Texas A&M or SUNY

Hello All,

I am prior service Navy for 6 years and 10 months and I just got out. I’ve been accepted to both TAMUG and SUNY. I’m looking at being a Third Mate when I graduate. Any knowledge you can throw my way about either school will be helpful. As far as location I really dont have a preference. Just looking for the best of the two. Thanks in advance for any and all opinions.

SUNY! But, I’m an alumnus.

SUNY for sure. We SAIL. Better rep in industry, more job opps. No offense to the Aggies, great school and all.

I’ve heard you can have a lot more fun at TAMG. Both will get you the license. Once you have your license, which school you attended doesn’t matter. It will be your work ethic that counts at that point. If you want a break from the Military, go to TAMG and enjoy life while in school.

SUNY has a better rep. I would definitely pick SUNY over A&M.

Just an FYI. The MUG (TAMUG) is becoming more and more militaristic. so get ready to do PT all four years and Drill and ceremony stuff. Galveston sucks but that’s what is fun about it. You have to make your own fun there.

Cttief, I definitely see the writing on the wall when it comes to TAMUG being more militaristic. Their new Interim Superintendent of TMA is changing policies left and right for that.

Thank you all for your opinions. Keep 'em coming, they’re a big help.

I would stay away from as much military BS as possible. Getting done in four years sucks enough without having some jackass who thinks this is the Navy yelling and screaming at you. I guess the regimentation has a place, but overall the only thing I learned from it was to never volunteer and always have friends that handle paperwork, since they will just toss out any paperwork with your name on it… If I had to choose between Texas and SUNY I would join the Foreign Legion. I have sailed with good and bad mariners from both schools (although more good from SUNY) but the locations of the campuses leave a lot to be desired. Each school fits different personalities, so this isn’t a case where one size fits all. Have you visited Texas and SUNY? What about the other schools?


I was able to check out SUNY but not TAMUG. Like I said location is not a big issue for me. I hear what you’re saying about military BS. Just under 7 years under my belt and I’d have to start over at an academy. Kinda irks me but I’ll do what I have to do. Thanks for the post.


I don’t know if anyone at SUNY told you this, but if you have prior military service (and it sounds like you do) you don’t have to deal with the regiment. Yes, you have to go through indoc (which is 2 weeks of a joke), and then you can be a “day-student” - live off campus, I think only have to go to formation one day a week, etc. Much less bullshit than living on campus for 4 years, which is pretty much a joke too. If you have any questions feel free to ask or PM me.


Yes I read it on their site but TAMUG also had it on their site and they just changed the policy. I’m in the process of playing phone tag with the folks at SUNY to get a solid answer on that though. Thanks for the heads up.

Not an Alumni of either but SUNY has a better rep in the industry in my experience. I hear that A&M does a good job getting their students into Gulf of Mexico jobs so if you were into that then A&M might deserve a solid look.


Yes I read it on their site but TAMUG also had it on their site and they just changed the policy. I’m in the process of playing phone tag with the folks at SUNY to get a solid answer on that though. Thanks for the heads up.[/quote]

I can tell you who to talk to at the admissions office (if that’s who you’re talking to) - most of them have no idea what’s going on, but there is somebody there who is a graduate from a couple years ago that knows what she’s talking about. Let me know.

I spent one year at TAMUG before going to NY and graduating from KP. I guess you could say that I got a bit of an outsider’s view of SUNY (they are right across the sound), and with that in mind I would go with Texas. I’ve heard they are getting more regimented, but if you have Navy experience, it shouldn’t be much of a problem for you. Galveston is not a bad place (not exactly kick ass either) but there is always plenty to do. The Corps of Cadets (maritime students) is a much smaller student body than at SUNY, but the entire TAMUG student body is several thousand in number (there will be some girls and “regular college” atmosphere- not sure how important that is to you.) Plenty of well-paying and secure jobs in the Gulf near the Galveston area too. Hope this helps and good luck wherever you end up!

If location isn’t a big deal I would look at Maine and Mass as well. In full disclosure, I am biased, I went to Maine. But, I found my education to be excellent at Maine, although the administration is run by a gym teacher and it shows. Maine waives a lot of the military BS when you are ex military and allows you to live off campus all four years for ex veterans.

According to my just graduated SUNY son, there were 10-20 prior service guys at school. They did indoc, wore the uniform and had to show up for 2 formations a week first semester, one after, as day students. Generally, they were quite popular. In comparision with KP, SUNY is not terribly regimented. Can’t speak to A&M, but the Texans definately have better football teams!

I have been looking at both, and it looks to be a regional choice because I think getting the actual license is the goal here.

In any case, these posts are really helpful. I’ve been out of undergrad for awhile, am a currently an employed finance director (but have always had interest in the maritime industry and am in the process of having my USGS 50 GT license processed).

Do you think I’m too old (35)to go into the MS program with license option? To be frank, rather than taking all those business related courses I would much rather go for the Bachelors in Engineering but am concerned that I’m too old to go in with 18 year olders. Any other ‘grandpas’ out there who are currently enrolled or are thinking about it?

Bucky - if you’re asking about the MS program at SUNY, you are absolutely not to old - in fact, you’re probably the average age. Well, I have to clarify that - the average age for the MS only students - mostly international people that are working full time jobs. You will be almost twice as old as the students in the license program, but simply because you are in the same classes as the new freshman that come in. I’d have to say the average age of the grad-license kids is between 26-30, but there have been some at 50, so you’ll be alright.

As for the engineering, you’d be among the older - although there are a lot of Navy/Marine Corp guys that are doing the STA-21 program that are older and definitely dedicated to their degrees in the engineering program. But, if you want the license quickly, the MS program is the way to do it - 2 1/2 years from start to finish.

[QUOTE=buckybosun;17076]Do you think I’m too old (35)to go into the MS program with license option? [/QUOTE]

Both schools have their advantages/disadvantages in the undergrad program, so I agree, it’s more of a regional choice. If you are comparing Master’s programs I would choose SUNY for 2 reasons. First, the best professor I’ve ever had, Jeffery Weiss, is heavily involved with the program and his leadership is a real asset to the school. Second, for too many reasons to list, it’s location near Manhattan is a true advantage for a business major.


This is a really great response. Thanks for taking the time to go over age and degree aspects. I just want to ensure that if I take this leap, I’ll get a shot as a deck officer on a merchant ship if I do a great job. Per Wikipedia, “As of 2006, some 34,000 people were employed as captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels in the United States.[30] The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 18% growth in this occupation, expecting demand for 40,000 shipmasters in 2016.” Do you think this is the case; namely, is there demand?

From your name ‘New3M’ it sounds like you have went through this program in some aspect. If so,are you shoreside or on a vessel?