuition at Maine, Mass & SUNY maritime. Visited Mass open house 2 weeks ago. Took a tour and interview at SUNY yesterday. When I visited Mass, I thought ‘this is it’, after visiting SUNY, I’m not so sure about Mass. MY GPA and SATs are just average (3.0 GPA and 530 math, 520 verbal) and I prefer hands on to classroom learning.

My impressions=
Mass -
Cape Cod beats the Bronx as a community
100% regimented - I think that’s a good thing
More choice of majors - Environmental, homeland security a few others
Winter cruise to warm places
During cruise, underclassmen are exposed to all majors. Good way to find your best fit.
Emphasis on hands on learning “Learn, do, Learn” is what they call it.
More academically challenging - which scares me a bit because I really have to work at math to get decent grades.
Got the sense that while hazing is not sanctioned, it is still fairly common. While I don’t consider myself a candy ass, I really don’t take much pleasure is seeing others humiliated.

Much nicer campus and facilities
Summer cruise to more distant ports
Tutoring services (if needed) are readily available
Seems like a kinder/gentler academy with less abusing of underclassmen
80/20 mix of regimented/unregimented. That’s got to be tough on the regimented cadets when they see unregimented freshmen with greater privliges that a 1st classman.

So, it’s still early in the search process. Any input from the ‘old salts’ is appreciated.

BTW, have not looked into Maine yet. Too cold & remote?

It is a tough choice, SUNY was pretty much the only one I wanted to go to as they had one of the better ROTC programs at the time. I haven’t been back there for close to ten years and the campus is in a pretty cool location. As far as the choice between Mass and SUNY, if you are planning on sailing upon graduation, both schools put out about the same product as far as far as the readiness to sail. I was told last month by a recent grad that they are trying to get 100% regimented again. As far as the hazing at SUNY, I never really experienced any of it from the regiment or the upperclassmen. you will have to walk/run on certain paths, get out of the way if somebody (non freshman) is walking down the hallway. Looking back, it wasn’t to humiliate you (for the most part), but just a way to break you down a little bit and let you learn how to follow, but much of it was petty BS.

When getting information about the regiment, try not to ask the addmissions people. They will tell you a lot of BS to try and get you enrolled there. Well I hoped I helped a little, don’t rule out Maine due to it’s shitty location, most of the guys I sailed with out of that school really knew their stuff.

if you plan on staying in the maritime industry then go to Maine, it has the best reputation and that reputation is well deserved.

good luck.

[QUOTE=richard8000milesaway;33226]if you plan on staying in the maritime industry then go to Maine, it has the best reputation and that reputation is well deserved.

good luck.[/QUOTE]

Even our Mass Maritime cadet tour guide admitted Maine had a better engineering program. Since math is not my strong points, engineering is not something I am likely to pursue.

Mass -
More choice of majors - Environmental, homeland security a few others

They may have some majors that appeal to you, but if you are looking to obtain a deck or engineering license, you will have to major in Marine Engineering, Marine Transportation, or double major.

[QUOTE=Jon;33256]They may have some majors that appeal to you, but if you are looking to obtain a deck or engineering license, you will have to major in Marine Engineering, Marine Transportation, or double major.[/QUOTE]

I’m leaning towards Marine Transportation. If I later find it’s not right for me, Mass as some good fall back majors.

The Founder of gCaptain is a SUNY grad if that helps at all.

Employers care about YOUR reputation not that of the school you went to as they are all very similar. The only question is Are you a Yankees or Red Sox fan?

[QUOTE=domer;33281]The only question is Are you a Yankees or Red Sox fan?[/QUOTE]

All jokes aside… this is a very serious point not to be take lightly.


So if I go to SUNY, you think I should not bring my Red Sox sweater to MUG indoc orientation?

CT is kind of a middle ground wrt THE GAME.

I can root for the home team wherever I land.

I’d take any admissions jargon with a grain of salt, from SUNY or anywhere for that matter. Reverting back to 100% regiment at SUNY seems doubtful as well, and is directly opposite the trend of the last 7 years. Until the SUNY head honchos change their funding policy away from being based on enrollment figures, the trend will no doubt continue. It’s a damn shame IMHO, the regimental license program has so much more to offer that they fail to promote and build on.

Anyhow, like Emills said, the license product is the same, so if you’re going to sail, the end result will be the same. The regimental experience tied with the Summer Sea Terms are great regardless, you’ll get this from either. From the rumblings I’ve heard from SUNY, my source being a veteran regimental affairs officer (name withheld to protect the innocent), among other things is that the regiment is pretty lax and only getting easier; I’d judge Mass’s program to be “harder”, that might be a pro or con, depending. It seems like the Empire State goes to better ports, in my opinion; the med and western europe for sure, doing a lot more baltic sea and english isles lately, and the Caribbean as well, but the cruises from either school accomplish the same goals. If you’re more interested in the academic curriculum and various degree programs, you’ll start to find more specific differences and it becomes a personal choice, engineering especially. I’ve sailed with great and horrible grads from a few schools – jackasses can still get a license from anywhere, thats for sure.

As far as hazing, it seems some people (read: parents of cadets) are overly sensitive about their little boy johnny being yelled at for anything, much less PT’d or otherwise punished. They tend to confuse “discipline” with “hazing”, and there are knee jerk reactions to anything resembling the latter, even if it was clearly the former. They then fail to realize that they signed up for that discipline. Such are the times we live in. But no, I never saw any kind of hazing during my time at Schuyler; justifiable and proper discipline, yes, but certainly not the stuff you might have seen come out of The Citadel or some place years ago. Can’t comment on the other schools. The best people to ask about the regiment are a 1st classman or a recent grad, people with a little bit of perspective on it. MUGs and most others will only complain and admissions (or cadets working for them) will flat out lie (i’m ashamed to say i did a one or two open houses for them in my day)

As far as SUNY being in the Bronx, you overlook that its a mere 30 min express bus ride to Manhattan, and a few “establishments” are withing walking distance (for better or worse). Theres a regular bus stop right outside the gate with a 20 min connection to the subway, 15 min taxi ride to Yankee Stadium. Granted, Cape Cod is beautiful and has beaches; depends what you’re looking for. Then again, LI has beaches too, tho not as close.

Like others have mentioned, I wouldn’t discount Maine either, I hear good things about their program, albeit they’re in the middle of nowhere.

just my two pennies.

WRT to Hazing, it was not difficult to Google a few examples at Mass Maritime.

Here is one:

[QUOTE=Jetryder223;33309]WRT to Hazing, it was not difficult to Google a few examples at Mass Maritime.

Here is one:[/QUOTE]

You might also note that this was ten years ago as well and that the decision not to prosecute criminally was made by the acting magistrate, not the academy.

[QUOTE=Jetryder223;33309]WRT to Hazing, it was not difficult to Google a few examples at Mass Maritime. Here is one:[/QUOTE]

As noted in the article, that wasn’t hazing, it was a “teaching moment.”


Let’s not get too hung up on whether or not this still goes on. It’s not something worth dwelling on and should not be a big factor in choosing an academy.

Plenty of old salts made it through the program back when it was SOP.

Any regimented education will be tougher than what you’ll find at a regular college. That’s OK, that’s what I’m signing up for.

Another thing to consider: SUNY has been on a binge to enroll students, upping their enrollment significantly. So much so, that there aren’t enough dorm rooms or enough room on the Empire State for everyone. Thus, you are tripled up in bunks and the sea term has been split in two and third years encouraged to ship out commercial for a summer (a good idea, anyway, KP does it). Also, your tuition is going up significantly this coming year, so that may impact the incoming numbers. So DO chat with a MUG or two in the fall - but that goes for all schools. You also need to drill down into the majors - sounds like you want to be a deckie, above decks, rather than an engineer, below decks. It makes a huge difference in your class requirements. Check them out at all schools. All the schools have great reputations and graduates end up in the same places, so scout out where it works best for you.

I graduated from SUNY '09, came in in '04. (yep, 5 year program… :D). I dont know much about Mass Maritime so i wont comment on it. But from what i saw over the 5 years i was on the SUNY campus is the regiment becoming more and more lax. Also every year since i was there was a ‘record setting incoming class’. And as mentioned, they were stacking them 3 high in normally 2 person rooms and many ‘borderline’ people were being booted off cruise to make space.

I hated my time spent there probably as much as any other person. The key is to keep a low profile and just get your work done. Like most places, its a shitty place to be, but a good place to come from. The location isnt bad as your a bus or a train ride away from Manhattan. There is not much to do around the Bronx unless you like hitting the bars on Tremont…which you should not be doing unless your of age :).

I personally wouldnt worry about what school you came from. The ‘paperwork’ you graduate with is more important i think. Either way you will be branded as a ‘university’ or ‘academy’ guy by most when you start working.

Good luck with your choice. If you have any questions from a recent grad feel free to private message me or just post here… i will try to answer to the best of my ability objectively, but ALOT changed at this school in the 5 years i was there, so your probably better off visiting the campus and talking to both upper and lowerclassmen on campus.

Good stuff guys.

I’ll be taking my ACT in 2 weeks on the off chance I score better than my SAT. (Gonna suck if I bomb) I’ll apply to all 3 NE Academys in September.

I have not been to Maine yet - it’s a 7 hour drive - figure I’ll invest in a trip only if accepted first. I’ll overnight at 2 schools in October before making a decision.

Thanks for the input. I have more info now, but I’m honestly no closer to a decision. They are all good schools.

Hate to beat a dead horse, but someone recently asked “why not enlist in the Coast Guard to see if you really like the lifestyle before running off to an academy? You’ll have the GI Bill, some saved money and a lot of great experience.”

I don’t know “why not”. MUG orintation might seem a little redundant after 4 years in the service but thats no reason to dismiss the idea.

I’m getting ready to shoot off my applications to Mass & SUNY but a CG (or Navy) enlistment might be a good option as well.

Any thoughts?

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