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California Maritime Academy

Posted to Maritime Musings (by on December 12, 2014

The state maritime academy on the Pacific coast

 In 1929, the California Legislature adopted legislation authorizing establishment of the California Nautical School for the purpose of “providing practical and theoretical instruction in navigation, seamanship, steam engines, gas engines, and electricity in order to prepare young men for service as officers in the American merchant marine.”  By late 1930, a site had been located in Tiburon and the training ship California State (ex-SS Henry County) was acquired from the Navy.  Cadets and instructors lived aboard the ship.  In 1939, the school adopted its present name and, in 1940, commenced granting Bachelor of Science degrees to its graduates.  In 1943, it moved to its present location in Vallejo.  The current training ship, TS Golden Bear, is the school’s fourth (and the third to be so-named).  It was launched in 1987 as the hydrographic survey vessel USNS Maury (T-AGS-39) and was transferred to the Academy in 1996.   The Academy offers bachelor degrees in Marine Transportation, Marine Engineering Technology, Facilities Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Global Studies and Maritime Affairs, and International Business and Logistics.  A Master of Science degree is offered in Transportation & Engineering Management.    Students incur no military obligation, but financial aid and additional career opportunities are provided to students who participate in the USCG Maritime Academy Graduate Program, the Strategic Sealift Officers Program, or the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program.  During their four-year stint at the Academy, cadets make training cruises on the Golden Bear and on commercial vessels.  Most graduates sit for US Coast Guard examinations for licensing as deck or engineering officers in the US Merchant Marine.  

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