Marine Systems Engineering – License Track

The Marine Systems Engineering – License Track (MSE License Track) program teaches students how to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems. If you are interested in how the world around you works or if you have ideas on how to improve the tools, appliances and machines we use, you already have the qualities needed to become an outstanding engineer. At Maine Maritime Academy, you will practice on real equipment, bringing theory to life.

The complete program takes five years, with the opportunity to sit for the U.S. Coast Guard Third Assistant Engineer’s License in the fourth year and for the Fundamentals of Engineering examination at the completion of the first semester of the fifth year. Students in this program may apply for a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Engineering Operations after four years of study, with automatic eligibility to return to commence the fifth year within a three-year period after graduation.

Sea Time & Co-op Training

All candidates seeking a 3rd Assistant Engineer license from the U.S. Coast Guard are required to complete 180 sea-days of training. Sea time is accomplished through specialized laboratories, simulation, and three distinct training cruises. The Marine Systems Engineering License Track (5-yr) major is impacted by this training requirement. Scheduled during May and June for at least 60 days, training cruises typically include four domestic or foreign ports of call. Designed to develop practical skills required of a licensed seafaring officer, cruise activities directly involve students in the operation and direct maintenance of the ship.

Dynamic Career Options

Successful completion of the 5-year program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Marine Systems Engineering – License Track, and prepares the graduate for a career as a sea-going merchant marine engineering officer, or in applied or design engineering, engineering consulting, or for a management position in maritime, industrial power, or general engineering fields. Graduates of Marine Systems Engineering – License Track are also well prepared to pursue advanced study at graduate school in numerous engineering disciplines.

Compare the Options: License Track vs. Non-License Track

MSE License Track (5-year)*

  • 5-year B.S. degree
  • USCG license
  • Regiment required
  • 1 co-op (maritime or non-maritime)
  • 3 training cruises
  • Career options in merchant seafaring or in maritime and mechanical engineering mechanical engineering fields
  • Excellent preparation for graduate school

MSE Non-License Track (4-year)

  • 4-year B.S. degree
  • Emphasis on naval architecture
  • Regiment required first year only, then optional
  • 2 industrial co-ops, (1 maritime related)
  • 1 cruise required at the completion of the 1st yr
  • Shoreside career options in maritime and in maritime and mechanical engineering mechanical engineering fields
  • Excellent preparation for graduate school

Objectives of the Marine Systems Engineering Major

Three to five years after receiving a B.S. from Maine Maritime Academy, the typical Marine Systems
Engineering graduate is expected to:

  • Be competent and confident in his or her professional career and able to freely choose between
    graduate engineering education and design engineering careers.
  • Have demonstrated the professionalism, technical competence and versatility to be moving into
    positions of technical responsibility.
  • Recognize that his or her undergraduate education at Maine Maritime Academy has provided a solid
    basis for assuming technical responsibilities and opportunities for continued career development.
  • Understand the importance of social and ethical responsibilities in his or her engineering career.

Outcomes of the Marine Systems Engineering Major

Students will demonstrate the following through the Marine Systems Engineering program of study at the

a. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
b. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
c. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic
constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety.
d. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
e. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
f. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
g. An ability to communicate effectively.
h. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global,
economic, environmental, and societal context.
i. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
j. A knowledge of contemporary issues.
k. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering


In the 2016 Fall semester, enrollment in the Marine Systems Engineering program was 61 students. Between August 15, 2016 and August 15, 2017, 17 students graduated from the program.

* This major leads to a U.S. Coast Guard engineering license and requires participation in the Maine Maritime Academy Regiment of Midshipmen.

For a list of courses per year, by semester, see the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

The Marine Systems Engineering (MSE) programs (Non-License and License tracks) are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission